Week-by-week guide to pregnancy
Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is full of essential information. From staying fit in pregnancy to advice on your maternity rights, you'll find it all here.
Week 14 – your 2nd trimester
Hopefully you are starting to feel less tired and sick now. As your energy levels return, your appetite might too. Remember, your baby does not need any extra calories at this point. Too much weight gain in pregnancy is not good for you or the baby. If you get hungry between meals try sticking to healthy snacks.
What's happening in my body?
The placenta is full of blood and pumps out nutrients, oxygen and hormones, while removing waste products such as carbon dioxide. The placenta is firmly attached to your womb and links up with your baby through the umbilical cord.
Your blood and the baby's blood come into close contact in the placenta, but they do not mix. That's because you might be different blood groups, and mixing them up could be dangerous.
Remember to talk
Relationships can come under strain when you're pregnant, due to all kinds of worries. Talk about your feelings and speak to your doctor or midwife if you feel like you're not coping. Tommy's has advice on relationships and pregnancy.
You may notice some yellow stains in your bra – this is probably colostrum, which is the first milk you will produce. Ask the doctor or midwife to have a look if you're worried about any changes.
2nd trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 14 weeks)
You may still be experiencing pregnancy symptoms including:
- swollen and bleeding gums (read about gum health in week 13)
- pains on the side of your belly, caused by your expanding womb (known as 'round ligament pains')
- feeling bloated (read how to cope with bloating on week 10's page)
- constipation (read how to deal with constipation on week 16's page)
- indigestion and heartburn (read about how to treat indigestion and heartburn on week 25's page)
- sore breasts
- leg cramps
- feeling hot
- swollen hands and feet
- urine infections
- vaginal infections (read about vaginal infections in week 15
- darkened skin on your face or brown patches – this is known as chloasma or the 'mask of pregnancy'
- greasier, spotty skin
- thicker and shinier hair
You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:
- morning sickness (see week 6 for morning sickness advice
- weird pregnancy cravings)
- a heightened sense of smell
- mood swings (read about dealing with mood swings on week 8's page)
- a white milky pregnancy discharge from your vagina and light spotting (seek medical advice for any bleeding)
What does my baby look like?
Your baby, or foetus, is around 8.5cm long from head to bottom, which is the size of a kiwi fruit. The head is getting rounder and more in proportion with the rest of the body. Your baby is kicking around, but you probably won't feel it yet. However, your midwife might be able to hear the heartbeat, using a handheld monitor placed on your tummy.
Inside you, your baby is doing something quite miraculous – having a wee! Small amounts of the amniotic fluid are swallowed by the baby and pass into the stomach. The kidneys then kick in and the fluid is passed back out again as urine.
Many women will tell their employer after they've had their first pregnancy scan at around 12 weeks. Once you tell your employer, you have maternity rights and can attend antenatal appointments during paid work time. You can also ask for a risk assessment of your workplace to ensure that you're working in a safe environment.
It's a good time to tone up your pelvic floor muscles. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze, cough or jump. Get the muscles going by pretending that you're having a wee and then stop the 'urine' in midflow. Visit Tommy's for more ideas about pelvic floor exercises.
Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.
Even if you've had children before, antenatal classes are still worth going to as you can meet other parents-to-be. The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.
Do your best to stop smoking, give up alcohol and go easy on the tea, coffee and anything else with caffeine. Ask your midwife or GP for support if you need it.
To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D. From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.
Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website. You just need 10 micrograms (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.
It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant. You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise - perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section). Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
You and your family should follow the government and NHS guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19):
To find out about about COVID-19 and pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, have a look at advice on the: