Baby Growth at 13 Weeks Pregnant
Welcome to week 13 of your pregnancy journey as we step into the second trimester, often referred to as the "honeymoon phase" because those challenging first trimester symptoms like nausea and tiredness tend to fade away, leaving you feeling more energized and comfortable.
Your baby is the size of a lemon, measuring approximately 2.9 inches long and weighing approximately 0.8 ounces. The head, which accounts for roughly one-third of the overall frame, becomes more balanced with the rest of the body.
Bones in your baby's skeleton harden, particularly in the skull and long bones. Did you know your baby suck their thumb as early as 13 weeks? How adorable is that? Another fascinating development is that the tips of your baby's fingers formed distinct fingerprints.
As the hair follicles form, soft, fine hair known as lanugo appears. A substance called vernix forms to protect the baby from amniotic fluid. By now your baby's skin is developing, but remains extremely thin.
Moreover, the baby's vocal cords develop, which will be used frequently once your little one is born. Meanwhile, your baby's kidneys make urine, which mixes with the amniotic fluid in the womb. Your baby also swallows a small amount of amniotic fluid..
Your placenta supplies oxygen and nutrients to your baby, as well as removing waste. Even though it is fully functional now, it continues to grow throughout pregnancy.
You and Your Body at 13 Weeks Pregnant
During the 13th week of pregnancy, all discomfort you felt during the first three months starts to subside. This is why it is called the babymoon period. In the meantime, your uterus grows upwards and outwards, which may now be visible as a small bump.
There's a lot more blood flowing around your pelvic area, which some women find increases their sexual desire. Having sex during pregnancy is completely safe, unless your midwife or doctor advises you otherwise. Furthermore, the increased blood flow may make you thirstier, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids.
Also, you might see some noticeable changes to your breasts. During this time, your breasts may feel lumpy or nodular because the mammary ducts are preparing to produce milk. Veins may also appear just beneath the skin of your breasts.
The second trimester also marks the beginning of colostrum production, which is the first stage of breast milk production and may be expressed from the nipple when massaged.
Typical Symptoms at Pregnancy 13 Weeks
Around 13 weeks of pregnancy, you may notice a change in your symptoms. Maybe you can make it through the day without feeling nauseated and without needing naps. A few other symptoms that you may experience:
Heartburn and indigestion: Your digestive issues are caused by your growing baby taking up some of the space used by your stomach and the muscle-relaxing effects of pregnancy hormones. You can ease the discomfort by sitting upright after eating and avoiding greasy, spicy, and fatty foods. You should also limit caffeine-containing beverages such as tea, coffee and energy drinks.
Constipation: When you have a hard time pooping, it can make you feel bloated, sick, and give you a tummy ache. You may try to consume high-fiber foods such as whole-wheat bread, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils. Also, drink plenty of water and exercise on a regular basis. Avoid iron supplements if not needed (but talk to your doctor or midwife before ditching any medication).
Bloating and gas: Changing what you eat helps you to avoid digestive problems such as bloating and belching. Make yourself several small meals a day and don't eat late in the evening. Try to eat slowly, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. A short walk after meals may also help as well as probiotics.
Other symptoms that pregnant women experience during week 13 include:
- Tender and sore breasts
- Leaking colostrum
- Spottier, greasier skin
- Swollen and bleeding gums
- Swollen hands and feet
- Less fatigue
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Food cravings and aversions
- More visible veins
- Increased sex drive
- Leg cramps
Pregnancy Week 13 Tips and Advice
You might feel less tired during your second trimester and it might be a good time for a trip or a vacation. You can keep this feeling of well-being by maintaining a healthy lifestyle along with a well-balanced diet and appropriate exercise.
As time passes, your baby become less at risk from infections and other hazards that you might be exposed to. In spite of this there are still risks, which is why you should continue to watch out and avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, eating fish high in mercury, and consuming caffeine in excess.
In addition, it is a good time to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, so you won't leak urine when you are laughing, sneezing, or coughing. You may try to get the muscles toned up by pretending to urinate and stopping midstream, an exercise commonly referred to as a Kegel.
At the same time, be ready to take on the challenge of preparing for your baby. To help you relieve anxiety about labor, delivery, or impending parenthood, learn as much as you can. Consider taking prenatal classes. Some of these classes may online. Make sure you also find a pediatrician for your baby and learn about breastfeeding, if planning to breastfeed.
If you plan to work after giving birth, familiarize yourself with your employer's maternity leave policy and explore childcare options.
Last but not least, you may not wear maternity clothes yet, but you can buy some comfortable clothing to replace any that feel tight-fitting. Pregnant women can still look stylish! As your belly grows, you may notice stretch marks and itchiness. While stretch marks cannot be prevented, you can moisturize the skin to reduce itchiness.
Next week, you can expect a lot of movement by your baby. Your baby may be wriggling, stretching their arms, or practicing breathing by sucking amniotic fluid into and out of their lungs. Even though you can’t feel this movement yet, there’s a dance party happening in there! Enjoy your week as you look forward to feeling the baby move very soon.