Guide to Being 14 Weeks Pregnant

By week 14, you're probably feeling better than you have in months. See more pregnancy pictures.
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Now solidly in your second trimester, you're probably more excited than ever about your little bun in the oven. Soon (maybe even now), you can find out the sex if you want to, which means you can pick a name and start decorating with confidence in pink or blue, if that's your thing.

It also hopefully means your days of nausea are behind you, and you can make it through your grocery shopping without a bathroom break. And that means more time for reading labels to make sure you're getting all the calcium, iron and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) you need to bake your bun just right.

Best yet, if you do find out the sex, the "bun" reference can go away forever, replaced by "boy" or "girl."

At 14 weeks, development is still progressing at a breakneck pace, as it will until contractions start in about 26 weeks. Your physical awareness of the goings on inside your uterus is most likely still vague, but there are a few symptoms you probably do notice at this week …

What You Might Be Feeling

For many women, 14 weeks is a relatively comfortable time, with first-trimester symptoms like nausea, frequent urination, mood swings, fatigue and breast pain gone away or on the wane. The sensations you might find taking their place include:

  • Continued breast changes (size, pigmentation, lumpiness)
  • The beginnings of skin-color changes like the "pregnancy mask" (around the eyes) and "linea negra" (down the center of the belly)
  • Slight, occasional discomfort on the sides of your belly, from stretching of the muscles and ligaments
  • Stuffy nose and possibly nosebleeds from hormone-triggered changes in mucous membranes and blood vessels
  • Higher volume of vaginal discharge (probably a protective response, triggered by hormones)
  • A belly that's definitely popping out (some women start showing around now)

If you're lucky, or if this isn't your first, you might even start feeling the fluttering sensation of fetal movement that makes all the stuffy noses and lumpy areolas so worthwhile.

For most women, though, the fluttering won't start for another couple of weeks. But that doesn't mean there's no movement in there. On the contrary…

What's Going On in Your Body

At week 14, that little baby inside of you is already 3.5 inches long.
At week 14, that little baby inside of you is already 3.5 inches long.
©iStockphoto.com/kcpetersen

Length: About 3.5 inches. Weight: About 1.5 ounces. Ears: In position.

There's no end to the amazing changes happening inside your body right now. Ears are finishing up their trek to the sides of the head, spleen is beginning to produce red blood cells, kidneys are producing urine, liver is producing bile, and intestines are producing the black, tarry meconium you'll be cleaning up immediately after birth. A fine coating of protective body hair may already be growing, which will act as insulation until body fat appears. Many somewhat icky but definitely wonderful things are happening in week 14.

Perhaps the most fascinating intrauterine activity, though, isn't icky at all. Your little one is moving like a pro. No longer jerky, tiny arms (which are more proportional to head size this week) and legs (which are still relatively short) are moving smoothly, like yours. There might even be some purpose: He or she might be moving a tiny thumb into a tiny mouth (which has a fully formed palate this week, by the way) in order to suck it.

Genderwise, features are settling into place: In a girl, ovaries are traveling into the pelvic area, and in boys, prostate glands are beginning to develop.

Yes, you're host to all sorts of amazing, life-creating activities. A lot of pressure, perhaps, but don't worry, it's not all on you: There are things for your significant other to tend to …

What Your Partner Should Know

It's easy to mistake it for a bench-warming role, but a good partner actually has plenty to do this week (and every week). There's no end to the comfort and assistance a pregnant woman can benefit from, especially as planning activities (and the accompanying stress) start to pick up in the second trimester. For instance:

Researching the practical

You don't need to be growing a baby to help figure out what to do with the little guy or girl in six months or so. Will you need child care? If so, you might want to start looking into the options and asking around for references, since you'll probably want those. Also, will you stick with your current health insurance and simply add on your new addition, or does another policy have better family rates?

Reserving your spot

Have you signed up for a third-trimester childbirth class yet, so you can go in with open eyes (and maybe learn how to change a diaper)? Those can fill up months in advance, so check it out now if you plan to attend one.

Having some fun

Finally, some very good news if you've been getting a nauseated "no way" between the sheets. Many women's libidos pick up around now, and guess what: Sexual activity will not harm the fetus, even if mommy-to-be is showing. There's lots of protection there, so have at it.

And some other things you may want to keep in mind …

Some Things to Consider

Around this time, you might be able to find out the sex of your baby.
Around this time, you might be able to find out the sex of your baby.
Katrina Wittkamp/The Image Bank/Getty Images

This week, you've got a few decisions to start contemplating, some exciting, some worrisome. A few of them include:

  • Will you find out if it's a boy or a girl? You might (or might not) be able to see a tiny penis or vagina in an ultrasound around this week, so decide if you want to know.
  • Will you do prenatal testing? If you're in a higher-risk category and decide to have an amniocentesis, it could be performed as early as next week, so you'll need to make a final decision soon. More basic screening tests, too, are in play, so talk to your doctor if you haven't already.
  • Are you exercising? If not, you may want to start thinking about a prenatal-exercise routine, which is an excellent way to stay healthy and happy as you get bigger. If you're exercising already, talk to your doctor about any necessary adjustments as you start to show. Sometimes, changes in your body should mean changes in your routine.

Finally, a few things not to spend too much brain power on this week …

Don't Worry If…

Don't worry if you're showing more or less than your sister/cousin/friend was at 14 weeks. The important thing is to relax and enjoy smooth second-trimester sailing.
Don't worry if you're showing more or less than your sister/cousin/friend was at 14 weeks. The important thing is to relax and enjoy smooth second-trimester sailing.
Hemera/Thinkstock

You want to have sex all the time. You never want to have sex. You only want to have sex at 9:30 a.m. on the dot, in the dark, in the light or on top.

Don't worry, it's all normal. Just because your sister's libido started raging in trimester two doesn't mean yours will.

Some other totally normal week 14 happenings:

  • You're showing more than your friend. You're showing less than your friend. You've been showing since week 10 and now everyone thinks you're six months along. Everyone shows differently (and no, carrying high doesn't mean it's a boy. Or is it the other way around? Either way…)
  • You have achy sensations around your abdomen. These are a normal result of ligaments and muscles stretching to accommodate your growing uterus. Of course, mention it to your doctor just to be safe. There's no reason to guess.
  • You need to take medicine for an infection or illness. Your immune system is a bit weakened so that it doesn't start to fight off that little foreign body in there, so you're more susceptible to infections, viruses and the like. Plenty of medications are perfectly safe during pregnancy, so if your doctor prescribes something and, if you're the researching type, all reputable Web sites back it up (hint: your interior-decorator's blog is not considered reputable on this matter), try not to stress about it. A safe medication is better for your baby than a sick environment.

So stay well, stay active and stay off the home scale if it bugs you, because starting around now, you'll need to gain some weight. About a pound a week is ideal -- but as usual, don't sweat a little more or less. An extra pound or two never hurt anybody, especially when it's added by apples, whole-grain pasta, calcium-rich milk and leaner meats. That stuff's good for everybody.

For more information on pregnancy, parenthood and related topics, look over the links on the next page.

Related Articles

Sources

  • "14th Week of Pregnancy." Similac. (April 5, 2011)http://similac.com/pregnancy/14-weeks-pregnant-baby-growth-development
  • "Your pregnancy: 14 weeks." Baby Center. (April 5, 2011)http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-14-weeks_1103.bc
  • "Week 14 of Pregnancy." What To Expect. (April 5, 2011)http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/week-14.aspx