All About Baby

Week 13 marks a milestone for your baby-to-be. Developmentally speaking she’s no longer an embryo, but a fetus. She’s looking — and acting — more and more like a baby every day. She appears to be resting because her eyelids have formed and are fused together, but her arms and legs move and twitch (although you probably can’t feel it … yet). She can suck her thumb, too.

Your baby is about the size of a egg! She’s growing heavier at around 0.5 to 0.8 ounces and is getting longer at about 3 inches long (crown to rump).

All About You

Hooray! Your morning sickness should be starting to subside, and miscarriage is less of a risk. Your second trimester will bring both relief and reality. Yes, you’re really having a baby! Now that the high-risk period is over, you probably have some pregnancy announcements to make. That is, if you’ve been able to keep the big news a secret.  And if there’s a big brother or sister in the house, now is the time to let siblings know that a baby is on the way.

Time to celebrate! You’ve almost survived your first trimester. Some of your aches and pains may finally be disappearing. You may notice that in place of nausea you’re feeling hungry — notorious pregnancy cravings often begin now. As your uterus continues to expand, chances are you’re having some troubles with heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence, as well.

A Reason to Celebrate

Many women find the upcoming second trimester of their pregnancies the most enjoyable, as nuisances such as nausea give way to attractive baby bumps and enviable pregnancy glow.

Here are a few reasons why you’re feeling so good:

  • Disappearing nausea: Although it’s not uncommon for morning sickness to linger into the second trimester, your sick days are probably coming to an end. The reason why? Your body has become accustomed to the increased hormones propelling you into baby-mode.
  • Increased appetite: Now that your nausea is on the way out, it’s time to enjoy food again. You may notice that your appetite grows along with your baby-to-be. Bring on the ice cream and pickles!
  • Growing baby bump: Your body’s changing inside and out to accommodate your developing baby. Your internal organs shift positions to make room for an expanding uterus, and your skin stretches to allow your bump to grow outward. You’re finally not just feeling pregnant — you’re looking pregnant, too! “Showing” is probably a relief. People are more likely to hold the door open for you, pass on a sympathetic smile, and even let you cut in line at the grocery store.
  • Lessening breast tenderness: Your breasts went through a big growth spurt during your first trimester that may have left them sore and uncomfortable. They most likely will not increase in size during the second trimester (but they may fill out more); you may notice some “starter” milk or colostrum leaking out of your nipples later in the second trimester as your body readies for baby.

While some pregnancy symptoms fade with time, others don’t. You’ll still need to take plenty of trips to the bathroom as your growing baby-to-be puts pressure on your bladder. You’re also going to continue to feel tired — unfortunately that’s a constant during pregnancy — but your baby bump is still small enough that you should be able to rest comfortably. So give yourself a break and relax!

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Q & A

Got questions about Week 13? Other women have asked this…

Q: My husband is afraid he might hurt the baby if we have sex. Is this true?

This is a fairly universal concern that most fathers-to-be have on their minds. As far as hurting the baby, worry not: The baby is well protected by the uterine wall, the amniotic fluid, and the amniotic sac. The opening to the uterus, the cervix, is also closed and has a mucus plug to protect the uterus and your baby. Read more about sex during pregnancy concerns.

Q: What kind of vaginal discharge is normal?

Most of the time vaginal discharge is normal. The combination of increased blood flow to this area and increased estrogen will cause an increase in whitish mucousy discharge, also known as leukorrhea. Leukorrhea is what many women experience even when they are not pregnant at different times in their cycles. Read more about vaginal discharge during pregnancy.

Q: Is it safe for a pregnant woman to use a laptop directly on her lap?

Laptops have become such a fixture in our work and personal lives, the thought of not being able to use it safely … well, it might be like telling a mom-to-be that she can’t drive a car! Luckily, a laptop is safe to use in pregnancy. Some laptops can get warmer than others, but the heat should not cause a problem for your baby, nor should any fear of radiation. Read more about using a laptop during pregnancy.

Your Partner

The Guiding Principles of Parenting

The upcoming second trimester is a good time for you and your partner to talk about what kind of parents you want to be. There is no question that being a parent is the hardest, most important, and most rewarding job you’ll ever have. So, how best to prepare for your new role?

One of the best ways to get ready is to create guiding principles of parenting. These are the points that you and your partner believe are most important in raising a child. You probably have some ideas already. Things like unconditional love, positive reinforcement, morals and values, education, manners, and so on, may already be part of your own principles.

To establish personal guiding principles of parenting, think about the kind of person you want your child to be at age 25 or 30. Once you have this picture in your mind, begin to work backwards to determine what principles will help you guide your child throughout his or her life. You and your partner may need a series of discussions to develop these guidelines, but having a set of agreed upon principles will achieve two extremely important things: It will help you both be on the same page when it comes to parenting, and it will provide you with a framework for managing difficult everyday situations.

As with any job, especially one involving a team, a game plan for meeting your goals is essential. Now is a great time to develop that plan for you, your partner, and your child.