Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 13-16
Baby: Your baby is growing quickly! Eyes are moving into position, the ankles and wrists have formed, and though the head is still disproportionately big, the rest of the body is starting to catch up.
Mom-to-be: Your uterus has grown a lot. It's filling your pelvis now and starting to grow upward into your abdomen. It probably feels like a soft, smooth ball. If you haven't gained any weight yet because of morning sickness, you'll begin to now as you start to feel better.
Tip for the Week: Suggest that your partner go with you to a check-up. They might love the chance to hear the baby's heartbeat.
Baby: Your baby's ears are shifting from the neck to the sides of the head, and the neck is getting longer and the chin more prominent. Facial features and unique fingerprints are all there. Your baby is beginning to respond to outside stimuli. If your abdomen is poked, the baby will try to wriggle away.
Mom-to-be: You're probably wearing maternity clothes now. Your skin and muscles are starting to stretch to accommodate your growing baby. You may notice some constipation, because pregnancy hormones relax the bowel.
Tip of the Week: Try to ease constipation by getting moderate exercise, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating lots of fruit and vegetables.
Baby: Your baby's body is covered by very fine hair, called lanugo, which is usually shed by birth. Eyebrows and hair on the top of the head are beginning to grow, bones are getting harder, and the baby may even be sucking his thumb.
Mom-to-be: Your uterus can probably be felt about 3 to 4 inches below your navel. Sometime in the next five weeks you'll be offered a blood test called the quadruple marker screening test to help screen for Down syndrome. You might also be offered amniocentesis, which tests a small sample of amniotic fluid withdrawn by an ultrasound-guided needle, between now and 18 weeks. You can talk with your doctor about what prenatal tests you may want.
Tip of the Week: Start learning to sleep on your left side -- your circulation is better that way. You can try tucking pillows behind you and between your legs. Some pregnancy pillows support your entire body.
Baby: You may be able to hear the baby's heartbeat in the doctor's office. Fine hair, lanugo, may be growing on the head. Arms and legs are moving, and the nervous system is working.
Mom-to-be: Within the next few weeks, you may start to feel your baby move, called "quickening." It often feels like a gas bubble or subtle fluttering movement. As it happens more regularly, you'll know it's your baby. Your body is changing in many other ways. Increased blood volume to support your growing baby may produce nosebleeds, and you may notice your leg veins are becoming more apparent. Good news: Because your uterus is shifting, you may not have to urinate so much.
Tip of the Week: If your leg veins bulge, you may want to wear support stockings, put your feet up when you can, and exercise to improve blood flow.
What's Happening Inside You?
Your baby's fingers and toes are well-defined; his or her eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, and hair are formed. Teeth and bones become denser. Your baby can even suck his or her thumb, yawn, stretch and make faces.
The baby's reproductive organs and genitals are now fully developed, and your health care provider can see on ultrasound if you are having a boy or a girl. You don't have to find out the baby's sex yet - that's up to you.
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