Your guide to being 13 weeks pregnant
How your baby is growing
Your baby is now recognisably a baby, rather than a tadpole. She’s straightening out, her eyes are moving closer together from their original wide-set position, and her intestines, which were originally formed outside her body, are now inside her abdomen. And although you won’t feel her movements for a few weeks, she can feel you – if you rub your bump she’ll sense and respond to your touch with a jerky, reflexive movement. She’s covered in fine, downy hair, and even has fingerprints.
Your baby is already getting ready for life in the big wide world, practising swallowing and sucking – the skills she’ll need to feed. Her vocal chords are developing and she’s busy gaining weight – she’s now five times heavier than she was at 10 weeks.
What’s happening to you
The second trimester is when many women start that famous ‘blooming’! The placenta is now fully formed and has taken over the job of nourishing your baby. This in turn means your hormone levels have stabilised, so you’re likely to feel less sick and tired. Your uterus is the size of a small melon and your bump may be just beginning to sprout, announcing your big news to the world, but you’re still carrying less than an eggcup full of amniotic fluid.
Now your placenta’s in charge, you’re likely to feel better emotionally, as well as physically. But it’s a pregnant woman’s prerogative to have the occasional (or not so occasional) hormonal outburst. Partners be warned..!
You might still be feeling round ligament pain, or ‘stretching’ pain, as your abdominal ligaments are forced to stretch to support your ever-expanding uterus. There’s not a lot you can do to ease these sharp twinges, so try to grin and bear it – with your feet up, of course!
When to check it out
If the pain is persistent or severe, or if you have any bleeding, always speak to your midwife or GP. Miscarriage is rare in the second trimester, with four out of five occurring before week 12, but intense pain can be a symptom, so play it safe.
‘To do’ this week
If you still haven’t made a decision over whether to have a nuchal scan to screen for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s Syndrome, you need to do so now. – 13 weeks and six days is the latest point at which it can be performed.