13 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?

The last week of the first trimester is here!! You have almost made through 1/3rd of your pregnancy. Congratulations!!! There are just two more trimesters to go before the baby’s arrival. You can do it just like you have done it so far. Let us have a look at what the fetus is up to and what changes are happening in your body plus all the symptoms that you are dealing with at 13 weeks pregnant. ?

How Much are 13 Weeks Pregnant In Months?

The end of the first trimester marks 3 months of pregnancy. Congratulations! You’ve crossed the first trimester with all risks and challenges. The second trimester starts from week 13 and is the awaited period of pregnancy.

You will be able to feel your baby and have good symptoms of pregnancy. With increasing energy levels through consecutive weeks, you may experience nesting.

Mothers of twins or who are not correctly tracking their pregnancy can still be experiencing unwanted symptoms. Dating scan takes place before the end of the first trimester. Just hold on for a few days and you too will reach the blissful second trimester.

How Big Is The Baby At 13 Weeks?

The baby at 13 weeks is of the size of a potato. Body straightens while arms and upper body proportions are becoming appropriate. The length of the baby is about 8 cm or 2.7 inches.

Every baby is different and can take longer or lesser time to grow. This week is not for a growth spurt instead of differentiation of organs inside. Weight of baby at 13 weeks pregnant is 0.8-0.9 oz.

13 weeks pregnant: What to expect?
13 weeks pregnant: What to expect?

Your Baby At 13 Weeks

You baby’s gut tract is going into place from inside the umbilical cord. Human placental lactogen hormone causes you to utilize your body fat. But your baby is swallowing amniotic fluid with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The kidneys are active and your baby already has started peeing.

1) As your baby’s fingers grow she has started to suckle her thumb. Trying to learn suckling is her fun hobby and you may even get to see it in the ultrasound scan. Nails and fingerprints are also sprouting.

2) Your baby’s sweet voice and not so sweet whaling sounds are getting their source. Vocal cords develop in the larynx. Along with vocal cords, the salivary glands in the oral cavity have just begun forming.

3) Red blood cells production has shifted to spleen from kidney. Your Rh factor test will show whether you and baby are compatible. Though earlier it was a major complication if mother and baby were not Rh compatible, nowadays it’s resolvable.

4) Tear glands which will make you cry along have started growing. The eyelids will still be shut for coming 13 more weeks. Iris color at this time is blue-green and starts taking up the final shade. Both parents eye color genes affect the baby’s eye color.

5) Cognitive skills controlling region in the brain is rapidly interconnecting. Neurons are dividing and forming connections to relay the impulses. The nervous system is intricate and crucial to the extent that 1/3rd of your baby is his head. The legs are shorter than the head.

6) The fetus tumbles and summersaults while she is awake. The breathing of amniotic fluid has strengthened the lungs and diaphragm.

7) Lanugo has covered your baby’s entire body. These are fine tiny hair that shed off after the baby is born. They protect and prevent heat loss from the baby.

8) Your baby boy has a penis or baby girl has a clit. External genitals are growing but seeing them in a scan will take longer. By now if you have taken NIPT or other cell-free DNA tests you must have already got the results. If it’s a boy or girl will depend on circulating levels of androgen, estrogen, and testosterone.

9) The placenta has grown to a quarter of the final size. Storing all the nutrients and iron placenta is a temporary pregnancy gland. Your baby enjoys food coming and wees into it for excreting outside.

10) Bones are developing inside arms and legs. The skull bone is also developing. Skull doesn’t develop completely before birth to allow compression while passing through the birth canal. Your baby has more bones than you! Yes, babies have more bones than adults, which fuse after birth.

