14 weeks pregnant
How is your baby growing at 14 weeks?
Now that you are in week 14, your baby should be about 8 – 9 cm from head to bottom (crown to rump) and weighs about 43g. The baby's neck is becoming more defined so the head no longer seems to be attached to the shoulders. The baby's arms will be almost the correct size in proportion to the body but the legs will lag behind and still be relatively short. Lanugo – a type of soft, colour-free fine hair – may start growing on your baby's face. It will eventually cover the baby's body to protect the skin, but your baby will shed it just before birth.
The baby's heart will be beating at about twice the pace of your own heart, and it should be strong enough to be heard during an ultrasound scan. The lungs will be breathing in amniotic fluid, which is necessary to help them function.
The baby has now developed reflexes for swallowing, and he or she will be swallowing amniotic fluid, which will pass into the stomach and be flushed back into the amniotic sac as urine by the kidneys.
Not only will your baby be able to swallow, but his or her facial muscles will also be active, forming all sorts of faces such as frowns. With the continuing development of muscles and the nervous system, the muscles are more coordinated and can move more smoothly – the head, mouth and lips, arms, wrists, hands, legs, feet and toes are all more flexible.
The genitals are now fully developed, and while it might just be possible to determine the baby's gender, it may depend on his or her position at the time of an ultrasound.
How are you changing in week 14?
The womb has grown too large to remain fully within the pelvis. You may be able to feel it about 7.5cm below your belly button. As your baby grows and your womb moves upwards, your "bump" may start to become more prominent – though when this happens, as well as its size, varies among women.
Your breasts will continue to increase in size. They will continue to enlarge in the first 5–6 months of pregnancy as hormones trigger the milk duct system to expand, with protein and fat accumulating in cells within the breasts.
"Glowing skin" during pregnancy isn't just because you're happy about the approaching arrival of your baby. Physiological factors are at work: an increased blood volume delivers more blood through your blood vessels and pregnancy hormones cause glands to produce more oil, leading to a smoother, flushed skin appearance.
Hormonal changes can also make a pregnant woman's skin feel more sensitive or itchy. Your skin may be more sensitive to the sun – and burn more easily – or you may find that cosmetics, soaps and detergents or chlorine in a swimming pool that were okay before now irritate your skin. While oily skin may get oilier, dry skin could get drier. If you had a skin condition before pregnancy such as eczema, it may get worse, or – as in the case of psoriasis – it may temporarily get better.
Your eyesight may also be affected by the changes occurring in your body, in particular by hormonal changes and fluid retention. Mums-to-be who wear contact lenses may notice their eyes feel more gritty and drier than normal. Your GP or optometrist might be able to recommend eye drops or artificial tears that are safe to use during pregnancy, or you might want to revert to wearing glasses while you're pregnant. Even for people who normally have good vision, fluid retention can change the shape and thickness of the cornea in your eye, making your eyesight slightly blurred or distorted. Your eyesight should return to normal once pregnancy or breastfeeding has ended.