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Pregnancy Weeks 13-18 - Page 2

Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter
Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter - Growing Baby

Baby's time to grow!

The first trimester was a time of incredible growth and development of your unborn baby's new organs and systems. By the end of this stage all the body structures and organs are completely formed and continue to grow and mature throughout the rest of your pregnancy.

At the beginning of this stage, your tiny, unborn baby has the following characteristics:

  • The length is about 6 centimeters
  • The head is large in proportion to the body
  • The muscles and bones strengthen
  • The limbs move more freely
  • The hands and feet are distinct, and have fingernails and toenails

By the end of this stage, your unborn baby will have developed his or her own distinctive fingerprints, and the genitals are developed enough to clearly tell whether you are having a boy or girl!

Although you may not feel movement yet, your little one can move freely around in the amniotic fluid. By about 20 weeks, most women can feel the first flutters of movement. Another exciting milestone near the end of this stage is hearing your unborn baby's heartbeat through a fetal stethoscope placed on your abdomen.

Do you feel a flutter in your tummy?
It's the first time you can feel your unborn baby moving and turning inside you. This exciting event, called quickening, typically occurs between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. Many women describe these first sensations as faint flutters or ripples in their lower abdomen. While these movements are soft and infrequent now, your unborn baby's activity will increase as your pregnancy continues, and soon there won't be any question about when you feel him or her moving! Be sure to let your health care provider know when you first feel these sensations, as this is an important milestone in your pregnancy.


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