Fetal Development

Size1) The CRL by this week is around 2.9 inches or 7.4 cm.
2) The body is growing in proportion steadily. The head is 1/3rd of the body now rather than ½.
WeightThe baby weighs around 0.81 ounces or 23 grams.
Organs1) The reproductive organs are developing rapidly.
2) The skin remains translucent. The reproductive organs are developing rapidly.
3) If the baby is a girl, they already have 2 million eggs in their ovaries.
4) If the baby is a boy, their testicles have been formed and the penis is developing now.
5) Intestines were previously growing in a cavity in the umbilical cord. Now that the abdomen has been developed, intestines start migrating toward it.
6) The major organs of the body have started functioning. The kidneys are processing ingested amniotic fluid and forming urine.
7) The liver has started secreting bile whereas pancreas has started secreting insulin; though the level of secretion is quite low and will increase as development progresses.
Skeleton1) Formation of bones has been initiated in arms and legs.
2) Teeth buds have been developed.
Facial FeaturesEyes and ears are migrating to occupy their proper positions respectively
Placenta1) Placenta has been completely developed and has taken over its job.
2) It is connected to the fetus via the umbilical cord. Its main functions are to provide the fetus with oxygen and nutrients and remove waste.
3) The placenta will grow in proportion to the fetus to serve the fetus’s growing needs.
Other1) Two major developments of this week are vocal cords and fingerprints.
2) Fingerprints are being formed which are unique for every individual.
3) Vocal cords have been developed though it is going to be quite an amount of time before you get to hear anything out of a tiny mouth.
4) The fetus might have already discovered a new skill – sucking. They might have begun practicing this very new skill by sucking their thumbs.

13 Weeks Pregnant With Twins

Your twin babies need more hCG than a singleton. So, you might take longer to feel better with the changes in 13 weeks. Good news is your babies are growing fast and together. Nothing to worry if you still have light spotting and nausea.

Being pregnant with twins at 13 weeks will make you bulkier near your hips and belly. Summer pregnancy is tough for this reason that you cannot hide your secrets.

This week is the right time to tell about your pregnancy at the workplace. With twins, you must also be more thoughtful of your maternity budget.

Changes In Mother’s Body 13 Weeks Pregnant

You are used to the symptoms of the first trimester but the new changes will call for the second round of adaptation. Some women still don’t feel pregnant at 13 weeks. Depends on your body type whether or not you feel any physical restrictions.

Your tresses are long and shiny. After the long gap of sexual intimacy, your libido will be high this week. Ask your partner to give you belly rubs and back massage and spend some quality time.

Even if everyone else said that you feel like having sex during the 13th week of pregnancy you may still not feel like it. Just do as your body guides you.

13 Weeks Pregnant Bump

The size of your bump has increased and now you’re showing. Prodding the belly makes the baby squish towards a side. Bloating and gas can confuse you for a very hard baby bump.

After relieving yourself you may find a soft belly as if the bump disappeared. One doesn’t need to really bother about 13 weeks pregnant belly size.

Make sure you stay active and eat fat in limited quantities. You will put on a lot of weight near your buttock region. Sedentary routine can lead to severe pain in the back.

Some women find it irritating when someone touches their baby belly. Partners must be able to judge whether the mom dislikes it. Emotional outbursts are common in this week. And touching the baby bump can be a trigger.

Uterus At 13 Weeks Pregnant

The womb reaches further up. The baby is growing bigger and the size is expanding. In the previous week the size of uterus was that of a grapefruit. Placenta has increased in amount thus making the uterus feel heavier.

The pressure will transfer to all surrounding organs. As space clears up for the bladder now your bathroom visits will be less often.

Placenta size at 13 weeks is 1 ounce, which is 1/4th of final size at the time of childbirth. The increase in blood vessels makes it a slimy bag. There is a lot of fluid circulating in there. And once you are about to deliver the baby all of this will gush out as water break and bloody show.

How Should I Feel At 13 Weeks Pregnant?

Emotional changes in 13 weeks are drastic. You will have nightmares and second thoughts. Often misunderstandings make relationships shaky in this period. Until now because of your morning sickness, your partner must have only comforted you. For them, it’s tough to continue feeling pregnant when you’re just verbally pregnant. Increase in sex drive will be a savior. Stressing about postcoital bleeding or cleaning up can be a major turn off. 

