Week 13 marks your transition into the second trimester; a time when you should be starting to feel less tired and more energetic than you have during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is starting to diminish now, so you may be feeling much more like your old self.
Taking pregnancy tests may be addictive (it's always nice to see that reassuring blue line!) but it's best not to take anymore from now on. Pregnancy tests measure HCG levels, and with them starting to decline they may be more difficult to detect. You should have already had your first scan, so you know there's a definitely a healthy baby in there!
Baby: What's Happening?
Your baby will be measuring around 3 inches long at this point, or about 7.5 cm. Bizarrely, the majority of this is made up of your baby's head! The body is growing rapidly now, though, and will soon catch up, making your baby look far more proportional.
The big change with your baby this week is that a completely unique set of fingerprints have formed, meaning your little one now has it's first real distinguishing features. Fingerprints are, of course, just the first of many aspects that will give your baby his or her own identity.
Your baby's vocal cords are developing around now, and while they won't be used for speaking words for quite some time, they will probably be exercised quite frequently in the first few months after the birth! Many new Moms worry about their babies screaming in public, but keep in mind that it's completely normal for your baby to cry, it's his or her only form of communication! Your baby will not be the first to moan on the bus, nor the last!
Your baby's ankles and wrists will form this week, so all the joints should now be in full working order. Your baby is starting to make some deliberate movements with them, but mostly he or she will still be a bit of a jumping bean, making rather fast and jerky actions. It's still a bit early to be feeling this, but you should do within the next couple of weeks.
If you've decided to use a home doppler, you may be able to hear the heartbeat around this time. But don't worry if you can't! Home dopplers are not as clear as medical grade devices, and with your baby weighing less than an ounce and being smaller than a peach, that tiny heartbeat isn't always very easy to find! Try placing the doppler slightly to one side of your navel, and slowly moving it downwards towards your public bone. If you don't have any luck, you'll be hearing that heartbeat soon enough anyway, at your next antenatal appointment.
You: What's Happening?
Your uterus is continuing to grow upwards and outwards from your pelvic bone, and you'll probably notice a distinct little curve to your belly. If this is your first baby, you may have to wait a little longer to see much of a change, as your stomach muscles will be tighter and stronger than those who have had a previous pregnancy.
Although you're only just entering your second trimester, you may begin to produce and leak some colostrum around now. Colostrum is a clear fluid filled with all sorts of good stuff that is produced before your breast milk comes in. After the birth, colostrum does a great job of feeding and nourishing your baby, but for now there's not really much you can do with it!
With hormonal changes going on again now, you could find yourself feeling a little bit frisky! On the other hand, you may be wanting your partner to stay a good 5 feet away from you! Both are completely normal. If you're experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy, there's no reason why you shouldn't have sex if you want to.
If you're starting to produce colostrum, it may be a good idea to stock up on some breast pads. They're just small cotton balls that stick to the inside of your bra which help soak up any leakage. You'll be using lots of these after the birth, especially if you're nursing.
It's not pleasant, but colostrum can crust onto your nipples, making them chafe and hurt a little. After a warm bath or shower, gently wipe your nipples to remove any residue and put on some moisturizing barrier cream which can help to reduce chafing.