How's the foetus at 13 weeks?
- Your baby can feel you touching your tummy
- You're starting the first week of your 2nd trimester. Your baby weighs about 25g and is about 7.5cm long from crown to rump. Your uterus is about half the size of an average sized carrot, your baby, the size of a medium prawn.
- Your baby's vocal cords are starting to form.
- The pancreas is now formed and functioning and even secretes insulin.
- Her intestines are now starting to move from the umbilical cord to the stomach.
- The villi are beginning to form in the intestines.
- Her eyes are moving closer together.
- The most remarkable thing is that if you poke your stomach with your finger, your baby feels it. She will start rooting which is the same action as looking for a mother's nipple.
- Also see: Rooting and sucking reflex
What's with my body: Prenatal vitamin time
If you stopped taking prenatal vitamins due to nausea, you should begin to take them again as soon as possible.
Your bump will start to show more and you will feel more confident to tell people about your pregnancy now that you are in your 2nd trimester.
Your spirits will lift and you may feel on top of the world and have more energy than ever!
You're at the end of your first trimester! Feeling more centred and less vulnerable lately? You can thank your lucky, settled hormones - after what may have been two months of an emotional roller-coaster ride!
- Also read: Pregnancy hormones and what they do
How your baby's growing:
The foetus's face starts to show individual characteristics, including uniquely shaped eyebrows, lips and a nose; your little one's eyes are fully developed, although the lids stay closed for several months, and his teeth begin to develop.
By this week, your baby may also be able to put a thumb in his or her mouth this week, although the sucking muscles won't develop until later. This week is also the best to do Down's Syndrome Screening if you're over 35. This test involves accurately measuring the skin fold thickness behind the baby's neck (Nuchal fold) on ultrasound and the levels of two hormones produced by the baby. Using this information and your age the doctor can calculate your particular risk for this baby being Down's Syndrome.
- Also read: How doctors test for Down Syndrome
Mother Nature often now decides to give prospective moms a break. You probably also feel more energetic as first-trimester fatigue fades. Make the most of this and get moving! It's the best thing you can do.
And if your hands and feet seem especially warm these days, don't worry. Your veins and arteries are tending to relax to allow greater blood flow to your skin - this is to allow the extra heat generated by baby's metabolism to escape through your skin. This results in lower blood pressure which sometimes makes you feel dizzy and prone to fainting. You may also find that you have some pains in your abdomen which is starting to expand – your muscles and ligaments are starting to stretch.
Tip of the week: Birth Defects
Although the causes of many birth defects are unknown, the vast majority of infants are born perfectly normal. Many birth defects can be repaired, including club foot, cleft lip and palate and many types of heart defects. And some can be prevented.
The causes of birth defects vary:
- Genetic factors - such as sickle-cell anaemia and cystic fibrosis
- Chromosomal abnormalities - such as Down's Syndrome
- Environmental factors - including medication, smoking, alcohol and uncontrolled blood sugar.
However, in 60 to 70% of birth defects the specific causes remain a mystery.
What have you found most exciting, scary or simply surprising about this week of your pregnancy? Tell us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your comments.
Next: Pregnancy week 14
Previous: Pregnancy week 12
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