13 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hi there, pregnant moms and dads-to-be, and welcome to the second trimester of pregnancy. I’ve learned so much as I experience my sixth pregnancy alongside you. We’ve each made it to the third month of pregnancy, meaning we’re officially one third of the way there. The second trimester is the most comfortable and symptom-free portion of pregnancy as hormones have finally stabilized and your baby bump is not yet keeping you from a normal routine. Let’s walk through this stage together and I’ll pepper general information with my own experiences as we move along.
13 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
13 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Clumsiness During Pregnancy
It has been scientifically proven that women are more clumsy during pregnancy — bad news for naturally clumsy women like me. I have had a couple of minor injuries as a result of pregnancy clumsiness, so don’t take it lightly. Once I twisted my ankle in Central Park and had to limp home in pain. Relaxin, a pregnancy hormone, aids your pelvic muscles and ligaments in softening to prepare for delivery. The effects of relaxin are far-reaching, relaxing even your hands and feet, making you prone to bouts of clumsiness during pregnancy. I found it best to invest in a great pair of sneakers that look good with pants and dresses. From now on until after you give birth, it would definitely be wise to not wear your favorite pair of heels.
Increased Energy During Pregnancy
🎵I’m walking on sunshine!!🎵 Got your groove back? During the second trimester, you might feel as if you can do anything. The clouds have finally parted, the first trimester is in the rearview mirror, and you are killing it! Your pregnancy hormones have stabilized and your body is getting used to the fact that you are carrying an extra human inside you, so you have more energy. Since the second trimester is marked by an increase in energy, use this time to get out and about and do the things you didn’t have the energy to do during the past couple of months.
Increased Sex Drive During Pregnancy
You’ve gotten your energy back, and chances are your libido has come roaring back, as well. Having sex while you’re pregnant is safe — don’t worry, your baby will be safe — and actually brings several benefits. You should know that small amounts of spotting are common after coitus, given that your cervix is a lot more sensitive. However, if the spotting turns into a period-like flow, it’s time to give your doctor a call, as this may be the sign of something more serious.
Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
I get into the nitty gritty of pregnancy stretch marks in Week 10. Here’s a bit more information. Stretch marks are red dents in the skin that appear on your belly and bottom. Because of your rapidly growing belly, your skin has to stretch to compensate, causing the mini tears that appear as stretch marks. These stretch marks may be itchy, but you should try not to itch them; instead, opt for skin creams and remember to stay hydrated to help manage the itchiness. I’ve found that being proactive by using a big quantity of shea butter cream several times a day dramatically helped reduce the severity of my potential stretch marks. I actually haven’t had them much at all in prior pregnancies. Follow my example and start applying organic skin creams, coconut oil, and Palmer’s skin cream (my favorite) on your belly and butt before you see any stretch marks!
Leg Veins During Pregnancy
As discussed in Week 10, varicose veins are veins in your legs that become swollen with blood. Blood enlarges the veins and causes varicose veins to appear. Since I often feel more pressure in my legs from veins when I’m on my feet, I’ve often wondered, is walking good for varicose veins? I’ve learned along the way that yes, walking and other forms of exercise are definitely good for reducing pregnancy varicose and related spider veins. This is so because moving encourages the blood to flow through the veins. Sitting and standing still, however, are not optimal, causing more pressure and enlargement of the veins. If you’re suffering from pregnancy veins, as I am, try elevating your feet to prevent blood from collecting in your legs. When sitting down, prop your legs up on a stool or lots of pillows. If pregnancy veins stay on after pregnancy, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation.
As your belly grows, begin to start sleeping on your left side. This position is often called the “ideal” sleeping scenario, as it allows your inferior vena cava (IVC), a large vein, to optimize blood flow!
My Pregnant Belly Progression
This week, I’ve noticed more of a change based on a rounding of my belly. My exercise routine has thankfully been able to stay the same, although I have been stretching more due to some extra stiffness I’ve been feeling in my hip and groin. Check out my 3 months pregnant belly!
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Since the second trimester features substantial amounts of growth in your baby, this means your belly also will grow. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that during pregnancy, a woman with an average BMI should expect to gain one pound per week. Every person is unique, so you should consult with your doctor as well as this chart and guide provided by ACOG for guidance.
When measuring your weight, don similarly weighted clothing and check in at the same time of day to make sure the results are as accurate as possible.
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
Your heart increases in size during pregnancy! Awwww.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 13 Weeks
At week 13, your baby weighs 0.8 ounces and is 3 inches long, about the size of a lemon. Your baby’s head, once so gigantic, is now looking a lot more normal. Your baby’s body has done a lot of growing to catch up proportionally to the head. By this time, your baby has grown all of the organs that are essential for life outside of the womb. However, it is still generally too early to tell the sex of your baby, as the genitals are still within the body and have yet to descend. In more exciting, or rather gross, news, because your baby’s kidneys have formed, your baby is able to pee into the amniotic fluid, although in very small amounts. Other developments that have occurred by week 13 of your pregnancy include completion of your baby’s vocal cords, the practicing of breathing, utilizing chest muscles, and the formation of teeth within your baby’s gums.
Your Pregnancy at 13 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
The following prenatal tests are available this week:
I’m getting my CVS test this coming Thursday and, although the risks are small, I’m feeling anxious about it. I’ll let you know how everything goes next week!
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide: Healthy Foods for You & Baby
Quick, Healthy Meal Tip
Baked Sweet Potato Chips: cut 1½ pounds of sweet potatoes into thin slices (using a mandolin or knife). Combine sweet potato slices and ⅓ cup of olive oil in a bowl. Place sweet potato slices on a tray and add salt to taste. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 300 degrees. (Tasty)
Why Sweet Potatoes? Sweet potatoes are a sweet root vegetable that is packed to the brim with nutrients and fiber. In fact, sweet potatoes contain 769% of your daily recommended Vitamin A! They also contain Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. The fiber in sweet potatoes is great for improving your digestive health. Sweet potatoes also have been associated with protecting against cancer and improving your eye and brain health. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!
How Many Months Is 13 Weeks?
Doctors typically don’t measure your pregnancy based on months for a very good reason: months have a different number of days and weeks, meaning that the month during which your pregnancy began would influence the month of pregnancy you’re in. However, 13 weeks in months means you are around 3 months pregnant.
Week 13 Pregnancy Checklist
- Prepare your other children for your new arrival
- Eat a second breakfast or snack to get those extra calories
- Aim to gain 1 pound per week
- Begin a pregnancy journal
- Start thinking of some potential baby names
- Start sleeping on your side
- Research pediatricians
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Remember to take your vitamin supplements
- Research crib sheets
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists