Understanding your pregnancy: Week 13

Understanding your pregnancy: Week 13

A quick snapshot

By the time you are 13 weeks pregnant, you are rapidly closing in on the end of your first trimester. Hopefully, you are feeling a little better and are starting to think that pregnancy isn't so bad after all.

You've probably had at least 1 prenatal check-up and heard your baby's heartbeat by now. You may have even had an ultrasound. For women who have felt ambivalent about conceiving or found the news of their pregnancy a shock, this first ultrasound can be almost life changing. It brings the reality of the baby into sharp focus and gives a visual reminder that life as they've known it is about to change.

What’s changing in your body

  • That sluggish feeling in your bowel is still an unwelcome guest. Fibre, water, exercise, fresh juices especially orange and prune juice, as well as cereals with grains and wholemeal all help to relieve constipation. Stick with food and fluid-based remedies rather than medication, no matter how "natural" they claim to be.
  • Your uterus is the size of a grapefruit and just as full. You may be more conscious of the feeling of heaviness when you sit down or at the end of the day.
  • You may be looking a bit different around the tummy. More rounded with a less of a waist and a bit of a pot around your navel. Not so much that you need to revolutionise your wardrobe quite yet but just a bit softer in some way.
  • If you are still feeling nauseous, you may find that eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is better than restricting yourself to the standard 3. Try not to wait too long before you eat and aim to keep your blood sugar at a steady level. There is research to support the fact that women who are pregnant with a boy tend to eat more than if they are carrying a girl.

How your emotions are affected

  • Lots of pregnant women feel they've settled into the idea of being pregnant by week 13. The size of their tummy isn't restricting them from usual physical movement and that dreaded rush to the toilet has settled, for a while at least. You may find yourself feeling a bit more calm and serene this week, more accepting and going with the flow.
  • If you are feeling more energetic, think about nurturing your relationship with your partner. You may have been spending more time facing the toilet bowl than him lately. Take the time to have some fun together and try to talk about something other than how you've been feeling. He needs to be listened to as well.
  • Your breasts may seem to have taken over your chest by now, which means they are bringing you some unwanted attention. Trying to hide them under loose fitting tops is only partially effective. It is a fact of pregnancy that a woman's breasts need to prepare for breastfeeding and change their usual appearance to lactate effectively. Get used to the glances.

How your baby is growing

First Trimester: Week 1314

  • Your baby is the size of a ripe peach and probably just as fuzzy. The fine hair that covers the surface of your baby's body protects their skin while they are floating around in all that fluid.
  • Your baby is preparing their vocal chords and the connections between their brain, muscles and nerves have all formed by now. They are able to move freely and use their muscles to push and pull themselves into various positions.

Tips for the week

  • Start carrying around some tissues and make sure you've got plenty on hand. Nasal congestion can start from week 13. Nose bleeds and blocked ears can also be a common symptom. These are all due to the increased blood supply to your mucous membranes.
  • Avoid thinking you are now able to eat for 2. Remember, it is the quality rather than the quantity of food. Find out what eating for 2 really means.
  • Start looking for maternity clothes.