By the fourteenth week (first week of second trimester), all the discomforts have disappeared and it’s time to enjoy the best of your pregnancy. For many moms, this is the time to get out and enjoy the elevated energy levels, show close friends, and treat your partner to a special holiday.
Baby’s growth and development in week fourteen
The baby is growing very fast and is about 3.4 inches and 1.5 ounces. Notably, the placenta is fully developed and is the main source of nutrition for the baby. The Yolk Sac has disintegrated completely, and the baby can be seen floating freely on the amniotic sac.
The neck and chin start emerging: At week 14, the baby’s head is still bigger compared to another part of the body. Indeed, it accounts for approximately half of the entire length. Notably, the chin and neck start emerging so that the head is a little differentiated.
The appearance of facial features: By now eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and lashes line are visible and will be in their final position by close of the week. Unlike other parts of the body, the head is well covered with deep layers of cells by this week, and the pretty face of the baby will be revealed in weeks to come.
Complete development of kidneys and bladder: By week 14, your baby’s bladder and kidneys are fully developed and can clean the content from the digestive system. The amniotic fluid ingested through the mouth is passed via kidneys and passed as urine every 5 hours.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 14
As the discomforts of the first trimester fade off, a new set of changes emerge. However, the new changes will not have a lot of negative discomforts.
- Backaches: Over half of all pregnant mothers experience back pain at some point in their 40 weeks of pregnancy. Some may experience lower back pain when they sit, stand, or even sleeping. The main cause of the backache is the additional weight exerted by uterus on the back muscles. To keep the pain low, make sure to wear low heeled shoes that have good arch support and trying several comfortable positions. Remember that if the pain becomes very severe, you should always get the attention of a doctor.
- Excessive gas: If you are experiencing bloating because of the higher levels of pregnancy hormones, the growing baby could easily push the gas out. The problem could also be as a result of using pasta, beans, and carbonated drinks. It is advisable to take smaller meals and use more beverages.
- Pregnancy swelling: As the uterus weight exerts more pressure on the lower pelvic region, it is transmitted to lower parts of the feet. The effect is pregnancy swelling, commonly referred as water retention that can make you feel very uncomfortable. Though it is a normal occurrence, you can reduce the swelling by avoiding taking very long when standing up, taking very salt foods, and doing regular exercises
- Itchy stomach: As the baby bump continues to push the skin, it is stretched so much resulting in an itchy feeling. This can also be caused by hormonal changes that make the body be extra sensitive to different allergens. The itching stomach can also be accompanied by rashes and red bumps which is normal. To reduce this itchiness, make sure to keep the skin well-oiled and avoid chemical applications.
By the time the 14th week is over, you will have added about 4 to 6 pounds since the first day of pregnancy. Remember that this is average, and you can be slightly higher or less. The best thing is targeting total weight gain of about 25 lbs to 35 lbs by the close of the pregnancy.
Constipation, Diet, and exercises on 14th week
One thing that becomes fairly common during the fourteenth week is constipation. This could be related to a high amount of iron, types of food, or genetics. In chronic levels, constipation can cause hemorrhoids, and you should try as much as possible to keep it down. Consider taking lots of water, taking foods with high fiber content, and a lot of vegetables.
Because of elevated energy levels, you will feel like doing more and more exercises starting from week 14. However, you will need to identify the right exercises to engage in order to avoid excess back pain and keep the baby safe. Consider talking to your doctor and fitness expert to come up with a good plan for the subsequent weeks to keep your muscles and transport system more effective. Good exercises include yoga, light weight lifting, regular short walks, and common chores such as kitchen tasks.
Unlike some mothers’ argument that one needs to maintain a good body shape as the baby bump starts appearing, you should never consider dieting. It is prudent to ensure that you take balanced meals at all times, a lot of fruits, and water. Remember to take them in small portions so that you do not suffer from constipation.
Things to do during the 14th week
- Find out from the doctor if you still continue taking the daily dose of folic acid. Many doctors recommend that you keep taking it until mid or end of the second trimester so that parts of the baby that were not fully developed can catch up.
- Continue your baby birth classes to learn more about the process. You will learn about the process and start preparing as early as possible. This is important so that you can also get all the support from your partner.
- Continue shopping for baby’s clothes from your favorite stores.
- If you are a manager and your job description involves a lot of work, consider delegating some or all of them to another person.
- The 14th week is a blissful time to give yourself a treat because of the far you have gone. Reward yourself and your partner by taking a short holiday to a campsite for a day or two.
- Review the progress of the baby shower preparations. If you hired somebody to work on itineraries, sit down together and ensure everything is okay.
- Settle down on some names for your baby. If you started thinking about the names earlier, you might already have a list and only need to keep narrowing down.
- Keep your weekly diary well updated so that you can have an easy time with the doctor. Besides, you can never know, the diary could become an important resource in future if you decide to pen an autobiography.