Pregnancy Week by Week - 13 to 16 weeks
A weekly breakdown from 13 to 16 weeks
Your baby is the size of a lemon and vocal cords are starting to develop. Soft hair is starting to grow on baby’s head and eyebrows are in place. Fingerprints are forming on baby’s tiny fingers. A pregnancy bump may begin to show as the uterus moves upwards and outwards to accommodate baby’s growth. Common pregnancy symptoms experienced may include fatigue, food cravings and aversions, heartburn, indigestion or constipation.
Your baby is the size of a peach. The intestines are starting to produce meconium, the waste product that makes up the first bowel motion after birth. Brain impulses allow baby to show facial expressions and suck the thumb. A layer of thin, downy hair called Lanugo starts to cover baby’s body to assist with warmth. The spleen and liver are functioning, producing bile and red blood cells.
Your baby is the size of an orange. The bones in baby’s ears are starting to develop and first sounds can be heard. This may include sounds of the digestive tract, heartbeat and your voice. The eyes remain fused shut however your baby can respond to bright light outside of the womb. Bones continue to ossify or harden and the skin remains translucent allowing a clear view of blood vessels and the skeleton. The pregnant body is circulating 20% more blood than usual. This can result in the ‘pregnancy glow’ and some side effects such as blood pressure changes, nose or gum bleeds and mild headaches.
Your baby’s eyes and ears have settled into a permanent position on the head and the joints are working to wriggle fingers and toes. The umbilical cord is mature and contains two arteries and one vein, protected by Wharton’s Jelly. This is a thick substance making the cord slippery to move freely around baby. The heart is beating about 180 beats per minute and pumping 25 litres of blood a day. Your baby is the size of a capsicum. Baby girls now have thousands of eggs forming in the ovaries. Taste buds are functioning and baby can taste the amniotic fluid as it enters the mouth. Amniotic fluid has different flavours dependent upon the pregnant parent’s diet resulting in baby developing taste preferences whilst in the womb.
Written by PBC Expo Midwife Hayley Hall
Midwife, Birth Educator and Mum of 4
For more information about pregnancy, birth, parenthood and birth classes, visit:
- Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Banking Basics
- 7 Things You Can Do To Speed Up C-Section Recovery
- The facts about fertility and pre-pregnancy health
- Advice and Resources for Disabled Parents
- Having a planned birth? Every extra week counts.
- Your natural birth choices
- Understanding the Needs of Your Newborn: A Doulas Perspective
- Bringing Baby Home