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Welcome to the second trimester of your pregnancy, the stage of gestation which is often called the “golden period” of pregnancy thanks to the gradual disappearance of all the unpleasant symptoms of early pregnancy. You’re likely to have a glow in your skin and morning sickness is likely to have faded away completely.

Your baby is thriving during the 14th week of pregnancy. Your baby is bigger than before and growing rapidly. The functions your foetus can perform are also more complex, including peeing into the amniotic fluid. You might not be able to feel the baby kick yet, but be sure that this will happen soon enough too.

There are, however, some issues you need to be extra-cautious about during the 14th week of pregnancy. You’re likely to feel moodier than before, and might even wonder what type of a parent you’d be. It’s therefore important to not take undue stress, eat a balanced pregnancy diet and exercise well. Focus on maintaining a healthy weight during your pregnancy, because the amount of weight you gain now is key to your ability to lose weight after delivery.

It’s important to go in for all the routine checkups during pregnancy as suggested by your obstetrician. You might have to get a fetal ultrasound done around this time if you’re older than 35 years, and your doctor might also discuss amniocentesis with you if required. If you’re a working woman, this is also the time when you should discuss maternity leaves with your employer and plan your work accordingly. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in the 14th week of pregnancy.

  1. Baby size and features at 14 weeks of pregnancy
  2. Changes in your body by the 14th week of pregnancy
  3. 14th week of pregnancy symptoms
  4. Complications in the 14th week of pregnancy
  5. Things you should do in the 14th week of pregnancy
  6. Takeaways for the 14th week of pregnancy

Your baby is now about 8.5cm long from head to bottom, and is roughly as big as a kiwi fruit. Instead of being the biggest part of your baby’s body, his or her head will now be more proportional to the rest of the body and will even begin to round off properly. Your baby will also start to move in the womb, but you won’t be able to feel his or her kick for a few more weeks.

Your baby’s internal organs are now slowly starting to function. According to the American Pregnancy Association, your baby’s liver has started producing bile to aid digestion, and the spleen has started producing red blood cells. Your baby might suck his or her thumb in the womb, and developments in the brain now enables him or her to move facial muscles too.

Similarly, because your baby’s kidney is now functional as well, your baby will produce a little wee every day. This wee will be released into the amniotic fluid, which your baby might swallow and transfer to the kidneys again. This basic function might seem grotesque, but it proves that your baby’s kidneys are developing properly.

Remember how you wished you have more of a baby bump to show during the first trimester? Well, you’ll get your wish during the 14th week, when most women have a baby bump large enough to require maternity clothes - which should ideally be loose, with pregnancy bands instead of tight elastics, and have enough room because there’s actually a lot more growing to do.

Your breasts might be fuller and heavier, you’d have gained a lot more weight, your belly is growing, and you have a new organ - the placenta - and a baby growing inside. This might make you feel tired, and a little unbalanced on your feet, but remember to stay active so that you can get used to the weight you now carry. You also need to keep an eye on your weight and make sure you’re not gaining way more weight than you should.

You should also keep a lookout for stretch marks, large blue veins and yellow breast discharge called colostrum. All of these are normal, and the last development shows that your breasts are ready to feed your baby. If the discharge increases, use breast pads.

Read more: How to remove stretch marks

While you may not be experiencing the same symptoms you did during the second trimester - and might be feeling much better without the morning sickness to deal with - there are still going to be many symptoms of pregnancy to handle throughout your second and third trimesters. The following are some symptoms that might show up in the 14th week of pregnancy.

  • Swollen gums: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your teeth and gums more vulnerable to plaque formation, which in turn can cause inflammation, bleeding gums and swollen gums
  • Round ligament pain: One of the most common complaints of the second trimester, this type of pain occurs in the lower belly. Round ligament pain is either located on one side or can be experienced all across the belly. 
  • Headaches: You might experience some headaches due to the volume of blood being pumped in your body and because of the hormonal changes. You might also have nosebleed due to this issue.
  • Stomach issues: Heartburn, indigestion, bloating and constipation are likely to occur in the second trimester, so eat healthy simply cooked meals.
  • Sore breasts: This is likely to happen due to your breasts getting ready for breastfeeding. You might have some colostrum discharge too.
  • Swollen limbs: Your hands and feet might swell up during this trimester, so make sure you drink enough water, get enough rest and exercise too.
  • Mood swings: With your hormone levels high, you’re likely to experience mood swings during the second trimester, especially an increase in sex drive. 
  • Skin and hair changes: Some women might have melasmas during pregnancy, but it’s likely that the second and third trimesters are periods when you have glowing skin and shiny hair.

