14 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is 3.4” this week. In cuter terms, that’s the size of My Little Pony
🎉 Days Until Baby: 182
👶 Your Baby
- Newborns are born with lanugo. Sounds like a nice Italian seafood dish. But it’s actually a layer of thin, downy hair. And this week your baby is starting to grow lanugo and some hair on his head.
- His facial muscles are developing, even though he’s not smiling just yet.
- The spleen and liver are now working, so he’s producing bile and red blood cells.
💪 Your Body
As the uterus moves up and expands, most moms experience round ligament pain. What’s that? The round ligament extends from the front of your uterus into your groin. As your belly grows, this ligament stretches. And that causes sharp and sudden pain. Ouch!
To stave it off, avoid sudden movement, flex your hips, and get some exercise. If you already have it real bad, a mild heating pad, warm bath, or some ol’ fashioned Tylenol (acetaminophen) can help relieve the pain. (Avoid Advil/Motrin/ibuprofen during pregnancy.)
👟 Where’s my gym bag?
So what’s the best kind of exercise for you and your growing belly? The kind that you’ll do. On the regular. The ob-gyn professional group recommends mild to moderate exercise 150 minutes a week. Make this a habit since it lowers your risk of all the bad things, and makes you feel better and sleep better, too.
Where to start? Here are my top three ways to break a sweat when expecting:
Swimming: Floating is so great when you weigh an extra 25 pounds. Water aerobics or swimming laps is an ideal way to get strong for labor, not stress out your joints, and manage pregnancy weight gain. Check out your community pools.
Prenatal Yoga: Bring on child’s pose! Find a class or two that you can go to every week with an instructor with prenatal yoga training. (Fringe benefit: future mama friends.) If you don’t have a local spot, watch some free online prenatal yoga videos or get a subscription to the Beautiful Belly series from DailyBurn.
Brisk Walking: This is not a joke. It’s one of the easiest ways to stay active as your pregnancy progresses. Whether it’s thirty-minutes around the neighborhood in the morning or some time on the trusty treadmill, work it in.
How do you exercise safely? Two things to keep in mind.
The hormone relaxin is in overdrive during pregnancy. It helps loosen your hips for labor, but it doesn’t discriminate. Just like it’s loosening up your feet, it’s also going to work on all the other ligaments and joints in your body. You are more prone to overextending when you’re pregnant, so don’t push yourself in that yoga class.
Overexertion can be risky because it can lead to lack of blood flow to the fetus. If you were already very active before you got pregnant, maintaining your pre-pregnancy workouts should be a-okay. (I certainly wasn’t at risk of overexerting myself at the gym when I was pregnant, but that’s a different problem.)
Is there anything you shouldn’t do? No contact sports or fall-prone activities, so you can say goodbye to your weekly football game. As with most things pregnancy, talk to your midwife or doc about your particular situation if you have concerns.
If you need some more motivation/prenatal guilt trip, there’s evidence that your baby will like to exercise more if you are active when you’re pregnant. So there’s that.
FUN FACT: The longest pregnancy on record was 375 days. Yep, that’s more than a year! Time magazine broke the story in 1945.