Your pregnancy at 13 weeks
What's happening with mum
Around this time you are embarking on the second trimester of your pregnancy. Research indicates this is the easiest period of your pregnancy but it is not without it's own little irritations.
As your bump grows and the placenta takes over the production of hormones such as progesterone, you may find yourself suffering more from acid indigestion and reflux or heartburn like symptoms. Progesterone has been shown to increase the appetite, ensuring a mother to be gets all the vital nutrients and vitamins she needs but it also helps to relax the muscles. When this happens to the lower esophagael sphincter, which lies between the esophagus and the stomach, stomach acids, used for the breakdown and digestion of food, can be forced back up into the esophagus. This can be the cause of those painful burning sensations and that awful acrid taste in the mouth.
Advice is to eat smaller, more regular meals and avoid particularly fatty or spicy foods which increase the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
What's happening with baby
Now, about the size of a plum, your baby's body is growing quickly, internally as well as externally.
Small bones are beginning to form in the arms and legs which your baby will now be able to move around. As the limbs become more proportionate to the rest of it's body, those longer arms may aloow baby to suck it's thumb.
Vocal chords continue to develop and salivary glands will begin to function.
As the kidneys begin to work, any amniotic fluid swallowed will be turned into urine and secreted into the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
Around this time you should consider whether any additional genetic tests or prenatal screenings are required. An ultrasound designed to detect the early signs of Down's Syndrome and other medical conditions is available between 11 and 14 weeks, as well as a blood test which tests the six fetal proteins. This sequential integrated screening is capable of identifying over 90% of Down's Syndrome pregnancies.