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Pregnancy Calendar Week 13

YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 13At about 3 inches now, your baby is the size of a peach. Her body is still pretty small, but it’s busy building bones, developing hormones and creating vocal chords. Your first trimester is coming to a close this week! This most welcome milestone means that many of those early, unpleasant pregnancy symptoms are going away.Your BodyAt 13 weeks pregnant, your morning sickness and nausea are likely behind you and, with your body more used to being pregnant, fatigue should be fading. But, these new pregnancy symptoms may now have made their way on to the scene:Varicose VeinsVaricose veins are swollen, twisted, blue or purple veins near the surface of the skin that plague many pregnant women. They’re most commonly seen in the legs, but you may also get them around your ankles, in your vulva or in other areas. And, if you’re experiencing hemorrhoids, those are actually varicose veins in the rectal area.When you’re pregnant, you’ve got a lot more blood flow throughout your body. This increased flow puts more burden on your veins, which return blood from your extremities to your heart. With gravity already against you, and with your blood vessels more relaxed from high progesterone levels, you may now be experiencing the sometimes painful, heavy and achy feeling of varicose veins.To get some relief, try these tips:

  • Exercise every day to improve your circulation.
  • Keep within your recommended weight range for your pregnancy stage.
  • Elevate your legs and feet whenever you can.
  • When sitting, don’t cross your legs or ankles.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. Get up often and move around.
  • Wear special compression stockings, which are tighter at the ankle to make it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. This helps reduce swelling and can help keep your varicose veins from worsening.
  • Rest easy knowing that varicose veins do tend to get better after you deliver your baby, particularly if you didn’t have any before getting pregnant.

Increased Sex DriveElevated hormones, bigger and more sensitive breasts, increased blood flow to your vulva—all of these symptoms may be bringing on another common pregnancy symptom: A heightened sex drive.A lot of women have an increased desire for intimacy during pregnancy, but every pregnant woman experiences it differently. And, every couple’s sex life is different. So, there’s really no “normal” state of sexual frequency and interest. When it comes to sex during pregnancy, anything goes, and the way you feel now may change as you get closer to childbirth.More pregnancy sex can be a wonderful thing! Especially since it’s completely safe and there’s no birth control to worry about. But, if you’re experiencing a dramatic change in your sexual desire, be sure to talk with your partner about it. Having an open, ongoing conversation about your changing sex life can help you bond and enjoy more intimate time together during your pregnancy.Your BabyIn the 13th week of pregnancy, your baby’s body is growing at top speed as it tries to catch up to the size of her head, which still makes up about half of her size.Your baby’s bones are forming. In her arms and legs and throughout her body, tiny bones are starting to form and all of her joints are present. Her bones are getting harder and stronger every day. Soon, you’ll be feeling her arms and legs as they make pint-sized punches and kicks inside your belly.Your baby’s hormones are developing.Healthy growth of your baby is dependent on her developing hormones. Different hormones play different roles that affect everything from placental growth to nutrient transfer to brain development. By eating a healthy diet, taking your prenatal vitamins and exercising daily, you’ll be doing your part to help your baby’s growth and prevent birth defects that can arise due to improper hormone development.Your baby’s vocal chords are under construction.Although those sweet little sounds can’t be heard through your uterus, you’ll be hearing your baby’s developing vocal chords with plenty of cooing and crying once she’s born. You’ll want to start studying up now on ways you can soothe those crying spells that you know are coming!Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 13:

  • Avoid phthalates. Stay away from phthalates, which are chemicals that disrupt your baby\’s developing hormones. Visit www.ewg.org/key-issues/toxics/phthalates to learn about what products are safe for you and your baby.
  • Incorporate moderate exercise every day. Moderate exercise promotes blood supply and nourishment for healthy hormone levels, which are passed along to your baby. Yoga or pilates are great forms of moderate exercise that have excellent health benefits for you and your baby.

Things You Should Do

  • Review your finances and make a budget to follow when baby arrives.
  • If you don’t have it yet, look into purchasing life insurance.
  • Do Kegel exercises, which can be helpful in relieving hemorrhoids.

Words You Should KnowChromosomes: Structures in our cells that contain genes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes including the two (XX or XY) that determine sex (male or female).Endometriosis: A medical condition where tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in a different area of the body such as the abdomen.Hormone: A substance produced by endocrine glands and released directly into the bloodstream. Hormones travel through blood to tissues and organs where they stimulate certain activity in the body such as growth or metabolism.Midwife: A person, usually a woman, trained to assist women during childbirth.

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