Welcome to week 14
Your skin and hair might be showing some changes. Some women experience the pregnancy 'bloom', where your skin glows and your hair and nails look amazingly healthy. You might be in the other camp, suffering spots and a greyish-green pallor. This is all down to how your hormones affect you, and it's really the luck of the draw which camp you fall into.
Your baby weighs one and a half times what he did last week, which could sound decidedly scary if we were talking about kilos, but is, in fact, hardly noticeable to you as we're still talking only 25-30g. At 8-8.5cm, the growth spurt continues. The reproductive systems are in place now, whatever your baby's gender. Did you know, for instance, that girls are born with at least 2 million eggs already in place in their ovaries?
On the outside
Depending on your genes and your family history, you might already be showing some of the battle scars of pregnancy: stretch marks, thread veins and pigmentation are all pretty common. Rest assured of these changes are resolvable or at least concealable to a degree. Stretch marks, for instance, while they never fully disappear after the birth, do fade to a silvery colour that looks a whole lot better than when they're purply-red and angry looking in pregnancy. Vitamin E based products and cocoa butter will soothe and moisturise your belly. Read our round up of stretch mark saviours. Up to 70 per cent of pregnant women are thought to develop patches of pigment darkening to their skin known as chloasma or 'the mask of pregnancy'. These patches usually fade after delivery.
Things to think about
Sex in pregnancy: some women feel sexier than ever as a result of the onslaught of hormonal activity; others feel decidedly unattractive or suffer a complete loss of libido. Try not to beat yourself up either way if your sex drive isn't compatible with your partner's. Do reassure them that you still feel the same way about them and that you can always content yourselves for now with close cuddles if either of you isn't up for penetrative sex. If it's your partner who's shying away from sex, check it's not for fear of harming the baby. Unless there are medical reasons why you've been advised to stay away from penetration, there's no risk involved: your baby is safely ensconced far enough away from your cervix that even a fairly vigorous session shouldn't cause any disturbance.
As your pregnancy progresses you may have to start thinking more inventively about how you're going to make love. If you're a 'strictly missionary' sort of couple, how about trying a few new positions, like rear-entry (often given the rather unappealing nick-name 'doggy style') or woman on top? Best to try them out while you're still fairly agile to get the full effect – and by the time your bump is hindering your usual style you'll have a reserve repertoire to call on!
Think about who you want to attend the birth with you. Some mums-to-be only want their partner there, but others prefer to take another woman with experience of childbirth (mum, sister or friend), and it's a good idea to check their availability around your due date. Sometimes partners are too squeamish to be of any real help, in which case it's acceptable for them to stay away - if you're happy with that. Putting them under pressure might just cause a rift between you. Better to accept the fact and move on with your plans for someone else to help you with your birth.
More:Pregnancy Week By Week
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