This is the last week of the first trimester and a great point of relief from all the symptoms that made the previous 12 weeks almost unbearable. All the discomforts are easing if not completely ebbed out so that you no longer suffer from nausea and morning sickness. If they have not ceased completely, the frequency is minimal and is time to enjoy. By now, the risk of miscarriage is very low because over 80% of them happen in the first 12 weeks.
Baby’s growth and development in week thirteen
By the 13th week, the baby is developing very fast and is about 1 ounce. While the baby is still very tiny, he/she now looks like a human being. However, the head is still remarkably bigger and everything out of proportion. But other parts of the body are growing fast to catch up.
Muscle control: The baby is slowly gaining some muscle control and can be seen flopping, flipping, and regularly kicking compared to the previous weeks. However, these movements are involuntary, and the baby has very limited control over them. The joints and toes are maturing to make movement easier and fun for the baby. However, it will not be until later in the second trimester that you can feel these acrobatics.
Increasing Amniotic Fluid: As the baby continues to grow, it requires an additional space inside the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac grows rapidly to keep pace with the baby while the amniotic fluid hits 25 ml. The amniotic fluid will keep increasing until the 33rd week when it will start decreasing at a slow rate until the end of pregnancy.
Bones and skin: The baby’ joints and bones are hardening through ossification. However, the skin is still transparent, and most of the internal organs are visible. Even the additional layer being formed around the skin is still transparent and will take several weeks to have a complete skin all over the baby’s body.
Brain development: By the close of the 13th week, the brain is maturing. The left and right cerebral brain hemispheres are starting to connect after operating independently for some time. The right and left hemispheres are responsible for the body’s left side and right side respectively. With time, the baby will have greater control of movements, hormones release, and other developments.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 13
Apart from feeling better and enjoying a lot of relief from many discomforts of the first trimester, your pregnancy continues to become more elaborate. Though the bump is significant, it is still small, and you do not need to put on maternity clothes at this moment. Even if your favorite jeans might not fit anymore, it is advisable to put on loose clothes to reduce discomfort. Many are the time when pregnant women go for sweatpants and baggy clothing.
- Elevated energy levels: Because of decreasing fatigue and morning sickness, you will start feeling energetic again. It is time to sit back and enjoy being pregnant.
- The appearance of Montgomery tubercles: While you might have noted the progressively enlarging breasts, the nipples will continue being extra sensitive and areolas darker. Besides, blue veins and tiny bumps that are commonly referred as Montgomery tubercles will start appearing on the breasts.
- Breath shortness: Now that your bump is growing upwards, it presses on the diaphragm and gives a sensation of breath shortness. It is advisable to change positions when you get this feeling to clear the problem. However, this problem will persist until you deliver and then go away completely.
- Round Ligament pain: This is occasional abdominal discomfort that occurs when you change positions rapidly. It occurs as cramps or a dull ache on the right part of the abdomen. This only lasts for a few seconds, and pregnant mothers can prevent by avoiding taking new positions too rapidly. Remember that as the bump continues growing, every nerve will be pressed, and ligaments pushed even more, and you can anticipate regular pain especially at the lower part.
- Gingivitis: By the thirteenth week, the amount of blood the pregnant mother system has almost doubled and circulation to all parts elevated. One of the impacts of this is raised gum sensitivity and irritation especially when brushing. This condition is called pregnancy gingivitis, and pregnant mothers should observe high levels of hygiene.
- Weight changes: By the 13th week, you should be approximately 4-5 pounds. From the second trimester, the weight will keep going up rapidly. For average women, you will keep adding about 1 pound every week.
- Resuming libido: One of the most affected areas of a pregnant mother during the first trimester is love making. The mood swings, morning sickness, and other discomforts cause reduced libido and could strain relationships. However, these discomforts disappear, you will experience elevated levels of libido and lovemaking could become a lot better because of higher blood supply to the genitals.
When to seek doctor’s attention at 13th week
- Blood spotting
- Uncommon discharge coming from your vagina
- Anxiety, depression, or excess stress
- Excessive pain in the back
- Extended headaches
Things to do during the 13th week
- Update your prenatal clinics timetable if you have not done so. You will be required to attend clinic on the 16th, 25th, 28th, 31st, 34th, 36th, 38th and 40th weeks. Though an appointment schedule is provided, update it to rhyme well with your daily programs schedule.
- Make sure to have your scan to confirm whether you are pregnant with twins or a single child.
- Follow a well-balanced diet to supply all that your body and growing baby require. You will only require about 200 calories more around this time. Make sure to include a lot of water and fluids that go a long way in helping to support better movement of fluids.
- Carry regular pelvic floor exercises to protect yourself from leaking urine after delivery. Other recommended exercises at week thirteen include yoga, light weights, swimming, and walking.
- Spend time with your partner and make love. You might want to take regular weekend getaways to your destination of choice.
- Rewrite your finances by following what you have used since pregnancy started and planning for what will be needed.
- Continue buying baby’s items that you come across and storing them well. You should also buy maternity clothes of different sizes.
- Review your entitlement to maternity leave and pay so that you are sure of what to expect.
- Treat yourself well to make your system and mood feel great. If you are finding it difficult to bend, check into a spa for pedicure, facials, and hair styling.
- Follow your baby’s development so that you are on top of things at all times.