You can jump in happiness, lightly though, since you have made your grand entrance into second trimester starting from this week! The first trimester of pregnancy lasts from week 1 through week 12, or in other words it is about 3 months of your gestation. The second trimester begins from week 13 pregnancy and will continue up to week 27.
[ Read: 14 Weeks Pregnant ]
13 Weeks Pregnant:
By now, you’ve probably adjusted to the fact that you are, in fact, pregnant without any doubt or confusion lingering in your mind. It is here and it is permanent and soon you will be holding a lovely baby in your arms. You will feel the excitement surging in the heart of both you and your partner as the changes in your body become visible.
The Honeymoon period!
In second trimester, your early pregnancy symptoms will start reducing and you will enter what is called “the honeymoon period”. At this stage you are not so large that you cannot enjoy doing many of the same activities you did before being pregnant and the symptoms are not interfering them either. So go ahead and have a blast before the large belly stops you. Another great relief is that the risk of miscarriage is now much lower than earlier in pregnancy. As an added bonus, you may notice a positive change in your sex drive around this time. So you can enjoy some great time with your partner.
Changes In Your Body:
Be prepared from now on for the most obvious physical change that will start to take place in your body hereafter; which is the increased expansion of your uterus. This will be seen in your expanding size which is necessary to accommodate the growing baby.
1. Thickening Waistline:
There is no more denying your pregnancy in 13 weeks, as the thickening of your waistline holds it up boldly for everyone to see. It is time for you to flaunt your maternity clothes, or for now just going for those loose fitting clothes for a week or two.
2. Easing Pressure On Bladder:
Isn’t it amazing that now the pressure on your bladder has eased, decreasing those frequent visits to the loo? This happens due the uterus growing bigger and out of your pelvic region. Your uterus now fills your pelvis and future growth will mean that your uterus expands up into your abdomen. You don’t have to worry about producing a leak every time you laugh or sneeze, or rush to the toilet often. You can now sleep in peace.
3. Vaginal Leaks:
You may need panty liners to deal with leucorrhea, a thin, mild-smelling milky vaginal discharge which has increased for protect your birth canal from infection. It also keeps the bacteria in your vagina in a healthy balance.
4. Pelvic Pain:
You may experience pelvic pain and abdominal pain during this period. The uterus is pulling at the ligaments holding on to it, causing more discomfort to you. Don’t worry though; since none of the pain is severe or unbearable, though at times it can induce panic.
5. Pain With Discharge:
Do NOT ignore pelvic pain accompanied with blood, leakage, or any other type of fluid loss since they can prove harmful both to your baby and you. It could also be a sign of possible miscarriage. Consult your healthcare provider immediately.
6. Continuing Heartburn:
The monstrous heartburn may continue to torment you, sending waves of fire through your chest and throat. Since the valve that prevents the stomach acid from seeping back into your esophagus is relaxed during your pregnancy, there is nothing much to do about this. Blame the hormones, just put on a stoic face and deal with it.
7. Changes In Breasts:
Your belly and breast are more ripe and fuller now. Even though breastfeeding is ages away, your breasts are already producing the colostrums in preparation for lactation. The mammary ducts are growing larger. All these changes can make your breasts extremely sensitive and a bit sore as well. Your breasts may feel lumpy or nodular, which is caused by the mammary ducts as they begin to prepare for milk production. There would be appearance of veins under the skin on your breasts.
Blood Volume And Blood Pressure Changes:
As you enter your second trimester, your blood volume will continue to increase. This is necessary to meet the demands of the uterus which is nourishing your developing baby. The increased blood will come in handy when you may lose blood during childbirth.
- There is high chance of your blood pressure going down slightly because your circulatory system now has less resistance to blood, and the blood vessels are relaxing to allow more blood to flow through them. This is not a harmful situation unless your blood pressure gets too low, since a very low blood pressure can reduce the blood flow to the baby.
- The low blood pressure could also cause a feeling of dizziness, occasionally. This could be more obvious when you suddenly get up from a horizontal position, since your body now needs time to adjust to the new changed position. The blood takes time to reach your brain with low blood pressure.
Second Trimester Miscarriage:
Spontaneous loss of pregnancy before a woman enters 20th week of pregnancy is known as miscarriage. After week 20 it will be referred to as stillbirth. Passing the threshold of week your risk of miscarriage has come down, in fact the chances of a miscarriage in second trimester drop to below 10% of all known pregnancies. Unfortunately, entering second pregnancy does not completely rule out the chances of miscarriage, which if it happens can be physically and emotionally more traumatizing for the mother.
Causes Of Miscarriage At This Time:
Second trimester miscarriage is a rare and unexpected occurrence. The pregnant woman will need medical attention immediately after the unfortunate event, and will have all her future pregnancies noted as high risk.