The best way to conquer those emotional periods is to breathe in and know that it will pass. Consult a therapist if you are feeling out of control.

You might be feeling exhausted at times and wanting to return back to the non-pregnant life. It happens to all pregnant women. These second thoughts, insecurities, and anxiety about new changes in the body are normal.

Don’t feel guilty about not wanting to be pregnant any longer. Recall how far you’ve come and think of the potato inside and order fries ?.

13 Weeks Pregnant Belly Still Soft

Feeling 13 weeks pregnant stomach soft disappoints expectant mom. To top that if she has had vaginal bleeding along with with cramps concerns about miscarriage are genuine. Nonetheless, there is no hard and fast rule about getting a baby bump in a particular week.

Having a belly only pregnancy can take up to 20 weeks to start showing. And the bump is not hard in the early weeks.

During the prenatal appointment, your OB will coach you about checking fundus. He may warn you against prodding your belly. That’s because acupuncture points near the belly can lead to abortion. Natural abortion methods have acupuncture as the most effective one.

Just because your bump doesn’t pop or feels soft doesn’t mean your baby isn’t healthy. Race, age, and lifestyle affect weight gain and pattern during pregnancy.

13 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

The hCG hormone levels in the body will begin to go down and with that the symptoms like nausea and fatigue. For some women though, these symptoms last longer in the pregnancy (oh no!). However, even if you no longer have to deal with these symptoms, there are others that are to be dealt with.

As a woman enters the second trimester of pregnancy, there is a surge in the overall energy levels. This would be a good time to cross off things of your to-do list if you even have one. You can also take this time to establish an exercise routine which will be helpful to you during and after pregnancy.

1. Rise In BBT

Baby’s thyroid gland is now taking up the job of regulation of metabolism. Like her, you too are producing more body heat. The rise in BBT will cause more perspiration and hot flashes. Applying ice and avoiding sunny hours for going out are your new remedies. The rise is basal body temperature can be to the extent that you stop feeling cold in mild winter pregnancy. Post a workout session always cool down with your clothes on. Sudden fluctuation in exposure to heat is a risk factor for fainting.

2. Indigestion

Heartburn and burning sensation in the chest are because of indigestion. Probably you decided to eat your favorite food a little extra, after the return of appetite. Eating for two is a misnomer. Before taking over the counter medication for indigestion or heartburn consult your doctor. Tums are safe for pregnant women and an effective heartburn remedy.

3. Sexual Urges

Something good is coming your way this week. Your vagina feels lubricated and sex is on your mind while you select baby names. Let your partner know about it because he might be hiding it to let you relax. Don’t feel bad if they’re not the one to take the first step. Make sure you use a barrier contraceptive if you are still having breakthrough bleeding. Women can ovulate while pregnant and conceive too. Avoid sex if you have the risk of placenta previa or UTI. History of Herpes infection in your partner also is a caution against sex during pregnancy.

4. Feeling Clumsy And Tripping

Your body is growing at a fast pace too. Whatever weight gain and loss history you had didn’t involve the hormonal chaos in you. Feeling clumsy and dropping things is also because your joints are weak. Relaxing and increasing fluids are to blame. Before the baby comes you are allowed to break a few crockery items too.

5. Lumpy Breasts

Your girlies are like a LIVE telecast of pregnancy progress. They will keep changing. At week 13 you can massage milk out of them. Don’t do it though. Lumpy breast is a sign that perhaps you are wearing a wrong bra. Sagging under the increasing pressure you might have a sharp pain in breasts. Use an organic oil safe for pregnant women to massage your breasts before sleeping. Sleep on your side with a lot of cushioning under the chest.

6. Emotional Outbursts

You’re putting the laundry aside while your toddler is calling you for the 1000th time and husband is asking for something. All of a sudden you shout out at the top of your lung to shut up. Feeling sad or angry for no valid reason? That’s common, at some point in pregnancy in every mother feels like that. When a thing is happening naturally there is no reason to bother. Unless something is clearly appearing to be the reason for your anger just let it pass.

