Mom and Baby at 14 Weeks Pregnant
During this first week of your second trimester, your baby is growing quite fast. He/she is around 3.4 inches from crown to rump (the top of your baby's head to his bottom) and weighs almost 1.5 ounces. That's pretty remarkable, considering that your baby was only 3 inches long last week.
- Your baby continues to grow at a remarkable rate in the second trimester. In fact, did you know that by 19 weeks, your baby will have doubled his/her size?
- At 14 weeks pregnant, your baby's head is larger than the rest of his/her body. It actually accounts for half of your baby's total length. Not to worry, though. His/her body will soon catch up.
- Your little one's facial features are becoming more defined this week. The baby's eyes and ears are moving to their final positions, and his/her eyebrows are also growing.
- During pregnancy week 14, your baby's neck is elongating and his/her chin is starting rise up off the chest.
- The yolk sac that provided your baby's source of nourishment in the first trimester is almost completely gone, and your little one now gets everything he/she needs from the placenta.
Your baby can now pee! By 14 weeks, your little one's bladder empties every 30 minutes. Since your baby is constantly swallowing amniotic fluid (which gets filtered out through his/her kidneys), passing urine is a fact of life for him/her.
MOM'S PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
Now that you're in your second trimester, you may start to notice that some of the annoying pregnancy symptoms that you experienced in the first 13 weeks have disappeared, such as your morning sickness and fatigue. Since you have more energy in the second trimester, you may want to travel or take a vacation while you can. (Fatigue will come back to haunt you in the final leg of your pregnancy.)
Although you will feel much better in the second trimester, you may start to experience new pregnancy symptoms. Common complaints that pregnant women in the second trimester have include water retention, gas, heartburn, and backaches.
As you get larger in your pregnancy, you should expect backaches. Over 50 percent of all women experience back pain at some point during pregnancy. They are due to the extra strain that your growing uterus places on your back muscles. You may feel lower back pain when you're standing, sitting, or even when you're in bed.
Another very common symptom to expect at 14 weeks pregnant is gas. Pregnant women are often more "gassy" than their non-pregnant counterparts. Gas during pregnancy is caused by the elevated levels of the hormone progesterone in your body. Progesterone actual relaxes your gastrointestinal tract and slows down your digestive processes. So expect to experience more gas, bloating, and flatulence during pregnancy.
At 14 weeks pregnant, your doctor can now feel the top of your uterus (called the "fundus"). From this point onward, your doctor will feel the fundus at every prenatal visit to make sure that your baby is growing properly.
Back Pain During Pregnancy
In the second trimester, as you continue to pack on the pounds and your uterus grows larger, you will experience backaches to some degree. (Depending on your pain tolerance, you may feel more pain than the next woman.) Back pain during pregnancy is very common, and it's no wonder. Your uterus can expand as much as 1,000 times its original size by the time your baby is born!
There are many reasons for back pain or backaches during pregnancy. In some cases, it's caused by the extra weight of uterus placing strain on your muscles and adding stress to your joints. That's why your back may feel achier at the end of the day. In some cases, your expanding uterus may press on a nerve and this causes discomfort. If you have weak abdominal muscles, this can also cause pain in your lower back.
Although backaches are uncomfortable and often an unchangeable pregnancy symptom, you may be able to ease your pain by following these tips:
- Wear low-heeled shoes that have good arch support. (Not flats)
- Do not lift heavy objects, if possible. Ask someone to do heavy lifting for you.
- If you have to stand for long periods of time, you should keep one foot elevated on a stool or box.
- Sleep on a firm mattress. If your bed is too soft, have your husband/partner or friend place a board between the box spring and mattress.
- If you need to pick something up off the ground, do not bend from the waist. Instead, you should squat down and bend your knees.
- Sleep on your side with a pregnancy pillow, or a support pillow, between your legs.
- When you're sitting down, make sure that the chair has good back support. You may want to place a pillow behind your lower back for extra support.
Back pain should never be severe, as this can indicate a problem. Call your doctor if you have severe pain or pain that lasts longer than two weeks. Sometimes, back pain is a sign of pregnancy complications, especially if it's accompanied with fever, burning when you urinate, or vaginal bleeding.
Dr. James W. Brann, M.D., is a retired obstetrician and gynecologist and editor of Women's Healthcare Topics. When you read "Mom and Baby at 14 Weeks Pregnant ", you know it is accurate and has been approved by an experienced obstetrician/gynecologist. Dr. Brann has written many articles about 14 weeks pregnant that are great references.
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