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13 WEEKS PREGNANT
Congrats! You’ve made it through the first trimester!
We’re not just talking about getting through those work meetings without falling asleep (or puking!), we’re talking about how you’re now 1/3rd of the way through your pregnancy!
At 13 weeks pregnant, you’ve grown a fetus that has vocal cords, teeth, and even fingerprints (wow!) and you’ve probably kept this incredible news (mostly) secret while wishing you could shout it from the rooftops—or, at the very least, use it as an excuse for getting to work late.
Around week 13 of pregnancy, many parents-to-be start spreading the word that there’s a baby on the way.
But know that there are no hard-and-fast rules about when you should divulge your secret.
It could be after your next prenatal appointment, once you start showing, or at a big family event where everyone will be gathered.
Or maybe everyone already knows! That’s totally your call.
How Big Is Baby at 13 Weeks?
At 13 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a lemon.
Your 13-week fetus is about 2.9 inches long and weighs about .81 ounces, and proportion-wise, his or her head is now about 1/3 the size of the body instead of ½.
13 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
13 weeks pregnant is 3 months pregnant.
This is the last week of the first trimester.
(We can’t say it enough because it’s so great to be here!)
13 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
You might notice that around 13 weeks pregnant, your symptoms change a bit.
You might actually be able to get through the day without nausea (if not now, soon) or feeling the need for a nap.
But you may be experiencing a few of these too:
You can see all those blue streaks under your skin because you have increased blood flow
Increase in energy. The second trimester is known as the least symptomatic—and the most energetic.
As you start to feel more like yourself and get that energy surge, you’re going to want to knock a bunch of to-dos off your list.
Also, if you’ve found yourself too sick and tired to exercise lately, now’s the time to get back to a fitness routine.
Exercise will only benefit you and baby and can even make labor easier.
Increased sex drive.
If you’re one of those lucky pregnant women who feels up for a roll in the hay at 13 weeks, well… enjoy!
You may notice a bit of post-coital spotting during pregnancy at 13 weeks.
A little spotting is normal simply because your cervix is more sensitive.
But heavy bleeding (like a period) isn’t, so call your doctor if it’s more like a flow.
Sorry, twin moms-to-be.
If you’re 13 weeks pregnant with twins, you might still be experiencing some morning sickness and fatigue.
That’s because twin moms can have more of the pregnancy hormone hCG in their systems.
If your nausea and vomiting is super severe, definitely bring it up to your OB.
If you’re able to hold down food and liquids, but you’re still feeling ill, just wait it out a little longer.
13 WEEKS PREGNANT BELLY
Your uterus is now big enough that it’s growing up and out of your pelvis.
That means you’re starting to actually look pregnant.
Finally, right? You’re a third of the way through and you finally get to demand a seat on a crowded train!
Expect to look more and more pregnant from here on out because pregnancy at 13 weeks calls for a weight gain increase.
OBs recommend you gain weight in the healthiest way possible—that means slowly and steadily throughout your pregnancy.
Here are the weight gain guidelines outlined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
If you’re underweight (BMI under 18.5):
Your recommended total pregnancy weight gain is 28 to 40 pounds.
In the second and third trimesters, aim to gain about a pound (1 to 1.3 pounds to be exact) per week.
If you’re average weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9):
Your recommended total pregnancy weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds.
In the second and third trimesters, aim to gain about a pound or a little less (0.8 to 1 pound to be exact) per week.
If you’re overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9):
Your recommended total pregnancy weight gain is 15 to 25 pounds.
In the second and third trimesters, aim to gain a little over a half pound (0.5 to 0.7 pounds to be exact) per week.
If you’re obese (BMI of 30 and above):
Your recommended total pregnancy weight gain is 11 to 20 pounds.
In the second and third trimesters, aim to gain about a half pound (0.4 to 0.6 pounds to be exact) per week.
If you’re 13 weeks pregnant with twins:
Your recommended total pregnancy weight gain is 37 to 54 pounds.
In the first half of your pregnancy, aim to gain about a pound per week.
In the second half, aim to gain a little over a pound per week.
Of course, you don’t want to stress yourself out about these numbers.
What’s important is that you’re eating a healthy diet full of a variety of different foods, eating about 300 extra (nutritious) calories per day more than you did pre-pregnancy and getting plenty of exercise
13 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
A 13-week ultrasound could detect baby’s gender, but since it can be pretty tough to make out little boy or girl parts, your doctor will probably wait until the mid-pregnancy ultrasound (around 18 to 22 weeks), when it will be much more obvious, to look and see whether you’re having a girl or a boy.
If you’ve chosen to have prenatal cell-free DNA testing, also known as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), to screen for chromosomal abnormalities, you’ll be able to find out the gender when you get your results. Hey, at 13 weeks, you may already know! Oh boy! (Or girl!)
Your Baby at Week 13
What’s up with your baby?
Well, besides being as large as a lemon now, that head of hers is now about half the size of her crown-to-rump length (that’s one reason why your little one looks more like an alien from outer space at this point).
