baby size of large plum at week 13

Hey mom-to-be, welcome to the second trimester! As you progress into this trimester, you may experience some new bodily changes while some of the previous symptoms might be easing. Here's all you need to know about your thirteenth week of pregnancy; keep reading.

13 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Your 13-week foetus is about the size of a large plum, measuring about 2 to 3 inches in height and weighing about 26 to 29 gms. Your little one continues to grow and develop. Here are some significant changes that happen this week:

Hair

Your baby's hair follicles have begun developing. Lanugo, soft, fine hair starts appearing on his body. This lanugo will cover your baby's body by the 20th week. Vernix, a substance present in the hair, coats the baby's skin and protects it from the amniotic fluid.

Bones

Tiny bones are forming in your baby's arms and legs. Your baby can have jerky movements, due to which he can now put his thumb into the mouth. This sucking reflex will come in handy for self-soothing after birth.

Fingerprints

The ten teeny-tiny fingertips of your little one are developing ridges. Your baby is soon going to have her everlasting and unique fingerprints.

Intestines

Until now, your baby's intestines were growing inside a cavity within the umbilical cord. However, they have moved outside permanently in their original location – your baby's abdomen.

Vocal cords

Your baby's vocal cords are developing. Although you can't hear her cooing or crying right now, her voice will be the best after she's born.

Growing placenta

The placenta continues to grow to serve the needs of your developing foetus. It functions fully, where it provides nutrients and oxygen to your baby and also filters out waste.

What's more?

Your little one can now swallow the amniotic fluid that surrounds her. Her bladder will now be visible in the 13 weeks pregnant ultrasound. Her kidneys can now produce urine, which will become part of the amniotic fluid. Moreover, your baby's liver has begun secreting bile while the pancreas produces insulin.

13 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Most expecting moms consider the second trimester as the honeymoon period. Thanks to the energy boost and easing up of the morning sickness, you can enjoy this trimester a bit. Although some of your symptoms might have eased up a bit, you might still experience some symptoms. These include:

Leaking colostrum

A thick, yellow fluid, called colostrum, may start leaking from your breasts. This is nothing but milk that appears for the first few days after delivery. Try using disposal or cotton breast pads to help absorb the leaking fluid.

Heartburn

You may experience heartburn and indigestion quite often throughout your pregnancy. This happens due to your baby's movement from one position to the next and also as your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach. The muscle at the top of your stomach relaxes due to the pregnancy hormones, allowing stomach acid to move up into the oesophagus. This leads to heartburn. Avoid lying down immediately after eating a large meal. Sit upright after eating and avoid potential triggers like citrus fruits, chocolate, and fried or spicy foods to reduce the discomfort.

Vaginal discharge

Leukorrhea, a clear or milky-white discharge, may increase at this stage of your pregnancy. This discharge helps in keeping vaginal and birth canal infections and irritations at bay. Use panty liners if the discharge increases.

Constipation

Progesterone and oestrogen may cause your digestive system to slow down a bit. Due to this, you may be feeling a bit backed up. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods to increase your fibre intake. Consuming prune juice, drinking lots of water, ad doing regular exercise can help too.

Changing sex drive

It's totally okay for you and your partner to feel an increase or a decrease in sexual desire during pregnancy. If your pregnancy has no complications and both of you feel the urge, you can enjoy the intimacy. Worry not! Your baby will be safe and protected by your uterus and the amniotic sac. Talk to your doctor to clarify your doubts and questions about this or anything else. Your doctor might ask you to restrain from sex if you have pregnancy complications, including a history of miscarriage or a risk of preterm labour.

13 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

As you enter the second trimester, your baby continues to grow. This means you need to take extra care of yourself and the developing baby. Here are a few things you might need to consider:

  • Share the news: The start of your second trimester is the best time to share the news with your loved ones, as the risk of miscarriage is lower after the first trimester. However, the decision about when to spread the word is yours.

  • Inform the employer: If you're working, plan how you will share the news with your employer and when. By doing so, your employer can make plans for delegating your work in your absence during the maternity leave.

  • Work out: If you've been working out, keep it up! If not, talk to your doctor about starting a basic workout routine. If your doctor allows you, your routine might include walking, swimming, and yoga. During the last six months of your pregnancy and after your baby's birth for the first few months, your fitness routine will help you deal with all the extra stress.

  • Avoid abdominal exercises: If your exercise involves lying flat on your back, it is best to look for alternatives. The weight from your uterus can lead to restricted blood flow to your heart in that position. So, speak to your doctor for alternatives.

