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14 weeks pregnant

Your baby at 14 weeks

Foetus at 14 weeks pregnant

She is about 9cm long and weighs 43g.

  • Your baby is developing her reproductive system this week. Her ovaries will have all the eggs she will ever make or need, she has around 1 million at birth. If your baby is a boy, his prostate gland with be growing. His testes are still in his abdomen and will stay there for some weeks. They develop inside his abdomen and then travel down into his scrotum, it's a developmental process. A baby girl's ovaries also have to move from her abdomen into her pelvis. The buds between your baby's legs that will become either a penis or clitoris are gradually getting more pronounced.
  • She may be growing some fine eyebrows and developing a bridge on her nose. She will frown or peer at you on an ultrasound scan. The roof of her mouth (the palate) will have fully formed.
  • Her thyroid gland is producing thyroid hormones that are vital for brain development. However, she won't need to rely on her own supplies just yet as she uses your thyroid hormones, which she gets through the placenta, for her development.  
     

Your body at 14 weeks pregnant

  • Your bump You may start to show because your uterus is the size of a small melon. Your jeans may be too snug round the waist – a cue for comfortable elasticated maternity jeans or a switch to leggings. 
  • Goodbye nausea Sadly, not for everyone, but often you feel hungrier than before and the metallic taste - if you had it - starts to fade. 
  • Quit the fags It is stressful being pregnant but that doesn't mean you should stress your foetus by smoking cigarettes that deprive her of oxygen. Sorry if that sounds harsh. This is the week to stop because research in the BMJ shows that if you stop before 15 weeks you cut your risk of having a premature baby or a small baby to that of a non-smoker. How good is that? But there's more. The study of 2,500 women found that those who stopped smoking were no more stressed than those who carried on. If you don't stop, your risk of having a premature baby is three times higher than non-smokers and your baby is twice as likely to be small. 
  • Back pain Your centre of gravity will have shifted now that you have a melon-sized uterus with a foetus in it. The lower part of your back will try to compensate so you don't wobble by leaning backwards and walking with your legs a little apart. Before you realise you'll be waddling down the road. Resist this. 
  • How to prevent back pain during pregnancy

    • Keep a good posture by standing tall with your shoulders back and head up.
    • Wear flat shoes and support the small of your back with a cushion when you sit down.
    • Pelvic tilts can relieve pain – you lie on your back, your knees are bent and you push the curve of your back into the floor, pulling in your lower stomach muscles as you do so. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat as many times as you feel like but not more than 10 at a time.
  • Skin darkening You may notice that some bits of your skin are getting darker, such as your belly button or inner thighs and armpits. Your face may also get darker in places; this is called chloasma, translated as the mask of pregnancy. It affects up to half of women and usually appears on the nose, cheeks and temples. It fades after delivery. Wear sunscreen as the sun makes it worse. You may also find a dark pigmented line down the middle of your abdomen. All this colour is from oestrogen over-stimulating melanocytes, the cells in your skin that produce pigment that darkens the skin. Moles, birthmarks and freckles also get darker.
  • Itchy red palms and soles You can find yourself madly scratching your palms - not a pre-pregnancy activity. This is because oestrogen makes your soles and palms itchy and red. The irritation can be really annoying. 
  • Passing more urine This will be an ongoing theme. The blood flow to your kidneys continues to rise until week 16. Your kidneys manage an impressive 60% higher level of filtration and will do so until the last four weeks of your pregnancy. The tiny tubules in your kidneys that reabsorb all the useful substances that pass through have to work overtime. Sometimes some protein and sugar slip through into the urine when you're pregnant. 

 

 

The Day by Day Pregnancy Book coverIllustrations taken from the bestselling book The Day-by-Day Pregnancy Book, £25, published by DK.

Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.

Last updated: 29-Sep-2014 at 9:57 AM