You are in the 13th week of your pregnancy. There are only a few days left for you to enter your second trimester. You may not have started to wear your maternity clothes yet, but you have already replaced your regular clothes with more comfortable ones. Read on to know how your baby is developing, learn what’s happening inside your body, and get tips on how to ensure a healthy pregnancy during the 13th week.
13 Weeks Pregnant
You are in the last few days of your first trimester. As your hormonal levels are evening out, you are starting to feel like yourself once again. Nausea and constant food aversions are beginning to abate. Your energy levels are improving, and so are sexual desires. However, don’t expect a sudden change in pregnancy symptoms. The symptoms go away gradually, and some signs may not go away yet.
1. Decreasing fatigue
You may find your energy levels improving by the end of this week. Channelize your energy into your new workout routine.
Nausea is one of the early pregnancy symptoms that begin to decrease by this time. But for a few women, it may stick around for a few more weeks.
3. Heartburn and indigestion
More than half of all pregnant women develop heartburn. When the muscles on top of the stomach relax, digestive acids rise into the esophagus, causing a burning feeling in the chest. To reduce heartburn, avoid trigger foods like chocolate, mint, citrus, spicy, and fatty foods.
4. Increased sex drive
Your sex drive improves around this time. Enjoy the boost in your libido, and don’t worry as sex during pregnancy is completely safe. Pregnancy sex can also boost your postpartum recovery as it tightens your pelvic floor muscles.
5. Stretch marks
You may be noticing red marks on your belly and your hips. As your skin stretches, these tiny tears appear on your skin. Lotions can help ease the itching on these stretch marks. Staying hydrated also helps.
6. Visible veins
You may notice major veins crisscrossing all over your body. The veins help to carry your increased blood supply to the fetus. Visible veins are more pronounced in fair-skinned women.
Pregnancy hormones may relax your digestive muscles, which makes them less efficient in moving wastes out of the body. Eat food that is high in fiber and stay hydrated to prevent constipation.
8. Increased vaginal discharge
You may notice an increase in thin white vaginal discharge. Known as leucorrhoea, this discharge increases as the pregnancy progresses. It protects your birth canal from infections and maintains a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina.
9. Round ligament pain
Your uterus is growing at this stage. You may experience a sharp pain in your lower abdomen when you shift positions quickly. This pain is known as round ligament pain.
Your body at week 13 of pregnancy
By the end of the 13th week of your pregnancy, your placenta will be fully developed. It will take over the role of making sure that your baby gets enough nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord. It also plays the role of getting rid of waste products and producing the hormones necessary for the rest of your baby’s development.
Your uterus is growing out of your pelvis. At this stage, you might start seeing the beginnings of a baby bump. You will also steadily start gaining weight from this stage onwards. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the weight gain guidelines for pregnant women are as follows –
- If you are underweight with a BMI of less than 18.5, you should gain between 28 to 40 pounds of weight.
- If you have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, you fall under the healthy weight category, and you should gain 25 to 35 pounds.
- If you are overweight with a BMI between 25 to 29.9, you should gain 15 to 25 pounds of weight.
- If you are obese with BMI 30 or more, your total pregnancy weight gain should be between 11 to 20 pounds.
- If you are pregnant with twins, your total pregnancy weight gain should be between 37 to 54 pounds.
Your baby at week 13 of pregnancy
Your baby is 3.75 inches long this week.
- Your baby’s head is one third the size of her body.
- Her skin is delicate, and transparent and fine hair called lanugo has started to cover it.
- She has now developed fingerprints on the tips of her fingers.
- Your baby’s kidneys and her urinary tract are now fully functional.
- Your baby’s eyes continue to develop, and her eyelids are fused shut.
- Her vocal cords are developing now.
- Your baby can move her arms now and can put her thumb in her mouth.
- Your baby’s heartbeat can now be heard with an external Doppler.
- Her muscles and nervous system are maturing.
- Testes or ovaries are fully developed now.
Tips to be followed when you are 13 weeks pregnant
It’s never too late to adopt healthy eating habits. Eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. Fruits that are rich in antioxidants like berries make a great snack.
2. Avoid unhealthy food
Avoid eating fish and other seafood that is high in mercury. You should also avoid eating raw or undercooked seafood and meat. Do not eat raw eggs and unpasteurized cheese. Wash fruits and vegetables properly before you eat them.
Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are vital for the growth and development of your baby’s bones and teeth. It is time to boost the intake of these nutrients.
Dairy, fortified soy milk or almond milk, tofu, broccoli, and bok choy are rich in calcium. Egg yolks, fatty fish, and sardines are good sources of vitamin D. Pumpkin seeds, squash, spinach, avocados, soybeans, and lentils contain magnesium.
4. Stay fit
Now that your energy levels have improved, you must start exercising if you haven’t done so already. Walking, swimming and prenatal yoga are some excellent options. Exercising helps to keep you fit and relieves stress.
5. Start doing kegel exercises
Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These can help in shorter labor and recovery after delivery. Kegel exercises also reduce your chances of bladder issues and other postpartum problems.
6. Inform your boss that you are pregnant
Inform your boss and coworkers about your pregnancy. Find out about your maternity leave rights. You can also ask if your employer offers any additional benefits.
Your pregnancy week 13 doctor’s visit
If you haven’t had your second prenatal visit, you will visit your doctor this week. You can ask your doctor about anything that may be bothering you. During this visit, your doctor will –
- Check your weight and blood pressure
- Take a urine sample
- Talk about other tests if you need them
- Check your baby’s growth and listen to her heartbeat
- Talk about screening tests /or a week 20 ultrasound scan
- Talk to you about whether you need a blood sugar test for gestational diabetes
Tips for the partner
Your partner’s energy levels and appetite are returning. Encourage healthy food choices and offer to exercise with her. Now that the news of the pregnancy is out, you might find your partner discussing it more with her friends than you. You may be feeling left out. Don’t hesitate to bring up the topic and share your feelings with her.
If you are 13 weeks pregnant, then it means that you are in the last week of your first trimester. As your hormonal levels are evening out, your energy levels are up, and you are feeling less nauseous. Your baby is 3.7 inches in length, and her heartbeat can now be heard on an external Doppler.
Eat healthy food that is rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to ensure healthy bones and teeth for your baby. It is now time to inform your boss about your pregnancy and find out about your maternity leave rights.