1. Chromosome Problems:
In the fetus is one of the most commonly identified reasons for miscarriage in second trimester. Though the problems exist during the first trimester, it can go undetected during normal screening. In many cases, the fetuses will self abort, which could go unnoticed in the first trimester.
This can be another cause of miscarriage. You may not know that your cervix plays a huge role in your pregnancy. After conception, the cervix softens and remains plugged up so that the baby remains safe in the uterus until the D day arrives. When you have an incompetent cervix, it will start to dilate sometime during second trimester, allowing the baby to pass through the cervix resulting in a miscarriage. Some of the other known causes of second trimester miscarriage are:
- External or internal trauma to the abdominal area
- Infections in the genitals
- Defective heart of the fetus
- Placenta previa
- Abruption of placenta
Signs And Symptoms Of Miscarriage:
Miscarriage comes with certain signs and symptoms. You should not ignore it at any cost. Get medical help immediately in if you have:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Cramping in your abdomen
- Clots passing out of your body
- Abnormal bloating of the stomach
- Pain in the shoulder area
The last two symptoms happen in case of internal bleeding. There are many tests that can be done to help determine the cause for recurrent miscarriages in women. If the cause is found, it can be treated accordingly. But in the case no cause is detected, you can relax. More than 70% of women who had miscarriages with unknown causes have gone through their later pregnancies without any problem, delivering healthy babies.
Changes In Baby In Week 13:
One of the most amazing changes that happen in 13th week of pregnancy is the development of fingerprints on her tiny little hands. That unique pattern which will be such an important part of her identification after birth, is taking place already. We can say that for a 13 week pregnancy old fetus, she is not doing badly at all.
- Your baby looks like a tiny human now, with most of her features fully developed and in placed in their respective places.
- Her skin is so transparent that you can see her veins and organs through it, since there is no fat beneath her skin at this stage. It is covered by a fine, soft hair known as Lanugo. It protects her skin from the water she is floating in. Her ovaries have already stacked up more than 2 million eggs for future use.
- The kidney and urinary tract are completely functional by now. Earlier she has been swallowing amniotic fluid, now it will be excreted and thrown out of her body.
- Her vocal cords have developed as well. They will serve her well to get all the attention she wants after birth.
- Her eyelids have fused together to allow unhindered maturation of eyes. They are not going to close often after birth, keeping you awake for night after night.
- The connections required by her brain to send messages to muscles and nerves have all formed by now. Hence, your baby is able to move freely and use her muscles to push and pull herself into various positions. Soon you will be feeling her kick around in your abdomen
- The proportions are still out of place, but she is getting that in order as well. Her body is growing at an amazing speed to catch up with her head which is 1/3rd of her body size now. The head is no more the largest part of her body.
- Your baby can yawn and hiccup at this stage. The sucking action will come later, though she may put her thumb in her mouth now. Great going baby girl!
[ Read: Why Do Babies Get Hiccups in Womb ]
Size Of Your Baby:
By your thirteenth week of pregnancy, your baby is more or less t 3 inches (approx 7.5 cm) long which is the size of a regular peach and she weighs 1¼ ounces (approx 35 gm).
Care & Tips:
- You may have heard the saying often, “Eat for two when you are pregnant”. This is not true. If you eat for two, it will remain with you even after childbirth. Most women blame pregnancy for their loss of shape, when actually it is easy to get back to shape if she follows the rules properly.
- You should see to it that you do not gain more than 10-12 kg of weight during the whole term of your pregnancy. It is nutrients in the diet that is important, not the quantity of food. Do not lose track of your weight during pregnancy, as it will tough for you to shed it off after childbirth. You will be very busy nursing, caring and enjoying your time with your baby then.
- Get enough protein for you and your baby. You will need at least 71 grams a day. Include lean meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts, beans, and soy products like tofu, in your diet because they are rich in protein.
- Stuff your purse and bedside table with lot of tissues. You may have needed them earlier for those emotional weirdness, but now you will need them for occasional congestion and nose bleeds. Blocked ears can also cause due to the increased blood supply to your mucous membranes.
[ Read: Pregnancy Calendar ]
Tips For Dad-To-Be:
Since you have nothing much to do about carrying the baby or nourishing it, give all your love and attention to the woman who is doing it. She deserves it, doesn’t she? Another important thing for you to do is to accompany your partner when she has her routine medical checkups. She may not know everything about your family history, which is important to calculate the risk of genetic abnormalities in the fetus. Your presence will help in giving proper information to the doctor. Good luck with your journey into the second trimester. Be happy and continue with your wait for your baby to arrive. Do check out our other week-by-week pregnancy articles at our site, to keep yourself updated about this wonderful process. Do share your13 weeks pregnant experiences with us in the comment section given below.
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