The fetus is taking off and can measure up to 3 ½ inches in length and weigh up to 2 ounces. What a change from week 11 when the fetus weighed just ½ ounce. At this point in growth, an ultrasound would show movement in the chest area. This movement is breathing practice. Hands and feet are moving now too, though most of the movements are reflex. All of the vitamins, nutrients, and calories your baby needs are coming from the placenta.
Constipation is common starting the 14th week. The same pregnancy hormones that relax abdominal muscles for uterine growth also relax the muscles of the bowel. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods high in fiber can make “movement” a bit less stressful. Increased blood volume may start to show. Blood vessels in the breast fill with the extra blood and start showing through the skin. Some expecting women do not like the look of blue veins running through their breast tissue, but the effect will last for the remainder of the pregnancy and possibly beyond.
At the prenatal visit
Doppler is commonly used around this time of the pregnancy to hear the baby’s heartbeat. As the baby grows larger, the heartbeat will get louder. You can ask to hear the heartbeat at any time for a simple connection to your baby. If a heartbeat is not found, an ultrasound can verify heart rate.
In some families, expectant fathers hold the brunt of the financial stress of starting a family. Working overtime and feeling stress about bills can take a toll on the body but keep in mind that most financial stresses are more fiction than reality and worries about supporting a new family are common and normal. Remember it is also easy to confuse needs with wants. The actual needs for a new baby are far less stressful on a budget than wants, despite what the baby product companies try to tell you.
Tips for this week
The best tips for the 14th week of pregnancy are to eat great food, drink plenty of water, and exercise daily.