Welcome to week 14. 26 weeks to go!
This week your little lemon is now about the size of a peach. From this week forward, your baby’s length is measured from crown to heel instead of the crown to rump. Your baby measures almost 5.8 inches (14.7 cm) long and weighs 3.3 ounces (93 grams).
Your baby’s movements are more coordinated than their earlier jerky movements. Their neck is getting longer, hair may be starting to grow, and eyebrows are coming in. A thin, down-like hair called lanugo covers your baby’s entire body. This will help keep them warm until they build up more fat.
Other developments this week are that your baby now has facial expressions like squinting or grimacing. This is thanks to brain impulses that allow their facial muscles to move. Their kidneys produce urine, which they release into the amniotic fluid around them.
The top of your uterus is a bit above your pubic bone, which is probably enough to push your tummy out. Starting to show is nice because you get to see that, yes, you are growing a tiny human. If you have managed to avoid maternity clothes up until this point, it is probably time to put some clothes in the back of your closet and add some comfortable maternity clothes. It is not worth it to be uncomfortable in clothes that do not fit right. Keep in mind that maternity clothes do not have to cost a fortune. Ask friends who have had babies if they have any maternity clothes. You can also check out some big box stores or compare prices online. Realistically you only need to wear this stuff for a short period, so don’t stress about not wanting to make a significant financial commitment to a new closet.
Now is an excellent time to think about changing your care provider if you are not feeling supported. If you want to move your care to another provider, the earlier, the better. Check out this episode for more information on choosing or changing your doctor or midwife.
Next week opens the window for additional prenatal tests. You may feel like you are continually waiting for the result of some test to return to assure you that your baby is healthy. Most tests are routine, and you have a high probability of results coming back normal. Remember, a screening test gives you the likelihood of a condition and may signal that additional testing is needed. You don’t know anything for sure until you have a diagnostic test. All tests vary in their accuracy. Please discuss your testing options, results, or questions with your doctor or midwife. Check out Your Guide to Prenatal Testing for more information.
The quad screen is a maternal blood screening test that looks at proteins or hormones that can indicate your baby’s risk of trisomy 21, trisomy 18, spina bifida, and abdominal wall defects. The optimal time frame for this test is between 16 and 18 weeks, but the window is between 15 and 22 weeks. The quad screen is slightly less accurate than the first-trimester screen. An integrated screening test combines results from a quad screen test in the second trimester with the first-trimester screen. Combining results from both tests has a higher detection rate for Down syndrome than either of the two tests alone.
An amniocentesis is a diagnostic test for chromosome abnormalities, neural tube defects, and genetic disorders. Your care provider will only offer this test if a screening test indicates your baby is at high risk for one of these conditions. The test is available between 15 and 20 weeks. An ultrasound-guided needle is inserted through your belly to the amniotic sac to collect a sample of amniotic fluid. Like a first trimester CVS, an amniocentesis has a high level of accuracy at greater than 99%. This is an invasive diagnostic test that does pose potential risks. A systematic review and meta-analysis found the miscarriage rate to be 0.11%.
Tip for Dads and Partners
Take your significant other shopping for a new top or a pair of jeans. If shopping is not your thing, suggest that they go with a friend and buy something that is comfy and will fit their growing bump. They don’t need to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but it can be frustrating when suddenly none of your clothes fit. Don’t give your partner a hard time about new clothing purchases; make sure you tell them you like the new outfits.
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