Pregnancy Week 13

Congratulations! You are almost at the beginning of your second trimester. Here is what you can expect in the upcoming week.

Pregnancy Week 13: What changes are occurring with your body?

You may not have begun to wear maternity clothes yet, but you have most likely replaced tight fitting clothes with more comfortable clothing. Stretch marks may be appearing on your abdomen, breasts, hips, or buttocks. Your morning sickness may begin to subside at this point, but you may be experiencing more frequent heartburn.

You may be noticing some distinct changes in your breasts. By now your breasts might have become larger and may feel lumpy or nodular, which is caused by the mammary ducts as they begin to prepare for milk production. You may also have noticed veins appearing right under the skin on your breasts. During the second trimester colostrum begins to form; this is the first stage of breast milk, and it can be expressed from the nipple when massaged.*

Pregnancy Week 13: What is happening with your baby?

Up until this point, your baby’s head has been the largest part of his/her body, but that is beginning to change. Your baby’s head is now only about 1/3 of his/her total body. Unique fingerprints are now located on the tips of your baby’s fingers. The kidney and urinary tract are completely functional which allows the amniotic fluid he/she has been swallowing to be excreted. Covering your baby’s skin is a fine, soft hair called lanugo.

 

Pregnancy Week 13: How big is your baby?

By your thirteenth week of pregnancy, your baby is almost 3¾ inches long and weighs 1¼ ounces.*

What should you plan for this week?

As women enter the second trimester they notice a lift in their libido. It is common for couples to wonder whether sex during pregnancy is safe. Many don’t realize that the baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the womb, by your abdomen, and by the mucus plug which seals your cervix and helps guard against infection. Sex should be avoided if:

  • You have a history of premature birth or labor.
  • You have a history of miscarriage.
  • Your water has broken.
  • You experience unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • You have placenta previa, or a very low-lying placenta.
  • You have an incompetent cervix, or your cervix has dilated.
  • You or your partner has a sexually transmitted disease.

 

Pregnancy Week 13: Tips for making your pregnancy better

Almost 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch marks. Stretch marks appear as pinkish or reddish streaks running down your abdomen and/or breasts. Gaining weight at a slower rate can decrease the chance of stretch marks appearing, and it is also healthier for you and your unborn baby.

Exercising and applying lotions that contain vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids have also been said to help in the prevention of stretch marks. If nothing works for you, take comfort in knowing that these streaks fade after delivery. Check with your health care provider before using any of the over-the-counter products for treatment of stretch marks. Some of these creams can be absorbed by the skin and into the mother’s blood, which means that they will also pass to the baby.

Pregnancy Week 13: Tips for mom’s partner

Fill-up mom’s car with gas. This may sound quite simple and easy, but many women can be bothered by gas fumes. Even if your partner