Your baby has grown to a size of up to 8 cm (about the size of a peach), and their weight is now around 31 grams (about the weight of half a peach).
Week 14 of pregnancy: The big question – girl or boy?
In week 14, you’re halfway through the fourth month of your pregnancy and are now in the second trimester.
Size of your baby in week 14
Your baby’s development
Your baby’s facial features are continuing to develop. Their head is still disproportionately big, but its growth now slows so that their body begins to resemble the body of a newborn. Their eyes are now in the right position in the centre of their face, and their ears are where they should be, at the side in the middle of their head.
Have you decided if you want to know if it’s a girl or a boy? Or do you want it to be a surprise? This week, your gynaecologist may be able to tell if you’re expecting a boy or a girl. If you don’t want to know, make sure you tell them before every ultrasound scan from now on, as your baby’s specific sexual organs are now developing. Bear in mind that it won’t always be possible to tell at this stage from an ultrasound, so don’t be too disappointed if your doctor can’t tell you what sex your baby is – for one thing, they’re moving all the time, which can make it impossible to get a good view of that part of their body, especially if one of their legs is in the way.
Your baby will be drinking the amniotic fluid (to practise swallowing) and excreting it and, roughly every three hours, the amniotic fluid will be replaced via your bloodstream. They’re also continuing to train their sucking reflex, which now involves sucking harder and more deliberately on their thumb, so that it works perfectly when breastfeeding after they’re born.
What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 14
Most of your family and friends now know that you’re pregnant, which will probably be a relief – it was very difficult to keep news as big as this to yourself for such a long time. Your employer should know about it by week 14 so that the legal provisions for you and your unborn child can be arranged.
If you’re self-employed or a freelancer, be aware that you don’t have this protection, so it’s up to you to set your own working hours and deadlines and comply with health and safety guidelines. Be sensible and make sure you have a comfortable and safe working environment. Take the opportunity to reorganise your working schedule, and give yourself more breaks so that you can get a bit more rest and eat whenever you want. If you work at a desk, make sure you can sit comfortably without being forced into one position. It’s also a good idea to do short exercises every now and then to avoid cramps. Ultimately, everything you do should be focused on your health and your baby’s development.
Common signs and symptoms
You will continue to put on weight, although the exact amount can’t be predicted for each individual woman. Up to week 25, you’ll gain around 250-300 grams a week, and from then up to week 40, it’ll be around 400-500 grams a week. Your weight at the end of your pregnancy will be made up of the following:
- Your blood volume: 1500-2000 grams
- Tissue water: 2000 - 3000 grams
- Amniotic fluid: 1000-1500 grams
- Weight of uterus: 1000-1500 grams
- Weight of breasts: 500-1000 grams
- Fat and protein reserves: 1900 grams
- Weight of your baby: 3000-4000 grams
- Fat tissue: 3500-5000
- Placenta: 500 - 1000 Gramm
These are approximate values which of course won’t apply to every woman, but they do make clear how your weight increases during pregnancy.
Find out more about your individual weight gain based on your weight before pregnancy.
Your baby’s movements
You might already be able to feel your baby moving in your belly, sometimes quite vigorously, especially if this isn't your first pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, take time out and try to be completely still – you might just feel a slight tingle, like a butterfly flapping its wings. That’s your child, whose movements are causing ripples in the amniotic fluid. Be patient, and remember: even though it’s not what you want right now, at some point, you’ll wish your belly was peaceful and quiet again. This is the case when you want to go to sleep, but they’re constantly moving, training their reflexes and trying to communicate with you.
Your body is working wonders
Aside from sore breasts and cravings, you shouldn’t experience any other major symptoms by week 14. You shouldn’t be feeling as tired as you used to, although you might not be quite as robust as you were before your pregnancy. This can dishearten many pregnant women, but remember that your body is doing double duty – so do what you can to help it.
There’s no longer a risk of premature birth, but you should tell your doctor immediately if you notice sudden bleeding, as this can be serious. This applies throughout your pregnancy.
- Eat small amounts regularly, and try to eat fruit if you get cravings.
- You can get gym balls with supports, which can be more comfortable for sitting on than chairs.
- Get an aroma stone with your favourite scent, which you can take with you wherever you go so that you never have to be without a scent that makes you feel better.
- Always have a thermos flask with your favourite tea or a bottle of water to hand, which will remind you to drink and help you get your 2 litres a day.
- A cold or lukewarm shower can help shake off any listlessness you may feel first thing in the morning. Not only will it wake you up, but it’ll also help prevent stretch marks.
Questions you may want to ask your doctor or midwife
Doctors have their own language when they talk to each other, and it can often be difficult to follow. Don’t be shy – ask what they mean when they use this word or that word. Mums-to-be vary, so if you’re someone who needs to know every single detail to put your mind at ease, go ahead and ask!
Information about the author:
Juliane Jacke-Gerlitz is a registered nurse. She has been working in the field of mother and breastfeeding counselling for more than ten years. Currently she is working as a medical writer and psychological consultant. Juliane Jacke-Gerlitz has been married for 22 years, is a mother of eight children and lives with her family in Halle.