14 weeks pregnant: baby's development, anxiety and quitting smoking

Your growing baby is now around the size of a kiwi fruit, measuring about 85mm from the top of their head to the bottom.

Your baby’s development this week

Your midwife might be able to hear your baby's heartbeat during your routine antenatal care. This is done with a hand-held fetal heart rate monitor (known as a hand-held doppler), which is placed on your tummy.

Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time can be a very special moment and may make your baby feel more real for you.

Remember only a trained health professional can monitor your baby's heartbeat. Home dopplers and apps that claim to monitor your baby's heartbeat are dangerous and misleading.

Your baby has started swallowing tiny sips of amniotic fluid, which goes into their stomach, through their kidneys and comes back out as urine.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 14


Many people feel relieved to be past week 12, because there’s now a much lower chance of miscarriage. You may feel much more positive and find that you start to enjoy your pregnancy more.

You may need some support if you are still struggling with feelings of anxiety. There are no rules about how stressed you must be before talking to your midwife or GP about how you feel.

“After losing our baby at 9 weeks in my first pregnancy, I thought that getting to the second trimester and having the first scan would ease any worries in my second. However, after the joy of a successful 12-week scan, my anxiety began to increase over the next few weeks because I didn’t have clear reassurance that everything was still ok with the baby. Everyone told me that experiencing the baby’s movements will help, but the time between this and the first scan can be really difficult, and I personally felt like I was in some kind of limbo. I found being open about my anxiety with close friends and family really helped.”

Relationship changes

If you have a partner, you may feel that your relationship is changing. This is natural – making the change from being a couple to being parents-to-be isn’t always easy. You’re probably both thinking about how it will change your life and your relationship with each other. 

It's good to talk to each other about your feelings. Here’s some useful information on relationships and pregnancy.

Stomach pains

Stomach (abdominal) pains or cramps are common in pregnancy.

You may get sharp pains on both sides of your tummy, which get worse when you move. These are called round ligament pains and are nothing to worry about. They are caused by all the stretching your womb is doing as it grows.
Some people get stomach pains because of constipation or trapped wind. Find out more about common pregnancy complaints

Call your midwife or maternity unit if you have stomach pains and are worried. It’s always best to get checked out.

Find out what to do if you have a pain in your stomach area.

Skin pigmentation

You may have noticed some darker patches on your skin, which may be due to hormonal changes in pregnancy. This is more common in people with darker skin types or those who tan well and less common in fair skin.

Skin pigmentation associated with pregnancy usually goes away by itself within a year. Sun exposure can make it worse, so using a high-factor sun cream may help.

Your sex drive may change

It’s normal for your sex drive to change in pregnancy. You may enjoy it more or not feel sexual at all and this may change as pregnancy progresses. There’s no need to worry about this, but it may help to talk to your partner. Find out more about sex in pregnancy.

Pregnancy can affect your relationship with your partner. Some people cope with these changes easily, but some find it harder. Find out more about relationship problems in pregnancy

What to do in week 14

Struggling to quit smoking?

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your baby’s health. Stopping smoking at any point in pregnancy will reduce the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and other pregnancy complications. But quitting in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy is particularly beneficial. Evidence suggests that if you quit smoking completely by the 15th week of pregnancy, the risk of your baby being born early or being a low birth weight is the same as that of a non-smoker.

“I was smoking about 15 to 20 a day during my first pregnancy. I gave up at 16 weeks and 5 days, when I first felt him kick and realised that there was a life inside me. I quit completely.”

Find out more about the effects of smoking in pregnancy.

Protect your baby from secondhand smoke

If someone in your house smokes, they should try to quit. Secondhand smoke can also cause complications in pregnancy, such as premature birth.

They may not be aware of how their smoking affects you and your baby.

Am I allowed to take time off work to go to antenatal appointments?

If you are an employee, you have the right to take reasonable time off for your antenatal appointments, including time needed to travel to your clinic or GP, without loss of pay.

Find out more about pregnancy and work.

1. Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week: what to expect from conception to birth. Penguin Random House, London

2. NHS. Stomach pain in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/stomach-pain/ (Page last reviewed: 20 June 2021. Next review due: 20 June 2024)

3. Patient Info. Melasma (Chloasma) https://patient.info/doctor/melasma-chloasma-pro (Last edited Dec 2021)

4. NHS. Sex in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/sex/ (Page last reviewed: 31 March 2021. Next review due: 16 March 2024) 

5. MacArthur C, Knox EG. Smoking in pregnancy: effects of stopping at different stages. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1988 Jun;95(6):551-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1988.tb09481.x. PMID: 3390400.

6. NHS. Passive smoking. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/passive-smoking-protect-your-family-and-friends/ (Page last reviewed: 23 July 2018. Next review due: 23 July 2021)

7. Maternity Action. Time off for antenatal care. https://maternityaction.org.uk/advice/time-off-for-antenatal-care/

Review dates
Reviewed: 11 July 2022
Next review: 11 July 2025