Week-by-week guide to pregnancy

group of pregnant women
When you're pregnant, you have lots of questions. Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is packed with lots of useful information. From what's happening inside your body, to how your baby is developing, and tips and advice on having a healthy pregnancy – this is your one-stop pregnancy guide!

Second trimester

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. Happy reading!

Week 14 – your second trimester

Welcome to week 14! You're probably feeling more like yourself again now, after the tricky first trimester. As your energy soars, you may find that your appetite does too. Your baby doesn't need any extra calories now, and too much weight gain in pregnancy isn't good for you or the baby. If you get hungry between meals then ditch the crisps and top yourself up with super snacks that will give you a healthy boost.

What's happening in my body?

You have an extra organ in your body that wasn't there 14 weeks ago, and that's the placenta. The placenta is pancake shaped – the word placenta means 'flat cake' in Latin. It's 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 won't ever 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 involve your partner as much as possible at scans and antenatal classes. Tommy's, the baby charity, has more 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.

Second trimester pregnancy symptoms (at 14 weeks)

You may still be experiencing different pregnancy symptoms such as:

Tommy's, the baby charity, has a further list of common symptoms.

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.

Action stations

This would be an excellent week to tick off a few of these jobs…

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 those muscles 'down under'. Gentle exercises can help to prevent leakage when you laugh, sneeze, cough or jump around on your future baby's trampoline. 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.

Ask your partner if they would like to take part in the antenatal classes. Even if you've had children before, they're 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 cappuccinos. We know that's easy to say but hard to do. Ask your midwife or GP for support.

We can usually get enough vitamin D from sunlight, but between October and March it's best to take a vitamin D supplement every day. Just 10 micrograms is all you need (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). It's worth checking if you're entitled to free vitamins.

Get moving! It's recommended that pregnant women do 150 minutes of exercise throughout the week. 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.

Don't eat for two! Eat for you. You don't need any extra calories until the third trimester, which starts in week 28. Try to eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.

This week's treat

There's always so much to do isn't there? However this week, on your 'to do' list, add the word 'relax'. Find some music that makes you feel peaceful and listen to it. Some mums listen to music when they're giving birth, so why not start picking out a playlist now? There's no strong evidence that music can alleviate pain, but it could help to keep you calm.

For inspiration, download Spotify Free and search for 'Birthing Playlist'.

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