During pregnancy, week 14 is at the end of the first trimester and the beginning of the second trimester. The second trimester is what some consider the easiest time during pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. For many women, this is a time when the discomforts of the first trimester decrease, and the baby hasn’t grown so large as to cause the discomforts experienced in the third trimester. There is much going on with the baby and to the mother.
During the 14th week of pregnancy, the baby is a little more than 4 inches long and weighs just under 2 oz., according to the American Pregnancy Association. The baby’s arms are developing to a point that they look proportionate with the full body. The baby is developing fingerprints, which, according to the 3-D Pregnancy website, is caused from the baby swimming around in the amniotic fluid. Internally, the baby’s spleen and liver are beginning to function. At this point, the developing brain allows the baby to control his facial muscles and make faces. During a sonogram, the baby might be seen sucking her thumb.
Positive Changes in the Mother
Many mothers experience several positive changes during the beginning of the second trimester. Bouts of morning sickness decrease. The mom-to-be feels a renewed energy, and she begins to sleep better. The mother generally begins to look pregnant by now, making a changeover to maternity clothes necessary for some. Some mothers might feel their baby move. These tiny moves might feel like a little tickle or a bubbling sensation. Mothers will begin to experience Braxton-Hicks contractions about the beginning of the second trimester. There is no pattern to these light “practice contractions,” but, internally, they help the uterus prepare for labor.
Uncomfortable Changes in the Mother
While some mothers feel better during the second trimester, for other mothers, morning sickness does not ease now and may continue throughout their pregnancy. They also experience increased fatigue, especially if they are carrying multiples.
The mother’s breasts grow larger during the second trimester, according to the Mayo Clinic, with the nipple tenderness easing a little. Wearing a supportive bra will help.
Some women experience aches and pains in their back and abdomen, as well as leg cramps, especially at night.
The organs in the mother’s abdominal cavity are pushed around by the growing uterus; this causes constipation or heartburn for some mothers. Increasing fiber and fluid intake and consistent exercise helps with constipation. The University of Cincinnati Net Wellness website recommends treating heartburn with the same things that helped nausea. Eat smaller, more frequent meals, sleep on your side and avoid bending at the waist.
About week 14, mothers may begin to notice changes in their skin. Some women have dark patches on their face or a darkening in the nipple or the line in the center of the abdomen. The increase in blood circulation might cause some women to experience nosebleeds or bleeding gums.
Pregnancy hormones can cause the mother’s blood vessels to dilate. This can cause a drop in blood pressure, causing some women to experience dizziness and even fainting spells. The Mayo Clinic advises rising slowly, lying on the left side to ease dizziness as well as drinking extra fluids.
Unless it is a high-risk pregnancy, the obstetrician visits will still be about once every three to four weeks during the second trimester. By measuring from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone–known as the fundal height–the doctor can determine how large the uterus is. Depending upon the doctor’s practices, the mother might be able to hear her baby’s heartbeat or even have her first ultrasound, where she might learn the baby’s gender.
The growing uterus and hormonal changes can restrict the flow of urine, which can cause bladder and kidney infections. Urinary tract infections can bring on preterm labor; mothers should contact their doctor if they experience an increased need to urinate, often accompanied by a stinging pain.
Chances for miscarriage decrease during the second trimester, but mothers still should contact their doctor if they experience vaginal bleeding, fever, severe backaches or consistent and painful contractions.
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