Pregnancy Week Fourteen
In the 14th week of pregnancy you are approximately half way through your fourth month and still at the beginning of the second trimester. The second trimester is considered by many women to be the "heyday" of pregnancy. A lot of the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms from the first trimester subside and you start to have a lot more energy. For more information on how your body will change and how you may be feeling during the fourth month of pregnancy, check out our list of symptoms for pregnancy week 13.
What Your Baby Looks Like
At week 14, your baby probably weighs around one to two ounces and he's probably about 3.5 inches in length. Amazingly, this small creature already has the beginnings of his skeletal and major organ structure in place. His arms are now a proportional length to his body but his legs are still quite short compared to the rest of him. He has eyes developing behind his eyelids which are still sealed shut and he even has sexual organs. Your baby's finger prints (and toe prints) have already formed. This happened while he was "swimming" around in the amniotic fluid in your uterus. The pressure of the fluid against his skin formed patterns on the tips of his fingers.
Changes In Pregnancy Week 14
In week 14, your baby is going through a spurt of brain development and body fat growth. His movements are now more controlled than they were previously. Instead of jerking and twitching, his limbs move more fluidly. At this stage, meconium is building up in your baby's intestines. Meconium is the substance which comes out in your baby's first bowel movement after he is born. It's a sticky, tar-like substance which can be really hard to clean up! Experienced mothers will recommend that you take a bottle of olive oil to hospital with you - olive oil is good for removing the meconium from your baby's skin.
Pregnancy Changes in You
At week 14, you'll probably be starting to show and people you haven't told yet may be wondering if you're pregnant. Your hormones will be causing changes in your body (just as they do throughout pregnancy). At 14 weeks pregnant, the production of the pregnancy hormone relaxin peaks in your body. This hormone causes your joints and muscles to relax in preparation for birth (this makes it easier for your baby to come out). A side effect of having more relaxed muscles is backache, unfortunately. So you may be feeling some aches and pains. These high levels of relaxin will stay in your body until after you give birth.
Varicose veins are another pregnancy symptom caused by hormones. Varicose veins can happen at any time during the pregnancy, but some pregnant women get them in the second trimester as they begin to put on weight. At this stage of the pregnancy, your now very enlarged uterus may put more pressure on the veins in your pelvic area. The hormones responsible for varicose veins are the estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the walls of your veins to relax, this combined with the increased blood flow in your body and the pressure on the major veins running down into your legs may cause your veins to bulge and become distorted. Varicose veins are usually not harmful. Talk to your doctor if you see signs of them developing. Your doctor will probably examine you for varicose veins on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy.