The 13th week marks the end of the first trimester and the beginning of the second. This gives you three reasons to celebrate. First, the following trimester will not be as distressing and discomforting as the current one. Second, with the first trimester almost over the chances of miscarriage are drastically reduced. And third, your baby has taken another giant leap on the path of growth and development.
This week the size of the fetus is almost 3 inches in length and it weighs an ounce. The head which earlier made up half the length of the body is now 1/3 its length. The eyes and ears are very distinct. Although the major part of the development has already taken place, the eyes are still maturing and so they are shut tight.
The most striking development of this week is the baby’s fingerprints. Her teeny-weeny fingers have fingerprints. In addition to this, the vocal chords develop. The teeth buds continue to form.
The muscles, the nerves and the organs are completely mature. They work in conjunction to enable further growth. The skin is still thin and translucent. Thus, the internal organs and veins are clearly visible. You might also be able to spot tiny bony ribs. The intestines are slowly set into place. Work on the reproductive system begins around the 11th week. If you’re carrying a girl, there’s likelihood that her ovaries already hold a million eggs.
The baby also moves around. She kicks her legs and flexes her arms. But the movements are very subtle and it will be a few more weeks before you can feel them.
Changes to your body
The second trimester accompanies fewer symptoms. You get a proof of the same starting in the 13th week itself. Fatigues and nausea has reduced considerably.
You might feel faint. Headaches are common. The breasts continue to grow in size. Frequent urination and incontinence is one pregnancy symptom that will resolve only after childbirth.
Around this time many expectant women experience an increase in their sex drive. You may also spot a few dark reddish or bluish colored veins called varicose veins. They are caused by the increased blood supply in the body.
Week 13: Health, Nutrition and Precautions
Get ready to celebrate the end of the first trimester.
Keep yourself active with low intensity exercises. Yoga is very beneficial. If you don’t have time for these take long walks.
Eat well. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the richest source of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibers. Avoid cheese varieties made of non-pasteurized milk. Limit your intake of fish especially king mackerel, shark, tuna, swordfish.
Eating for two when pregnant is a myth. You need to add only an extra 300-350 calories to your daily diet.
Prepare for your second trimester OB visit. It may be conducted in the 13th week or immediately after that. Hereafter the doctor’s visits will follow a specific routine. You will be monitored for the following- weight, blood pressure, proteins and sugar in the urine, swelling in the face, ankles, feet and hands and the size of the uterus and growth of the baby.
You may be required to take a few prenatal tests. The CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) is one of them.
Discuss your concerns with your doctor.