Week 14 of Your Pregnancy
Table of Contents
The great thing about being 14 weeks pregnant is that it is the second trimester and it is generally considered the easiest of the three trimesters of pregnancy.
Most pregnant women feel less sore, less sick, and have more energy in this trimester than in any other, making this the perfect time to get to work on your baby to-do list if you haven’t already.
Fetal Development at 14 Weeks
Junior is now the size of a lemon, between three and four inches long and weighing around 2oz.
Their body is beginning to stretch out, with arms, legs, and neck lengthening.
They’re slowly becoming more proportional.
With all organs present and accounted for, and with all critical development completed, your baby’s body now focuses on using those organs to get various bodily processes up and going.
The liver is beginning to produce bile, a substance that aids digestion by breaking down fats so that they can enter the digestive tract.
Bile is made mostly of cholesterol, bilirubin, and bile salts, and also contains water, metals, such as copper, and body salts, like sodium and potassium.
The spleen begins to produce red blood cells.
By week 14, your baby is likely beginning to sprout hair and eyebrows.
You won’t be able to tell the color of the hair until he or she is born, however.
Additionally, lanugo covers their entire body; this downy coating of hair provides warmth until your baby has enough fat to keep him toasty.
When it is no longer needed, the lanugo sheds, so, unless your baby comes early, by the time you give birth, your child should no longer be fuzzy.
By now, your baby’s intestines are hard at work producing meconium.
This waste will make up your little one’s first bowel movement after she has been born—an occasion that I’m sure everyone is looking forward to.
Your baby’s body has raised the roof—in his mouth, that is.
Your baby’s lungs are now breathing in amniotic fluid.
Your baby has developed the reflexes needed for swallowing and he or she will be using them to gulp down amniotic fluid (yum?) that they are currently inhaling.
The fluid will then go into their tiny stomach, and finally pass through their kidneys which will release urine back into the amniotic sac.
How you feel about that is completely up to you.
It will be awhile before you can feel anything, but your baby is becoming increasingly active.
- Muscle movement
At week 14, muscles, along with the nervous system, are more developed, allowing for coordinated movement that is smoother than the jerky movements they were making in the past.
Along with this comes increased flexibility in the limbs, head, lips, and mouth.
- Facial muscles
Your child’s facial muscles are now working, and even though you can’t see it, your mini-me is making all kinds of faces at you from inside the womb.
Your child’s genitals are fully developed, but whether or not you’ll be able to find out the baby’s sex depends entirely on how your little one is positioned inside your womb.
However, if you haven’t been able to hear your baby’s heartbeat yet, by week 14, your baby’s heart is beating at twice the rate of your own, and it should be audible during an ultrasound.
This is the perfect time to bring your partner along, especially if they’ve been disengaged from your pregnancy.
Hearing that little heartbeat can change anyone.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at 14 Weeks
Round ligament pain
Round ligament pain refers to what are basically pregnancy growing pains.
Thick bands of ligaments that run from the groin to the sides of your abdomen support your uterus.
As your uterus enlarges as your pregnancy progresses, these ligaments have to stretch and thin out in order to handle the weight increase.
Basically, your uterus pulls on these ligaments, which can cause dull aches and sharp pains in your lower abdomen.
Not all symptoms are bad!
By week 14, the fatigue that kept you down in your first trimester and the morning sickness that made you feel like your body was staging a coup against you has largely passed and as a result, you should be feeling more energetic and spry, and just better in general.
Now is the time to bask in the glow and excitement of pregnancy.
Changes in eyesight
If you had perfect vision before, you may start to notice that everything looks a little blurrier and more distorted.
This is caused by increased fluid retention, which can alter the shape and thickness of the cornea.
Those who wear contact lenses may find them to be increasingly uncomfortable.
You can use eyedrops or artificial tears to combat this or, if the discomfort proves to be too much, switch to glasses for the duration of your pregnancy.
Not only are you feeling better physically, but your hormones, which had previously been crazily fluctuating, should be becoming increasingly stable.
Between these two developments, you’re likely to find that the rollercoaster-esque mood swings that marked your first trimester should be subsiding.
Decreased need to urinate
Because your baby is moving up and out of the pelvis, the pressure on your bladder should start to subside, meaning fewer trips to the bathroom for you.
Enjoy it while you can.
In the third trimester, Junior will drop back into your pelvis and you’ll be back to constantly running to the bathroom.
Body Changes at 14 Weeks
If you’ve been looking forward to your baby bump, now might be your time to rejoice, because some women do start to show around the 14th week.
If you’re not showing yet, don’t worry.
