Pregnancy Week 14
So, here you are in your second trimester. Must be feeling great, aren’t you? You have completed one third of your journey and that too successfully. The best part of this trimester is that your nausea and vomiting are no more there to bother you and you are still not too big to feel awkward and cumbersome. In brief, it is the best time of pregnancy. Just take advantage of it and enjoy it at its best.
You are no more laid back as there will be plenty of feel good hormones surging the energy levels in your body. So, let us know what your baby is up to during this week.
Growth and Development of Baby
Finally, your baby is getting that human looks. Growing at a steady and rapid pace, the baby’s body is being further redefined. Most of the baby’s organs and systems are already developed and many of them have started functioning also. The baby’s size is about the length of our clenched fist. Measuring about four and a half inches, the baby is big enough to wince and grimace as his facial muscles are developing. He can be noticed frowning and squinting at times.
Unlike earlier, now your baby’s head does not rest on his chest anymore. Now, there is a clearly visible neck which forms a clear demarcation between head and body. Your baby will soon gain perfection in aerobics as he is continuously curling, twisting, flickering, kicking and moving his tiny arms and legs but the movements are too subtle to be noticed by you. The ears have almost reached to their rightful place. Though, the eyelids are still closed but light exposure can make him uncomfortable. So, better stay away from intense and bright lights.
The development of hair is the most significant in this week. These initial hairs of baby are termed as Lanugo which keeps his body warm until the fat accumulates in there.
The lungs are showing rapid development with the rapidly moving in and out amniotic fluid. It helps them in growing and maturing. However, they will not function until birth and baby will continually receive oxygen from placenta only. The digestive system is showing remarkable developments with intestines moving in the body, liver secreting bile, pancreas producing insulin and other hormones. All these changes will aid in the process of digestion.
The thyroid gland has started its important work of producing hormones. The major changes are seen in the reproductive system too as the prostate glands are forming in boys and in girls, ovaries are moving into the pelvis leaving the abdominal area. The baby’s heart is beating at a around twice the rate of our own. However, listening to those heartbeats will increase yours too. You will hear them as steady and regular beat with occasional whooshing sound due to umbilical cord.
So, you see your baby is busy in rehearsing for the big day he is soon going to make. He is busy practicing breathing, sucking and swallowing so as to have needed skills to survive in the outer world.
Knowing Baby’s Sex
By now, baby’s reproductive organs are developed enough to tell you whether you should pick blue or pink. Is it really important for you to know the fact before time? Or you can wait till you have your baby in your hands? Whatsoever is your choice, make sure that your law and order allows you for the same. In many countries, it is a punishable offence to determine fetal sex.
Some of you may be sailing in two boats regarding this decision. We can help you a bit by telling you the reasons of knowing or waiting for baby’s sex information.
Why you should know
- It will help you plan the baby nursery
- You can work on baby names
- You can get gender specific parenting skills
- You can establish a special bond by connecting with your baby
- If it’s your second child, you can prepare your older siblings for the newcomer.
- Shopping for baby related products like clothes, toys etc become easy.
Why you should wait
- The excitement kills when you already know what you are carrying inside.
- If “what you have” is different from “what you expect”, it may bother you, which is not good while pregnant.
- Your family or partner may get annoyed with the results.
Changes in Mother’s Body
Must be feeling better, aren’t you? With the first week of second trimester, most of those bothersome pregnancy issues must be waning and you must be reviving with pregnancy happiness. No time can be the best other than this as you are still not too big to get around, can get up without throwing up and do whatever you desire for.
Though, major issues have been subsided but fresh symptoms may arise now. The major problem which you come across during this time is bleeding gums. Saying “cheese” while clicking may be irksome as you may express your red swollen gums. Don’t worry, it’s not because your laziness to get up and brush on time but it is again due to those awful pregnancy hormones. (Must be wondering how strong this little hormone is).
Brushing and flossing can cause your sore and sensitive gums to bleed. The gums become so sensitive that they react differently with the mouth bacteria triggering gingivitis. Taking a closer look of your mouth let you observe small bumps on your gums. Though, names little scarier as pregnancy tumor, they are completely safe and painless. However, ignoring these symptoms can be scary. Gingivitis, if left untreated, may affect your bones and tissues which can trigger premature labor. So, what you can do? Good oral hygiene is the answer. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice, floss once a day, preventive dental care are the must-to-do to get relief.
Chronic stuffy nose or nose bleeding is another problem caused by these hormones during second semester.
Mother Nature has designed things in a way so that you can solely enjoy the excitement of being pregnant making all other things insignificant. That is why, lately, you must be feeling forgetful, vague and difficult to focus on other issues apart from pregnancy.
By now, you must have started showing that long awaited baby bump. However, it is still unnoticeable under loose fitting clothes. If your jeans become snug around your waist, it’s the cue that you should spend on maternity jeans or switch to leggings.
By this week, your uterus is around the size of a melon. The body adjusts with the growing uterus by shifting its center of gravity. This helps you in preventing wobbling when you lean backwards.
I used the term disaster because for women, skin issues are the toughest and most sensitive to handle and during pregnancy, you are gifted with the mask of pregnancy which are patchy darker areas on the skin. The most affected areas are belly button, inner thighs, arm pits, face, nose and temples. Though, they fade after delivery but you can minimize them by wearing sunscreen when moving out.
One another less heard pregnancy issue is redness and itchiness in your palms and soles. The estrogen hormone is responsible for this annoying situation.
Though, there may be some relief as the uterus moves upwards reducing pressure on your bladder but the high blood flow to kidneys is still making them work more. You would be amazed to know that your wonderful kidneys are managing 60% higher filtrations. Sorry to say, but it’s still too far to get some relief from frequent urine problem.
Care and Tips
- Keep your shoulders back and head up to ease your back ache. Pelvic tilts are also helpful. Another thing you can do is to wear flat shoes.
- It’s true that pregnancy bring stress but it never means that you kill your stress by chewing tobacco or cigarettes or alcohol. This definitely would stress your baby. And that is you never wanted. Am I right? So quit smoking right now, if you haven’t done yet. There are many other healthy ways to beat the stress, go ahead for them.
- Use hunger as a cue when to eat. This is the best time to give your body and baby a healthy diet. Make sure you have healthy foods on hand so that you can snack as and when you feel hungry. Don’t dare to think of dieting, it is not only “restricted” but DANGEROUS too.
- Taking your fibers or not? Try to keep up with the adequate amount of the same to ensure easy bowel movements.
- It’s the time when you should share your pregnancy news with your supervisor and coworkers. It is always beneficial to inform your supervisor personally before anyone else delivers the news. However, if you have an upcoming salary review or are in middle of some key project, you must wait before making the news public.
- Pelvic floor exercises are must from this trimester to strengthen them so as to bear the weight of increasing uterus.
- If exercise looks you profound and daunting task, you must join some antenatal classes where you could meet and share feelings with your counterparts. More than your partner, those female friends will support you emotionally.
- Before taking up any exercise program, you must consult your doctor. Do not strain yourself and in case of pain, seek medical attention immediately.
- To learn the nitty-gritty of parenting, you must start reading parenting books or should visit parenting websites. You will find infinite content there to help and support you.
During first trimester, pregnancy may become an overwhelming period for you but now you will realize actual fun, excitement and curiosity associated with it.