Pregnancy Week 13
What to expect when you're 13 weeks pregnant
Baby development at 13 weeks pregnant
Congratulations, the end of week 13 marks the end of the first trimester! You are likely feeling more energized, less nauseated and more like yourself in general. You may have shared the news with friends and family. If not, you may be ready to shout it from the rooftops!
At 13 weeks pregnant, your baby is around 3 inches, or about the size of a Lego brick.
At this point in your pregnancy, your baby is beginning to develop personal traits, including facial features and finger and toe pads that will one day hold your child’s unique fingerprints. Baby’s vocal cords have also begun to develop, which will determine what baby’s cries will sound like. Their kidneys are producing urine, as well.
Mom’s body at 13 weeks pregnant
Your blood supply and flow are now linked to the placenta, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your fetus. At your upcoming prenatal appointments, your doctor will measure your fundal height. This is the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. This measurement tells the doctor how your baby’s development is coming along based on the size of your uterus.
Week 13 pregnant belly
You may finally be showing a tiny bit at this point! For women of a normal BMI, second trimester weight gain should average between 1 to 2 pounds per week. At 13 weeks pregnant, that is around 1 to 6 pounds total. If you have gained more or less than that, don’t worry! You have plenty of time to get to where you need to be.
Common pregnancy symptoms at 13 weeks
You are entering the “honeymoon” period of pregnancy. You are much more comfortable at 13 weeks pregnant than compared to your whole first trimester. If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry; many of your first trimester discomforts will fade. But you may find that some of those first trimester symptoms — like constipation, bloating, and breast tenderness — linger into your second and third trimesters.
- Heartburn: Heartburn can occur more frequently during pregnancy because the muscles of the digestive tract are more relaxed. Additionally, your uterus is crowding your abdomen. These factors can lead to digestive acid being pushed back up into your esophagus, which causes heartburn. Stay away from common heartburn triggers, including acidic food, caffeine and chocolate. It can’t hurt to have some antacids on hand, as well.
- Decreasing fatigue: Finally, you’ve gotten that second wind you keep hearing about. In week 13 of your pregnancy, you are feeling less zapped and more energized.
- Visible veins: Your increased blood volume and blood flow may cause your veins to become more prominent. While you may not love this new look, the good news is they fade after giving birth to the baby.
- Vaginal discharge: Another side effect of those increased hormones. While totally normal, not every woman will experience this symptom during pregnancy. If you do, you can expect a thicker, milky white discharge.
- Bleeding gums: Hormones can cause increased sensitivity and even swelling in your gums. It’s not abnormal to experience some bleeding while brushing or flossing.
- Headaches: Drinking more water and getting plenty of rest can help you find relief from headaches that may begin to occur.
- Dizziness: Around the second trimester mark, your body sees an increase in progesterone. Your body is working hard to drive blood flow to your baby, which results in lower blood pressure and reduced blood flow throughout your body. This can leave you feeling dizzy on occasion. Another cause for this could be low blood sugar. Remember to keep snacks on hand.
- Change in sex drive: This symptom can manifest in either an increased or decreased sex drive, depending on the individual. The shift in hormones in your body is the culprit for this particular mood swing.
Pregnancy checklist at 13 weeks
These next few weeks of pregnancy are going to feel like smooth sailing ... until the third trimester, that is. Now is the time to take advantage of your newfound energy and get to planning your future life with baby.
- Share the news at work. You don’t have to do this today or right at 13 weeks, but now is a good time to decide when to share the news with your boss and coworkers. Keeping your boss and colleagues in the loop helps everyone prepare for your upcoming maternity leave.
- Look into childcare. It might sound crazy, but it’s not too early to start looking into childcare. You may be deciding between a care facility or an in-home provider. Whichever route you decide to go, be sure to schedule tours and interviews to ensure your baby has the care you want when you return to work.
- Modify your workouts. At 13 weeks into your pregnancy, you are likely having to modify some of your workouts. Abdominal exercises should be adjusted and headstands are no longer a good idea. If you have questions about what movements are safe for you and baby, talk to your health care provider.
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