Pregnancy: Weeks 13 to 16
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Your baby is about the size of an orange this month...and growing quickly! Check out what's happening during weeks thirteen through sixteen.
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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You fetus will try to suck its thumb for the very first time during week 13 of pregnancy. Check out this video to find out more.
Transcript: Your little one is now probably able to put that teeny thumb in his or her mouth this week! Although...
Your little one is now probably able to put that teeny thumb in his or her mouth this week! Although those sucking muscles won't be quite up to the task of doing much with that thumb, your little one will likely take comfort in just having that thumb in his or her mouth. This week, your baby is about three inches long, the size of a clementine. And with this growth, your fetus's large head is finally becoming more proportionate to the size of the rest of the body, Although you still won't know the sex of your child, if you're having a girl, her ovaries will now be home to more than two million eggs! In other news, your baby's most distinctive characteristic-fingerprints-have fully formed on the fingers and toes. Want know what's up with your 14-week-old fetus? Check back in a few days for your next video update!More »
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Did you know that during fetal development week 14, your baby is roughly the size of a peach? Find out what other changes your baby will go through.
Transcript: Your fetus shed that fish-like tail a few weeks ago, but now begins to sprout a coating of downy fur!...
Your fetus shed that fish-like tail a few weeks ago, but now begins to sprout a coating of downy fur! This ultra fine layer of hair, which is called lanugo, will continue to grow throughout the rest of your pregnancy, until it is shed shortly before birth. Meanwhile, your baby's body is growing significantly faster than the head at this point, which sits atop a more prominent neck. This week, that ever growing fetus is about the size of a peach, or 3 1/2 inches long and now weighs about 1 ounces. By now, your baby's arms are proportionate to the body, although the legs still have some growing to do. And while you still can't see them just yet, your baby's genitals have fully formed by this week. In addition, the liver has started to produce bile and the thyroid gland will begin to make thyroid hormones that will regulate metabolism. Wonder what else your little one has in store? Check back next week to get your next video update!More »
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Did you know that the smile that'll bring sunshine into your life is being practiced during fetal development - week 16? Check out what else your baby does in this video.
Transcript: Though you can't see them yet, your little one is busy practicing facial expressions this week! Your...
Though you can't see them yet, your little one is busy practicing facial expressions this week! Your fetus owes this new ability to smile, frown, and squint to facial muscles that have recently developed. And that expressive face is housed in a head that can be held fairly erect by week 16. Meanwhile, your baby's heart is busy pumping, moving about 25 quarts of blood each and every day. Your baby is now about 4 inches long, and weighs 3 ounces. In other words, about the size of an avocado! This development means that your fetus's legs are now almost proportionate to that growing body. In fact, all this growing may mean you'll soon be able to feel a quickening; the faint first movements of your baby! But if your abdomen remains movement-free, don't worry-some women don't feel their baby's first fluttery kicks until week 20. Want to know more? Check back right here for your next video update.More »
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During weeks 1 to 4 of pregnancy, your baby is in its initial stages of development. To learn more about this stage, watch this video.
Transcript: It may seem strange, but it's true: By the time you see that positive result, you've already been pregnant...