7. Weight Gain

Your weight gain is significant now. Gaining half a pound a week you’re going to put on more in the coming weeks. Staying active will help you achieve a belly-only-pregnancy. Weight gain matters along where you’re gaining the weight. Getting double chin and heavy arms are not necessary for pregnancy. The right prenatal workout will save you from tyrant postpartum weight loss regimen.

8. Brown Discharge

Brown discharge is a symptom you see at different stages for different reasons. Earlier it was implantation bleeding, then old period blood and now mucus plug renewal. Your mucus plug seal keeps renewing until the birth of a baby. Some spotting might mix in and the old mucus starts looking brown. Miscarriage signs do have brown discharge as a risk factor. Red bleeding is the reason you must worry. BD is not a warning sign alone for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

9. Allergies

Your body has slowed the WBC production to prevent rejection of the baby. Pregnancy is a unique case where a tissue graft isn’t rejected. Due to lowered immunity allergies, cold and flu have made you a friend. They just don’t want to leave. Taking bronchodilator is not safe for breastfeeding. Whether a pregnant woman can take inhalers requires a prescription. Precaution against such allergies is to wash your hands with water and soap frequently.

10. More Stretch Marks

The veins you saw near Linea Nigra are becoming long stretch marks. All over your lower bump and hips, you will see these white streaks. Use vitamin E oil to keep your skin agile.

Relieving The Symptoms

  • Stretch marks fade naturally. However, you can use certain lotions that contain vitamin E and/or alpha hydroxy acids that can prevent the appearance of these marks to an extent. Make sure that you check with your doctor before using an over-the-counter lotion or cream.
  • If increased vaginal discharge makes you feel extremely uncomfortable then you may choose to use panty liners. Use of tampons is not recommended.
  • To prevent heartburn, avoid eating acidic and spicy foods.
  • For help with constipation, you should include more fibers in the diet. Fruits and whole grains have enough fiber and are also healthy.
  • To avoid experiencing low blood sugar, eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Keep hydrated and keep some snacks handy. Also, if and when you do feel dizzy, sit or lie down for a few minutes. Also, avoid getting up in a rush after sitting/lying down for a while to avoid the feeling of a head rush.

Weight Gain

  • You will actively begin to gain weight as you enter the second trimester. Slow and steady gain is the healthiest way to gain weight.
  • How much to gain? This largely depends upon your Body Mass Index (BMI) pre-pregnancy. The recommended weight gain per week as per BMI is :
            If BMI is less than 18.5 (Underweight): gain of 1 to 1.3 pounds per week
            BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 (Average): gain of 0.8 to 1 pound per week
            For BMI between 25 and 29.9 (Overweight): gain of 0.5 to 0.7 pounds per week
            BMI more than 29.9 (Obese): gain of 0.4 to 0.6 pounds per week
  • However, do not stress too much about the numbers given. Your doctor will guide you through this as your pregnancy progresses. You need to focus on eating a healthy diet with a variety of food to gain approximately 300 calories more per day than you did pre-pregnancy.

Ultrasound In Week 13 Of Pregnancy

  • If you have already had your first prenatal appointment then this week you will not have an ultrasound appointment.
  • Even though it is possible to detect the gender of the child this week, it is very difficult. So, in this case, it would be better to wait for the second prenatal appointment or mid-pregnancy test which usually takes place between weeks 18 and 22 of pregnancy.
  • Though if you have undergone NIPT then the results may already have revealed the gender (!).

Sex In Week 13 Of Pregnancy

  • There is no harm in getting involved in sexual activities at this time of pregnancy.
  • The fetus is completely covered by the amniotic sac filled with amniotic fluid and hence is safe. Another reason to not worry is that there is a mucus plug in the cervix that further protects the growing child.
  • Your doctor may advise you against sex only if you have a history of miscarriage or history of premature labor, there is a risk of contracting an STD, the placenta is low-lying or your cervix is more dilated than usual.
  • Even if there is no risk, you should see to it that the sexual positions are safe and maintain complete hygiene.

