14 Weeks Pregnant—Nausea Subsiding
Your sweet peach is now—you guessed it!—the size of a peach. Your baby is starting to take notice of what’s going on in the outside world. Your body is producing more of the hormone relaxin which may cause pelvic and abdominal pain and affect your balance.
How big is my baby?
Baby’s Length: 3.42 inches.
Baby’s Weight: 1.52 ounces.
How is my baby developing?
All of your baby’s organs formed during the first trimester. They’ll continue growing and maturing until birth.
At this point, your baby is pumping 25 quarts of blood each day. The genitals are developing but your baby’s gender may not yet be clearly distinguishable. Her intestines are producing meconium, a sticky, tar-like substance that will comprise her first bowel movements. She’s making red blood cells in her spleen and her liver is starting to produce bile.
Her skin is covered by fine, peach-fuzz hair, called lanugo, to help keep her warm, and her hair and eyebrows are growing in. Her brain impulses are firing, causing her facial muscles to move and allowing her to make her first facial expressions. Your baby is also starting to take notice of what’s going on in the outside world. If you poke at your belly, she’ll respond by moving or trying to wiggle away. Even if you don’t feel this movement yet, you soon will.
What’s happening in my body?
While first-trimester nausea and exhaustion will hopefully have subsided by now, you might notice minor pain in your abdomen and pelvis; this is round ligament pain and is due to another hormone, relaxin, which helps prepare your joints, ligaments, and muscles for your baby’s growth and eventual birth. If you need relief, one of the best things you can do is put your feet up and lie in a comfortable position. Relaxin can also cause constipation and difficulties in balancing. If you’re feeling clumsier, it’s not just in your head.
Many women start to gain more weight at this point in their pregnancy but remember that you don’t need much more than 300 extra (healthy) calories a day during the second trimester. Be sure to review the guidelines for healthy pregnancy weight gain.
If your morning sickness is still severe, contact your doctor. Approximately 2% of pregnant women experience a severe kind of nausea called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). If left untreated, HG can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss, and the loss of important electrolytes. HG can be life-threatening for both the mother and her baby.
Recent research has identified the genes involved in HG; this information may prove helpful in determining treatments in the future. Talk to your doctor if your morning sickness leads to dehydration, dizziness, or rapid weight loss—treatments for HG do exist.
The start of the second trimester is usually an enjoyable time; you feel more confident in your baby’s health, and you’ve spread the news of your pregnancy to family friends. While you’ve started to “show,” your bump is still small enough that it isn’t causing too much discomfort or keeping you from maintaining regular activities.
As long as you have your doctor’s approval, be sure to keep exercising during pregnancy. Maintaining a moderate exercise regime during pregnancy lessens your risk of needing a Cesarean section and reduces your chances of gestational diabetes.
Now that some of the worst pregnancy symptoms have faded (hopefully!) and you’re feeling energetic again, it’s important to get a bit of exercise every day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week. Exercise may also help with some pregnancy side effects like swelling, bloating, backaches, and varicose veins. The exercise isn’t just for you! Boosting your circulation ensures your baby gets her oxygen more quickly.
What should I be doing?
Begin researching childbirth classes.
Babies are expensive. Create a monthly baby budget that accounts for things like daycare, additional insurance, food, and diapers. You also need to prepare to make all those baby-centric purchases (you can never have too many burp cloths, bibs, and receiving blankets). Having a budget and sticking with it can also help you avoid unnecessary purchases—the temptation of adorable baby goods is strong.
If you haven’t done so yet, visit the dentist. Not only are you prone to softer, bleeding gums, your oral hygiene can affect your baby’s health.
Do your best to stay healthy. Practice good hygiene habits like washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, and getting your flu shot. Pregnant women have suppressed immune systems to keep the body from recognizing–and attacking–the fetus as an outsider. Because of this, you are more susceptible to catching colds and the flu during pregnancy.