It may seem strange, but it's true: By the time you see that positive result, you've already been pregnant for nearly four weeks! It's difficult for doctors to pinpoint the EXACT moment when sperm meets egg. So to keep things consistent, most consider the start date of your 40-week pregnancy to be the first day of your last period. For the first two weeks before your egg is fertilized, your body is training itself for your pregnancy...even if you don't plan to have a baby! During this time, your uterus sheds its lining and your body releases estrogen, which promotes the growth a new one. You also release a hormone called LH, encouraging your ovaries to release an egg 24 to 36 hours later. Once your egg is released, you have a 7 to 10 day window to conceive. If a sperm meets the egg during this time, you will be "officially" pregnant. The fertilized egg will spend the next two weeks making its way down your fallopian tubes into your uterus. There, it will burrow into the uterine wall to make its home for the next nine months. By the end of the first month, your baby will be about the size of a poppy seed. But don't let that tiny size fool you...That baby has already made significant strides! He or she...yes, sex has already been genetically determined!...has developed specialized cells, which will become bones, organs, muscles, hair, and skin. Your baby is also forming its placenta, which is the organ that provides food and oxygen, as well as its amniotic sac, which are thin membranes filled with fluid to cushion your baby. Expect to feel pretty normal those first two weeks after conception, as your body continues its usual cycle. After your egg is fertilized, you may experience typical PMS symptoms, such as mood swings, bloating, and cramping, although some women don't even notice this. During week four, some women experience very light bleeding as the egg burrows into the uterine wall. This can be completely normal, and may not be an indication that something is wrong. Because the changes during month one are so miniscule, it's unlikely you'll know you're pregnant before seeing that positive test. But if you're trying, it's never too early to ACT like you're pregnant! That means eating nutritious foods and exercising moderately. It also can't hurt to start taking a prenatal vitamin, since the folic acid in it may help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. At the same time, restrict your alcohol intake and avoid smoking and other potentially harmful activities. As soon as you know you're pregnant, it's time to make that initial appointment with an obstetrician-gynecologist. He or she will guide you through the following months and help to ensure your healthiest child!More »
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Morning sickness? Unfortunately! This video shows you what to expect during month two of your pregnancy.
Transcript: Even if you havent taken a pregnancy test yet, youll still have some confirmation of your condition this...
Even if you havent taken a pregnancy test yet, youll still have some confirmation of your condition this monthin the form of a missed period. But if youre pregnant, a missed period means there is plenty going on inside your body! At this time, youre producing estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones at record levels to help your baby grow. By the end of month two, your baby will be as big as a raspberry, which is 10,000 times bigger than it was at conception! This month brings continued growth spurts for your baby-to-be. Your baby is getting smarter, as well. By the end of month two, he or she is generating roughly 100 new brain cells every minute! That tiny heart is already completely formed, too, and is hard at work pumping blood to other developing organs. Arm and leg buds are now growing into full-fledged limbs, while fingers and toes are separating into individual digits. All that growth is great for your baby, but its bound to leave YOU feeling exhausted. And youre probably having some trouble sleeping, due to pregnancys infamous side-effects. As your uterus expands, it puts more pressure on your bladder. The result? Youll need to urinate more frequently. Nearly 75 percent of pregnant women also experience morning sickness. Despite its name, though, this queasiness and vomiting can strike at any time of day. These symptoms are unpleasant, but dont worry: Theyll become less frequent during your second trimester! Despite morning sickness, youll probably begin experiencing food cravings. Pickles and Jell-O? Bring it on! You may also find yourself desiring foods you dont usually like. Fulfilling these cravings (within reason, of course!) will help you gain the two to five pounds you need during your first trimester. By far the most noticeable changes this month are happening with your breasts, which are getting ready to feed your baby. They may have grown a full cup size by now! Your nipples and the surrounding area will be darker, and will stick out a bit more. Your breasts will also become extremely tender to the touch, so go easy on them! At your first visit with your ob-gyn this month, your doctor will conduct a full diagnostic workup on both your blood and urine. Your vagina will be examined, and a Pap smear may be taken. Your doctor will also test you for genetic abnormalities that could affect your child, such as sickle-cell anemia or Tay-Sachs disease. Are you ready for the big news? This visit is also the first time youll see your babys heartbeat, as the doctor confirms your pregnancy with an ultrasound. Remember to take care of yourself during month number two of your pregnancyand every month thereafter! Your healthy baby is worth the work (and the wait).More »
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During weeks 9 to 12 of pregnancy your little one will grow rapidly. Find out how your baby will grow in this video.
Transcript: If you've felt like you're asleep on your feet during the past three months, it's little wonder. Your...