By the time you give birth, her body will catch up, measuring three-quarters of her total size.
But don’t compare your fetus with the fetus next door.
Starting in the next week or so, babies begin growing at different paces, some faster than others, some more slowly, though they all follow the same developmental path.
13 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 13 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 3 of your pregnancy.
Only 6 months left to go! Still have questions?
Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Baby’s Intestines & Vocal Cords Are Developing
What else is going on in there? At 13 weeks pregnant, tiny bones are beginning to form in her arms and legs.
Because she can move them in a jerky fashion, she may be able to get her thumb into her mouth (a habit that may come in handy for self-soothing when she’s a newborn).
Your baby’s intestines are also in for some big changes.
Up ’til this point, they’ve been growing in a cavity inside the umbilical cord, but now they’re moving to their permanent (and more conveniently located) address, in your baby’s abdomen.
And to serve your growing fetus’ needs, the placenta is also growing, eventually weighing one to two pounds at birth (something else you’ll soon be able to blame your weight gain on!).
Also developing this week: your baby’s vocal cords (the first step toward saying, “I love you, Mommy!”).
Because sound can’t travel through your uterus, you won’t be able to hear any sounds or cries just yet, but you can bet those vocal cords will get a good workout once she’s born.
Your Body at Week 13
Now that you’re 13 weeks pregnant and just a week away from the second trimester, you should be feeling pretty good soon (after all, the second trimester doesn’t get its reputation for being the easiest and most comfortable of the three for nothing).
But if you’re not feeling better yet, don’t worry.
While most early pregnancy symptoms will probably soon be behind you, some women find that nausea and fatigue linger into the fourth and even fifth months.
And unfortunately for some women, those and other usual first trimester suspects (such as bloating, constipation, headaches and breast tenderness) can continue to some extent throughout pregnancy.
Of course, even though the second trimester is known as the trimester of smooth sailing, it doesn’t mean you’ll be symptom-free in the near future — far from it.
Something else you might have noticed recently is an increase in your vaginal discharge.
Known as leukorrhea (try getting that right in a spelling bee), this perfectly normal discharge is thin, milky, mild-smelling (sometimes even odorless) and can be expected to increase as your pregnancy progresses.
Leukorrhea is caused by the stepped-up production of estrogen as well as the increased blood flow to the pelvic area.
Its purpose is noble: to protect the birth canal from infection and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Unfortunately, in achieving its lofty goal, leukorrhea can make a mess of your underwear.
If it makes you more comfortable, use a panty liner (never a tampon) to stay dry.
But never douche while you’re pregnant, which can upset the normal balance of microorganisms, lead to vaginal infections and even force air into the vagina during pregnancy, which can be dangerous.
Sex During Pregnancy
With all the extra discharge down there plus your burgeoning belly, you may be wondering whether your feelings about jumping into bed are normal.
Try to go with the flow: When it comes to sex during pregnancy, anything goes.
Your partner may be entranced by your ripening breasts and tummy, but his eager eyes and hands are just about the last things you want to deal with right now.
Or you may feel hotter than ever while your husband is anything but. All of it is normal and likely to change as you get closer to delivery.
Your belly’s already bursting out of the seams of your largest jeans and you’re just finishing up the first trimester.
Could you be having twins? Maybe — especially if you have a history of fraternal twins in your family or you’re over 35 (or both).
But there are other more likely explanations for your seemingly larger-than-life belly.
For instance, it could be that your due date’s off (and your bigger-than-expected tummy is the result of a bigger-than-expected baby).
Or it could be that you’re just full of it — gas, that is.
Bloating can make a pregnant abdomen distend well beyond its weeks.
It’s also possible that you’re taking the eating-for-two mandate a little too literally (you took everything you ate before you became pregnant and doubled it, leading to your early midsection expansion).
To find out what’s really going on in there, check with your practitioner at your next visit.
Who knows — you just might have two buns in your oven after all.
(You can’t tell from the outside, no matter what your grandmother says!)
What does my baby look like in week 13?
Your baby is growing fast – and you may be too!
You might hear their heartbeat for the first time at your antenatal appointments.
Your baby now weighs around 25g.
Although you won’t be feeling baby move just yet, they’re dancing around inside you.
As time goes on their jerky motions are turning into slower, more purposeful ones.
Your baby’s hands find their way to their mouth and sometimes they look like they might be yawning or breathing.
At this stage your baby only sleeps for a few minutes at a time but later in pregnancy, they’ll start sleeping for longer stretches and you might even notice a pattern, or routine emerging.
Your baby’s ovaries or testes have developed inside their body and a tiny willy or penis is now forming where a bump was before.
Your pregnancy symptoms in week 13
Not all mums-to-be have cravings. If, however, you do – that’s normal.
Cravings can be triggered by hormonal changes in your body affecting taste and smell.
Also, sharp dips and peaks in your blood sugar levels can leave you hankering after sugary comfort foods.
These pregnancy snacks are great healthy options to get you through the day.
Take a look at our diet and nutrition guides on food swaps for a healthy pregnancy and how to have a balanced diet in pregnancy.
