The organs are all in place now and have gradually started functioning. Part one of pregnancy is complete! During the remaining two trimesters, your baby will grow and the organs will mature completely – so that the baby is as ready as can be for life outside the uterus. The little body is getting sturdier – about 6 cm long, and weighing in at around 60g. But much remains to be done: the ears are low, the eyes – which are still closed – are wide apart. Parts of the cartilage that served as bone structures are starting to harden and become the bones, and the baby is moving more and more with every passing day. It also has a little extra water around it, making it easier to stretch its body. You can see in the ultrasound how its hands reach for its mouth, and how its arms and legs bend and stretch. Boys create the male sex hormone and girls have millions of primitive eggs in the immature ovaries. You can also detect lines on the fingertips that will later become your baby’s unique fingerprints.
You’re entering the second third, or trimester, of your pregnancy (depending on how you count, but week 13 or 14 tends to be considered the beginning of the second trimester). Many people find that they are entering a calmer period of time. The nausea and fatigue have hopefully reduced – even if for some people, these things may last a little longer. A sense of calm also often settles in during this week, because the biggest risk of miscarriage is behind you. You might be able to let go of that small but nagging sense of anxiety and dare to think about the future for real. Week 13 is often when you start telling the people around you that you’re expecting a baby. That can feel both scary and exciting, but it’s usually nice to not have to keep the secret anymore. It will also be hard to hide for too much longer – your belly is going to pop out like a little ball whether you like it or not. Don’t be surprised if many people already knew you were pregnant. Sneaking sweets, visiting the toilet constantly, or subtly patting your little tummy has probably given away the bun in the oven. Many people also feel better now, but the need for rest and good food lasts throughout your pregnancy – so finding a nice balance is important in order to keeping feeling well. Your usual work and physical activity aren’t bad at all, but try to avoid exposing yourself to stress, and get plenty of sleep.
You’ve gotten through the first trimester of pregnancy and the biggest risk of miscarriage is behind you. For many parents-to-be, this is a bit of a milestone – most people are less worried and start to feel better. Your partner might also be a little more cheerful now. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for everyone – some people feel sick throughout pregnancy, some so much so that they may need to seek medical care for it. Maybe you’ve heard that pregnancy can produce cravings for specific foods. We don’t really know what causes this, but a lot of people get strong cravings for everything from chocolate, citrus fruits and salt to liquorice (liquorice in particular is something you should go easy on while pregnant; it isn’t dangerous, but too much isn’t good). For some people, these cravings can lead to a huge desire to eat something that you absolutely can’t eat, like cement, chalk or soil. At the same time, other foods and scents, often old favourites, might generate a massive amount of distaste and disgust.