Your Body at Week 14 Pregnant
Second Trimester, Baby
We would like to take this moment to officially welcome you the second trimester. You have only 26 weeks left before your little one arrives. Hopefully you are on the other side of morning sickness and are finding your appetite and your energy levels are back after the draining fatigue of the first trimester.
It’s important to keep hydrated at all times, but especially during pregnancy. Per the American Pregnancy Association, the average pregnant woman should drink at least 8 to 12 cups of water a day to prevent dehydration and avoid adding any undue stress on the baby.
The second trimester is also the time most pregnant women enjoy the most, which is why it’s often dubbed the “honeymoon” period. An increase in blood flow and hormones cause your skin to appear like it’s glowing. This won’t last long, so take pictures you can look back on during the misery that is known as the third trimester.
While the baby might not be bumping along quite yet, you can definitely detect a rounding of the belly. Some women also experience aches and pains in the belly or groin area as the round ligaments that support the uterus stretch out.
As the blood supply in the body increases, you might also find your skin is itchy all of a sudden. Mild skin itching is normal and an expectant mother can hopefully stave off the worst of it by using unscented moisturizer and wearing loose, natural fabrics. However, contact your OB if the itching persists or becomes severe, as it may be a symptom of a liver condition known as obstetric cholestasis.
Your Baby at Week 14 Pregnant
Baby Can Smile
By 14 weeks pregnant, your little one is the size of a mozzarella stick. Your baby’s facial muscles allow them to smile, grimace, and squint. Their arms are growing in proportion with the body and some may even suck their thumb. Too cute! This is also when fingernails begin to grow. The same fingernails you’ll be nervously filing down in a few short months.
Fine, downy hair called lanugo starts to appear this month, covering the baby’s head and body. But no worries, you won’t have a Wolverine situation on your hands since most of the hair will fall off by the seventh or eighth month.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 14 Pregnant
Swollen and Bleeding Gums
A surge in hormones and increased blood flow can make your gums feel swollen, sensitive, and easily bleed during brushing. It’s important to see your dentist for a check up in your second trimester so they can keep infections at bay. Flossing, brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, and warm salt water rinses can help alleviate the discomfort.
An increase in vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy. Normal vaginal discharge is milky, white, and does not have a noxious odor. Contact your medical provider if you notice discharge that is yellow or green, with a strong odor that is also followed by itchy or red skin.
By the start of the second trimester, you may notice your breasts are larger and fuller without feeling sore, tender, and painful to the touch.
Hormonal changes and an increase in your body’s blood volume adds pressure on the veins, resulting in varicose veins in some women. Most women who get this symptom tend to see them on their legs, buttocks, and vaginal region. It’s important to keep feet elevated as much as possible for circulation, wear specialized compression stockings, keep hydrated, and stay active.
Hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins in your rectum, and often appear in conjunction with constipation. Increased weight on your pelvis, constipation, and prolonged periods of standing exacerbate hemorrhoids in pregnant women. Warm baths with baking soda, witch hazel pads to reduce bleeding and inflammation, and a fiber-rich diet will all help with the pain and discomfort.
As your uterus rises higher in your abdomen and off the bladder, you’ll find the urge to pee is not as often as it was in the first trimester. Enjoy this while it lasts because you’ll be making trips to the bathroom several times a night in the third trimester.
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.
Simple tricks like avoiding spicy or greasy foods, eating several small meals during the day instead of large ones, not lying down right after eating, and elevating your head at night will help with the heartburn.
As your baby grows and your baby bump is on full display, your body takes all these changes in weight and balance and shifts along with it. As you grow bigger, the hormone relaxin is released to, well, relax the joints and ligaments in your pelvis, causing some back or joint pain.
Headaches and Migraines
The increase in blood volume results in pregnancy headaches or migraines for some women. This symptom is usually caused by dehydration, posture, caffeine withdrawal, and blood flow and you should consult your OB if they persist and before you take any medication. Contact your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe headaches during pregnancy, especially your third trimester, since it might be connected to high blood pressure and a sign of preeclampsia.
Your babies can now smile! How cute is that?! At this point, your bump might be a little more obvious than single pregnancies at the same stage. So if you haven’t yet relayed the news, some people might suspect you’re carrying twins or are further along on a one-baby pregnancy.
While the early symptoms will have (hopefully) calmed down by now, you’re likely experiencing the same achy symptoms as above more intensely. Your immune system is also down in order to stop your body rejecting your uterus’s little invaders. That means upping the anti with hand sanitizers, and giving anyone around you who’s sick a wide birth (ha!).
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.