Do you feel better as the weeks’ race by? That’s the second trimester for you, a favourite time in most pregnancies. What happened in week 13? Click here to find out!
No longer plagued by symptoms, you might feel energised and eager to keep active – just like your sprightly bean, who is busy smiling, frowning and pulling faces.
Though the first trimester seemed to go on forever, the finish line is far off. There’s still lots to endure before your little one enters the world. Stay tuned for weekly updates on your baby’s size and development, along with hot tips for surviving pregnancy.
At a Glance: Week Fourteen of Pregnancy
- Pumped with energy, you might be as active as your unstoppable baby this week. You can take advantage, but overexerting yourself can backfire.
- Many unpleasant, early symptoms have vanished into the ether. Do you feel better than ever?
- It may seem like the good times of the second trimester are a myth for some. Hang in there if this is your experience!
- Your little one’s range of facial expressions broadens as they start grimacing, squinting and making little smiles. They’re also sucking, grabbing, and swallowing.
- Respiratory movements might be captured on ultrasound, with your baby’s breathing supported by the placenta. The lungs don’t work yet, even though they’re forming.
- They’ve shot up by another one-and-a-half centimetres, now measuring 8.5 cm. That’s roughly the size of a nectarine.
- How can you improve your pregnancy journey and prepare for the future? It’s a good time for routine, exercise, adventures, good-quality sleep, and more!
Week Fourteen of Pregnancy Overview
At this stage of your pregnancy, you can start to relax more. The first-trimester symptoms feel like a distant memory, and the risk of miscarriage decreases. Try to let go of any anxiety harboured about early pregnancy loss.
Every week offers significant development updates from here, but week 14 is particularly interesting.
Your lively little fetus is making several body movements and facial expressions, courtesy of their fast-developing brain!
Meanwhile, the placenta works hard to provide nutrients, oxygen, and other things. Your baby is learning to breathe, but the placenta currently supports respiration as the lungs are evolving and not yet functional.
Recently, your little one started urinating, and now their intestines are gearing up for the first bowel movement. Called meconium, this is your baby’s first faeces, stored in the intestines and ready to be released at birth.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Fourteen of Pregnancy
Measuring approximately 8.5 centimetres, your sweet baby’s the size of a nectarine, steadily growing by a few millimetres from last week.
Here’s the latest update for week fourteen of pregnancy.
- Certain coordinated movements, like tiny punches, kicks and even finger sucking, have replaced your baby’s earlier jerky and random motions.
- You might catch your baby pulling faces if you could glimpse into the womb. They’re learning to squint, frown, grimace and smile. Your baby’s eyebrows gradually form, promising some comical facial expressions later.
- Strengthening neck muscles can support your baby’s floppy head.
- Various hormones and substances, like insulin from the pancreas, bile from the liver, and chemicals from the thyroid glands, are also being released.
- The intestines start to produce meconium – fetal excrement that is stored and accumulates within the organs, only eliminated after birth. Be prepared for that first diaper change – meconium is a dark green or black, thick, sticky substance comprising everything your baby ingests in the womb.
- Your baby has fully formed external organs, so you could find out the sex of your child within weeks.
Because every pregnancy is unique, the above description generalises fetal development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes for Week Fourteen of Pregnancy
The second trimester is touted as being a more comfortable stretch of pregnancy than the rest. Still, body transformations and discomfort will eventually catch up with you as you venture further into pregnancy.
For now, you might experience a few of these second-trimester symptoms.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
1. Weight Gain
Because of morning sickness and other appetite-reducing ailments, weight gain during the first trimester is minimal, with some women even losing weight.
However, weight gain during the second and third trimesters is crucial to ensure your child’s development.
That said, weight gain varies between women and needs to be monitored to avoid potential health issues like gestational diabetes developing. Chat with your health provider about your unique goals and calorie needs, adopt a healthy diet, and exercise routinely to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
2. Prominent Veins
Blue veins appearing across your chest, abdomen, and legs look alarming but are, in fact, normal signs of pregnancy. These veins enlarge and become visible to keep up with the extra blood flow that nourishes your baby.
They’re not a great cause for concern but may lead to varicose veins developing during the later stages of pregnancy.
Varicose veins are blood vessels that become swollen, sore and distorted because they’ve collected too much blood.
Often painful, varicose veins are usually harmless but can result in other serious health issues.
Best consult with your doctor if you’re in pain or experiencing other concerning symptoms like walking difficulties.
For additional guidance, our pregnancy tips section includes some at-home methods to effectively treat varicose veins.
3. Funny-looking Moles
Pregnancy can also change the colour and size of your moles. But err on the side of caution by having any suspicious moles checked.
4. Getting Sick
Having a suppressed immune system prevents your body from rejecting your baby. While crucial to maintaining a pregnancy, it also reduces your body’s ability to fight germs, resulting in you being more prone to falling ill. Take care and prioritise your health!
5. Rounded Ligament Pain and Aches
As your belly grows heavier, you will start to feel abdominal aches and pains. We took a deep dive into ligament aches and pain here.
5. Positive Changes and Symptom Relief
The early second trimester period is a welcoming relief for many, with debilitating symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and other symptoms diminishing or even disappearing. You might also notice that your breasts feel less tender and swollen. That said, pregnancy comes with no guarantees. Some expecting mothers continue having heightened breast sensitivity and complain about other challenging physical complaints.
You won’t see the end to pregnancy tiredness and breast pain yet. These symptoms return during the third trimester as your body prepares for breastfeeding. The good news is that if your morning sickness symptoms have receded, they’re unlikely to return at the same intensity as before. Some heavily pregnant mamas might experience nausea and other associated symptoms.
