13 weeks pregnant
Week 13 is the last week of the first trimester of pregnancy, or the first week of the fourth obstetric month. The main achievements of the period are the restoration of hormonal balance, a decrease in the symptoms of toxicosis. The unborn child has already formed all the organs, their functioning is improving. The main tasks at this stage are the formation of an optimal diet in order to meet all the needs of the growing fetus and not gain excess weight, as well as a smooth transition to a measured course of life, clothing style, and new habits.
- Fetal development at 13 weeks of gestation
- How does the uterus change at 13 weeks?
- What does ultrasound show?
- Screening at 13 weeks
- Hormone Tests and Double Test
- Twin pregnancy
- How the stomach and mammary glands change
- Feelings of a future mother
- Pain sensations
- Vaginal discharge and bleeding
- Alcohol and nicotine - effects on the fetus
- Sex life
- Special problems
Fetal development at 13 weeks of gestation
At this stage of pregnancy, the unborn child grows at a high rate. The general proportions of his body are changing just as quickly - until recently, the huge, in comparison with the body, the head does not grow as fast as the body. Soon the fruit will acquire the proportions familiar to us, inherent in small children. There is still no fatty tissue, which will begin to build up only in the third trimester. The baby's body is covered only by the skin through which the blood vessels shine through.
The face of the fetus becomes more expressive, the chin and nose stand out, the eyes and ears take their place. The developed nervous system allows the child to make arbitrary movements, grimace, yawn, smile. The rudiments of all milk teeth have formed in the mouth, the vocal apparatus is actively developing, and a sucking reflex has appeared.
Fetal parameters at 13 weeks:
- Weight - 15-25 g;
- CTE (coccygeal-parietal size) - 8-9 cm.
If you monitor the baby's activity, you can see that he has periods of sleep and wakefulness, and wakefulness is quite active. The movements of the fetus cease to be chaotic, it seems that they have become more orderly and more precise. Such opportunities are provided to him by the constantly improving musculoskeletal system.
At 13 weeks, an important event occurs - the genital tubercle differentiates into the penis in boys, or the clitoris in girls. Depending on gender, the fetus develops a prostate gland or ovaries, which occupy their intended place in the pelvic cavity. At this stage, the female fetus has the rudiments of about 2 million future eggs. After the birth of the girl, their number will decrease.
Fetal organ development:
- In the intestine, villi are formed, it occupies a permanent place in the abdominal cavity;
- The diaphragm rises, raising the respiratory organs, esophagus;
- The pancreas begins to produce its own insulin, which is responsible for glucose metabolism;
- The baby's heart works so intensively that it can pump over 20 liters per day;
- In place of future ribs, cartilaginous tissue is formed, which is subsequently transformed into bone.
The child's psyche begins to develop - the first reactions to touch and pain, loud sounds, temperature changes appear. The fetus develops the ability to distinguish the taste of food, the nutrients of which enter the mother's blood, and then through the umbilical cord into the fetus. Specialists in prenatal psychology claim that even such a tiny child feels the emotional state of the mother, feels when they communicate with him, and is even able to determine whether the mother wants him to be born, or the pregnancy is unwanted.
Video about what happens to the fetus, its size, sensations, proper nutrition and much more:
How does the uterus change at 13 weeks?
The upper pole of the enlarged uterus is located above the pubic bones. It has already gone beyond the limits of the small pelvis and is easily felt in the supine position in the form of a dense rounded formation. A growing uterus can cause mild negative sensations to a pregnant woman, as the ligaments that support her are under increased stress.
- Height - 13 cm;
- Width - 10 cm.
Measuring the height of the uterine fundus from this date will be a common procedure when visiting an antenatal clinic. These results will be entered into the pregnant exchange card.
Sometimes a woman experiences unusual symptoms when a short-term tension is felt in the lower abdomen, less often mild cramping pain. This is the uterus toning, and soon relaxes again. Such contractions will be repeated until the very birth, only they will become less frequent, and the uterus will be soft and elastic.
To let go of such "training fights", it is enough to lie down and rest a little. Such conditions are provoked by walking in high heels, carrying weights, stressful situations. Your doctor may recommend papaverine suppositories or Ginipral.
