You are 14 weeks pregnant or in your 15th week of pregnancy (counting from the first day of your Last Menstrual Period).
Keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. For variations and details, please talk to your doctor.
What’s happening to the baby?
- The baby’s bones are beginning to harden. The baby's skeleton is developing too.
- The baby’s external genitals will have formed and it is scientifically possible to determine your baby’s gender (of course in practice it is not possible since it is illegal to determine the baby’s gender in India).
- Your baby’s eyes and ears are maturing. But your baby still cannot hear because the hearing capacity in the brain is still developing.
- Babies start hiccupping before breathing and it is possible that your baby might start hiccupping now.
- Baby is also starting to move a lot.
- Your baby is about 9 centimetres long (Crown to rump length) and weighs about 45 grams.
What’s happening to mom?
- Your breasts will become large and swollen. You will notice many blue veins in your breasts. This is because of the increased blood supply supporting the function of milk production in your breasts. In fact, many moms might notice their breasts oozing colostrum when pressed. Colostrum is a thick yellowish secretion that precedes the coming of milk once the baby is born. Even though the quantity of colostrum is limited, it is supposed to be packed with essential nutrients for the baby. Even though you are months away from your baby, your body has started preparing for the baby.
- Many women might notice a thin white vaginal discharge called leukorrhea. This is normal and brought about my hormonal changes. Keep yourself clean and if it is uncomfortable, use a sanitary napkin. But if the discharge is yellowish/green or foul smelling or causes redness and itchiness, call your doctor because it could be a sign of urinary infection.
- You might already have started noticing stretch marks. Depending on the colour of your skin, these could be pink, red or brown thin lines mainly in your abdomen. The skin stretches to accommodate the growing weight.
Checklist for mom
- Take stock of your doctor’s visits and tests and ensure that they are in your calendar.
- If you have not already, talk to your doctor and schedule the Maternal Serum Marker test or AFP that all women need to take. This is a blood test that is taken between the 15th to 18th weeks and screens for Down syndrome or other birth defects. If the test shows abnormal results, then it does not mean that the baby has birth defects. It just requires further detailed diagnostic tests like amniocentesis.
- If you are above 35, and have a history of birth defects in your family, then your doctor might want you to take the amniocentesis test anyway, even without waiting for the results of the AFP test. Amniocentesis is the definitive diagnosis for Down syndrome and other birth defects and can be taken from 15th to 18th weeks. Discuss this with your doctor and spouse. This test is more intrusive and involves a specialist taking a sample of your amniotic fluid with a syringe.
- Refresh your knowledge on what’s safe and what’s not during a pregnancy.
- 10-14 kilograms is the recommended weight gain during pregnancy for Indian mothers, with 1.5 - 2 kilograms per month in the second trimester. Remember, the extra energy that is required is only 300 kcal/day and any consumption above this will only add empty calories and weight to the mother. The usual Indian advice is to eat for you and for the little growing baby and not necessarily for two adults. Focus on nutrition and not the quantity of food.
Ideas for dad
- If your wife is above 35, or if you or your wife have a history of birth defects in your family, then your doctor might want her to take the amniocentesis test which is the definitive diagnosis for Down syndrome and other birth defects. Discuss this with your wife and the doctor. This test is more intrusive and involves a specialist taking a sample of your amniotic fluid with a syringe.
- Continue to be supportive of mom in domestic and other errands. Remember that you are a team in this “project baby” and in general in life.
- You might feel overwhelmed with all the doctor’s visits, tests, maternity shopping and future baby shopping. Relax and take one thing at a time. Making a list focusing on the important things will really help. Remember that your health and wellbeing are the most important right now.
- Is it safe to carry heavy loads? It is not safe to carry very heavy loads (like heavy furniture, an older child etc.) any time during pregnancy. Even if you have a low-risk pregnancy, you need to be careful carrying everyday objects like (a toddler, shopping bags) during your delicate first trimester because of the risk of miscarriage. But later it might be okay for you to carry everyday loads. The risk is not just to your baby but also your back. So here is how you can be careful not to harm your back:
- Do not bend suddenly
- Bend from your knees instead of your hips for picking up.
- Use your thigh muscles instead of your back muscles to get your power.
Useful Parentree articles for this stage of pregnancy