14 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Update

Your little baby is quite the overachiever! She’s formed the foundations of all her brilliant body systems: nerves, muscles, bones, intestines, genitals, and brain. As your second trimester chugs along she’ll grow…and grow some more.

Her face is developing the fine little muscles that give her the power to start little funny grins, right inside your belly! Her eyebrows are filling in and her neck is getting longer. Precious little fingernails are appearing on her dainty fingers, which she can now clench, suck on and punch with.

Her basic heart structures are complete, albeit with a big hole in the heart. (That hole is totally normal…in fact, it’s great!) In the womb, there is no reason for blood to go to the lungs…since there is no air to breathe and a baby’s total oxygen supply comes from the mom’s lungs delivered via the placenta’s umbilical vein.  So, it’s smart to have a big hole in the right ventricle to allow blood to take a short cut, pouring right into the left ventricle—skipping the lungs—and squirting back down the aorta to pick up some “lunch” and a little gulp of oxygen from the placenta. 

And, inside the lungs, microscopic hairs, called cilia, are growing. These will soon practice little waves of coordinated motion to get ready for birth when she will need their continual sweeping help to clear dust and mucous out of her airways. Waving away—for every second of the rest of her life—to keep her lungs clean and infection-free.

14 Weeks Pregnant: About Your Body

Welcome to the 2nd trimester! The first trimester can feel a little strange: You might still be keeping your pregnancy a big secret, since you may not be showing yet (although you may feel “puffy”). But you may still have some nausea and fatigue.

That all changes in the 2nd trimester! Not only will you begin feeling a whole lot better, you will finally start sporting a cute little bump!

Right now, your uterus is big enough that it has outgrown its home in your pelvis and is high enough to feel when you press deeply into your lower belly. If you aren’t showing yet…you will soon! First-time moms often take a little longer to show. On the other hand, veteran moms joke that their womb remembers and gives them away before they can make the big announcement themselves!

There are other big—though much less visible—changes happening inside of you this trimester. One of the most important is that you’re bulking up on blood! By the end of your pregnancy, you’ll have 1.5-2 times the amount of blood flowing through your veins than you did pre-pregnancy! 

There’s a lot of reasons you're becoming a human blood bank:

  • It needs much more to fill all the rich, thick, food/oxygen-carrying blood vessels in your placenta.

  • It’s boosting your supply to protect the baby against drops in blood pressure.

  • Your body is prepping for losing some blood during delivery!

Increased blood means you need lots more blood builders: iron, folate, etc. That’s why it’s smart to add iron and folic acid supplements to your daily routine if you haven’t already. Pairing an iron supplement with vitamin C helps boost iron absorption. Cooking in a cast-iron pan will also get you more iron, as will eating meat, fish, eggs, prunes and prune juice, etc.

Running low on these leads to anemia in about 15-25% of pregnancies. But don’t worry, it’s pretty common and easily prevented or treated with supplements.

A To-Do List for Your 14th Week of Pregnancy

  1. Test your home for lead-based paint: If you live in a home or apartment built before 1978, or are planning to remodel while pregnant, have your home tested for lead-based paint. Lead contamination has declined significantly over recent decades, but older homes (and older painted baby furniture) can expose you and your baby. If your home does have lead-based paint, ask your doctor if you should leave it alone or have it removed by a company that specializes in doing comprehensive lead removal and clean up. (Steer clear until they’re done and everything is fully mopped up, toweled down, HEPA vacuumed away and every speck of dust is removed.) Click here to find a lead testing kit.

  1. Test your home for radon: Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is found in parts of the country where there is a lot of granite in the soil. It usually enters the house through an underground basement or cracks in the concrete slab upon which your home is built. The problem with radon is that years of exposure raise the risk of lung cancer, even in non-smokers. Click here to find a radon testing kit. 

  1. Dump your non-stick pans: Nonstick pans (like Teflon, etc.) release slight amounts of chemicals every time you cook in them. That is a problem because the non-stick chemical (PFOA) stays in your body (and your child’s body) and builds and builds…never leaving. And, that’s a problem because it has been shown to be quite unhealthy (hurting fetuses and even causing several types of cancer). Click here for some info to "season" your cast-iron skillet.

  2. Buy support stockings: These can really help the circulation in your legs and reduce pain. They also prevent the development of varicose veins and lower your risk of blood clots which can happen when you fly during your pregnancy or if you’re on your feet a lot at work. Check with your insurance provider, some cover this expense.

  3. Start planning the nursery: Thanks to an increase in energy, the second trimester is a great time to plan out your nursery. Consider the essentials first—a changing table and a baby bed. (We of course highly recommend SNOO—the world’s smartest baby bed—which keeps babies safer, reduces crying, automatically sleep trains and boosts sleep for your baby—and you—an extra 1-2 hours!). You might also want a rocking chair or glider, footstool, diaper pail and nightlight.

Pregnancy Fun Fact

Your big expansion is just beginning! By the end of pregnancy, your womb will have ballooned 500 to 1,000 times in size to accommodate your precious baby, prized placenta, and a half-gallon of amniotic fluid!

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