If you've felt like you're asleep on your feet during the past three months, it's little wonder. Your rapidly growing baby has just made the progression from embryo to fetus! That means that your little guy or gal is just that...His or her genitals are beginning to show definitive signs of male or female gender. And your baby is bigger, as well. It's grown to about two and a half inches, or the length of a plum. Although that may sound small, it represents a doubling in size during this month alone! During this period, your baby will begin to move his or her arms and legs, but you won't feel these butterfly movements yet. You'll have to wait another two months or so for that! Bones and cartilage are forming inside your baby, and knees, ankles, and elbows are present now. In addition, teeth are developing under your child's gums, although they won't make an appearance until after birth. Guess what else? Your baby is producing urine, digestive juices, white blood cells, hormones and, if it's a boy, testosterone! During the last week of month three, your baby's body systems are almost completely formed. At this point, he or she will enter the maintenance phase, during which all of these systems will continue to mature and grow. While your baby is having a grand time growing, you're probably feeling the sleepy effects. That "drag-your-feet" feeling is a normal and frequent symptom of early pregnancy. The reason is simple: Growing a baby is hard work! While your metabolism and hormone levels have increased, your blood sugar and blood pressure have dropped...leaving you feeling like you ran a marathon. In addition, some of pregnancy's more awkward side effects are probably starting to show: Burping and passing gas. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles in your digestive tract, allowing more time for nutrients to be absorbed. This slowed digestion is great for your baby, but may leave YOU feeling bloated and gassy. You may also experience bouts of dizziness, also due to progesterone. The hormone increases the blood flow to your baby, but slows the return of blood to you. This can lead to that light-headed feeling. You can often lessen dizziness by sitting with your head lowered between your knees while taking deep breaths. Once the feeling passes, have something to eat or drink. While dizziness and gassiness are no fun, you'll be happy to hear that the nausea, constant urination, and breast-tenderness that were with you in the beginning will usually start to abate by the end of month three. And you may have started to notice a slight rounding of your lower abdomen. After all, your uterus has now reached the size of a grapefruit and is rising up from the pelvis into this area! Congratulations! You've almost completed your first trimester. Your baby is now a fetus and you have 28 more weeks to grow and change together!More »
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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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By weeks 25 to 28 of pregnancy, your baby will likely be able to hear and see. Check out this video to learn more about this stage of pregnancy.
Transcript: As you near the end of your second trimester, you're probably unlikely to call your condition "comfortable!"...
As you near the end of your second trimester, you're probably unlikely to call your condition "comfortable!" But you can be proud of your baby's progress in this month. He or she is really growing now! By the end of your 28th week, your baby will weight in at around two and a half pounds, with a length of about 16 inches. Your baby is starting to develop blood vessels in the lungs, bringing them even closer to working on their own. In addition, the nostrils are opening, allowing him or her to practice breathing. Your baby's eyes, which have been closed up to this point, will open this month, so he or she will be even more sensitive to light than before. In addition, your previously transparent baby is turning pinker. This happens as his or her tiny capillaries begin to fill with blood. While your baby has had the capacity to hear muffled sounds for some time, stronger nerves leading to the ear and advanced brain-wave activity are now developing. That means that your baby may be able to hear and respond to your voice! So try reading and talking to your tummy this month. What else is going on in there? When not practicing for life outside your body, your baby is sleeping. And brain wave scans show that he or she is experiencing dreams. Aside from that protruding navel...which occurs when your uterus swells enough to push your abdomen forward...what else will you notice during your seventh month? As unpleasant as it may be, if you're like more than half of pregnant women, you're experiencing an embarrassing pregnancy symptom on the backside: hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids, which are really varicose veins in your rectal wall, can cause itching and pain, especially during a bowel movement. They occur as increased blood flow to the pelvic area causes swelling. For hemorrhoid relief, increase your fluid and fiber intake to ensure that you don't become constipated. Over-the-counter hemorrhoidal creams or a witch hazel compress may also help. As you enter your third trimester at this month's end, you will probably notice an increase in edema, or swelling, to your hands, feet, and ankles. Another unpleasant symptom that some women notice this month is sciatica, a sharp pain that radiates from the buttocks to the legs. Sciatica pain may occur as your fetus grows and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve in your spine. Gentle stretching exercises, physical therapy, or massage may ease the pain. Two trimesters down...one to go! Before you know it, your baby will be in your arms and annoying symptoms, from swelling to sciatica, will be a distant memory.More »
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Is it hard for you to go to sleep as you move into the last quarter of your pregnancy. Don’t worry, these symptoms are quite common in pregnancy weeks 33 to 36. Watch this video and learn more.
