Although not much is happening in terms of exciting news at 14 weeks pregnant, you and your baby are still growing rapidly. With the focus not having to be on specifics this week, you should take the opportunity to put your energy toward your health. Take a close look at your diet and exercise plans and figure out if everything is working as planned. Asking yourself some simple questions should guide you to the right nutrition and activity:
Are you getting exercise every day?
Are you feeling overly tired after exercise?
Are you experiencing heartburn?
Are you consuming enough water daily?
Are you eating 6 meals instead of 3?
Are you aware of your intake of iron, calcium, folic acid, and Vitamin C?
Are you avoiding fried, sugary, and fatty foods?
The answers to these questions will help you decide if you need to introduce new foods, implement new exercises, cut back on cardiovascular/ weight training, or split up your meals further into smaller and more spread out portions. Just keeping yourself aware of how you feel and what you can do to improve your state of health throughout your pregnancy will ensure you’re doing what you need to do.
This week, your baby is continuing to grow rapidly. She is now almost 3½” long! The focus on nutrition and health is imperative from 14 weeks pregnant through to the 40th more than ever because she is now receiving nutrition directly from your placenta. Everything you consume (and even breathe or come into contact with) is delivered to her. Her head is still proportionately larger than her body, but everything will grow into its right size in time.
At 14 weeks pregnant, your belly is probably a “pooch” and you can feel the obvious difference in your size. Although the recommended weight gain for single pregnancies is between 25 and 35 pounds, your weight gain thus far should be at the low end; as long as your health provider is happy with your weight and level of activity, you should be on the right track! Remember while you’re exercising that a few rules apply specifically to pregnant women: 1) it is recommended that you keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute to ensure adequate oxygen is delivered to the baby throughout your exercise, 2) the increase in the levels of the hormone, Relaxin, tend to soften the bones and make you more susceptible to injury if you fall (so rollerblading is out from now until the end), and 3)exercise on your back (like sit-ups) are very dangerous due to the weight of your body and belly on a major artery called the vena – this position should be avoided entirely from the second trimester because it can cause a decrease in the blood supply to the heart and make you pass out…which is good for neither you, nor the baby!
In summary, this week’s focus should be on your lifestyle and habits, and any changes or improvements that need to be made. At 14 weeks pregnant, you still have some time to go and now is the perfect time to start listening to your body and becoming more “in tune” with what you need. Now that you know the baby is receiving everything directly from the placenta, you can recognize the importance of everything you ingest, inhale, and even touch… so stay conscious of activities, environments, and diet factors that could impact her health and safety.