Feeling constipated or bloated?
Hormones can play havoc with your digestive system in pregnancy, leaving you constipated and bloated.
Do you have a headache? Perhaps you’re uffering from cramps, indigestion, dizziness, heartburn or swollen feet?
What to do in week 13
Having a balanced diet in pregnancy is important for you and your baby.
Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop.
If you were struggling with sickness in your first trimester and this has now stopped, you may be feeling hungrier.
Although you need to eat food that is good for you and your baby, you don’t need to eat for two!
You only need to increase your calorie intake in the third trimester, and then, only by 200 calories a day.
Find out more about managing your weight in pregnancy.
Can I eat packaged salad during pregnancy?
If you buy prepared salad that is pre-washed, it’s fine to eat as long as you make sure you keep it in the fridge and don’t eat it after the use-by date.
Check the ingredients in any packaged salads you buy to make sure they don’t contain foods you should avoid in pregnancy.
Staying active will give you energy
You may have felt a bit like sleeping more over the last couple of months – but hopefully those days are over.
Now’s the time to get active again. It doesn’t have to be an organized exercise class, staying active by taking the stairs or walking to work, school or the shops really helps.
Being sedentary (sitting down a lot) in pregnancy increases your risks of complications so try to avoid this.
If you were active before pregnancy you can continue doing whatever you did before at a level that feels comfortable for you.
Research shows that exercise is safe and healthy in pregnancy. Here’s our guide to staying active in pregnancy.
Your pelvic floor needs to be exercised for after the birth
If you haven’t already, this is a good time to start thinking about toning up your pelvic floor muscles.
Pregnancy and giving birth put a big strain on your pelvic floor – the more you can strengthen your muscles now, the better for the birth and after.
Working these muscles will also help prevent you leaking wee when you laugh, sneeze or cough.
You could do a set of pelvic floor exercises every time you brush your teeth, wait for a bus or put the kettle on.
Have you told your manager you’re pregnant yet?
You don’t have to tell your boss that you’re pregnant until the 15th week before the week your baby is due.
It may be a good idea to tell them sooner though, especially if you have a strenuous job or need lots of check-ups early in your pregnancy.
13 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
A clear to milky-colored discharge known as leukorrhea may increase around this point in your pregnancy.
You might be surprised to learn that this discharge has a unique purpose:
It helps keep your vagina and birth canal clear of infection and irritation. If it gets a little messy, panty liners can be a big help.
Changing sex drive.
It’s perfectly normal for you and your partner to feel an increase or a decrease in sexual desire at various times during pregnancy.
If your pregnancy is normal and both of you feel the urge, go ahead and enjoy the intimacy.
Don’t worry — your baby will be safe! Your uterus and the amniotic sac provide protection for your baby.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re worried or have questions about this or anything else.
Note that your provider might advise you to abstain from sex if you have complications including a history of miscarriage or if you are at risk of preterm labor.
Heartburn and indigestion can come and go throughout your pregnancy as your baby moves from one position to the next, and as your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach.
Pregnancy hormones also cause the muscle at the top of your stomach to relax, allowing stomach acid to travel up into the esophagus, which causes heartburn; this is more likely to happen if you lie down after having just eaten a large meal.
You can reduce the discomfort by sitting upright after eating and avoiding potential triggers such as chocolate, citrus fruits, and fried or spicy foods.
Constipation. Hormones strike again!
Progesterone and estrogen play an important role in pregnancy, but right now they might be causing your digestive system to work more slowly than usual.
This means that you may be feeling a bit backed up. Adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods to your diet increases your fiber intake and helps keep things moving along.
Drinking prune juice might also help, as can drinking lots of water and doing regular exercise.
Leaking colostrum. You may start to notice a thick, yellow fluid leaking from your breasts right about now.
This is called colostrum, and it’s the milk that appears for the first few days after you give birth.
It is completely normal, but you may want to try using disposable or cotton breast pads (without plastic liners) to help absorb any leaking fluid.
13 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
Have you shared the good news with your family and friends?
The beginning of your second trimester is a great time to do this, because the risk of miscarriage is lower after the first three months.
Of course, the decision about when to start spreading the word is totally up to you!
Get inspired with our creative pregnancy announcement ideas.
If you work, plan when you’ll let your boss know that you’re expecting.
Start to think about how you will share the news, and when.
You’ll want to keep your employer and colleagues in the loop so they can make plans for accommodating your absence during your maternity leave.
Working out? If yes, keep it up! If not, consider talking to your healthcare provider about starting a basic fitness routine.
If your provider gives you the all-clear, it could include things like walking, swimming, and maybe yoga.
Your muscles will thank you – both during the last six months of your pregnancy, and during your new baby’s first few months, when increased fitness will help you deal with all the extra stress that’s placed on your body.
If you are doing abdominal exercises that have you lying flat on your back, you may want to look for alternatives during pregnancy, since the weight from your uterus can cause less blood to return to your heart when you’re in that position.
Ask your healthcare provider for alternatives.