You have now officially completed your first trimester to enter the second, the favorite among most pregnant women. It is often claimed to be the least problematic trimester among the three with milder symptoms and some positive physical signs.
The growing organs like liver and kidney continue to practice their respective work of producing bile and urine while the spleen begins red blood cell production . Male fetuses continue to grow the prostate while in female fetuses the ovaries start gradually to move into the pelvis . The windpipe, esophagus, vocal cords and larynx are already in place, set to undergo further development. However, it is not possible for your baby to make any sound as he is floating in amniotic fluid .
The brain is now developed enough to send regular impulses, so the facial muscles get a workout as your baby changes expressions from squinting, frowning and grimacing .
The connective tissues all along the fetus’s body start turning into bones as the ossification process begins . The hardening of the bone is a long and complex procedure that continues after the baby is born and even into his adulthood.
The growth of the roof of the mouth is now complete while the facial muscles continue to grow. The sucking reflexes of your baby help with the muscle growth, later forming the full cherubic cheeks . The growing neck helps to lift the chin from the chest while the eyes and ears are almost in their final positions .
The transparent skin gradually gets covered with a thin layer of downy hair (lanugo) that maintains the fetal body temperature . This is also the week when hair sprouts on top of your baby’s head along with tiny eyebrows . However, the color and texture of the hair is likely to change completely after your baby is born.
Your baby is now almost as big as a lemon, being 3.4 inches (8.6 cm) long and weighing around 1.5 ounces (42.5 gm) .
The skin around your abdomen, back and chest has already started to stretch to accommodate the constantly growing uterus . You can even feel the fundus or the very top of the uterus when you gently press down the area above the pelvic bone in the lower abdomen . Make sure to make healthy food choices to avoid any unwanted weight gain, especially now that your food aversions have finally started to go away. The ideal weight gain at this stage ranges between 5 pounds and 8 pounds or even less for obese women .
Your growing belly is gradually starting to show as you are more likely to find maternity pants to be cozier than your regular pair of baggy jeans. However, there are still a few weeks to go before anyone can notice that you are pregnant . You might start showing early if you are carrying twins, or this is your subsequent pregnancy.
An ultrasound scan performed this week will show your baby moving his hands and legs while sucking on his tiny thumb . You may also be able to see the bones hardening and growing in size . A Doppler ultrasound will allow you to hear your baby’s heartbeat, which is a fast fluttering sound at the moment.
Although some parents choose to find out about their baby’s gender by observing the genital organs through ultrasound during the 14th week, it is often too early for sex determination . It is recommended to wait a few more weeks, so there is no chance of mistake.
Your doctor might recommend having a triple screen test or maternal serum screening this week. This serum test is used for checking the fetal development as well as screening for birth defects like Down’s syndrome .
The higher energy levels , increasing appetite  and receding morning sickness (nausea, vomiting)  are some of the best things about the beginning of the second trimester. Several other symptoms such as insomnia and frequent urination also start getting better as the uterus moves away from the pelvic bone and bladder , into a more proper place in the abdomen. Common week 14 signs are:
Now that you have entered the second trimester, chances of complications such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy have dropped substantially (over 75% of miscarriages occur within the first three months) . However, that does not mean that you do not have to watch for any warning signs.
Published on June 17th 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.