12 Weeks Pregnant
by Tasha Mayberry
Hey there, Mumma! Welcome to the 12th successful week of your pregnancy! At 12 weeks, you are about to reach the end of your first trimester, and good news, the risk of miscarriage now lessens significantly. If you have been waiting to reach this milestone to reveal your pregnancy to family and friends, you should start planning for the same, because you would start showing real soon.
Your Baby’s Development at 12 Weeks
At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby has been busy growing, and he/she is now the size of an apricot, about an ounce in weight and just over 2 inches in length from crown to rump. Your little one has actually more than doubled in size over the past few weeks, but you probably might not feel it yet.
Your baby’s body parts and vital organs will fully develop this week and they will take the rest of your pregnancy to mature. Oh, and your baby’s sex organs would have developed as well, which means you could get to know if it’s a boy or girl in your next ultrasound. The baby’s fingernails are developing and their fingers and toes will no longer be webbed.
The baby’s bone marrow starts producing white blood cells, which will help them fight infections when they enter the world. Their digestive system can now make contraction movements, which performs the job of sending food through the digestive tract, again after birth. The placenta is also fully functional now, and his/her liver is making red blood cells. It is during this time when your baby’s vocal cords begin to develop, and their bones are becoming strong as well.
If you had not listened to your little angel’s heartbeat in your previous ultrasounds, you could experience the joy during your checkup this month. Your baby will also start moving this week, but you are likely to start feeling his/her movements only after week 16.
Your Body at 12 Weeks
As you get closer to the end of your first trimester, some of your early pregnancy symptoms like nausea might start to subside, and you might slowly get your appetite back. So, feed away! Of course, maintain a healthy diet, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to eat for two.
Your uterus this week is about the size of a large grapefruit and starts positioning itself around the center of your abdomen. Though some of your early symptoms may have gone, you will experience some new symptoms, such as weight gain, sore or tender breasts, excess saliva, skin pigmentation, sensitive and bleeding gums, bloating, sensitivity to smells, lightheadedness, and reduced sex drive.
Also, since your uterus is growing upwards, it reduces the pressure on your bladder, thereby giving you temporary relief from frequent urination. Of course, it will return at the later stages of your pregnancy.
Tips for Mom at 12 Weeks
Shop for Maternity Clothes
Though you may not show right now, your belly will soon begin to expand, which means now would be a good time to start shopping for maternity clothes. You will start feeling more comfortable in loose pants and nightwear.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
It is important to follow a balanced diet during pregnancy, one that includes protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, fish, etc., a variety of fruits and vegetables, and calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat milk, nuts, yogurt, etc. You can talk to your doctor for dietary suggestions or work with a nutritionist or dietitian to gather some professional insight.
Start Your Kegel Exercises
Week 12 of your pregnancy is also the right time to start your Kegel exercises, which help strengthen your vaginal muscles. As your pelvis has to stretch to unimaginable lengths, doing these exercises can help you during and after delivery, even during your recovery period. Again, talk to your doctor about how to do Kegel exercises, or you could also join a birthing class where this will be a part too.
Staying hydrated at all times is absolutely essential when you are pregnant. Add an additional glass of water to your regular intake, or start drinking more water now if you haven’t been doing so already. Drinking warm water will be beneficial if you engage in activities that make you sweat a lot. You could also include other forms of liquid, like fresh juices, tea, etc.
Say ‘No’ to Alcohol
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause various complications in your baby, including birth defects. Therefore, it is best to refrain from all sorts of alcoholic beverages throughout pregnancy.
Calling Your Doctor
Though the risk of miscarriage reduces significantly at week 12, there could still be some signs indicating that you might have to call your doctor. These signs are:
- Heavy bleeding
- Painful cramps
- Constant spotting continuing for several days
- Long-lasting cramps
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