Welcome to Week 13
Your Baby: M Is for Muscles, N Is for Nerves, O Is for Organs
Weighing about 0.5 to 0.7 ounces (14 to 19 grams) and measuring 3 inches (almost 8 cm) long, the fetus has plenty of room to grow inside your uterus. At first, the eyes on the fetus are on the sides, but this week they move to the front and appear closer together (to begin the makings of the face). Also this week, the ears move to the proper position on the sides of the head.
Your Body: Second Trimester Tales
For some women, this week begins what is sometimes referred to as the "golden period." This is when the risk for miscarriage is lower, and you can feel comfortable sharing your exciting news. With that, the fatigue, nausea, and other first-trimester side effects may disappear, sleep should improve, and you might even enjoy a surge of energy. In general, you might feel more like the "old" you.
Around this time, you will also notice a few baby-related changes. Being pregnant will probably feel more real to you. Sometime around week 10 to 12, your health care provider may have listened to the baby's heartbeat using Doppler ultrasound. Or your provider may have shown you the baby with a vaginal or abdominal ultrasound. Usually by 18 weeks, you will start feeling little flurries inside. Those butterfly-like sensations are the baby, making its presence felt for the first time!
You may also feel like there is a transition from feeling fat to looking pregnant. Total strangers in the grocery store might wish you well or inquire as to which month you're in. And if you take public transportation, someone might actually offer you a seat!
Keep in mind that not all women at this point are without symptoms and sensations. In fact, a whole new set of aches and pains, and potential problems and complications may set in. You might suffer from back, abdomen, or leg cramps, and you may have heartburn. Your skin may change (darken, grow more moles, or skin tags), and you might have bouts of constipation. But look on the upside -- you're 1/3 of the way there!
On That Note: Trimester Two Up Close
As you enter this next stage of pregnancy, you might feel overwhelmed by the changes in your body, as well as all the information coming at you. You might also want to know as much as you can to be prepared -- both mentally and physically -- for pregnancy and parenthood. There are many ways to prepare for your baby's arrival:
- Take a tour of the hospital
- Learn what you should bring to the hospital
- Create a birth plan
- Prepare children for pregnancy and a new baby
- Find out what baby supplies you need
- Pick a pediatrician
- Have an emergency contact and support system in place
If you find yourself constantly unzipping and unbuttoning your normal-sized clothes, you might want to bring out the maternity wear at last! But before you go on a shopping spree, take some advice from women who've been there -- borrowing is best. Buy a few of the basics -- leggings, T-shirts, and lingerie -- but ask around from friends or family who have already been pregnant for the rest. And when their time comes next, you can lend them yours.
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.