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The 14th week of pregnancy is the beginning of the second trimester. The most critical weeks of pregnancy (first trimester) is finally over. Surpassing the most symptomatic week simply means that the chances of miscarriage is gone for good.
The mother in week 14
Week 14 is a sigh of relief for most pregnant women. This is the perfect time to wear maternity clothes since her bump grows bigger as her uterus rises up the abdomen. During this week, several symptoms begins to decrease and fade.
Week 14 symptoms
Round ligament pain
Round ligament pain (also called as sore stomach) is due to the growth of the uterus. During pregnancy, the ligaments which support the uterus stretches and thins out to accommodate the developing baby.
This symptom usually occurs on one or both sides of her stomach. The pain triggers whenever she coughs, sneezes, and even laugh. The pain may last for how many hours or vice versa. Furthermore, below are the following causes of round ligament pain:Pregnancy week by week
- The increasing weight of pregnancy pulls the ligaments which causes a stabbing pain or a dull ache on both sides of the lower abdomen
- Increased bloodflow (to nurture the growing baby) in the lower abdominal cavity
- Uterine lining build-up
If round ligament pain occurs, she must put her feet up and rest in a comfortable position to ease the pain. Keep in mind to avoid changing positions suddenly, move slowly when in pain.
Decreased need to urinate
During this week, did you know that a mother can feel the top of her uterus (fundus) if she press right above the pelvic bone in the lower abdomen? In week 14, the frequency of urinating decreases.
The decreased need to urinate is caused by the rising up of the uterus from the pelvic area up to the lower abdomen. The pressure on the bladder lessens as the uterus moves farther from the pelvis.
Decreasing pregnancy fatigue
Week 14 is literally brand new week for pregnant women. She will regain her energy now that the body is finished with its first-trimester task of building up the placenta (baby’s life support)
Less breast tenderness; continued breast growth
Even though the breasts continues to grow and change, the tenderness lessens beginning this week.
Pregnant hunger pangs
The nausea and vomiting symptom also subsides during the second trimester. Because of that, the body catches up from the weight and nutrient loss. Pregnant hunger pangs takes place due to the following reasons:
- The female body is regaining its health
- The mother is eating for two – for the mother and the growing baby’s demand for more nourishment
Nasal congestion (also known as clogged nose) is caused by the increased bloodflow to the mucous membranes in the body (including the nose). The increased blood supply is caused by the increased levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Nosebleed is also caused by the increased bloodflow to the mucus membranes.
Visible varicose veins
Varicose veins are swollen blood vessels which appear on the legs and breasts. These veins become visible due to the increased blood volume during pregnancy. To minimize the visibility, she must walk throughout the day to keep the blood flowing.
In week 14, her hair will get thicker and shinier. In some cases, other women gets frizzy and dry all of a sudden.
The baby in week 14
In the 14th week of pregnancy, the baby is already complete. He is now a certified bouncing baby boy (or girl). Below are the step-by-step procedure of what happens with the growing baby during this week.
- The developing baby measures about 3.4 – 4 ½ inches and weighs around 1.5 – 1 ¾ ounces. The baby’s neck is getting more elongated which aids in supporting his head. In line with this, advancements in his neural system are also taking place.
- The complex bone formation (ossification) takes place in week 14. This process transforms the fibrous tissues into strong bones. Several layers of organic and inorganic substances begins to bond together to harden the bones. As of now, the baby’s bones are somewhat malleable in order for him to grow in the womb and after child deilivery. In addition to that, the ultrasound is also able to see the white color of the bones as they become harder and larger.
- All of his internal organs, nerves, and muscles are beginning to function. Furthermore, the baby’s intestines already moved farther inside the baby’s body.
- In week 14, the baby is constantly moving already. He is beginning to stand up straight, no more slouching position. Aside that, he can finally leap and bounce even inside the womb. He is also sucking his thumb and wiggling his toes and fingertips. Unlike in the first trimester where he is only able to move in a jerky way.