Week Fourteen of Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
If the second trimester has been a positive experience, how do you keep up the momentum? And if you’re still recovering from the first trimester or enduring new symptoms, what can you do to find reprieve?
Whether you’re having a great start to the second trimester or not, our week 14 pregnancy tips cover everything from getting better sleep to travelling or exercising while pregnant. Explore new ways to enhance your pregnancy with us!
1. Tips for Better Sleep
Pregnancy is a sleep thief, with many women battling insomnia or restless nights. While battles with sleep continue throughout the first and third trimesters, the second trimester can offer some sense of reprieve.
With pregnancy advancing, consider taking this time to develop techniques and improve your sleep hygiene. These are our tips.
- Establish a consistent bedtime and wake time.
- Practise relaxation techniques to calm your mind before sleep.
- Limit your screen time, especially on your mobile phone, which could lead to mindless, late-night scrolling.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and at a cool, comfortable temperature.
- Cut caffeine from your diet (you should be drinking less coffee during pregnancy).
- Get exercise and fresh air.
- Avoid big meals before bed that cause bloating or heartburn.
- Have a sleep pillow for your legs or bump and sleep on your side. We recommend this one.
2. Move Your Body
The second trimester is an excellent time to exercise because you might feel energised and motivated to move.
In addition, exercising pregnant offers several health benefits. These include but aren’t limited to pain relief, preparation for labour, enjoyment, relaxation, weight control and more.
There are several pregnancy-friendly activities catered to your fitness levels and preferences. Popular options include prenatal yoga, Pilates, swimming and good old-fashioned walking.
If you’re an exercise fanatic, you might wonder about your limits while pregnant. Are lifting weights, running marathons and other variations of strenuous physical activities allowed? The answer’s yes, but adjusting your routine – like lifting lighter weights and enjoying shorter, slower runs, could prove necessary. Also, remember these golden rules: exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous to be beneficial and never exercise to the point of breathlessness (this may run the risk of depriving your fetus of oxygen and causing health complications).
New to exercise? Chat with your doctor about suitable exercises!
3. How to Avoid Getting Sick While Pregnant
Unfortunately, there are no fool-proof ways to avoid getting sick, but you can take steps to decrease your chances.
The first preventative measure is to focus on hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, disinfect touching surfaces, and keep clean – showering helps curb the spread of infection.
Other important ways to stave off sickness include eating well, following a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, enjoying good sleep, exercising and reducing stress.
Humidifiers can also beneficial, releasing moisture in the air to strip your home of airborne contaminants. How about trying this one?
4. Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins impact the legs, causing aches, pains, throbs, cramping and more. They become highly uncomfortable toward the end of the day, especially if you’re constantly on your feet.
Because varicose veins heal naturally after pregnancy, you won’t need treatment. But here’s how to manage the symptoms during pregnancy.
- Compression socks apply pressure to your lower legs. While they won’t cure varicose veins, they stop them from worsening by reducing swelling and increasing blood flow. Your doctor might recommend a pair if you’re struggling.
- Quick exercises like calf raises, walking on the spot and ankle exercises promote your blood circulation.
- If possible, only stand for short periods.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, like skinny jeans, that slow circulation.
- Put your feet up onto a chair or stool when sitting.
5. Going On Trips
Book an adventure during the second trimester. You won’t have early pregnancy symptoms ruining your holiday or be too heavily pregnant to enjoy your time away.
When your family grows, your vacations will look different. Take advantage of this final baby-free retreat while you can.
If you’re travelling internationally, avoid destinations affected by malaria and the Zika virus.
Do I need an Ultrasound for Week 14 of Pregnancy?
You’ve probably had your first ultrasound or have one coming up.
It’s an exciting but also nerve-wracking time for the parents-to-be as you hope for a healthy, growing child.
If you’ve already glimpsed your baby, when will you see them again and possibly discover their sex? Make a date on your calendar – the anatomy or mid-pregnancy scan generally occurs between weeks 18 to 22.
It’s a detailed examination that checks the development of your baby’s vital organs, its position, and the placenta. You might also learn whether you have a little boy or a girl on the way.
In earlier weeks, we discussed genetic screenings and their purpose during pregnancy. If you display some or all of the risk factors (over 35, have a family history of genetic conditions, etc.), are you required to have one? No, genetic screenings are optional, even if you’re a likely candidate for one.
And even if you’re low risk, you can still opt for one for peace of mind. Chat with your healthcare provider and make an informed decision about these procedures. We discuss these tests more in week fifteen.
Fun Facts for Pregnancy Week Fourteen
- How do children and adults develop food aversions and preferences? As it turns out, it may start in the womb. Your food flavours the amniotic fluids, and your baby swallows these liquids. After developing taste buds early into the pregnancy, your baby can taste everything you eat via amniotic fluids. Another reason to eat healthily is so your baby has exposure to different varieties of food.
- Will your baby arrive on their due date? It’s doubtful. Only four or five per cent of deliveries are on time, so have your bags packed from 37 weeks (and don’t be alarmed if you’re still pregnant after 40 weeks).
Week Fourteen of Pregnancy Checklist
- Putting on weight? Learn how much you should be gaining, eat well and exercise.
- You might be experiencing body changes and symptoms. Check them with your doctor.
- Get better sleep while you can.
- Get away with your partner while you can!
- Look after your immune system and load up on vitamin C.
- Hungry for more? Our week 15 article is coming soon.