14 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week
- measures about 8 cm
- weighs about 43 grams
- is developing fine hair called “lanugo”, it is just on his face at this stage
- genitals are fully developed (sometimes hard to detect on ultrasound)
- the muscoskeletal system has matured and the nervous system begins to exercise some control over the body, blood vessels rapidly develop.
- your uterus is the size of a grapefruit
- hormones cause changes to the skin – a line may begin to appear down the centre of your abdomen called “linea nigra” (it usually fades after birth)
- may notice and increase in vaginal secretions/discharge.
Mid-pregnancy: The planning time
There’s still quite a bit of your pregnancy ahead of you, but the second trimester can be a time where you really enjoy your pregnancy. More …..
As any side effects of early pregnancy start to fade, you can really start to enjoy your pregnancy. Here more tests are explained:
You’ll be asked for a sample of urine at each clinic visit. It’s tested for:
Thinking ahead: more blood tests
If you have decided to have second trimester maternal serum screening it can be done from now until 20 weeks, but ideally before 18 weeks.
- AFP – Alpha-fetoprotein, a protein substance produced by your baby.
- hCG – human chorionic gonadotrophin, you may recognise this as the hormone which your pregnancy test detected
- U-oestriols – A type of oestrogen hormone produced by your baby and the placenta
- Inhibin A – Test measures the amount of this hormone present in a pregnant woman’s blood.
The best time for this test is between 14 and 18 weeks of pregnancy when levels are stable.
Many factors can affect the results:
- your weight (it’s less accurate if you’re very overweight or underweight)
- race (African-Caribbean women have higher levels of AFP and hCG than Caucasian women)
- carrying twins or more
- insulin-dependent diabetes
- recent vaginal bleeding
- uncertainty about dates.
What to do when you get the results
Remember – these tests cannot tell you if your baby definitely does or doesn’t have a problem. They simply tell you whether there is a high or low chance of a problem. If you are given a ‘high risk’ result: you could go on to have further tests or do nothing.
If you are not reassured by your screening result, talk to a specialist.