- This is also the week where the baby’s sexual characteristics (genitalia) is fully developed, which begins at week 9 and is fully formed by week 14. However, the baby’s gender is still hard to detect via an ultrasound during this week. The parents will still have to wait for a few weeks to find out whether they are having a boy or a girl.
- The baby is now able to move and flex his facial muscles. This is the week where he can finally smile, grimace, grin, frown, wince, and even a squint. Although the baby might seem that he is undergoing a spiral of emotions, he is simply trying out and exercising his facial muscles.
- The roof inside his mouth begins to develop.
- Baby’s intestines are beginning to produce meconium, a fecal waste which will aid in his first bowel movement after child labor.
- Baby’s kidneys are already producing and excreting urine.
- His liver begins to secrete bile, which will later serve as a digestion for fats; and spleen are beginning to function in week 14.
- The pancreas is beginning to produce insulin, a hormone which transforms sugar into energy.
- By week 14, the lanugo is beginning to sprout on his entire body. Lanugo is a thin and fuzz-like, peach hair (though the final hair color may not be determined until childbirth) which keeps the baby warm. This fuzzy coating is only temporary and it will shed as soon as the baby is born. However those who are born early, still have the fuzzy coating during child labor. There is no need to worry, since this too will shed soon afterwards.
Pregnancy tips for week 14
In week 14 the baby is fully complete, that is why a mother must take extra caution for the food and drink she intakes to not harm the baby. Below are the following things she needs to do during this week.
Things to do during the 14th week of pregnancy
Have enough fluid intake
Having enough fluid intake is necessary to support pregnancy and keep the female body hydrated during the process.
Announce pregnancy to friends and family
Now that a woman is obviously pregnant during the 14th week, it is time that she must announce the pregnancy to her friends and family.
Request for a maternity leave
Week 14 is not yet too late to request for a maternity leave. As a matter of fact, this is the best time to break the news to the boss because the baby is fully formed.
Second trimester screening
During the second trimester, below are the following screenings she is expected to undergo:
- Phase two ultrasound
- Triple/quad screen
- Glucose screening
- Urine screening for glucose and protein
Guide to caloric intake
A pregnant woman is advised to eat atleast 300 – 350 calories a day.
Whenever her nose clogs, put a warm-mist humidifier in the room so that the air she breathes contain some nose-soothing moisture.
Vitamin-C strengthens the nose capillaries. She must take atleast 250mg of Vitamin-C per day to prevent nosebleeds. Aside from the supplement, below are the following food and drinks which contain Vitamin-C:
- Bell pepper
For single mothers
For pregnant women who are facing the pregnancy journey alone (without the father or live-in partner), below are the following ways she needs to do:
Attend ante-natal classes
Since it is inappropriate for a single mom to attend couple’s classes, she must attend ante-natal classes instead. Ante-natal serves as a guide for the journey of motherhood
Enlist a supportive partner
Week 14 is also the perfect time to start enlisting a supportive partner. Having a supportive partner (or birth partner) makes a big difference when having a baby. Her partner does not always have to be the baby father. It could be her parents or her new partner (current boyfriend).
Hire a doula
A doula is a specialist birth partner which guides the mother during child delivery and the first few days and weeks of her baby. Moreover, a doula can also serve as a sole birth partner.
There are different kinds of doula, below are the following:
- Birth doula – provides information and guides a single mother on breathing and relaxation techniques. Birth doula also provide emotional support to help the single parent overcome the struggles of facing the motherhood stage alone
- Post-natal doula – they will cook and clean for the single mother or even take care of her older children. As a whole, post-natal doulas take charge in the house rules.
- Full packaged doula – these are the types of doula who can do both birth and post-natal duties. Full packaged doulas offer post-natal visits and house help for a few hours per day.
What to avoid in Week 14
A pregnant woman is strictly prohibited to vices since it is harmful on both parties. Below are the following vices she must avoid:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Taking illegal drugs
Caffeinated food and drinks
Caffeine is a diuretic which may cause birth defects to the baby. Moreover, caffeine disrupts both the mother and the baby’s sleep cycle. Apart from coffee, below are the following food and drinks which contains caffeine: