Second trimester - Weeks 14 -16

Weeks 14 -16

Week 14

Overview

Your baby is now about 8.7 centimetres in length and weighs around 43g (1.517oz), being about the size of a plum. His or her little body is now covered in soft little hairs, these are known as lanugo and provide a coat of warmth for the baby. What is interesting though, is that this lanugo disappears by the time the baby is born.

Week 14

Your baby’s development at this stage

Your little one can now frown, squint, grimace, urinate and possibly even suck his or her thumb! Because of the impulses in the brain developing, the little facial muscles can now move and get in a workout as the little features start to form endless expressions. The kidneys have now begun to produce urine and your baby releases this into the surrounding amniotic fluid. If you have an ultrasound coming up, you will probably be able to catch your little one in the act of sucking their thumb. At the end of this week, the baby’s arms will be at a length that is proportional to the rest of the body, however, the legs will still have some catching up to do. Your baby will also be constantly punching and kicking with its arms and legs by now.

Changes in your life as your baby grows

By now you are likely to have some of your energy back, as well as this, your breasts will not be as tender as they were and morning sickness should have gone out the window too! But, some women will continue to experience morning sickness right up until the baby is born, which, although it may not feel great, is also completely normal.

You will now be starting to show a little baby bump and finally have visible evidence that you are in fact, pregnant!

What to do at this stage

You may be able to find out the sex of your baby at the beginning of your second trimester. Finding out if your little one is a boy or a girl can be daunting, some women prefer to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex, whereas others wish to plan and bond with the little one.

The benefits of knowing the sex of your baby are:

  • Developing a deeper bond - Some women note that they were able to develop a deeper bond with their baby once they knew the sex
  • Being able to think about baby names
  • Being able to decorate the nursery and buy clothes for the specific gender

The possible drawbacks of finding out the sex of your baby are: 

  • Not being surprised when the baby is born
  • Possibly being disappointed by the sex of the child (if you’d hoped for the opposite gender). However, keep in mind that many people experience this at first, and it does pass when you hold that little bundle of joy in your arms, so try not to feel guilty about it.

Besides finding out the sex, you should be gearing up for your first prenatal class at this stage and attending regular exercises classes aimed at pregnant women as you may find these more accommodating and beneficial to your current state.

Week 15

Overview

Your baby is about 70g (2.469oz) in weight and from crown to rump should be 10.1 centimetres (almost 4 inches) in length.  The muscles are beginning to strengthen and the little one is constantly moving.

Week 14

Your baby’s development at this stage

Your baby is now about the size of an apple and is in the process of moving your amniotic fluid through his or her nose and the upper respiratory tract, which is helping the primitive lungs develop the air sacs. The little legs are finally catching up to the arms and are growing longer!

Changes in your life as your baby grows

By now, you are in the swing of being pregnant, however, don’t be too surprised if any new symptoms start to pop up. One of these may be a stuffy nose thanks to the changes in hormones increasing the blood flow into the mucous membranes. This is very common among pregnant women, so much so, that it is known as rhinitis of pregnancy. Some women may also suffer from the occasional nose bleed as a result of the increased blood flow.

You may also be feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed at this stage – which is also completely normal! If you have anything concerning you right now, then speak to your doctor, this should be the best time of your pregnancy.

You may be able to feel your baby move for the first time, which is a very exciting experience for expectant moms. These movements may just feel like little kicks and flutters. If you don’t feel your little one move in this week, then there is nothing to worry about, you will feel him or her in the upcoming weeks.

You will probably feel your baby move between weeks 16 and 22, even though he or she started to move at about week 7 or 8 (you may have already seen these movements in an ultrasound). If you have been pregnant before, you may have felt some of these little jabs and movements already, these jabs are known as quickening. 

Expectant moms have likened the feeling of these movements to popcorn popping in your tummy or butterflies, or even a fish swimming around in there. You will soon start to distinguish these movements from gas and hunger pains.

Later on in this trimester these jabs and quickening will be stronger and more regular. At this point it is best if you keep track of your baby’s movements and inform your doctor if you notice them lessening. If you do feel a decrease in movement, this is sometimes normal, but if need be, your doctor may suggest you have a non-stress test or a biophysical profile to monitor and check on the condition of your baby. This test, also known as a BPP checks your baby’s movements, heart rate, muscle tone, breathing and the amniotic fluid around your baby. It may also be recommended that you count the amount of times your baby kicks every day (this is normally only done in the third trimester).

Tests and what to do at this stage

If you are having an amniocentesis done, this is likely to happen between this week and week 18. This test helps to identify any genetic or chromosomal disorders.

You may also want to start talking to your baby as this can help him or her to develop language skills later on in their life.

Eating dinner earlier can also help with any heartburn or digestion issues you may be experiencing.

Week 16

Overview

Your baby is about 12 centimetres (4.7 inches) in length from head to rump and weighs in at about 114g (4.021oz), being roughly the size of an avocado. At this stage, you may be enjoying a little pregnancy glow. This is from the increased blood flow in your body, your cheeks may look flushed and your skin tone healthy. If you have more of a ‘pregnancy no-glow’ then that’s alright. A lot of women don’t really feel as though they are glowing, but others may see you this way.

Week 16

Your baby’s development at this stage

Your baby is reaching a major growth spurt at week 16, almost doubling in his or her weight and size. The legs have developed a lot more and the head is more erect than it has been in the weeks before this. Little toenails have also started to grow. 

Changes in your life as your baby grows

You are probably feeling better now as you are beginning to settle into your pregnancy. The top part of your uterus is now about halfway between your navel and pubic bone, the supporting ligaments are also stretching and thickening as you and your baby are growing.

This may be the week where you feel your baby move for the first time, if you haven’t already. If you don’t feel anything, then there is nothing to fret about as you may only feel your little one move at around week 20.

During your second trimester, you will be eating about 340 extra calories per day, however, this should be based on your current weight and level of activity.

If you feel as though you are gaining too much weight, then speak to your doctor or dietitian about adjusting your diet to best suit your and your baby’s needs.

What to do at this stage

You may want to start planning a little babymoon. When your little one is born you and your partner won’t have much time to yourselves, so planning a little getaway while you are at the best stage of your pregnancy can be the best thing for your life right now.

Sleeping on your side is something you should also be getting used to right now as this is best for your growing baby and sleeping on your left side can help with any heartburn you are experiencing. You may also want to look into getting a pregnancy pillow, this can help offer you support and comfort during these growing months.

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