Pregnancy week by week: 14 weeks
A woman in the fourteenth week of pregnancy enters the second trimester. The baby measures less than nine centimetres, which means that it is about the size of an apple and weighs about forty to fifty grams. The beginning of the second trimester is usually considered the most beautiful part of pregnancy. The morning sickness has subsided, hormones are stabilising and pregnant women state they are feeling more energised. During this period, expectant mothers are said to be "glowing". Thanks to hormonal changes, they have firmer and shinier hair, radiant skin and stronger healthier nails.
Development of the baby in the fourteenth week of pregnancy
By the 14th week of pregnancy, the foetus is beginning to take on the form of a small person. The child has an upright position and thanks to extension of the neck, it can also maintain an upright head. Its skin is covered with gentle hair, called lanugo, which helps keep its body warm. In the following weeks, the lanugo will begin to recede due to increasing body fat (adipose tissue). Conversely, growing hair and eyebrows will remain, although their colour is very likely to change after childbirth.
During this period, the kidneys also begin to develop and function. The baby swallow’s amniotic fluid and, thanks to the functioning kidneys, can urinate into the amniotic fluid, which also contributes to their formation. The intestines also come into play, in which meconium is formed, which the baby will excrete after birth. Through the umbilical cord, the baby receives oxygen and its lungs develop.
The baby begins to move slowly in the womb, although most expectant mothers do not yet feel these movements in the first week of the second trimester. Even though the baby's muscles are not strong enough for the mother to feel movement, the baby can already move its eyes, purse its lips and make other grimaces.
Examinations in the fourteenth week of pregnancy
By the fourteenth week of pregnancy, the expectant woman has already undergone the first-trimester screening and ultrasound, thanks to which it is possible to anticipate potential developmental defects, problems, complications or find warning signs. During the first screening, the woman will undergo a blood and urine analysis, blood pressure measurement and discuss her personal and family history with a gynaecologist. The triple test is still required and is usually performed after the sixteenth week of pregnancy. At the beginning of the second trimester, the date of delivery is also usually set, so that a woman can register for delivery in a selected hospital and start purchasing necessities.
The expectant mother and physical changes
At week fourteen, the uterus begins to extend beyond the pubic bone and also occupies part of the abdomen. As a result, during this period, pregnant women are beginning to have the appearance of a pregnant belly. Most women don't have to change their wardrobe yet, but there are only a few weeks left when they will need to do so. Throughout pregnancy, women have increased blood flow, and at the beginning of the second trimester, the number of red blood cells and fluids also increases.
The monthly weight gain is also beginning to accelerate. Gynaecologists recommend that a pregnant woman should not gain more than a maximum of two kilograms per month. If you have an increased appetite, and are being hounded by cravings and you have problems maintaining your natural weight during pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal for signing up for pregnancy exercises. For example, pregnancy yoga, pregnancy Pilates, swimming for pregnant women and walks are suitable.
In the beginning of the second trimester, morning sickness begins to subside, and many perceive a surge of energy due to hormonal changes in their body, especially their breasts, they are no longer so sensitive. Many women also experience increased libido and a greater desire for sex.
In the fourteenth week of pregnancy, a number of unpleasant side effects also begin to manifest in women:
- Weakened immunity - during this period, women have a weaker immunity and are at an increased risk of infections or colds
- Blocked nose - the level of oestrogen and progesterone increases, which causes the mucous membranes to swell and soften, which then leads to its blockage
- Swelling - increased blood flow causes swelling mainly in the fingers and joints, especially the ankles, it is important to avoid standing for a long time, wear comfortable shoes and raise the legs above the level of the heart every day for at least twenty minutes
- Chest and abdominal pain - growing breasts and abdomen can cause hypersensitivity or even pain
- Varicose veins - pregnancy varicose veins are also caused by increased blood flow, good prevention is regular walking, which helps blood circulation
Problems and risks in the fourteenth week of pregnancy
The beginning of the second trimester is relatively unproblematic for healthy women who do not have a high risk pregnancy. Morning sickness subsides, breast hypersensitivity decreases and hormone levels stabilise. The risk of miscarriage is also significantly reduced. Hormones can cause skin pigmentation, which darken freckles, birthmarks, nipples, the areolas and genitals. Sometimes a dark line (linea fusca or linea negra) may also appear on the abdomen. After delivery, the skin usually returns to its original appearance.
So far, the pregnancy is only minimally visible on a woman and she can engage in sports and live a normal healthy life. It may be a good time to choose a suitable pregnancy physical activity, such as pregnancy yoga, Pilates or swimming. Women should pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet and exercise. They should avoid smoking and consume alcohol only symbolically or not at all.