14 Weeks Pregnant

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.

Baby development during 14th week of pregnancy

Week 14 Pregnancy

Week 14 Pregnancy

Internal organ development

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 [1]. Male fetuses continue to grow the prostate while in female fetuses the ovaries start gradually to move into the pelvis [2]. 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 [3].

Brain Development

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 [4].

Bone development

The connective tissues all along the fetus’s body start turning into bones as the ossification process begins [5]. The hardening of the bone is a long and complex procedure that continues after the baby is born and even into his adulthood.

Facial development

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 [8]. The growing neck helps to lift the chin from the chest while the eyes and ears are almost in their final positions [6].

Hair growth

The transparent skin gradually gets covered with a thin layer of downy hair (lanugo) that maintains the fetal body temperature [7]. This is also the week when hair sprouts on top of your baby’s head along with tiny eyebrows [9]. However, the color and texture of the hair is likely to change completely after your baby is born.

How big is the baby at 14th week of pregnancy?

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) [10].

Changes in your body during pregnancy week 14

The skin around your abdomen, back and chest has already started to stretch to accommodate the constantly growing uterus [11]. 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 [12]. 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 [13].

What does 14 weeks pregnant look like?

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 [14]. You might start showing early if you are carrying twins, or this is your subsequent pregnancy.

14 weeks pregnant ultrasound

An ultrasound scan performed this week will show your baby moving his hands and legs while sucking on his tiny thumb [1]. You may also be able to see the bones hardening and growing in size [5]. A Doppler ultrasound will allow you to hear your baby’s heartbeat, which is a fast fluttering sound at the moment.

14 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Picture

14 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Picture

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 [5]. It is recommended to wait a few more weeks, so there is no chance of mistake.

Screening tests and exams in pregnancy week 14

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 [9].

Signs and symptoms

The higher energy levels [10], increasing appetite [6] and receding morning sickness (nausea, vomiting) [15] 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 [16], into a more proper place in the abdomen. Common week 14 signs are:

  • Constipation (due to the relaxin hormone that slows down the bowel functions) [11]
  • Muscle and leg cramps (due to the pregnancy hormones slowing down the blood circulation) [17]
  • Indigestion, heartburn, gas and flatulence (as the growing uterus moves up your abdomen, putting pressure on the gastrointestinal tract) [18]
  • Shortness of breath
  • Flu-like symptoms including congested or runny nose, sneezing and cough [3]
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Lightheadedness and fainting
  • Back pain [19]
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Round ligament pain [20] (often on the right side as the uterus tends to tilt to the right)
  • Tailbone pain
  • Skin changes such as appearance of acne, rashes and moles or having the so called ‘pregnancy glow’
  • Stretch marks (especially around the stomach and breasts)
  • Itchy feeling around your belly, chest and legs
  • Continued breast changes
  • Emotional changes or mood swings [6]
  • Prominent, swollen blood vessels, more common on the legs, known as varicose veins (due to the increased blood volume) [20]
  • Leg cramps
  • Excessive saliva [21]

When to call the doctor?

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) [22]. However, that does not mean that you do not have to watch for any warning signs.

  • Severe abdominal cramping or lower back pain with or without other symptoms such as nausea, fever and chills
  • Any kind of vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Worsening morning sickness (nausea and vomiting) [23]
  • Sudden weakness or extreme fatigue along with symptoms like rapid pulse, irregular breathing, chills and vision changes (might indicate shock) [24]
  • Abdominal pain accompanied by severe headache, dizziness, vision changes, excessive nausea and vomiting (might indicate high blood pressure or preeclampsia) [25]
  • Thin, clear or light yellowish vaginal discharge (might indicate leaking amniotic fluid)
  • Burning while urinating, back pain, pain during intercourse (might indicate a retroverted uterus) [29]
  • Pain or burning while urinating, lower abdominal or back pain, increased vaginal discharge, nausea, fever, blood or mucus in urine (might indicate conditions like a kidney infection [26], UTI [27] or yeast infection [28])

Tips for a healthy pregnancy and baby

  • Following a healthy, wholesome diet as your baby is still getting all the necessary nutrients from the placenta [6]
  • Practicing relaxation techniques and yoga [23]
  • In case of severe muscle and leg cramps, consult with your doctor regarding increasing your potassium and calcium intake. Some women claim that having some milk or fruits like bananas and strawberries can help ease the pain [17].
  • Using the extra energy to do light exercises like walking, swimming and low-impact aerobics [Exercise during pregnancy]
  • Avoiding using antihistamine nasal sprays or any over-the-counter medicines for managing nasal congestion and dryness, instead opting for petroleum jelly or a humidifier [3]
  • Washing your hands frequently, carrying hand sanitizers and avoiding sharing foods and drinks with anyone to avoid catching common bacterial or viral conditions like cold and flu [20]
  • Avoiding any kind of weight loss diet even if you are overweight or are gaining too much weight; instead, consult your doctor regarding healthy weight gain in pregnancy [6]

[ref]

  1. http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-14-weeks_1103.bc
  2. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/baby-development/#page=14
  3. http://www.pampers.com/diapers/14-weeks-pregnant
  4. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/14-weeks-pregnant
  5. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/14/your-growing-baby-week-14/
  6. http://www.pregnancycorner.com/being-pregnant/pregnancy-week-by-week/14-weeks-pregnant.html
  7. http://www.i-am-pregnant.com/Pregnancy/calendar/week/14
  8. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/14/
  9. http://www.babycenter.in/14-weeks-pregnant
  10. http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/14-weeks-pregnant.aspx
  11. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-13-16
  12. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/your-body/week-14/aches-pains-and-cramps.aspx#
  13. http://www.womenshealthcaretopics.com/pregnancy_week_14.htm
  14. http://www.bounty.com/pregnancy/14-weeks-pregnant
  15. http://www.medicinenet.com/pregnancy/article.htm
  16. http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/your-body-during-pregnancy/insomnia-during-pregnancy_71588
  17. http://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy-week-by-week/14-weeks-pregnant#.U5LXd3KSxvA
  18. http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/14-weeks-pregnant_70746
  19. http://www.babygaga.com/calendar/pregnancy/week-14
  20. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-14.aspx
  21. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/saliva.aspx
  22. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/your-changing-body/#page=14
  23. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/s1001611/14-weeks-pregnant
  24. http://pregnancy.familyeducation.com/concerns-and-complications/medical-concerns-and-pregnancy-conditions/48317.html
  25. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/preeclampsia-eclampsia
  26. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/kidney-infections-symptoms-and-treatments
  27. http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-problems/articles/uti-during-pregnancy.aspx
  28. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/yeastinfectionpreg.html
  29. http://www.womens-health.co.uk/retrover.asp [/ref]