Welcome to the last week of the first trimester! You’ll be glad to know that after week 12 of pregnancy, the chances of a miscarriage drop significantly. Joy! And, if you’re expecting twins, your little bump will be showing too.
Pregnancy Week 12: Baby
Most women have their first prenatal visit at this time, and many women are given a glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. You might also see your doctor or midwife for other tests—like an ultrasound—and they’ll ask you questions about your symptoms, like morning sickness or fatigue.
Baby’s brain and spinal cord are forming. The circulatory system is forming, and blood vessels are beginning to form. The heart is now beating regularly, as well as the kidneys and other organs. The baby’s hands, feet, and face are starting to take shape. Your pregnancy symptoms will be getting worse at this point.
At 12 weeks, your baby is as big as a rambutan. They are about 5.3cm and weigh 13.8g.
Your baby’s skin looks more like that of a newborn than an embryo—it’s almost transparent, with a bluish hue. The hair on your baby’s head is starting to grow in and his or her eyelids are beginning to form. The brain continues to develop at an incredibly rapid rate, and kidneys and bones are developing as well.
This week, your baby is starting to grow hair!
The first layer of their skin has formed, and the outer layer of the skin is growing fast. The eyebrows are also forming this week!
The heart is now beating at a rate of 150 beats per minute. The bones are hardening, and their eyes have grown from their sockets to a grape size. The baby’s brain will continue its rapid growth over the next few weeks.
Great news! You’ll be happy to know that your baby’s vital organs and body parts are in place, and they’ll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy. Makes all those days of nausea so worth it. In this week-by-week pregnancy guide, you’ll learn that:
- Your baby is preparing for yet another rapid growth phase focusing on organs and tissues.
- At 12 weeks, they are beginning to develop reflexes.
- They now flex their tiny toes and hands, which may look like they’re waving back at you during ultrasounds!
- They can now curl their fingers and toes and even open and close their tiny hands.
- Their tastebuds are quickly maturing.
- Their fingernails and toenails start forming.
You may not be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat, but they hear yours! At this point in the pregnancy, your baby’s hearing has developed enough that they can start to hear your voice and other sounds around them. They start to recognise those sounds and learn how they relate to the world around them. This week is important for your baby’s development, so ensure you’re talking to them often!
At pregnancy week 12, the baby’s teeth are beginning to form in the gums, although they aren’t visible yet.
Your baby’s taste buds are also forming now. They’re so tiny that you won’t be able to see them, but at this stage, they are beginning to develop. Your baby will use these new taste buds to help her decide whether or not she likes the food you eat while you’re pregnant. As a result, you must eat healthy foods during this time!
You may be feeling your baby move by now. If not, don’t worry—that doesn’t mean anything is wrong! Some babies are just quieter than others. Your baby will probably start moving around more later in the second trimester.
What does it feel like? That depends on your baby’s mood, but here are some descriptions from mums who have had it happen to them:
“Like a little butterfly flapping its wings.”
“Like a tiny waterfall.”
“Sort of like bubbles in my belly.”
It’s normal for babies to move in different ways at different times!
Pregnancy Week 12: Your Body
You are in week 12 of your pregnancy! You’re probably feeling pretty excited about that but maybe a little worried too. No matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at, it’s normal to worry about the health of your baby and yourself.
But don’t fret: Everything is going great with your baby. The placenta is still working hard to provide nutrients to your growing baby and remove waste products from his or her body. The placenta is also helping to regulate blood flow between mum and baby, so neither of you gets too much or too little blood.
What does all this mean? It means your baby is getting all the nutrients he or she needs for healthy development—and so are you! However, some changes in your body may be confusing or worrisome if you don’t understand them…
At 12 weeks pregnant (and beyond), many mothers begin noticing changes in their bodies—and it’s not always easy to know what those changes mean or when they’ll stop happening!
