Pregnancy: Weeks 13 to 16
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In pregnancy weeks 13 to 16, your baby starts to develop senses such as hearing. Watch this video to learn more ways your baby is changing and growing.
Transcript: Thank goodness! Your baby is settling in and getting down to the serious business of growing, so you're...
Thank goodness! Your baby is settling in and getting down to the serious business of growing, so you're probably much more comfortable than you were during the first few months of your pregnancy. Now that you've reached week thirteen (and beyond), your baby will begin to grow at his or her own pace, although all fetuses do follow a similar pattern. During your fourth month, your baby will grow to be up to four and a half inches in length...that's the size of a large orange! Eyebrows, eyelashes, and even some hair...by now, your baby has them all! And it's not limited to your little one's head: Babies in the womb are covered with a downy layer of hair called lanugo, which is mostly for warmth and is usually shed before birth. And maybe it's time to start singing in the shower...your baby's ears have moved from the back of his or her neck to the sides of the head and, because tiny ear bones are now in place, he or she may be able to hear you! Your little one is also developing vocal chords, and his or her backbone and neck are becoming more erect. So, aside from growing, what does your baby do all day? The answer is simple...Practice! He or she will spend the day rehearsing movements, sucking and swallowing...skills that are vital to survival once that baby is ready to leave your womb.While all these changes take place in your baby, you'll probably notice few changes in your body...a break at last! At this time, most women do begin to experience vaginal discharge, which is known as leukorrhea. This milky, odorless or mild-smelling liquid is normal and helps to protect the birth canal from infection. If the discharge is significant, or if it makes you uncomfortable, you can use a panty liner to absorb it...remember NOT to use a tampon! Some mild side-effects you may experience this month include sensitivity or bleeding in your teeth and gums and congestion in your nasal passages. Both of these side effects are due to those pregnancy hormones and should be cared for gently: With a humidifier for the stuffiness and good oral hygiene for your gums. As your uterus grows, its supporting ligaments stretch to accommodate the weight. This can manifest as achy discomfort on one or both sides of your lower abdomen. Rest in a comfortable position when you experience these round ligament pains...relief usually comes fairly quickly. By the end of this month, your little baby is 16 weeks old...and getting less little by the day! Hopefully, you're experiencing a break in symptoms and enjoying the view as your belly expands!More »
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Week 15 of pregnancy is a very exciting time, as you can find out whether you are going to have a baby boy or girl. Learn more through the video.
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During pregnancy weeks 17 to 20, your baby is growing fast and has now developed his or her own fingerprints. Learn more about this stage of pregnancy by watching this video.
Transcript: As you enter the half-way point of your pregnancy, you may notice some mild effects, but considering...
As you enter the half-way point of your pregnancy, you may notice some mild effects, but considering your baby's rapid growth this month, you'd be amazed that you don't feel even more! By the end of your twentieth week, your baby will weigh about 10 ounces and be around six and a half inches long...officially the size of a small cantaloupe! Your little gymnast is now equipped to do cartwheels! Arms and legs that are at last proportionate to the body, combined with new bone growth, give your baby the ability to kick and stretch in your belly. At last, you'll likely experience quickening, which is the ability to feel those fetal movements! During the end of your fifth month, your baby will also begin to develop a protective "coating" called vernix caseosa. This "varnish" is made up of your baby's downy hair, oil and dead skin cells. It may sound a little unappetizing, but the vernix protects your baby's thin skin from the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. Two particularly neat things happen this month: The first is that your little individual will actually develop his or her own unique fingerprints. By week twenty, if you're having a little boy, his testicles will begin to descend. A baby girl's uterus will be fully formed this week, and she'll have developed eggs in her ovaries. All of this development means that if you want to know your baby's sex, an ultrasound exam should be able to tell you what color to paint the nursery! So much rapid growing is hard work, and your baby is hungry. That means that you're probably hungry too, and eating everything in sight! While it's good to eat more when you're pregnant, remember that moderation is key. You don't ACTUALLY get to eat for two, because your baby IS only the size of a cantaloupe! During month five, you're probably also starting to experience pain in your back and cramping in your legs that gets worse at night. Doctors aren't sure exactly where those nighttime leg cramps come from, but the back pain is often caused by a shift in the uterus that pulls your lower back forward. Isn't it about time pregnancy caused a GOOD change in your body? You'll probably have noticed that your hair and nails look great! You can thank your increased circulation for bringing more nutrients to these areas, but, unfortunately, those lustrous locks and long nails will probably disappear once your baby makes his or her debut. By the end of month five you're halfway to your due date. Day-by-day your baby is becoming a real little person and you're doing just great at housing him or her while that happens!More »
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