What does ultrasound show?
If until now the obstetrician-gynecologist has not prescribed the first planned ultrasound examination of the fetus, then at this time it should be done. The best time to do it is between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Indicators obtained during the study:
- Gestational age;
Probable due date;
- The condition of the uterus and placenta;
- Number of fruits;
- The size of the fetus, its activity, developmental features;
- The presence or absence of prerequisites for chromosomal developmental abnormalities.
Since this week it is possible to assess fetal malformations, ultrasound is included in the screening program carried out every trimester of pregnancy.
Screening at 13 weeks
The first screening of child development is carried out to determine genetic and chromosomal abnormalities. It includes an ultrasound scan and a biochemical blood test for signs of Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome. During ultrasound examination, the thickness and transparency of the collar zone, the presence and size of the nasal bone, the presence or absence of visible developmental defects are determined.
If the results of the study determine a high risk of abnormalities or chromosomal abnormalities, the woman is sent for a consultation with a geneticist and for additional in-depth examination. It is not necessary that the high risk of developing pathology will be confirmed, the results of screening should not be interpreted as a definitive diagnosis.
Hormone Tests and Double Test
Testing blood for hCG and for the blood plasma protein PAPP-A allows timely identification of the risk of trisomy 21 and trisomy 18 (Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome) during screening. Progesterone levels are determined medically. At this stage of pregnancy, its level is 8.9-468.4 nmol / l.
While the course of a multiple pregnancy is no different from the usual sensations of this period. Perhaps, early toxicosis will last a little longer, although not all women experience it. The size of the uterus and abdomen during twin pregnancy may be slightly larger at this time. The increasing load on the tissues of the peritoneum and spine will not be as significant if the expectant mother will wear a support bandage.
How the stomach and mammary glands change
The body of a pregnant woman continues to change, the abdomen acquires a roundness, the waist is somewhat smoothed. Pregnancy is still invisible, but tight clothing already hinders movement, restricts blood circulation and breathing. You should get away from shaping underwear and clothes, switch to a looser wardrobe made from natural fabrics.
The chest continues to grow. On it, as well as on the skin of the abdomen, the first "stretch marks" - striae may appear. To prevent their appearance, you need to wear comfortable bras that firmly support the chest, prenatal bandage. Wearing a bandage will positively affect a woman's well-being, relieve pain in the lower abdomen and lower back.
Feelings of a future mother
The most important achievement of 13 weeks is that most pregnant women who have previously experienced symptoms of toxicosis practically do not feel them. The hormonal balance was established, mood swings, excessive sentimentality, irritability over trifles disappeared. The high spirits of a woman are noticed by both relatives and colleagues at work. These changes, combined with a change in the style of clothing and footwear, gait, appearance, make it clear to others about the change in the status of the expectant mother.
The woman became less anxious that the pregnancy could end in a miscarriage. Concerns about the child's health after the first ultrasound also diminished. Perhaps the expectant mother has established emotional contact with the baby. Thanks to this, the pregnant woman stopped feeling anxiety and uncertainty, which has a positive effect on her well-being.
Age spots may appear on the skin of the face, neck and chest. You should not worry about this - after giving birth, there will be no trace of them. A change in the activity of the pituitary gland leads to a darkening of the areola of the mammary glands, the epidermis of the external genital organs, a strip of skin on the abdomen from the womb to the navel.
Due to a decrease in bowel tone and pressure on it by the pregnant uterus, a woman may feel a problem with regular bowel movements. Constipation occurs due to a sedentary lifestyle, a violation of the diet (the predominance of fats and carbohydrates in the menu). Since laxatives are prohibited during pregnancy, you need to regulate the stool with the use of plant fiber, actively move.
Perhaps the expectant mother feels an increased gas formation unusual for her earlier. For the prevention of flatulence, it is necessary to exclude legumes, cabbage, black bread from the menu, and to consume fermented milk products more often.
Pain in the lower abdomen, radiating to the lower back, requires urgent medical advice. If it has the character of spasms, accompanied by the discharge of blood from the vagina, this is a symptom of spontaneous abortion. A miscarriage that has begun can be stopped if you seek emergency help in a timely manner.
