During week 14 of your pregnancy, your baby's organ systems continue to mature and develop, and as with other earlier weeks, week 14 is no exception.
Your baby's body isn't the only thing growing these days. He or she is growing a fine coating of hair called lanugo that keeps your little one warm and toasty.1
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a series of articles on pregnancy. It provides a summary of each stage of pregnancy, what to expect, and insights into how your baby is developing. Take a look at the other articles in the series:
You will also see introductions at the end of some sections to any recent developments that have been covered by MNT's news stories. Also look out for links to information about related conditions.
Symptoms at 14 weeks pregnant
In week 14 of pregnancy, the appearance of some moles may change and new moles may appear.
At this stage of your pregnancy, you may continue to experience physical pregnancy symptoms such as:1
- Improved energy
- Change in appearance of moles or presence of new moles
- Weight gain
- Improved urinary frequency, nausea and vomiting
- Breast growth
- Increased appetite
- Presence of varicose veins
- Stuffy nose.
Be aware that pregnancy increases the risk of urinary tract infections from week 6 to week 24, so if your symptoms are not simply from the pregnancy and you suspect an infection, speak with a health care provider about treatment.3
Your hormones at 14 weeks pregnant
Throughout your pregnancy, you will experience variations in certain hormones that contribute to many of the pregnancy symptoms you may experience. Following implantation of the fertilized egg, your body begins to secrete a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) - the hormone used to detect pregnancy.4 This hormone is also responsible for regulating estrogen and progesterone and contributes to frequent urination.4
Initially produced by the corpus luteum, progesterone rises throughout your pregnancy and continues to do so until the birth of your baby.4 In early pregnancy, progesterone is responsible for increasing uterine blood flow, establishing the placenta and stimulating the growth and nutrient production of the endometrium (lining of the uterus).4
Progesterone also plays a crucial role in fetal development, preventing premature labor and lactation, as well as strengthening the pelvic wall muscles to prepare your body for labor.4
In addition to progesterone, the placenta is vital in secreting important hormones during your pregnancy such as:4
- Human placental lactogen: this hormone is believed to be responsible for mammary gland growth that will be important for lactation following the birth of your baby. Additionally, it plays a role in increasing nutrient levels in your blood, vital to the growth and development of your baby.
- Corticotrophin-releasing hormone: this hormone is not only responsible for determining how long you will be pregnant, but also for your baby's growth and development. Later in pregnancy, the rise in both corticotrophin-releasing hormone and cortisol both completes fetal organ development and provides the mother with a surge of cortisol that has been linked with maternal attentiveness, increasing the mother-baby bond.
Another vital hormone in pregnancy is estrogen, which is responsible for fetal organ development, placental growth and function and mammary gland growth. Additionally, estrogen is needed for the regulation of other hormones produced during pregnancy.4
Because of the rise in progesterone and estrogen, you may experience some unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as mood swings and morning sickness. Another hormone, relaxin, can cause physical symptoms such as pelvic pain, balance difficulties and constipation due to its role in relaxing maternal muscles, ligaments and joints.4
Genetic testing at 14 weeks pregnant
From weeks 11-14, an ultrasound may be obtained to evaluate your baby's nuchal translucency - the amount of fluid under the skin behind the baby's neck. This is important in testing for some medical conditions that may affect your baby such as Down syndrome.8
Since you are now into your second trimester, your health care provider may recommend that you be evaluated for gestational diabetes; this testing entails drinking a sugary liquid and checking your blood glucose levels.8
Baby's development at 14 weeks pregnant
At 14 weeks pregnant, your baby's toenails begin to grow from their nail beds.
At 14 weeks pregnant, there are many changes in your baby's development.
Developments that are underway include:1,2
- Heart: 25 quarts of blood are pumped daily
- Abdomen: meconium (components to the first bowel movement) are being made by the intestines
- Pelvis: genitals are fully visible and distinguishable
- Limbs: more defined, toenails also present
- Other: lanugo (fine body hair), eyebrows and hair on the head growing.
Lifestyle changes at 14 weeks pregnant
As with earlier weeks, you will soon find out that there are many lifestyle modifications that need to be made during pregnancy and even after delivery.
During pregnancy, you will need to take care of yourself and your developing baby. Be sure not to drink alcohol or smoke during pregnancy, and avoid all other toxic substances such as drugs during this time.5 Be sure to discuss all medications you are taking with your health care provider to ensure that you should continue use during your pregnancy.5
To nourish yourself and your baby, make sure you eat a healthy diet and take a good prenatal vitamin.5 Another way to maintain your health during pregnancy is to get regular exercise. Speak with your health care provider about your current or desired exercise regimen to make sure it is safe.
While it is safe to eat fish during pregnancy, it is recommended that you limit your intake to 8-12 oz. of fish and shellfish per week.3,6,7
Some examples of fish that are safe to consume during pregnancy include shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna (note: mercury varies can to can), pollock, cod, catfish and anchovies.3,7 If you plan on eating albacore tuna and tuna steak, it is recommended that you limit consuming this fish to 6 oz. per week.6,7
Avoid eating shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel while pregnant, as they contain high levels of mercury which can be harmful to your baby's brain and nervous system.6 If eating fish from a non-commercial source - a fish you or your family caught, for example - be sure to check with the local health authorities that the waters in which it was caught are safe.6
Always make sure your food is fully cooked and not raw or undercooked. Also avoid uncooked smoked or pickled fish.6Additionally, it is important to avoid unpasteurized soft cheese, refrigerated pâté, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, cold cut deli meat, foods containing raw eggs (Caesar dressing, etc) and unpasteurized juice, milk and eggnog.6
Need a boost? Caffeine is OK during pregnancy but should be consumed in moderation. Try to keep your caffeine consumption from all sources at or below 300 milligrams daily.6
Baby's size at 14 weeks pregnant
At 14 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a lemon.
Right now, your baby's crown-rump length measures around 3-4 inches and he or she is the size of a lemon.2
Your baby is gaining weight and now weighs in at a whopping 1 oz.2
As its muscles strengthen and additional bone structure grows in its back, your baby's posture will straighten, becoming almost erect.2
If you have questions regarding your pregnancy, be sure to contact your health care provider.
Call your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage such as vaginal bleeding or passage of tissue, leaking vaginal fluid, feeling faint or dizzy, low blood pressure, rectal pressure, shoulder pain and severe pelvic pain or cramping.
New research shows a causal link and reveals the mechanisms by which malaria in pregnancy alters the neurocognitive development of millions of children prior to birth.