Transcript: You would do anything to get some sleep, but your little passenger isn't making that easy. Up to 70%...
You would do anything to get some sleep, but your little passenger isn't making that easy. Up to 70% of pregnant women experience third trimester insomnia. Now that you've reached month 9, you're probably ready to burst. By the end of week 36, your no-longer-little baby will weight about 6lbs and measure 20'' or more in length. Expect weight to continue to increase, but your baby doesn't have room to get much longer. These days, your fetus is acting more like a baby, closing his or her eyes while asleep and opening them while awake. Your baby has also finally developed his or her own immune system, a must for those upcoming days on the playground. And if your baby is a he, he'll reach an important milestone this month: his testicles should be dropping from abdomen to scrotum. Now that your baby's bodily systems are close to fully mature, he or she will focus on expansion, both in weight and in brain power. It's interesting that both the head that houses that brain and the bones that hold that weight are still quite soft. This is so your baby can push easily out of your birth canal. Thinking about that impending birth, not to mention dealing with heartburn, leg cramps, and a gigantic belly may be keeping you up at night. Third trimester insomnia is very common. Try to avoid exercise too close to bedtime. It can also help to enjoy a banana or glass of milk in the evening, because both contain sleep-enhancing hormones. Remember in the beginning of your pregnancy, when you couldn't stop going to the bathroom? You're probably experiencing the same need to urinate constantly once again. Because your baby's head is now pressing squarely against your bladder, this is very normal. One place you could use some extra moisture, is your eyes, as they may suddenly become dry and uncomfortable. You can blame those pregnancy hormones for this irritation which is due to a decrease in tear production. But take heart, the finish line is in sight and soon you'll be holding that little boy or girl in your arms.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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Week 21 of your pregnancy will see a number of exciting changes in your baby. Check out this video and find out about the changes your baby will go through.
Transcript: Your fetus still relies on you for most things, but this week, your baby will start to learn a whole...
Your fetus still relies on you for most things, but this week, your baby will start to learn a whole new lesson in self-reliance. Although your baby still gets most of his or her nourishment directly from you via the placenta, your little one's intestines have further developed, and your baby will begin absorbing small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid. During week 21, your ever-growing fetus weighs about of a pound and is comparable to a carrot's ten and a half inches in length. If you're having a little girl, her vaginal canal will start to form this week. And no matter your fetus's sex, his or her bone marrow spaces are now developed enough to start making red blood cells. Previously, this was done by your baby's liver and spleen, but both of these organs will retire red blood cell production in the coming weeks. Phew! If you think this week was interesting, check back to see the surprises that wait in week 22!More »
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During week 22 of fetal development, your baby will start sucking on its thumb. Check out this video for more information about this developmental stage.
Transcript: This week your fetus will begin to discover its sense of touch. Because your baby's brain and nerve...
This week your fetus will begin to discover its sense of touch. Because your baby's brain and nerve endings are almost fully formed, he or she will begin experimenting with this newfound sense! As such, an ultrasound may show your baby stroking his face, sucking her thumb, or feeling other body parts. And now that your fetus has officially hit the one pound, 11-inch mark, he'll really start to look like a person this week. Of course, he's still covered with that downy coating of lanugo, and he also sports deep wrinkles of skin on his body. But don't worry: Before your fetus is ready to be born, he'll shed that fur and will also fill in the wrinkles with oh-so-pinchable baby fat! In other developments, a baby girl's vagina is almost fully formed now, while a boy's testes will begin to descend this week. And deep within your baby's belly, the pancreas continues to grow and get ready to produce vital hormones. Want to know more? Check back right here for your weekly fetal development update!More »
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