Baby's Growth and Development at 13 Weeks Pregnant
By your 13th week of pregnancy, your baby's organs, nerves, and muscles have formed and are beginning to work together. It's time to focus on growth!
- This week, your baby is about the length of a plum.
- Eyes and ears are clearly defined. Your baby's eyelids are fused together to protect her still-developing eyes.
- Tissue, which will harden into bone, is developing in your baby's head, arms, and legs. Tiny ribs might be visible.
- She’s already on the move! Your baby might be moving her body in jerky motions as she flexes her arms and kicks her legs, but you won't feel her move for at least several more weeks.
- Vocal chords develop.
- Your baby’s circulatory system helps clear toxins from her body.
- When you’re 13 weeks pregnant, your baby's head probably is about half the size of her body.
Your Changing Body When You're 13 Weeks Pregnant
By your 13th week of pregnancy, you are nearing the point when early symptoms of pregnancy should begin to subside. Possible discomforts of late pregnancy are well in the future. This is a great time to enjoy your pregnancy!
- At 13 weeks pregnant, you might feel, like many women, that you can relax more because the risk of miscarriage goes down greatly by this point.
- The changes in your body might become more obvious to others.
- The top of your uterus, called the fundus, now is expanding beyond your pelvis.
- Hormones released by your placenta, ovaries, adrenal glands, and pituitary gland guide the growth of your baby as well as changes within the organs in your own body.
- By your 13th week of pregnancy, your blood pressure drops as your circulatory system quickly expands. This may continue through the 24th week of pregnancy before returning to pre-pregnancy levels.
- Your blood supply increases, but most of it is plasma, or the fluid of your blood. Red blood cells, which take longer to develop, catch up around the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Short of breath? You might notice that you're breathing a little faster or have shortness of breath. This is normal. Why? Your body reduces the carbon dioxide level in your blood in order to carry more carbon dioxide from your baby. Your breathing volume and rate adjust to this change, leaving you slightly short of breath.
Wellness and Nutrition at 13 Weeks Pregnant
By your 13th week of pregnancy, you might begin to truly feel pregnant, possibly for the first time. This might be especially true if you're growing out of your normal clothes.
Your next doctor visit. You may have another prenatal doctor visit during the 13th week of pregnancy or very soon after. From this point until you are about 28 weeks pregnant, most of your doctor appointments will follow a routine.
Your doctor monitors:
- Your weight and blood pressure
- Your urine (to check for proteins and sugars)
- Your baby's growth (by measuring the size of your uterus)
- Signs of swelling in your face, ankles, hands, or feet
- You might be hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time during this visit! This is often possible after the 12th week of pregnancy.
- If you haven't decided about prenatal testing, now is a good time to discuss the options with your doctor.
- CVS (Chorionic villus sampling) is one test that detects chromosome and other genetic abnormalities, usually between the 9th and 14th weeks of pregnancy. Learn more about prenatal screening and diagnostic testing.
- Remember to bring your list of questions or concerns to each visit. If you have immediate concerns, discuss them with your doctor right away.
Wondering When to Tell Your Big News at Work?
If you work, consider these tips for sharing your pregnancy at work:
- Tell your boss personally before she hears from someone else! If you have morning sickness and feel tired while at work, you might want to tell sooner.
- Timing is everything! If you have an upcoming salary review or are in the middle of a key project, you might want to wait until afterward to share your news.
- Offer solutions for handling your workload while you're out. After all, you know your job better than anyone else.
- Get all the details now about maternity leave and policies at your workplace so you're prepared.