Your baby is about 4 to 4 ½ inches and about 1 ¾ of an ounce. If you could see your baby's face, you might be able to see her wince and grimace, because her facial muscles are developing and flexing. All of her tiny organs, nerves, and muscles are starting to function. The intestines have moved farther into the baby's body; her liver begins to secrete bile, which will later aid in the digestion of fats; and her pancreas begins to produce insulin, a hormone which turns sugar into energy.
It happens around week 14 or so. The fatigue and morning sickness that may have marred your first trimester begin to subside. Perhaps for the first time in months, you feel healthy, sexy and energetic. Your moods start to smooth out and get even better when you feel your baby’s first fluttery kicks. You’ve left the stormy ocean behind and entered calm waters. Here’s everything you need to know to really sail through most women’s favorite time of pregnancy: weeks 14–28 >>
Second Trimester Screening
WHO IT’S OFFERED TO: All women.
WHEN IT’S OFFERED: At 14 to 20 weeks.
WHAT IT SCREENS FOR: Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and neural-tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida.
HOW IT WORKS: Consists of a blood test that typically looks at four different proteins in the mother’s blood; often referred to as the “quad screen” or “multiple marker screening.” Unlike first-trimester screening, second-trimester tests can screen for NTDs in addition to chromosomal defects such as Down syndrome.
HOW EFFECTIVE IT IS: It has an 80 percent to 85 percent detection rate for Down syndrome, with a 7 percent false-positive rate.
Things to think about this week
Sign up for a prenatal-yoga class. Yoga can build strength for labor and help improve your flexibility, agility, balance and posture. You're probably also ready to start shopping for maternity clothes.
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