Cramps and pain during urination can be a symptom of cystitis. If it is complicated by pyelonephritis, there is severe pain in the projection of the kidneys, a high temperature joins the pain symptoms.
Pain with cramps in the leg muscles most often occurs at night. It occurs due to a lack of trace elements, most often there is not enough potassium and calcium. A woman should inform her doctor about this so that the obstetrician-gynecologist can recommend vitamin and mineral complexes.
Headache may appear at 13 weeks of gestation due to a significant increase in circulating blood volume and increased stress on the vessels. Since it is not recommended to take painkillers during pregnancy, you need to use safe methods of eliminating headaches: rest in a cool ventilated room, cool compresses, taking herbal decoctions.
The safest composition:
- Pharmaceutical camomile;
Excessive consumption of lemon balm increases the risk of bleeding, as it thins the blood. If the doctor does not prohibit, with a severe headache, it is allowed to take drugs containing paracetamol.
Vaginal discharge and bleeding
The nature of the discharge has changed somewhat - their volume has increased, they have become more liquid. This is how the effect of estrogen appears, which began to prevail at this stage of pregnancy. If there is pus in the vaginal discharge, inclusions like cottage cheese or flakes, they have a greenish or yellow color, an unpleasant odor, the woman may have received a sexually transmitted infection or candidiasis (thrush).
Bloody discharge from the vagina does not always indicate the beginning of the termination of pregnancy. A small amount of red or brown discharge that appears after sexual intercourse or a pelvic exam in the mirrors may be a symptom of cervical erosion. This pathology should definitely be treated after childbirth.
Other causes of atypical discharge:
- Abdominal injury, fall blow;
- Placental abruption;
- Placenta previa;
- Weakness of the vascular walls, violation of their integrity due to an increase in blood volume.
Any atypical discharge requires careful diagnosis and treatment if necessary.
With a decrease in the symptoms of toxicosis, a woman's appetite significantly improves. Changes in the body require high-calorie and light nutrition, it is important to provide the fetus with the necessary "building material" for full development, and not to gain excess weight. Excessive body weight is an extra load on the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system.
You need to exclude easily digestible carbohydrates from your menu, replacing them with vegetable and dairy dishes. It is advisable to eat less white bread and muffins, potatoes and pasta.
It is important to provide the growing fetus with enough protein. These are rabbit meat, poultry, fish, veal, cottage cheese, lactic acid products.
To prevent constipation, you should eat kefir with prunes for breakfast, more often eat kiwi, bananas, add bran to dishes, include fresh vegetable salads, juices, dried fruits, seaweed and fresh fruits in the menu.
Alcohol and nicotine - effects on the fetus
Although many organs of the fetus are already laid at 13 weeks, alcohol and nicotine have a pronounced toxic effect on it. Internal organs, the central and peripheral nervous system, the organs of hearing and vision - all can become a target of toxins. The brain is especially vulnerable, which at this time is experiencing a time of intensive growth and the formation of cerebral convolutions.
Both alcohol and nicotine penetrate the placental barrier and enter the body of the unborn child immediately after consumption.
The only contraindication for sexual intercourse may be low placenta previa. In this case, sex becomes the cause of massive bleeding and termination of pregnancy. In other cases, intimate relationships can bring a woman a surge of emotions that is useful at this stage of pregnancy and an improvement in her mood.
The libido of a pregnant woman, which has decreased during toxicosis, returns to its previous level, or increases due to the influence of hormones, so sex life should not stop.
Video about sex during pregnancy, structural features of the child's body:
Hormonal changes, changes in the microflora of the vaginal environment lead to the activation of the fungus that causes candidiasis, or thrush. It is accompanied by cheesy discharge of a yellow-green color, itching in the vagina, burning sensation in the external genital area. The antenatal clinic doctor will recommend a safe treatment for vaginal candidiasis. It is important to differentiate it from sexually transmitted diseases.
Taking care of your health, timely screening, following the doctor's recommendations will help you spend 13 weeks with benefit. You need to make adjustments to your diet, take care of comfortable clothes and shoes, spend more time walking in the fresh air.
The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist
Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N.N. N.I. Pirogova.
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