Pregnancy Week by Week:
What to Expect Week 13-16

Pregnancy Week by Week: What to Expect Week 13-16

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey. Week after week you’re getting closer and closer to meeting the little angel that you’re turning food into. As your anticipation grows, so does your little one. And every week is different!

In our Pregnancy Week by Week series, we’ve been analyzing all the changes both you and your little one go through as you head towards your due date. We’ve also been highlighting tips and useful information that you can use to ensure you have the smoothest experience possible over these weeks.

This guide is going to cover weeks 13 to 16. Wondering when you are due? Well, your due date is estimated to be 40 weeks from your last day of menstruation. However, this is only an estimate. A healthy baby can be born anywhere between 38 to 42 weeks after your last period.

Before we get into weeks 13 to 16, we also need to clarify what weeks each trimester falls into. A pregnancy term is divided into 3 trimesters. The first trimester lasts from week 1 to 13. The second trimester then starts from week 14 to 27. Finally, the third trimester goes from week 28 to 42, or all the way to your delivery date.

Here is a loot at weeks 13 to 16, including what to expect for your baby, what to expect for you, and what to do over this period.

Week 13

What to expect for baby

Week 13 marks the end of the first trimester. Congratulations! You are now a third of the way through the pregnancy. By now, your baby is growing rapidly. They weigh around 25g at 13 weeks.

The genitals begin to form outside the body while the ovaries and testes develop depending on the sex. However, it is still too early to tell the baby’s sex on an ultra-scan.

The bones in their arms and legs form and harden as they move to their permanent position within the mother’s tummy. The eyes slowly move into position as the body catches up with the baby’s disproportionately big head. Their head is about a third the size of their body!

The intestines are set back to their rightful position in the body, and they can swallow amniotic fluid and absorb it in their body. Movements become easier as the backbone can flex.

What to expect for mom to be

At this point, your abdomen feels like a simple smooth ball as your uterus expands and begins to grow upwards towards your abdomen. Your energy levels heighten, and if your morning sickness wasn’t severe, chances are you have gained weight.

The good news at 13 weeks is that your chances of miscarriage drop significantly. You may feel your belly stretching as the expanding uterus settles, and if you experience bleeding gums due to hormonal changes. It’s probably a good idea to switch to a softer toothbrush at this point!

Tip of the week

If you think you might be having twins, this is the best time to confirm. Head to your healthcare provider with your partner and listen to your babies’ heartbeats for the first time!

By the 13th week, you are also probably actively telling everyone that you have a baby on the way. But you do not have to do this if you feel you are not ready. Do it at your own time in your own way.

Week 14

What to expect for baby

Week 14 is the first week of the second trimester. Congratulations! The weeks are now flying by faster than you may notice. By week 14, your little one’s body is covered in lanugo, which are fine little hairs that will be shed after birth.

Fun fact: As your baby swallows amniotic fluid, it is passed off as urine as their kidneys have started working. The urine is reabsorbed into the existing amniotic fluid. This means your baby is peeing in your belly!

Your baby’s neck is also getting longer and the chin is becoming more noticeable. The ears are also moving to the sides of the head from the neck. At 14 weeks, they have unique facial features and fingerprints as well. You may notice that they’ve also started responding to stimuli. For example, if there is an impact on your abdomen, they will try to wiggle away.

Their spleen starts to make red blood cells, and they still have room in the uterus to float about. At this time, they are only about the size of a bell pepper.

What to expect for mom to be

Your body is slowly adapting to the baby’s growth as your skin and muscles start to stretch. By week 14, your hormones will be all over the place. Because of this, one of the most common symptoms at this stage is constipation.

Now that you’ve started your second trimester, you may also notice a few other welcome changes such as less nausea, more hunger, and more energy. If you had cravings in the last few weeks, they will start getting worse right about now. You may also notice small spider veins on your face or legs. Don’t worry, though- these will fade away soon after delivery

Tip of the week

Week 14 brings with it an energy boost like you haven’t had so far. It’s time to get some exercise and make sure all those tasks you have been putting off get done.

If you are dealing with constipation, the best way to ease it is to drink plenty of fluids, eat lots of vegetables and fruits, and exercise. However, if it persists, consult your healthcare provider.

Week 15

What to expect for baby

At this time, the baby starts to hear. They can hear sounds in the mother’s digestive system as well as her heartbeat. They can also hear your voice and loud noises from the outside world. Their little eyes will also start to register light, although they will stay shut for now.

Hair will also start to appear on your baby’s head and eyebrows. Their bones become harder, and they may even suck their thumbs at this point. The body is now almost fully formed, and all they have left to do is grow. With a high-resolution ultrasound, you can even tell the sex of the baby!

What to expect for mom to be

At week 15, if you haven’t yet, it is good to talk to your doctor about any prenatal tests you may need. Be sure to also schedule a blood test called a quadruple marker screening test five weeks from now that helps screen for Down syndrome.

Week 15 comes with an increase in libido. If your doctor hasn’t given you any restrictions, it is perfectly OK to have sex without affecting your pregnancy.

You can feel your uterus about 3 or 4 inches from your navel. You may also have gained up to 15 lbs by week 15. The weight gain, though, does not stop here.

Tip of the week

Train yourself to sleep on your left side to improve circulation. You can get a pregnancy pillow or tuck pillows behind you and between your legs. Now is also a great time to take advantage of that 2nd-trimester energy boost and do a bit of nursing bra shopping!

Week 16

What to expect for baby

This week, your little will start to have uncontrolled facial expressions since the facial muscles have started moving. They are also learning to breathe by taking in and out amniotic fluid as their lungs develop.

Their limbs and muscles can also flex because their nervous system continues to grow. They can form a fist, and their hands can reach each other.

Even with eyes closed, their eyes start to make slow movements. They are about the length of a 7-inch carrot at this time.

You likely have a prenatal visit scheduled on the 16th week, where you’ll get to hear your baby’s heartbeat again. By this time, your baby can also clearly hear your voice so consider talking to them whenever you can.

What to expect for mom to be

One of the most exciting milestones that you may experience this week is your baby’s first kick, which will feel like a subtle sensation in your belly. You’ll know it when you feel it.

You may also begin to feel some quickening baby movements. It may feel like a gas bubble. The more it happens, the more you know it’s the baby.

At the same time, your body is undergoing massive changes. Your blood levels will increase to support you and the baby, the veins on your legs become more visible, and you may experience a bit of nose bleeding. All this is completely normal.

Yet another great thing that you may notice this week is that you’ll have to pee less often. This is because your uterus has shifted in position, reducing the pressure on your bladder.

Tip of the week

Exercise to improve your body’s blood flow. You can also wear support stockings and put your feet up when possible to deal with the bulging veins on your legs.

Final Thoughts

Within these few weeks, your baby’s body is fully formed, and they can yawn and make little facial expressions. They also become heavier as their bones become denser and their genitals fully develop. And if you want to find out if you are having a boy or a girl, this is the best time to tell!

Angelia Smith - Feb. 22 2022


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