13 weeks

The second trimester is underway, and your baby will now be around 6-7 cm in size, so about as large as a kiwi fruit. They’ll weigh around 20 grams, roughly the same as a strawberry. Week 13 represents a special growth spurt for your baby. While they’re rapidly getting longer and longer, their proportions are gradually taking shape and evening out so that they develop more recognisable human features and begin to resemble a newborn baby.

Giving yourself – and your baby – the best

Getting into good eating habits now will help your body meet the extra demands of pregnancy and motherhood. Try to eat a healthy breakfast instead of skipping it; tasty, unprocessed foods like muesli and yogurt or eggs and wholemeal toast will give you plenty of energy and nutrition to get through the morning.

Fruit (especially organic fruit) is a super convenience food – ready ‘packaged’ and full of goodness for between-meal snacks. Or opt for veg instead; carrot sticks dipped into hummus or a few cherry tomatoes can make a great tide-me-over.

If you're finding yourself more prone to getting urinary tract infections these days, a daily glass of cranberry juice will help ward them off, as well as boost your vitamin C and anti-oxidant intake.

In general, it's a great idea to stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, but don't forget to keep an eye on your caffeine intake, and remember it's best to avoid alcohol too.

More tips on eating healthily during pregnancy.

What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 13

You don’t need to suppress your cravings – as long as you’re eating a balanced diet overall, you can have a little bit of what you fancy!

There's still plenty of time to think ahead and plan how things are going to be: there are still another 27 to 29 weeks to go before you’ll be able to happily hold your baby in your arms. If your pregnancy were a book, you’d now have read about a third of it. 

A whirlwind of thoughts 

Lots of things will be running through your head right now, and you won’t be able to stop thinking about pregnancy. You’ll want to learn from the experiences of women who are already mothers and get an insight into their thought processes. Something else to deal with is the reactions of everyone who knows about your pregnancy, which will range from the more sensible to the more gushing, and all their arguments and opinions will have an influence on you.

Listen to what your mind and body are telling you, and take regular time out to be alone with your thoughts. Remember to communicate with your baby by laying your hand on your belly – they can now sense it and respond.

Unfortunately, though, you won’t be able to feel their movements for a few weeks yet. Women expecting their first child usually begin to feel their baby move gently from around week 18.

The symptoms of the first few weeks subside 

All these external influences can take their toll on you, so it’s good that you’re feeling much better and the symptoms of the first few weeks of your pregnancy have largely disappeared. However, you may still feel a slight pulling sensation in your abdomen from time to time (because your womb is constantly getting bigger and the round ligaments supporting it are stretching), and your breasts will also continue to feel tender and painful.

Happily, there are simple, gentle ways to relieve both of these symptoms. One of the most helpful is to make sure you are calm and relaxed: the ever-popular yoga or specific pregnancy exercises can help in this case. It’s a good idea to find out now what helps you and gives you the right balance. 

Top tips

  • Write down all the information you get from your friends, family and anyone else, and sort it according to its relevance to you.
  • Look for sports groups or classes for pregnant women and sign up.
  • Alternatively, find a yoga course for pregnant women.