- Women's Health
Pregnancy Week Thirteen
Welcome to week thirteen of pregnancy! Congratulations on reaching your second trimester! This week your baby has grown to the size of a peach. Your baby's head is half the size of his or her crown-to-rump length. His or her tiny bones are forming in his or her arms and legs. Your baby's intestines are moving into his or her abdomen now and their vocal cords are developing. He or she can also now put their thumb in their mouth.
As for mom, this week may bring with it some relief for those awful first trimester symptoms as well as an increase in your labido. On the ickier side, you may also notice the start of Leukorrhea, a thin and milky discharge. This substance protects the birth canal from infection and keeps the natural bacteria at a healthy level. This discharge increases as you get further along, so keep some pantie liners on hand.
How's Mom Doing?
Right now, you're probably excited to begin the easiest trimester in pregnancy. You should start feeling some relief from those first trimester symptoms. Also this week your belly is starting to grow! You're probably still not ready for maternity clothes, but you should stop wearing anything tight. You may also notice small bumps on your breasts. These bumps are known as Montgomery's tubercles and they are oil-producing glands which have always been there. They just become more prominent during pregnancy, as your body prepares for nursing.
Another thing you may notice this week is some pain around your abdomen. This discomfort is caused by your expanding uterus. This mild cramping is known as round-ligament pain. It should feel like a short stabbing sensation. This often occurs when you quickly change positions. It should go away quite quickly. However, if the pain becomes intense or long lasting, or if it's accompanied with bleeding, call your doctor ASAP! This can be an early sign of miscarriage.
What's Going on With Your Baby?
This week, your baby is the size of a peach (about 3 inches and weighing an ounce!). Your baby's body is slowly becoming more proportionate with his or her head. Another fascinating week thirteen fact is that if you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million egg cells in her little ovaries. Little teeth are in place under your baby's gums ready for the awful teething stage of infancy. Make sure you have lots of teethers! Most doctors will tell you that teething begins anywhere between three to twelve months, but this is not always true. My niece began to teeth at a month old and there have been cases of children born with one or two teeth already showing! It's important to remember that every baby is different.
Let's not forget those beautiful little organs and veins which are now visible through your little one's skin. His or her skin is almost completely translucent! His or her intestines will be moving from the umbilical into the abdomen this week. Their intestines are also forming villi which helps peristaltic movement and digestion. Your little one's pancreas has begun to produce insulin as well this week! It's a big week for your baby!
Suggestions and Advice for Week Thirteen
What? Two heartbeats?! If you're a lucky mother-to-be of twins or multiples you are more than likely already showing! Women are more likely to have twins if they have a history of multiples in their family or if they are over the age of 35. The point of this suggestion is don't just assume your having twins because your belly's big. There are several reasons why this could be happening. Your due date may have been miscalculated. You might also just be very bloated. Or perhaps you're taking the eating for two thing literally? Make sure you check with your doctor. A sonogram can tell you if you're having twins. Keep an eye out for that second heartbeat (or third or fourth, etc.). No matter what anyone says, there's no way to tell from the outside just how many buns are in the oven!
So ends your first trimester! It's a good time to celebrate. Perhaps a happy dance? If that's not what you had in mind then find something special to do for yourself. You deserve to treat yourself. This is a very big milestone. You should treat your patient and caring partner too! If he was able to handle the first trimester, the rest will be a breeze for him and he deserves a treat too. By week thirteen your labido should be increasing as your symptoms begin to subside and your body becomes used to the hormones. Some lingerie might be in order, perhaps? As I said, my advice this week is to celebrate the end of your first trimester and to treat yourself and your partner.
Skylar Spring © copyright 2011