Body changes depend on a lot of individual factors, such as your body type and whether or not you’ve previously given birth.
If you are beginning to show, that means that your uterus is beginning to rise out of the pelvis and into the lower part of your abdomen.
- Skin becomes more sensitive and itchy during pregnancy. It may burn more easily, or you may find that substances that used to cause no problems for your skin, such as chlorine, cosmetics, or certain soaps, are now irritating your skin
- Oily skin often becomes oilier.
- Dry skin often becomes drier.
- If you have eczema, the condition could worsen.
- If you have psoriasis, the condition could temporarily improve.
And speaking of skin changes:
Holy moly! (sorry, couldn’t help myself)
You may be noticing that new moles have started sprouting on your body.
They usually pop up on your face, breasts/nipples, thighs, vaginal area, and armpits.
Doctors think that mole growth is a side effect of hormonal changes which cause increased skin pigmentation, and they often disappear after giving birth.
If you already have moles, they may become darker or larger.
In most cases, this is nothing to worry about.
As a side note, this increase in skin pigmentation due to hormonal changes is also the reason why freckles become more noticeable, and why nipples, areolas, and labia become darker.
HOWEVER, it is prudent to keep an eye on mole growth because while they are usually harmless, they can also be a sign that something else is wrong.
- Moles that increase in size asymmetrically should be looked at by a doctor. While it is common for moles to grow bigger during pregnancy, this change is usually symmetrical, meaning that it will stay the same shape. If you notice that one of your new or existing moles is weirdly shaped, then get to a dermatologist.
- Moles that bleed should also be looked at by a doctor.
- If you have a history of or at a higher risk for melanoma, tell a doctor and be extra vigilant in monitoring any mole activity.
Increase in breast size
The first six months of pregnancy are marked by ever-increasing breast size, so if you’re spilling out of your bra now…well, just get used to it.
It’s not going to stop anytime soon.
In your first trimester, if you were of a normal weight, you should have gained 3 to 5 pounds.
In your second trimester, expect to gain about 1 pound per week, for a total of 12 to 14 pounds.
What You Should Be Doing
Starting in the second trimester, you should be ingesting 300 more calories than you normally would have pre-pregnancy.
Relax about the risk of miscarriage
Once you enter your second trimester, the risk of miscarriage drops significantly.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be careful, just that you can stop obsessively worrying.
Additionally, if you’ve been holding back the news from family and friends just in case something were to happen with your pregnancy, you should feel more at ease about telling them now, if you want to do so.
Special screening tests can check for abnormalities.
These tests are not mandatory and may not be necessary, but should be discussed with your practitioner.
- Nuchal translucency (NT ultrasound): This test is performed from weeks 11 to 14 and it measures the little space of skin behind your baby’s neck. The larger the space, the more likely it is that your baby will have chromosomal abnormalities.
- Integrated screen: This test takes the results of the nuchal translucency test and the results of two blood tests to determine the chances that your baby has Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and spina bifida. The first blood test is taken between weeks 11 and 14 and the second is taken between 15 and 22 weeks.
- Chorionic Villus Sampling: A test that is performed between weeks 11 and 14, the CVS is used to diagnose certain chromosomal problems. A small sample of the placenta is removed during an ultrasound and then analyzed. If inherited conditions, like hemophilia and muscular dystrophy run in your family, then this is a test that you should look into.
Get started on your pregnancy to-do list
The second trimester is when most pregnant women feel at their best.
The sickness, frequent urination, and constant mood swings are over and you’re not big enough for movement to be cumbersome.
That makes this the perfect time to start doing any necessary shopping, designing and putting together a nursery, creating a birthing plan if you haven’t already done so, and generally doing anything that needs to be done and which can be done at this stage in your pregnancy.
Tips for an Easier Pregnancy
Dealing with round ligament pain
You’re most likely to feel round ligament pain when you cough, rise from a sitting or lying-down position, and/or move suddenly.
The best way to deal with and reduce round ligament pain is to avoid jerky movements, get up slowly when you’ve been sitting or lying down, and try to find the most comfortable position in which to recline.
Also, consider switching to exercises that are easier on the body.
Swimming is one of the best exercises in which a pregnant woman can take part
Dealing with itchy skin
Use calamine lotion on the affected area as this can help relieve itchiness.
If you feel constantly itchy, or if it continues to worse, see your doctor.
“Bile” From: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002237.htm
“Skin Changes During Pregnancy” From: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/skin-changes-during-pregnancy/
“Moles” From: http://www.webmd.com/baby/moles
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“14 weeks pregnant: your pregnancy week by week” From: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/300223.php
“14 Weeks Pregnant” From: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-14.aspx