- Women's Health
Pregnancy Week Fourteen
Welcome to week fourteen of pregnancy! Some doctors and women believe this week begins the second trimester officially and some believe it began last week. Whichever you agree with, this week brings plenty of changes for you and your baby with it. Your little one is now the size of a lemon. His or her movements are no longer jerky, but rather are more fluid. Also this week your baby's intestines are producing meconium (the waste that will make your bundle of fun's first bowel movement after birth). He or she has also developed lanugo (a downy hair covering their skin). This hair keeps your baby warm while swimming in all that water and he or she will lose it just before birth.
As for mom, this week you should start looking more pregnant as a small baby bump slowly begins to show. The tenderness in your breasts should be decreasing and your energy should be on the rise. Morning sickness and frequent urination should also be decreasing this week. However, you might be feeling some aches and pains in your abdomen as your uterus expands more and more, stretching the supporting muscles and ligaments.
How's Mom Doing?
Right now, you should be starting to look pregnant. That's right now more of that awkward "is she pregnant or has she been hitting the candy a little too hard?" phase. Most women generally "pop" around week fourteen. I know I did big time. This happens because by now your uterus should be above your pubic bone which will push your stomach out.
Also this week with the decrease of some of your symptoms will come a new symptom: constipation. This occurs when the pregnancy hormones slow down your digestive system. Another cause of constipation is the increase in iron due to your prenatal vitamins. I will discuss some ways to help avoid and/or relieve this symptom later. Aside from this horrid symptom your fatigue, morning sickness and the tenderness of your breasts should be getting easier to bear.
What's Up With Your Baby?
This week your baby should be the size of a clenched fist! He or she's about 3 1/2 inches and 1 1/2 ounces. His or her arms and head are also proportionate to the rest of their body as of this week. Your baby is also actively kicking and punching inside of you right now! You still might not be able to feel it as they are still pretty tiny. He or she can also make facial expressions. Your baby can now squint and frown.
There's been some further development of your baby's internal organs this week. His or her kidneys and liver are now producing wastes (kidneys produce urine and liver produces bile). The little one's intestines are also producing the waste that will be his or her first bowel movement after birth known as meconium. Even his or her spleen has begun helping in the production of his or her red blood cells.
Suggestions & Advice for Week Fourteen
Constipation is probably one of your newest symptoms this week. This is a very uncomfortable symptom which can increase bloating and abdominal pain. It's caused by a combination of the pregnancy hormones and the increase of iron into your system thanks to your prenatal vitamins. However it's not hopeless. There are ways to relieve this horrid symptom.
Drink Water - and lots of it! Ten 8 ounce glasses of water a day will suffice. Now that you're pregnant you'll need to drink more water than usual.
Fiber is Key - so eat lots of foods with it. Fiber will encourage more regular bowel movements and help cleanse your system.
Exercise! - Light exercise, like walking, can help loosen your bowels.
Alternate Hot and Cold Beverages - This will stimulate your bowels naturally and help reduce the occurrence of gas.
In case you didn't already know, now that you're pregnant, you're more susceptible to colds, flus and other viruses. Mother nature has suppressed your immune system as a way of protecting your fetus (a foreign object) from being rejected. It's more important than ever for you to stay healthy by practicing some good hygiene and basic germ warfare.
- Wash your hands often.
- Hand sanitizer should be your best friend. Carry it wherever you go.
- Don't share drinks or food (not even with your partner).
- Avoid sick people if you can. This is sometimes impossible, so don't look yourself in your house or apartment to accomplish this.
- If you do happen to catch something, be sure to let your doctor know. Only he or she can prescribe medications with your pregnancy in mind. Though some doctors may give you a list of pre-approved medicines from the get-go (mine did). Do not self prescribe your medication if you don't receive a pre-approved list.
You may be feeling just a bit hungrier than usual now. Back in the day women were told that this happened because they needed to eat for two. This is only partially true and not meant to be taken literally. Though it's okay to indulge sometimes, you need to remember that you only need to consume 300 more calories a day while you're pregnant. My advice to you is eat a normal amount, just like before you were pregnant. Just make sure you eat nutritious food. Some mild snacking is okay, but don't go overboard!
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