Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Week 13 of Pregnancy


Welcome to the second trimester! This is usually the most comfortable and enjoyable phase of your pregnancy. You are probably starting to look and feel pregnant now. This is also a time to celebrate because the risk of miscarriage reduces considerably at this point. You are most likely to carry your baby through the entire pregnancy quite safely after this. After this week, you can stop taking folic acid supplements.

If you are those lucky ones, you may start getting the pregnancy “glow” which everyone talks about. This means that your skin, hair and nails take on a healthy appearance. This results from an increase in your overall blood volume. However, if you are not so lucky, you might break out in stretch marks, thread veins, blemishes, pregnancy spots (chloasma), or even acne. These skin changes are caused by the pregnancy hormones that affect every woman differently.



Your body

Most women will feel a remarkable difference in the overall well being as nausea and fatigue will soon vanish. You may want to jump out of joy as your old energy returns and you are not feeling nauseating all the time. This is because your body is finally starting to adjust to the pregnancy hormones.

Physically, you will experience a sense of renewed energy and vigour, in spite of your increasing size. Your baby is growing slowly now as the formation of all the internal and external organs is now complete. You may feel your clothes getting tighter around your waist line. While your breasts are still growing and changing, they may not feel as achy as they did in your first trimester. Choose bras with plenty of support to ease your discomfort.



Your baby


















Your baby is growing well, but still tiny- about 7.5 cm long. He looks just like a baby now, though he or she is not much bigger than an egg. His head is quite large as compared to the rest of the body. However, the body will soon catch up in the coming weeks. He can kick his legs, turn his head and even swallow. He is developing the swirls of fingerprints on his skin. His eyes are growing closer together. His intestines also start moving further into the body and the pancreas start producing insulin. His toes and fingers are clearly separate, and ankles and wrist have formed. External genitalia are becoming visible. His bones are changing from being soft and flexible to becoming harder. The placenta is fully functional and supplies the baby with oxygen and nutrients. It also removes the carbon dioxide and waste materials by filtering them through the placental tissues. The placenta remains larger in size than the baby and allows most substances from the mother’s blood stream to cross over into the baby’s blood stream. This includes alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, medications, drugs, and viruses which can affect the growth and development of the baby.


Remember

Now that the nausea is subsiding, you appetite will return. Do your best to eat regular, healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Eat plenty of water and fibre rich foods that will help prevent constipation. Exercise regularly as this will help you maintain your fitness during pregnancy. Research suggest that women who exercise in pregnancy cope better in labour and are less likely to need induction or caesarean sections. Exercise not only prevents antenatal depression but also cures some of the discomforts of pregnancy like constipation. Refer to our section on pregnancy fitness to learn about the exercises that are safe to do during pregnancy.



FAQs

1) What are the chances of miscarriage after 12 weeks of pregnancy?

The majority of miscarriages take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, it is far less likely but still possible to have a miscarriage after 12 weeks. A miscarriage between 12 and 20 weeks is less likely due to genetic problems with the baby and more likely the result of some problem with the mother like an incompetent cervix or malformation of the uterus. The good news is that these problems are quite rare.

However, you will need to recognise the signs of miscarriage so you can act quickly. Vaginal bleeding is one of the earliest signs that something is wrong. It can be light but persistent bloody discharge or sudden heavy bleeding with cramping. However, try not to panic as one fourth of the women experience some form of benign bleeding at some point in their pregnancy. Do see your doctor if you have any sign of bleeding or unusual cramping.

 



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