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!

2nd 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.

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.

Colostrum

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:

You may also experience symptoms from earlier weeks, such as:

Read Tommy's guide to common pregnancy 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

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.

There's no need to eat for 2. You don't need any extra calories until the 3rd 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.

You and your family should follow the government and NHS guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • read government guidance on how to stay safe from COVID-19
  • get NHS advice about COVID-19
  • use the NHS COVID-19 app for England and Wales – it's the fastest way of knowing when you've been exposed to COVID-19
  • To find out about about COVID-19 and pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, have a look at advice on the:

  • NHS website
  • Breastfeeding Network
  • World Health Organization
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