Your pregnancy at week 13

Welcome to your week 13 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.

Your Baby

Baby continues her growth spurt. She is 7.4cm long from crown to rump and weighs 23 grams. Baby’s head is still about half the size of her her length but her  but from this point, baby’s body starts growing to catch up with that big head. Baby is likely to be around 7cm to 9cm, weighs 23 grams, and is enjoying sloshing around in 100mls or so of amniotic fluid.

Her nose and chin are now well-defined and bones like the ribs are forming. Baby’s hands can now start wandering and studies have shown babies like to explore and touch their own face. Some babies suck their thumb in the womb, and others just make a sucking action with their mouth. Your baby now has a gag reflex, too. Your baby can move in a jerky fashion, flexing the arms and kicking the legs. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won’t be able to feel it just yet.

The first three months from conception were period of rapid development, and the ensuing three months will be a period of rapid growth for your baby. Her skin is paper-thin and rather see-through, and if you could see her inside you, you could even get a glimpse through her skin of her functioning and still-developing organs.

Baby’s sense of taste and smell are more developed and her intestines will emerge from the umbilical cord and shift into her stomach cavity. Her intestines won’t be in their proper place for a few more weeks, but they are getting there! When they do move into the correct position, they will remain fairly empty until the end of the pregnancy. Fluid will flow through her system and be filtered through the kidneys and bladder as urine.

Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.

The Mum Update

Your uterus has grown quite a bit. You can probably feel its upper edge above the pubic bone in the lowest part of your abdomen, about 10cm below your belly button. At 12 – 13 weeks, your uterus fills your pelvis and starts growing upwards into your abdomen. It feels like a soft smooth ball.

You have probably gained some weight by now. If morning sickness has been a problem and you have had a hard time eating, you may not have gained much weight. As you feel better and as your baby rapidly starts to gain weight, you’ll also gain weight.

Having pains in your abdomen this week may be common. Your abdomen will begin expanding, and when it does, the muscles, tissues and ligaments need to stretch too. This stretching may occur quickly and cause you some pain, especially if this is your first pregnancy. To prevent sharp pains across your lower belly, move more slowly and reduce your physical activity until they have stretched comfortably. You should avoid sit-ups during exercise for the duration of your pregnancy.

You may find your vaginal discharge increases with pregnancy. This is partly due to an increase in estrogen production and greater blood flow to the vaginal area. Wearing panty liners may help to make you feel more comfortable.

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