The honeymoon phase of pregnancy is fast approaching, and unwanted bouts of morning sickness have started to subside. Some of the symptoms you may experience during this week are the following:
- Hormones may also cause your skin to break out or itch, leaving you insecure. Fret not, off-the-shelf options such as calamine lotion can help zap them. For more severe cases, seek treatment from your gynaecologist.
- The “mask of pregnancy” or chloasma (also referred to as melasma) may be slowly creeping up on you.
- Your stomach muscles are becoming less active, causing harder stools and making you release more gas than usual. Drink more fluids and eat more constipation.
- You may still be getting headaches, which is a common symptom this week. Try to avoid them by eating small meals frequently, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and staying active.
- 95 per cent of pregnant women experience fatigue, especially during the first trimester. Don’t hesitate to slow down and rest. Hopefully, you’ll have more energy in the coming weeks.
- Aside from getting exhausted, you might be having shortness of breath. This is normal, as the hormone progesterone expands your lung capacity so you can take deeper breaths. However, if you have chest pains and rapid or irregular heartbeats, contact your doctor immediately.
- Thanks to the growing bump, your stomach might start to feel a little stretched, and some clothes might feel a little tighter around the waist. Breathe easier by donning comfortable clothes.
- Now for some good news in this week-by-week pregnancy guide: you may start to glow, and that’s a happy thing! Shine on, mama and enjoy pregnancy week 12!
Maternal Weight Gain
You might be wondering what to expect for this week. Well, it’s time for your doctor to start talking about weight gain. They’ll probably ask you about when you started gaining weight in the first trimester, and how much you’ve gained so far.
They’ll also go over the recommended guidelines for weight gain during the next few months—and what happens if you go above or below those recommendations.
Your weight gain during pregnancy is important for your and your baby’s health. Your doctor may have given you a certain amount of weight to gain, but it’s important to know that gaining too much or too little can be harmful.
You should gain about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
How much weight you gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and height, your health, how many babies you’re carrying, whether you’re pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets) and if there are complications such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Mothers need to eat well during pregnancy because it can greatly impact their health and the baby’s health. A healthy diet will help you grow a healthy and strong baby!
The best thing you can do is eat lots of fruit and vegetables. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They are also low in calories and won’t make you gain too much weight. Berries are especially good because they contain antioxidants that help prevent birth defects.
In addition to fruits and veggies, you should eat whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat bread instead of white bread or pasta. Whole grains contain more nutrients than refined grains (like white flour). They also contain more fibre which is important for digestion as well as helping with constipation issues common with pregnancy (which can lead to haemorrhoids).
It would be best to drink plenty of water daily (at least 8 cups daily). This will help keep your body hydrated so it can function properly during pregnancy!
Image Source: iStock
Pregnancy Care: Your Checklist For Week 12 of Pregnancy
- If you are one of the lucky few with nary a loss of appetite or nausea, you are indeed fortunate! In this week-by-week pregnancy guide, know that weight gain during the first trimester should be slow and steady, but if you’ve been overindulging, do take heed of the recommended weight gain by your gynaecologist.
- If you have been losing your appetite and are constantly tired, it’s common to lose weight or gain minimally. By the end of the first trimester, once all these symptoms clear, you’re well on your way to the honeymoon period of your pregnancy.
- As your uterus expands, you may occasionally experience mild cramps when there’s a sudden change in movement, e.g. coughing or moving from lying to a sitting position. Muscle cramps are normal but do take note if the cramps are severe and prolonged causing major discomfort.
- Your breasts may be screaming for space at this point. It’s time to get fitted with comfortable support bras to tide you over the next few months (until you get bigger). Head to the lingerie department to get measured.
- If you have been living in pants, jeans, and shorts, it’s about time to get maternity clothes that accommodate your growing belly. Make sure they are comfortable enough to accommodate movements such as sitting, especially around the hips and thigh areas.
- You may want to start hunting for a confinement nanny as early as now to give an allowance for the actual search and hiring process.
Second trimester, here we come!
Image Source: iStock
Your next week: 13 weeks pregnant
Your previous week: 11 weeks pregnant
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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