12 Weeks Pregnant
This is a special week for you and your 12 week fetus as it marks the end of the first trimester. The chances of having a miscarriage reduce from here on and holding your little baby in your arms becomes more of a reality. When you are 12 weeks pregnant, your baby has grown to double its size and finished forming the vital organs although there’s a lot of maturing yet to be done. Your baby at 12 weeks is almost 2 inches tall from head to toe and weighs approximately 14 grams, roughly the size of a plum (another fruit comparison, better pick this fruit at your next shopping and eat healthy!)
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
Your fetus at 12 weeks now has a face that looks more human, with ears, mouth, eyes and nose in place. Though structurally the head and neck are still half the size of the entire body. This week, the little mouth will begin to make sucking motions and your baby will start swallowing amniotic fluid, the newest skill to be mastered! Beginning from week 12, brain development takes place rapidly. The pituitary gland is formed and it begins secreting hormones that will be responsible for the smooth functioning of vital organs. Nerve cells are forming and making newer connections (synapses) which will end into the formation of a complex nervous system by the time your 12 week fetus is a full term baby.
Another sweet thing for you to think about this week is your baby’s voice. Yes, vocal cords are beginning to form this week.
The intestines are growing and moving into the abdominal cavity. The intestines also begin the contraction movements.
The kidneys are fully formed and they begin their master function – making urine. Remember the amniotic fluid that your baby has begun to swallow, well it’s got to make its way out too! All this is like practicing and preparing for life outside the womb.
At week 12, another very important development is that the bone marrow which is present inside the bones begins its function of producing white blood cells, one of the soldiers of the body which help to fight illness and infections. So, immunity build up is also happening in full force in your baby.
The limbs continue to grow and your baby can now flex his fingers and toes.
Changes in Your Body at 12 Weeks Pregnant
As you stand at the edge of the first trimester, a lot of irritating symptoms will gradually begin to decrease in intensity like nausea, vomiting and food aversions (yes, you will begin to enjoy your food once again but be careful of what you eat).
The pelvic cavity inside which your uterus was growing till now is now getting crowded and the uterus is beginning to grow towards the abdomen (out of the pelvis). While examination, your gynecologist will be able to feel the top of the uterus at around 12 weeks. Due to this physiological process, the pressure of the uterus over the bladder is gone and with that you are relieved of a very irritating symptom of the first trimester, that is frequency and urgency of urination.
At 12 weeks pregnant, you are definitely in need to buy one size bigger clothes, and if this is your second pregnancy or if you are 12 weeks pregnant with twins, then you are already ready for maternity wear. With a lot of relief from the fatigue, nausea and vomiting, you begin to feel more energetic and like your normal self again.
You may occasionally feel light headed or dizzy, this is due to the circulating hormone progesterone which causes the blood vessels to relax in order to increase the blood supply to the fetus. Another reason may be low blood pressure or blood sugar. Monitor these regularly to avoid any accidents.
Week 12 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
As your body makes new changes every day to nourish and sustain your growing baby, you will notice certain second trimester new 12 weeks pregnant symptoms along with the previous symptoms that continue at pregnancy week 12.
- Headaches and spells of dizziness
- Bloating and gas formation
- Improving appetite
- Stretching pains (round ligament pain)
- Enlarged breasts
- Soreness of nipples
- Heartburn and acidity
- Decrease in urine frequency and urgency
- Increased smell sense
- Increase in vaginal discharge
- Mood changes
- Visible baby bump
- Itching of skin over your 12 weeks pregnant belly (due to stretching of the skin)
The increase in vaginal discharge is due the hormone estrogen, if you notice foul smell or itching; they could be signs of an infection and may need treatment.
Heartburn makes its appearance in the second trimester because of the hormone progesterone and also due to the upward growth of the uterus. This symptom tends to increase in severity as your belly gets bigger. Having small, frequent meals will help to keep it under control.
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 12 of Pregnancy
At your visit to the clinic, the 12 week ultrasound will show the baby’s activity as twisting, turning and limb movements.
The important things to be checked during your 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound are the anatomical structures for any abnormalities and the placenta.
You will hear your baby’s heartbeat and seeing it move is a lovely sight.
The genitals are developed enough to determine the sex of the fetus. You can know the same in order to begin preparations for the nursery. However, some couples prefer not to find out and it all depends on what you choose.
If the Nuchal Translucency scan is carried out this week, then your doctor will order some screening blood tests for chromosomal abnormalities.
The 12 week ultrasound pictures given by your doctor will have one with the side face of the baby, remember to look at it every morning and smile!
Pregnancy Health Tips
- Eating small meals at frequent intervals will help you tackle acidity very effectively.
- Avoid jerks, long bus travel or over exerting tours as it may cause internal bleeding in the uterus.
- In case you have itchy skin, consult your doctor as to which skin product is best and safest for you.
- Have a well balanced healthy meal rich in fiber.
- Maintain good hygiene habits.