Thirteen weeks pregnant is equivalent to four months. You are at the beginning of your second trimester. During this stage the uterus is growing out of your pelvis and that baby bump is becoming more prominent with each passing day. In case you are curious, your baby is now the size of a whole lemon, weighing 0.81 ounces and sized 2.9 inches. As compared to a couple of weeks earlier, the baby’s head is now 1/3 the size of its body.
Week 13 of Pregnancy – Pregnancy Week by Week
13 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms:
Your uterus keeps pulling the ligaments as your belly increases to accommodate the 13 week foetus. Abdominal cramps are a natural occurrence throughout this period. If this becomes severe and unbearable, consult your gynaecologist.
Change in breasts
At 13 weeks pregnant, your breasts seem even fuller and your nipples become more sensitive because the mammary glands are growing rapidly. By now, your breasts have even started producing “colostrum”, a fluid that feeds the baby in the first few days after birth, before milk starts flowing out.
There is not much that can be done to deal with regular heartburns that send shock waves throughout your chest. The gland that prevents the stomach acids from flowing back into the oesophagus is loosened at 13 weeks pregnant. This causes acidity and chest pains on an almost daily basis.
Due to the rapidly changing hormones, there is a lot of congestion in the nose and sometimes in the throat. Researchers have not been able to formulate the exact reason behind this, but it is advisable to keep a box of tissues handy.
Increase in sex drive
If you are carrying just one child, you might experience a boost in your sex drive at 13 weeks pregnant. Due to gradual hormonal balance now, the body feels more at ease and yearns to return to its regular functioning. Slight increase in energy levels: The second trimester is supposedly the most energetic phase for pregnant women. You might suddenly want to go on a house cleaning or a store room organising spree. To avoid getting involved in such laborious tasks, go for brisk walks, swimming, and yoga.
A 13 week foetus is big enough to make your belly bulge out and convey the news of your pregnancy! At this stage you basically lose your waistline to the increasing abdomen. An average weighing woman is supposed to gain about 25 to 30 pounds by this time. However, if you are pregnant with twins, you will probably have gained 35 to 55 pounds.
13 Week Ultrasound:
An ultrasound done during this week is likely to reveal that your baby is now a developed little human, breathing and moving inside the womb. The screen will even show you the veins and blood flow of the 13 week foetus! The internal organs of the baby have not only developed by now, but they are also functional.A blood test is done to determine the sugar level and other infections that might affect the baby. 13 week ultrasound entails a “non-invasive prenatal testing” (NIPT) to screen chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus. During this, the sex of the child might be possible to reveal.
Dos and Don’ts During Week 13 of Pregnancy:
Gain weight: At 13 weeks pregnant, which is the second trimester, gaining weight proportionately is a sign of good health. Doctors say that during this phase there must be an average weight gain of about 30 pounds. 340 extra calories must be absorbed by the body, each day, throughout this period.
Take in high proteins: Women who are 13 weeks pregnant must take in proteins regularly for the hormones to function well and help in the overall development of the baby’s vital organs. Approximately 71 grams of proteins must be accumulated in the body each day. Doctors advise expecting women to bank on “super foods” like eggs, lentils, beans, spinach, Greek yoghurt, walnuts, soy, salmon, and lean meats. These provide the required amount of protein and an array of minerals.
Keep exercising: No matter how fatigued you feel due to the overall tension within your body, you must never stop exercising. Physical movements provide extra power to the hormones that help the 13 week foetus gain momentum for further development. Stick to safe exercises like walking, swimming, doing Pilates, and yoga.
Engage in extra-curricular activities: Engage more in light and happy activities like reading, listening to music, writing a diary of your pregnancy journey, and watching movies. Such activities help your mind relax and your body feel more at ease. This is also the right time for you to go on a shopping spree, buying clothes, hygiene products, and toys for your little one.
Pull or lift heavy objects: Make sure that you do not engage in hectic physical activities like pulling or lifting heavy objects because it might result in further muscle pulls or cramps.
Bend over for prolonged periods: Bending down for a long period of time and performing physical tasks is a strict no-no for women who are 13 week pregnant. The sac inside your body contains amniotic fluid that acts as a cushion between which your baby’s body is safely located. The fluid helps the foetus move and breathe. Bending too much puts extra pressure on the sac, affecting the baby’s movements and even, in fatal situations, resulting in a break or leakage.
Forget to drink water: During this phase, you easily get dehydrated. So, make sure that you keep bottles of water in every nook and corner of your house! Never compromise on the quantity of fluid intake because it helps both the mother and the 13 week foetus absorb minerals and wash out toxins.
Clean the cat’s litter box daily: Although it is not sinful to do so, it is better if you have somebody else clean the cat’s litter box regularly. Cat’s stool contains “toxoplasmosis cysts” that become actively infectious after 48 hours of being discharged. If contracted, this parasitic infection can negatively affect the mother and her foetus.
Being 13 weeks pregnant, you are living in the “honeymoon period” of your pregnancy! This is the time that is perfect for you to indulge in lots of activities that you will have to refrain from, in the upcoming phases. Go out for small gatherings, organise informal cultural sessions with your friends and family, and go shopping for your child!