Week-by-week Pregnancy (Weeks 14-26)
1. Week 14
Welcome to the second trimester (visit the first trimester here)! Around week 14, you may start to experience round ligament pain, which doesn’t put you or your baby in danger but does cause a lot of discomforts.
Right now, your baby has moved from being curled up in a ball to stretching out and you’ll be able to see a more normal-sized head.
Read more about week 14.
2. Week 15
It’s ok if you’ve made it to week 15 and you have barely gained any weight. Some women even lose weight early on in their pregnancies. Weight gain in pregnancy should be gradual but doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be clockwork.
You may have more trouble sleeping around this time. Try using a body pillow and work on getting plenty of moderate exercises.
Read more about week 15.
3. Week 16
Old wives’ tales may start creeping up around you and how to determine the sex of your baby.
There are only a few ways to tell the sex, and they are all up to your doctor. They include ultrasound, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) blood tests, and sampling the placenta or amniotic fluid via chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis.
Read more about week 16.
5. Week 17
At week 17, you may start to experience increased vaginal discharge called leukorrhea. This is actually totally normal during pregnancy. If the discharge is a heavy yellow or green, itches or burns, or smells foul, it might signal an infection, and you should alert your healthcare provider.
Your baby’s fingerprints are starting to form this week and chances are they are waving their hands in front of their face.
Read more about week 17.
6. Week 18
With the increase in back pain and aches, you may want to consider a prenatal massage. Be sure to take plenty of sit down breaks and if necessary, painkillers like acetaminophen should help. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins.
Your baby’s ears and eyes have moved to their final positions and fingernails have formed. The nervous system is developing now.
Read more about week 18.
7. Week 19
Depending on your frame size, you may have gained nearly 15 pounds by now (although every woman is different). About half a pound is just your baby, while 6-7 ounces is your placenta. Your uterus and amniotic fluid are roughly 1.5 pounds.
Do you get dizzy easily? It’s probably due to low blood pressure—meaning the brain gets less blood. Try wearing compression socks to help lessen the amount of blood going to your legs.
Read more about week 19.
8. Week 20
Do you have the “pregnancy glow”? It comes from pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume. Due to the extra loads of progesterone, which helps fight off acne.
While pregnant, your normal hair loss is interrupted and dramatically decreases while your hair continues to grow. Chances are your hair is fuller, shinier, and longer.
Read more about week 20.
9. Week 21
Are you starting to see stretch marks? Some women are more likely to get them than others. Chances are if your mom had them, you will, too. Don’t waste your time on treatments or creams. There’s no proof they work!
Your baby may be getting into his or her own rhythm. Unfortunately, their awake time may be your regular sleep time. The taste buds are fully formed and functioning! Studies have shown that babies who are exposed to a wide variety of flavors in the womb are more likely to be adventurous eaters as kids.
Read more about week 21.
10. Week 22
You’re now more than halfway to the finish line! By now you’re probably experiencing new aches and pains every few days. If it’s not back pain, it’s leg cramping! Be sure to drink plenty of water, and try eating a few smaller meals.
What about sex? From a physical point a view, it’s totally normal to have sex while pregnant and is not a risk to you or your baby.
Read more about week 22.
11. Week 23
The second trimester is winding down and you may start to see even more changes to your growing belly, like the “belly line,” increased swelling, and moodiness.
Don’t worry about that nesting instinct. You’ll have that nursery and birth plan done soon enough. Decide on cord blood banking, a living will, and even a college savings account.
Read more about week 23.
12. Week 24
Can you believe you’ve already been pregnant for six months? Has your “innie” belly button become an “outtie” yet?
Your uterus is about the size of a soccer ball and it’s common for many new moms to start worrying as the pregnancy goes on. Anxiety is normal, but it’s estimated that 20 percent of pregnant women face depression in some form. If this is you, reach out to your healthcare provider immediately.
Read more in week 24.
13. Week 25
Around this time, your healthcare provider will request a glucose test to determine your blood sugar level and to see if you are at risk for gestational diabetes, which can affect up to 10 percent of pregnant women.
The good news is that it can be controlled through regular dieting and exercise. The bad news is that untreated gestational diabetes can lead to premature delivery and an increased risk of health complications in your baby.
Read more about week 25.
14. Week 26
You may not get any new symptoms but the ones you have are sure to intensify. Expect aches and pains in your joints and muscles, headaches, cramps, and insomnia.
If you’re still building that nursery, make sure you’re up to date on all the current safety recommendations for cribs, changing tables, infant car seats, strollers, and other items your baby will need.
Read more about week 26.
See what happens in the third trimester.
15. Third Trimester
Welcome to the third trimester! Want to know what is happening in week 27 and beyond? Check out the third-trimester slideshow.
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