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Week 14

Week 14

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Now that your baby is fully developed, organs and body parts are beginning to function in the womb. The fetus can inhale and exhale, and practices this technique in utero. The fetus is trying out his or her hands and feet, although you won't feel any movements yet. The fetus will respond to outside stimuli, such as someone poking your belly. The baby will move more in response to certain noises, and wriggle away if your stomach is touched.

In earlier weeks, the baby's head rested on the chest, but as the neck grows longer the baby can raise his or her head. The baby is now about 3.2 to 4.1 inches from the head to rump, and weight is nearing one ounce. The facial features are fully formed, and your baby actually looks human! You may even start to recognize similarities to mom or dad with some of the more advanced sonograms available today.

The placenta is providing the baby with all of the nourishment needed for healthy growth. Your pregnancy hormones are stabilizing, which means less morning sickness and nausea, and more energy. You will likely have a break from frequent urination, although in the third trimester this becomes very common as the baby weight presses on your bladder.

The pregnancy hormones in your body will also relax your bowel muscles, which can mean constipation. Increasing the fiber in your diet should help, but if it becomes a problem talk to your doctor. Try to keep from straining during your bowel movements, as you're already susceptible to hemorrhoids while pregnant.

As blood volume continues to increase, your veins may stand out against your skin especially on your breasts and legs. You might feel aches as your uterus continues to expand, and it will begin to feel soft and round against your touch. You'll likely be wearing maternity clothes by now, and you'll be looking pregnant as your stomach protrudes more and more.

A good exercise program can really help in your second trimester. Moderate exercise three times a week will provide you with many benefits: you'll prepare your body for labor, get your heart pumping, and keep from gaining an excessive amount of pregnancy weight. Make sure you don't push yourself while exercising, and stop if you feel dizzy or sick. If you notice cramping or spotting during exercise, contact your physician right away.


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