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13 Weeks Pregnant


Image: Fetal Development At 13 Weeks

You are now in the last week of your First Trimester! Your baby’s little fingers and toes are no longer webbed and she is beginning to grow nails and possibly even some hair! She can now move her head up and down and from side to side easily and facial features are developing more and more. Safe and protected in about three ounces of amniotic fluid, your little miracle moves and swims.

You will be starting to show a bit now as your womb is beginning to rise above your pelvis. In the Second Trimester mums tend to be a bit less tired so you might want to think about doing a bit more exercise. Keep it low-impact though – swimming, walking and yoga are good choices. Always ask your midwife about exercise as there are some poses and exercises that aren’t suitable.

You can also fill in a FW8 form to receive free prescription medicines and NHS dental care. Also keep in mind that if you are working, you should be covered by law for paid time off for all antenatal care.
Should I be taking vitamin supplements while I’m pregnant? If so, which ones?
Supplements are a great way to ensure that you’re topping yourself up with all the right vitamins. After all, what with queasiness and morning sickness, not to mention strange cravings, even the most conscientious mum-to-be probably worries if she’s getting the right nutrients.

A good antenatal supplement is a great investment but remember that it is in no way a substitute for balanced, healthy eating in pregnancy . Supplements are just that.

When you’re pregnant it is generally recommended that you take two important supplements:

  • Vitamin D – 10 micrograms (mcg) a day throughout the term of your pregnancy
  • Folic acid – 400 mcg a day for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy

As your pregnancy progresses your doctor or midwife will check your iron levels at regular intervals and you may need an iron supplement. Remember calcium is very important for women in pregnancy too – your baby needs a lot for his growing bones – so you’ll need to take in about double your normal GDA.

You need to be careful about vitamin supplements when you’re expecting as some aren’t suitable for pregnant women. And always be mindful not to take more than is recommended to you. Also don’t take ‘megadose’ vitamins – too much can be harmful to your little one. If in doubt, speak to your doctor or midwife.

Many women choose to keep things simple by taking one special pregnancy multivitamin containing vitamin D, iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, iodine and B vitamins like B6 and B12.

Stay away from any supplements that contain retinol – which is the animal form of vitamin A. Too much of it can be harmful to babies in the womb. Plant-based carotene vitamin is safe in pregnancy though.

You should have a chat with your midwife or doctor about specific supplements that might be necessary if you:

Possible Scan at Week 13
You’ll most likely be offered a Nuchal Translucency Scan between 11 and 14 weeks. However, it gives a better view of the baby at 13 weeks, particularly if mum is overweight at all.

With a Nuchal Translucency Scan (also sometimes called the First Trimester Scan), the baby can be seen in more detail. This scan confirms that there is a heartbeat, and the number of foetuses.

Nuchal Translucency Scan or 12 Week Scan

Nuchal Translucency Scan or 12 Week Scan Picture
(Click image to enlarge)

The baby’s head, trunk, arms, legs, hands and feet can be seen and your medical professional will also look at the placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord. Your sonographer will confirm the date of the pregnancy and possibly inspect the nuchal pad of skin for any signs of Down’s syndrome. At this stage, detection of the sex of the baby is difficult and not very reliable.