You’re 13 weeks pregnant and it’s the end of the world as you know it! In other words, you’ve finally reached the end of the first trimester, and everything will change.
Not only will your baby’s growth kick into high gear, but your physical symptoms will be very different from the first trimester. For most women, pregnancy week 13 is a breeze. So sit back, relax, and read this quick guide with everything you need to know about week 13 pregnancy.
13 weeks pregnant: Twist and shout!
At 13 weeks pregnant, your little one is practically an acrobat inside your uterus! He’s flipping, rolling, stretching, kicking, and punching; luckily for you, you still can’t feel any of this, as your baby still has lots of room to move around. Here are some common characteristics of a foetus in women who are 13 weeks pregnant:
- The body size is finally catching up with the head
- He’s between 2.5 and 3 inches long, or the size of a small peach
- He’s covered in a thin layer of special hair called lanugo, which typically is shed off around the time of birth
- The bones continue to harden
- He can furrow his brow and move his face muscles, but his eyes are still fused closed
- He has his own fingerprints
- He’s so flexible that he can even begin putting his thumb in his mouth
- The vocal cords are usually fully developed
- The placenta continues growing
You should also know that during week 13, pregnancy stops being quite so predictable. This means that, while every baby will ultimately follow the same path of development, every foetus will do this in its own way. Height and weight measurements will now be much more diverse than before, as will movements and other physical characteristics. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to check up on your little guy again at the next ultrasound.
13 weeks pregnant: Finally starting to show!
At 13 weeks pregnant, the majority of women are feeling significantly better than they did throughout the first trimester, typically because nausea and fatigue are gone. Many couples decide to make announcements at this point because the risk of miscarriage is very low after week 13. It’s also uplifting to finally see the beginnings of a baby bump! (If you can’t see yours yet, don’t worry, it’s coming! This happens at a different time for all women.) But although you’re probably having a better appetite and feeling more energetic, there are still some unpleasant symptoms that you may be experiencing during pregnancy week 13:
- Excess vaginal discharge
- Extreme changes in sex drive (While some women celebrate because they are finally in the mood again, others suffer from lack of libido at this point. It is different for everyone.)
- Veins on your tummy can become more visible because you are supplying a lot more blood to your baby
- Dizziness, which is also a side effect of more blood going to the baby
- Breast could have already begun producing colostrum, the special liquid that will feed your baby for the first few days before regular breast milk comes
13 weeks pregnant: Make sure everything is A-Okay!
By 13 weeks pregnant, you’ve already met with your doctor at least twice. You’ve had your booking appointment and your first ultrasound, and you know your due date. Since your little one is mostly formed – and will just be getting bigger and stronger from this point forward – most of your antenatal appointments from now on will be to keep track of his growth and to look for any abnormalities.
Between 11 weeks pregnant plus 2 days and 14 weeks pregnant plus 1 day, you may have a combined test. You can read more about it, as well as the nuchal translucency scan, in the 11 weeks pregnant article. Not every expecting mum will have this test; it’s typically only ordered if the doctor has some reason to worry about genetic abnormalities, especially Down Syndrome. If everything looks alright, you may not see your doctor until your next antenatal appointment at 16 weeks pregnant.
For many women, pregnancy week 13 is characterized by ravenous hunger! As the phrase goes, you’re now “eating for two”, although that doesn't mean you have to eat twice as much! Be careful with those pregnancy cravings because they’re probably trying to tell you something. If you want to reach for the Cheetos, is your body saying that it really wants some extra calcium? Try having a glass of milk or a yogurt instead.
The most important thing to keep in mind during pregnancy is staying healthy and providing your growing baby with all the nutrients he needs. You should really only be eating about 300 extra calories each day, with lots of iron, calcium, and protein to help your little one grow big and strong!
Congratulations on making it through the first trimester, Mum! By 13 weeks pregnant, you’ve already built an entire person…albeit, a very, very small person. Now you get to sit back and watch your tummy grow as your little one matures and develops until his birth! But don’t forget to check in with your doctor for all of your prenatal appointments!