Your Body at Week 13 Pregnant
Looking Ahead at the Second Trimester
As you inch towards the second trimester, you might be experiencing some symptoms that are keeping you up at night. Like, say, all that heartburn and indigestion that is making you regret adding marinara to your pasta. This symptom might stick around for some women and only get worse as your organs are relegated to a tiny corner of your midsection to make room for your growing baby.
Aside from acid sloshing around your insides, there are tons of positive things to look forward to in the next few weeks and months. For one, your chances of miscarriage will drop as you enter your second trimester next week. And the fatigue you may have experienced in your first few months should be on the down swing, with a surge of energy coming in hot right in time for you to prepare your home for the baby.
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby, and your breasts get bigger to prepare for the production of breast milk, you might start to notice the tell-tale signs of pink or red stretch marks appearing on your abdomen, hips, butt, thighs, and breasts. A 2016 BMC study found over 50 percent of pregnant women develop stretch marks which, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent since they are genetic. Make sure to moisturize your skin with cocoa butter to help improve skin elasticity and bide your time, as stretch marks tend to fade after childbirth.
Your Baby at Week 13 Pregnant
Your baby’s head has been the center of attention until now, but that’s about to change as the rest of the body catches up in growth. This week, your little one’s head will be ⅓ of the baby’s total size.
At 13 weeks pregnant, your baby already has their own unique itty, bitty fingerprints and is the size of a buffalo chicken wing. If you want it in layman’s terms, they are 3¾ inches long and weighs 1¼ ounces. All the major organs are now fully formed, and the bladder is fully operational. So much so that your baby is taking in the amniotic fluid and then peeing it all out. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? (FYI: This won’t be the first time they pee on you.)
Speaking of sounds, your baby’s vocal cords are starting to develop. Soon you’ll hear your little one sweetly coo “mama” at you right before they fling food on the floor. That espresso sounds good right about now.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 13 Pregnant
Between 11 weeks and 13 weeks and six days, your OB will schedule you for a Nuchal Translucency ultrasound. This ultrasound, in conjunction with some blood work, assess the baby’s risk of having the chromosomal conditions Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and trisomy 18.
A Pregnancy Body Pillow is Your New Bae
If you haven’t cozied up to one of these giant pregnancy body pillows yet, this may be the week to start. As the baby (read: you) get bigger, sleeping on the left side is highly encouraged as a way to promote circulation. A giant, specially designed body pillow can make laying on your side more comfortable, as well as reduce some of that pressure you’re feeling on your hips and lower back.
Hopefully your morning sickness is waning by week 13 and you’re able to enjoy food again. However, this might also be when heartburn makes itself at home in your esophagus. Heartburn is a common pregnancy symptom during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, and that’s because hormones like progesterone and relaxin slow down digestion and relax esophageal muscles, which in turn allows acid to make its way back up.
Tips for stopping heartburn: Avoid spicy or greasy foods, have several small meals during the day instead of large ones, avoid lying down right after eating, and elevate your head at night.
Do you feel like you’re dropping things easily, or perhaps you lose your footing more? You’re not imagining things, this is a common pregnancy symptom. As pregnancy hormones relax your joints and ligaments in preparation for birth, they also do the same for the rest of your body. Throw in a new weight distribution that throws off your balance and the results will have you feeling like klutz. Be extra careful, aware, and alert as you go about your day, especially in icy and wet conditions.
Now that you’re aware your little bundle of joy is actually two bundles (and that with them come extra risks), you can look at taking cautionary measures. All pregnant women are encouraged to take iron and folate supplements in order to prevent anemia. This is especially important for moms of twins (or more) as multiple babies in a pregnancy bring higher risks of anemia and increased blood loss during delivery. Women carrying twins are also expected to put on more weight than women pregnant with just one child – think 40-50 pounds rather than 25-35. So eat up! Make sure you’re balancing healthy meals with those cravings to make sure both babies get the nourishment they need.
The contents of this article have been medically reviewed by Ruth A. Tessler, M.D. in July, 2019.
Written by Maia Efrem.
Follow Preggo Nancy’s pregnancy journey week-by-week and share in her joy, her symptoms, and even her pregnancy cravings.