You’re 13 weeks pregnant, you’ve made it to the 2nd trimester..!

Your body is going through many changes as your baby is growing. In this article we shall discuss what to expect at 13 weeks pregnant.

Baby at 13 weeks pregnant

Your baby is approximately 2 ½ to 3 inches long (about the size of a goldfish) and weighs approximately approximately 25 grams. The fetus is now starting to resemble a baby, although still very small in stature. The eyes are starting to draw closer together and move away from the sides of the head. The eyebrows are starting to form. The ears are fully developed. The placenta is now providing the vitamins, nutrients, fats, minerals, proteins and oxygen your baby needs to grow and survive. Your baby’s pancreas is now starting to produce insulin, which will be vital in regulating his/her sugar levels.

13 weeks pregnantThe skeleton is beginning to form starting with the clavicle and femur (collarbone and thigh). Your baby’s organs are growing at a rapid rate including the stomach, bowel and vocal chords. The lungs are continuing to develop and your baby will start to take his/her first breaths as they are getting oxygen from the umbilical cord. Since they are developed by amniotic fluid it’s more like s/he is breathing underwater.

The organs are developing

Other organs such as the gall bladder and thyroid have developed and your baby’s kidneys are now able to produce urine. The bone marrow is now producing the white blood cells which will help your baby fight infection after birth. If you are having a girl, her ovaries are developing rapidly and by this time she will have about a million eggs.  Both sexes should have visible sex organs by this time.

Your baby’s fingers are forming fingertips (and fingerprints). The organs and veins are visible through the skin, which is still relatively thin at this point. The body is starting to catch up to the head size (the head still is a about a third of the body size overall at this point).  His/hers should be proportional to the rest of their body, but their legs are still not fully formed. Your baby’s skins is now covered by a thick layer of hair for protection, otherwise known as “lanugo.”.

Your baby will be able to curl his/her fingers and toes at 13 weeks and suck in their cheeks (which later helps with nursing) and you may feel them wriggling around as their muscles are starting to developing. They are learning to yawn, hiccup and swallow. Salivary glands are starting to develop and function. The ribs may be visible through ultrasound.

Other organs that are developing at 13 weeks of pregnancy include the liver and spleen. These help remove older red blood cells as well as the production of antibodies. Sweat glands are now present as the muscles and nervous system are continuing to mature You can now hear your baby’s heartbeat via an external doppler.

Your body at 13 weeks pregnant

Weeks pregnantAt this point you are probably feeling relieved that you have made it to the beginning of your second trimester and that you can safely tell your friends that you are expecting. Your pregnancy hormones are begging to be in check as the placenta has taken over hormone production and you may not feel the overwhelming sense of nausea that you have been experiencing thus far. You may notice that your breasts are starting to produce colostrum – the milk that provides nutrients for your baby the first week or so after birth. and you may also notice a sudden increase in your sex drive as your hormones are shifting. It is perfectly safe for both you and your baby if you have sex during this time, as long as you don’t have any other complications. If you have any questions you should contact your prenatal care physician.

You may not actually look pregnant at 13 weeks, but you may notice that your clothes feel a little tighter. You may also notice that the appearance of stretch marks on your belly, hips, buttocks and breasts. Your weight gain should be about 3-5 pounds at this time.

You may also start to notice a thin milky vaginal discharge, or leukorrhea, at this time. It may have a mild odor, but is not a cause for concern. You might want to start to use unscented panty liners for the duration of your pregnancy. It is strongly recommended that you do not douche or use tampons while pregnant. Douching anytime can cause multiple infections and is especially dangerous during pregnancy as there is an increased risk of infection. Douching can upset the balance of bacteria, forcing into the birth canal which is extremely dangerous.

Heartburn and morning sickness

Although morning sickness has decreased, you may start to experience heartburn symptoms at week 13. You may also notice an increase in your appetite and you may start to have those “pregnancy cravings.” You may wonder if it’s still safe to exercise at this point, especially as you are experiencing higher energy levels at this time. Low to moderate exercise is perfectly safe. However you might want to avoid certain activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, ice skating, rollerblading and skiing.

As for diet you should be eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and foods that are high in protein and rich in nutrients. You should avoid foods such as soft cheeses such as feta and brie and fish that are high in mercury such as shark, king mackerel and swordfish. Even though you are probably ravenous at this time, you only need an average of 300 more calories a day to give your baby the proper nutrients. Just make sure that you don’t give into those crazy cravings and are eating healthy for both you and your baby.

As always, keep in touch with your healthcare provider and make sure you are getting plenty of rest. Drink plenty of water and avoid smoking, recreational drugs (or any other drugs not prescribed by your doctor), caffeine and alcoholic beverages. The second you begin to experience anything out of the ordinary contact your doctor. Taking care of your baby and your health is your main concern during this time.

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