  • Exercise for pelvic floor muscle: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles help in improving bladder control and increasing pelvic organ support. This exercise is known as Kegels. All you need to do is squeeze and relax the muscles in your pelvic and genital area. Do the clenches in different timings - for example - you can hold for three, relax for three, or a succession of quick contract and releases.

  • Intense dreams: During pregnancy, you might experience some unusual things, like more intense dreams or feeling a little spaced out or having trouble concentrating. Relax, it is normal! Read up on pregnancy brain and the reason for having more vivid dreams.

Precautions & Tips at Thirteenth Week of Pregnancy

Although the risk of miscarriage has subsided, you need to still continue taking care of yourself and your baby. As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience an increased appetite, thanks to no-more morning sickness. When it comes to eating healthy and paying close attention to you and your baby's health, consider these handy tips:

  • Nutrition: Include healthy food choices in your daily diet. For calcium – broccoli, dairy, fortified foods like soy milk, tofu, fruit juices, and cereal. For magnesium – nuts, seeds, avocados, spinach, beans, and whole grains. For vitamin D – fatty fish, sardines, egg yolks, and fortified milk.

  • Skin care: Although you can't stop stretch marks, you can keep them to a minimum. Try eating healthy, gaining weight slowly and consistently, and moisturising your skin. However, make sure to check the ingredients of the lotion you apply, as some of the products contain ingredients that are unsafe for pregnancy.

  • Deal with discharge: Use a panty liner to avoid discomfort. Keep the area clean and dry. If you notice a major increase in the discharge, colour changes like yellow or green, foul odour, or it is accompanied by itching, pain or redness in the area, contact your doctor.

  • Embrace your sex drive: The boost in libido is considered to have health benefits for you and your baby. Pregnancy sex can speed up postpartum recovery, as it tightens your pelvic floor muscles. It is also known to improve your mood and sleep. However, if you have placenta previa, a history of miscarriage, or are at the risk of preterm labour, you may have to restrain from it. Consult your doctor about your condition.

  • Don't skip prenatal vitamins: Eat folic-acid-rich foods like whole grains, beans, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, bananas, and milk. Your doctor may have recommended folic acid supplements; make sure you don't forget to take them as prescribed. Your body requires about 400 mcg of folic acid before pregnancy, whereas the amount changes to 600 mcg during pregnancy.

  • Combat germs: During pregnancy, you are more susceptible to colds, flu and other infections, as your immune system is slightly suppressed to keep your foetus (a foreigner to your system) from being rejected. Make sure to wash and sanitise your hands often, avoid touching your face, and visit the doctor if you notice any symptoms.

  • Avoid peeling your fruit: Are you one of those who eat their apple after peeling it? Stop right away! One apple with skin has about 4.4 gms of constipation-quelling fibre. On the other hand, ½ cup of applesauce has just 1 gm. Now, do you see the amount of nutrient loss there?

  • Watch portion sizes: Eating larger meals can slow down things in the digestive tract, causing you to feel backed up. Try eating six smaller meals to combat the problem.

At Your Doctor's Office

If you missed your prenatal visit or didn't have any in the last week, you may get to visit your doctor this week. You might also get to hear your little one's heartbeat lub-dubs. Now, who is excited? We know you are, so make sure you don't miss it! Here's what will be checked:

  • Your blood pressure

  • Your weight

  • Your urine

  • Your baby's heart rate by placing a Doppler on your abdomen and uterus

Apart from the routine check-ups, the doctor might also ask you some questions to understand your progress. So, don't make this a one-sided communication, and use this time to ask your questions too. Here's a small questionnaire to help you get started:

  • Is the pain that I sometimes feel in my pelvic area normal?

  • How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? What changes can I make in my diet to achieve it?

  • What makes twin pregnancy different from the regular?

  • Do you recommend chorionic villus sampling for me?

Track your baby's development with our week-by-week expert tips on pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Although your baby has started moving within the womb, you won't be able to feel those teeny-tiny movements until the 18th week.

  • As your uterus grows, it is increasing in size to accommodate the baby comfortably. As it moves out of the pelvis at this stage, your 13 weeks pregnant belly starts to show.

  • As your morning sickness and fatigue eases up, you may feel a surge in your energy levels this week. You may also experience leaking colostrum, constipation, heartburn, and increased libido.


    In just 13 weeks, your little one has developed from a small combination of an egg and sperm into a fully-formed tiny human. However, there's a little bit of growing and maturing still left to do before he steps into the outside world. So, make sure you take care of yourself and the tiny little human within you by resting enough, eating well, and staying hydrated. Don't forget to enjoy the beautiful moments you come across!