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WEEK 13: Growing organs

13 weeks pregnant: the second trimester

You’re into the 2nd trimester and baby is learning some very important skills like swallowing, weeing and yawning. She’s not able to flutter her eyelids at you just yet though, they’re still fused shut.
    4-minutes read

    At a glance

    Your face could be in one of those skincare ads. Enjoy your glowing complexion while it lasts.

    Sunnies on. Get out in that sunshine. It can help your skin produce vitamin D.


    Enjoy the white stuff. Calcium comes in all forms of dairy and is good for you and baby.

    Feeling perkier? Time to book that couples break away. It could be the last for a while.

    Baby's development at 13 weeks pregnant

    Your mini diva-in-the-making is now developing vocal chords and has the cutest little set of lungs. She’ll soon start to take her first few breaths, sort of – she’s surrounded by amniotic fluid so oxygen comes in her blood from the umbilical cord. A bit like breathing under water.

    Baby is thicker skinned now – literally, but she’s still very transparent with all her veins and organs showing. She’s also beginning to create melanin, which will eventually determine her skin colour. Although most babies take almost a year after birth to reach their natural tone.

    In week 13, your baby’s skeleton is starting to develop with the clavicle, aka collar bone, and femur, aka thigh bone, being first.

    Changes in you and your body at 13 weeks pregnant

    Phew. At 13 weeks pregnant you’ve finally made it to the second trimester, one of the most popular of all trimesters. It’s usually around now that things start to look up. Energy levels are up, nausea is down and nicer symptoms emerge. A big thank-you to your pregnancy hormones for your thicker hair, long nails and glowing skin. Those hormones stimulate your metabolism making your complexion look wonderful. If you’ve ever dreamed of a modelling career, now’s the time because these beautiful symptoms won’t last.

    So you’re feeling perkier and prettier? Now’s the time for city breaks, theatre trips and dining out because soon your little human will be calling the shots. If you do fancy a trip somewhere nice take a little extra care of yourself. For example, get any vaccinations you need. It’s also well worth checking that your destination has adequate healthcare facilities. Take your medical records with you too, so you can give GPs all the information they need, if anything unexpected does happen. Also, if you’re going abroad, make sure your travel insurance covers any pregnancy-related medical care you may need, including changing the date of your return trip if you go into labour.

    And when you’re getting dolled up to go out or you have noticed a couple of temporary pregnancy brown spots, all’s good, help is at hand, check out our pregnancy skincare and makeup tips.

    Pregnancy nutrition at 13 weeks pregnant

    The second trimester is all about growth – and calcium in pregnancy is important for baby’s growing bones, teeth and muscles.

    You’ll probably find it quite easy to get calcium into your pregnancy diet. It’s in most forms of dairy: milk, cheese and yoghurt. Just try to avoid blue or mould-ripened cheese as these can carry listeria. It’s rare but not worth the risk when you’re 13 weeks pregnant.

    If you’re vegan you can find calcium in leafy greens and tofu. Many non-dairy milks are fortified with calcium so have a quick check of the labels.

    To help absorb calcium you need Vitamin D. The recommended daily amount is 10 micrograms – in theory you should be able to get enough from natural sunlight but in the UK and Ireland many people are vitamin D deficient. So while you’re pregnant it’s recommended to take a supplement. Bear in mind the darker your skin the more vitamin D you need. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you’re unsure. In the meantime get out and about in the sunshine while you’ve still got a bit of skip in your step.

    Maternity bra tips

    You’ve probably managed without maternity clothes so far. And you might still have a bit of time before you need more breathing room in your waistbands. But it’s a good idea to start thinking about maternity bras with these tips in mind:

    • Comfortable support bras, with adjustable straps and no underwires if possible and plenty of flex as nothing should pinch your growing breasts
    • A proper bra fitting to make sure everything is where it should be.
    • Be ready to change and have another fitting after a few weeks, as you might need a larger size
    • No need to get a full blown pregnancy or breastfeeding bra just yet.

    12 Weeks pregnant: time for your first pregnancy scan

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