Taking ample care during your pregnancy is the best way to minimise the risk of complications. However, it’s quite likely that complications might show up due to factors beyond your control. If they do, you should seek help immediately, since early detection can help save lives. The following are some complications that might show up in the second trimester.

  • Miscarriage: Although getting to the 14th week might indicate that your baby is growing well and the risk of a miscarriage has lowered, there’s still a chance that a miscarriage can happen upto the 20th week. A miscarriage, once started, cannot be stopped - and can be a huge trauma for women. Compulsory counselling of the pregnant woman should be done if she experiences a miscarriage.
  • Infections: Vaginal infections and urinary tract infections are quite likely to happen during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and you should contact a doctor if you see any symptoms at all. Pregnant women might have a compromised immunity, so they should take precautions against bacterial infections, fungal infections and also viral infections like COVID-19.
  • Subchorionic hemorrhage: Since you aren’t supposed to experience any vaginal bleeding during the pregnancy, bleeding due to a subchorionic hemorrhage can be quite alarming. This type of hemorrhage can happen due to placental abruption, and you should consult your doctor immediately if any signs show up.
  • Hypertensive diseases: High blood pressure is never a good thing to have, but it can pose quite a number of difficulties during pregnancy. The list of hypertensive diseases which might plague you includes preeclampsia, eclampsia, gestational hypertension and chronic hypertension. You should take any and all of these very seriously and follow the treatment protocol recommended by your doctor.

Read more: What pregnant women need to know about COVID-19

If your pregnancy has progressed upto the 14th week without any hassles, you should do everything you can to ensure that this positive development continues. Of course, you’ll have to make a couple of efforts to ensure this. The following are some of the things you must get done during the 14th week of pregnancy.

  • Stick to the test and screenings schedule recommended by your doctor and go in for any appointments you might have.
  • If you suspect you have an infection, call up your doctor and ask if you can come in for a blood test or screening.
  • If you’re above 35 years old, carrying twins or have genetic predispositions towards certain complications, your doctor might ask you to come in for checkups more frequently. You might also have to get an alpha-fetoprotein test, amniocentesis, etc done to detect genetic defects in your baby like spina bifida.
  • Following a healthy and balanced pregnancy diet and getting enough exercise is important to keep you safe and to ensure that your baby develops properly. This might also help you lose weight after delivery and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster.
  • Getting proper support is very important, so get yourself fitted for a maternity bra and maternity clothes without delay. This will help you feel comfortable as your belly grows.
  • Do not overmedicate and stick to all the medications prescribed to you by your doctor. 
  • Make sure you stay away from harmful thoughts, foods and actions. Try to relax and keep stress at bay.
  • Stay well away from raw fish, meat and processed foods since these might cause salmonella and listeriosis.

Pregnancy is a period of time when women discover a lot of new things like coping with extreme mood swings, constantly carrying more weight around and worrying about the life they’re carrying inside them. These are quite likely to cause stress, which in turn can affect how you feel about yourself, your pregnancy and your life. 

This is the reason why all pregnant women must aim to relax and yet be cautious. Taking all the precautions you need to take during pregnancy is important, and so is eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise. But instead of stressing about these, you should try to take them into stride and accept these changes as the new normal. You have to understand that this is the transition phase, and once your baby arrives, you’ll have to get used to a brand new lifestyle anyways. 

These are things that a pregnant woman’s partner should also understand, and do his best to lend support. It might be difficult for you to understand what your spouse is physically going through, but make sure that she gets enough time to de-stress and share her household workload. If you have other children already, take primary responsibility for them as your wife’s pregnancy progresses and offer help and support emotionally too.

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