14th – 14th week of pregnancy

14 week of pregnancy

If you are reading this page it is probably because you have finished the 13th week of pregnancy, and have entered the second week of the second trimester of pregnancy, the “preferred” period for most expectant mothers. The second trimester of pregnancy is in fact considered less problematic , the one with the lightest symptoms and with some “better physical signs”.

You might be interested in reading an overview on: Second trimester pregnancy

The development of the child in the 14th week

the development of internal organs

The growing organs of the fetus, such as the liver and kidneys, continue to “practice” producing bile and a special urine, respectively. Prostate growth continues in male fetuses, while in females the ovaries gradually begin to move into the pelvis. The trachea, esophagus, vocal cords, and larynx are already in place, and are ready to develop further.

the development of the brain

His brain is now developed enough to send regular impulses by urging the facial muscles: in fact, the child can already perform more complex expressions, squinting, frowning, and making faces.

the development of bones

The connective tissue scattered throughout the body of the fetus is actively turning into bone with the onset of the ossification process. 1 Hardening of the bone is a long and complex procedure, which continues even after the birth of the child and even into adulthood.

facial development

The growth of his palate has now completed. Her facial muscles are still growing. His sucking reflexes help his muscle growth. His growing neck helps him lift his chin off his chest. The eyes and ears are now almost in their final positions.

hair and hair growth

Its transparent skin is gradually covered by a thin layer of hair (called lanugo) which maintains the fetal body temperature. This is also the week where, along with tiny eyebrows, hair sprouts from your baby’s head. Both the color and appearance of her hair will most likely change completely after birth.

the size of the child

The baby is now almost as big as a lemon; it is about 8.5 centimeters long, and weighs 42.5 grams.

The changes in the woman’s body

The skin around your abdomen has already begun to stretch around your back and chest to make room for the uterus, which is constantly growing. When you gently press the area above the pubis in the lower abdomen, you can even feel the bottom of the uterus (its highest point). Try to make healthy food choices so you don’t gain too much weight, especially now that your food cravings have finally started to go away. The ideal weight gain in this phase ranges from about 2 to 4 kilograms but even less in overweight or obese women. Your belly keeps growing. It’s starting to become more noticeable, and now you’ll probably prefer to wear more comfortable pants than your usual jeans. However, it will still take a few weeks for strangers to notice that you are pregnant.

The ultrasound at the 14th week

An ultrasound done this week shows your baby moving his hands and legs, and even sucking on his tiny thumb. You begin to notice the hardening and growth of his bones. A Doppler ultrasound will allow you to hear your baby’s heartbeat which -currently- presents itself as a series of fast palpitations.

Although some parents want to know the gender of their baby by looking at its genitals with an ultrasound, often during the 14th week of pregnancy, it may still be too early to determine.

It is therefore advisable to wait a few more weeks, so as not to run the risk of making a mistake.

This week, your doctor may recommend that you have a tri-test or maternal serum screening. The serum test is used to check fetal development, and to detect any defects such as Down syndrome .

The symptoms of the 14th week

Your increased energy levels, your increased appetite, decreased morning sickness are some of the things you appreciate about your second trimester . As the uterus moves from the pelvis and bladder to higher up the abdomen, many other symptoms — such as insomnia and frequent urination — begin to improve.

However, in the fourteenth week the most common pregnancy symptoms are:

  • constipation (due to the effect of the hormone relaxin , which slows down intestinal functions);
  • cramps in the leg muscles (due to pregnancy hormones, which slow down blood circulation);
  • indigestion, heartburn , bloating and flatulence (as the growing uterus moves up the abdomen, putting pressure on the gastrointestinal tract);
  • a shortness of breath;
  • flu-like symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and coughing;
  • headache or migraine ;
  • dizziness and fainting;
  • backache;
  • muscle and joint pain;
  • pain in the round ligament of the uterus (often on the right side, as the uterus tends to lean into it);
  • a pain in the coccyx;
  • changes in the skin, such as the appearance of acne, rashes, nevi (or moles), or the so-called “pregnancy glow”, i.e. an increased production of sebum;
  • stretch marks (especially around the belly and breasts);
  • an itchy sensation around the belly, chest and legs;
  • constant changes in the breast;
  • mood swings;
  • swollen and evident veins, most frequently on the legs; known as varicose veins (caused by increased blood flow);
  • excessive salivation;

Symptoms to watch out for

Now that you’re in the second trimester of pregnancy , the chances of complications, such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy , drop considerably (more than 75% of miscarriages occur within the first three months).

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to any warning signs:

  • severe abdominal cramps or lower back pain, with or without other symptoms such as nausea; fever and chills;
  • any type of vaginal bleeding, even in specks;
  • worsening of morning sickness;
  • sudden weakness or extreme fatigue, together with other symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, irregular breathing, chills and changes in vision (may indicate shock);
  • abdominal pain, accompanied by severe headache, dizziness, vision changes, excessive nausea and vomiting (could indicate high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia
  • thin, clear or straw-colored vaginal discharge (could indicate leakage of amniotic fluid);
  • burning sensation when urinating, back pain, pain during intercourse (may indicate a retroverted uterus)
  • pain or burning when urinating, pain in the lower abdomen or back, increased vaginal discharge, nausea, fever, blood or mucus in the urine: these could be signs of kidney or urinary tract infections or thrush.

Some useful tips for a peaceful pregnancy and a healthy baby

You may feel very hungry during this time. However, she continues to eat a complete and healthy diet, without exaggeration, as gaining too much weight is not good during pregnancy. Avoid adopting special diets in order to lose weight, even if you are overweight or gaining too much weight: rather consult your doctor on how to gain weight in a healthy way throughout your pregnancy. In the case of intense muscle cramps, consult your doctor in relation to any need to increase your potassium and calcium intakes. Use the energy you’ve recently regained or are about to regain to do light exercise, such as walking, swimming, and low-impact aerobics. Practice relaxation techniques and yoga .

Wash your hands often; keep sanitizing products with you; avoid sharing food and drinks with anyone to avoid catching common bacterial or viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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