Is It Normal To Not Feel Pregnant At 13 Weeks?

New changes during the week can numb you to the feeling of pregnancy. There is no particular period where you will feel pregnant. Throughout the nine months time, you will keep switching thoughts.

Not feeling pregnant is opposite of pseudocyesis. Phantom pregnancy is the case when the woman feels pregnant but isn’t expecting. Cryptic pregnancy is the condition where you do not feel pregnant but actually, are pregnant. You are not suffering from either because you know you’re pregnant and are just not seeing what you expected.

Absence of symptoms like nausea and vomiting in the 13 weeks might make you miss something. Associating morning sickness with a feeling of pregnancy is a habit you developed. Soon enough it will go away and you’ll identify with the new changes in the trimester.

Feeling or not, you have to take care of yourself, because ‘you are pregnant’.

Brown Discharge When I Wipe

Seeing brown discharge now should be less worrisome than in previous weeks. The risk of miscarriage is dropping below 10% of the risk until week 6. When the brown discharge only shows upon wiping it is likely an infection.

Estrogen levels fluctuate as hCG starts dropping now. The peak of hCG has passed and gradually it will reduce.

If you see brown discharge after having sex then consult a doctor before indulging again.

Other reasons can be hemorrhoids. Internal bleeding can come off as brown discharge. While wiping always take the tissue backward especially when pregnant. Make sure that the discharge is from the cervix and not the anus.

Brown discharge during pregnancy is not a concern. Your doctor will not be worried when you inform him about it. Warning signs along with BD are cramps, ovary pain and bleeding with clots. Pelvic examinations during pregnancy are done routinely. Get a pap smear test done to see if you have UTI.

Warning Signs In Week 13 Of Pregnancy

The risk of spontaneous miscarriage is significantly low. Even then if you experience or observe any of the below signs then contact your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Cramping in the uterine region, lower back pain and/or vaginal bleeding.
  • Profuse leakage of clear vaginal discharge might indicate leaking amniotic fluid.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting lasting more than a day can lead to dehydration and is extremely harmful to health.
  • Pain and burning sensation while urinating can be a sign of an infection.
  • Symptoms of severe flu-like fever, chills, runny nose, and sore throat.
  • Foul smelling and/or colored vaginal discharge is also a sign of underlying infection.
  • Headache that does not go away for a long duration, vision changes and sudden edema of hands and feet might indicate high blood pressure or even pre-eclampsia.
  • Tiredness or severe fatigue

Tips For The Pregnant

  • As the first trimester is about to end, many prospective parents announce pregnancy during this time. However, do not feel pressured; the decision was always and still is yours.
  • You may decide to announce your pregnancy after you start showing, at a big family event or whenever and however you want.
  • With respect to diet, make sure you include proteins, calcium, and iron in your diet. Proteins are essential for growth. Calcium is essential as the skeleton has started to form in the fetus. If the fetus does not get enough calcium, they will start taking it from your body and it will take a toll on you. So it is better to include calcium in the diet.
  • Also, many women suffer from iron-deficiency or anemia during pregnancy. This may make you feel tired more than usual and may also lead to breathlessness. So it is essential to include iron sources in the diet.
  • Other than diet, you should also look after your mental and physical well being by getting involved in activities that you like.

Tips For Partner

  • Helping in any way will be appreciated by your partner.
  • One way this can be done is by filling up her car with gas. Gas fumes are generally not good to inhale. Also, pregnancy may make her extra sensitive to the fumes.
  • You may at times suggest helping her with the household work if she is not working and staying at home or help her with any other work.
  • These small gestures may help put her in a good mood and are also a great way for bonding.

Oh, the exhausting trimester is about to be over and it will be the beginning of the one associated with more energy for work and play. No matter what time of pregnancy, always keep your health (physical, mental and emotional) a priority. With that, enjoy this phase of pregnancy!