The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy : Weeks 13 -18
Week 13: In all probability, morning sickness is now a thing of the past and your appetite is coming back. You will now begin to enjoy your pregnancy. The second trimester is the most enjoyable and comfortable period of pregnancy. The uterus is growing steadily and will soon make its way out of the pelvic cavity which will make your growing pregnancy more obvious. The baby is completely formed and if seen closely, looks like a completely developed miniature baby. However it still needs the mother's uterus to survive as it cannot support itself.
Week 14: Your feelings of tiredness and lethargy are now disappearing and you are feeling more active. You might want to consider enrolling in a regular prenatal exercise class which will help to tone up your muscles for the labor and delivery process as well as keep you free from aches and pains. Most women will also develop a dark line which runs down the centre of your abdomen and is called the lineanigra. This is due to hormonal changes and will disappear after the birth of the baby. The baby now even has eyebrows and hair starts to sprout on the head. You can hear the baby's heartbeat through the Doppler in your doctor's office. The baby can also now swallow the amniotic fluid as its digestive system has developed and can urinate. The placenta completely nourishes the baby which is now almost 9 cms long.
Week 15: You will no longer be able to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes and will need to go shopping for looser clothes if not maternity wear. The blood volumes in your body have increased and your heart is working to supply almost 20 % more blood to your body. The hair on your baby's head starts to grow and the production of melanin which provides the pigmentation to the hair, is now under production.
Week 16: During your doctor's visit, you will undergo an ultrasound and you will be able to see your baby for the first time. Lanugo which is fine hair is starting to form all over the baby's body. The baby also has fingernails and toenails. It is now 16 cms long and weighs nearly 135 gms
Week 17: The fluid volumes in your body increase and you feel hot most of the time. You also sweat much more than usual. Nasal congestion is also common and due to this, most pregnant women are very prone to coughs and colds. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your nasal passages hydrated and use saline non-medicated nose drops to get relief. The uterus is now halfway between your navel and the pubis bone. The baby is now bigger than the placenta.
Week 18: In this week, you might feel those first few magical movements which make the baby seem much more realistic than the images on the ultrasound. The movements feel like gas bubbles or flutters which you may dismiss as indigestion. The baby now measures around 20 cms and is much more active. During an ultrasound, you may see your baby grasping the umbilical cord or sucking its thumb.
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