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If you could only see your baby now, you’d be so proud of him or her! You’re just about to complete your first trimester of pregnancy, but in addition to this exciting milestone, your busy baby is also making a great deal of progress with each passing day. By week 12 of pregnancy, almost every part of the fetus is in a state of accelerated development. Your little one will continue to become larger and stronger from now until delivery.
In other good news, by the end of this week the likelihood of miscarriage will be much less than in previous weeks. You may also be feeling a little better now: many women feel more energetic and less nauseated at this point. Oddly enough, it’s not unheard of for even your partner to be experiencing some ‘symptoms’ too like nausea and abdominal discomfort! One way or another, it’s going to be a busy time in your household.
Join Flo as we walk you through the key elements of the 12th week of pregnancy:
Your baby at week 12 of pregnancy
You’re now officially a third of the way through your pregnancy — take a moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come in such a short time! By week 12, your baby is now fully formed inside your belly, but there’s still a long way to go until you reach full term. Fingers and toes are developed, and the fetus can even open and close their hands. Internally, the reproductive, circulatory, and urinary systems are all at an advanced stage of development.
The baby weighs about 0.49 oz (14 g). His/her vocal cords are forming, and kidneys are starting to produce urine, filling the bladder. Although you cannot feel it yet, the baby can be seen during a sonogram screening (ultrasound).
Here’s what else is going on with your baby:
How big is your baby at 12 weeks pregnant?
Your baby is now around 2 inches (5 cm) long from head to bottom — this is the size of a plum. Its weight of 0.49 oz (14 g) is about the same as three grapes!
Pregnancy week 12 fetal development
It’s only been 12 weeks since your last period, but already your baby is fully formed: all organs, muscles, and bones are in place and the reproductive system is well on its way, too. From this point on, the fetus will continue to grow and mature at a fast pace. Your baby is also very active at this stage, but it’s still too early for you to be able to feel the movement.
It might just blow your mind when you think about it: you first started thinking about your pregnancy only 3 months ago, and now you’ve got a fully-formed baby growing inside you! You’ve probably already visited a doctor or other health professional and may have had your first ultrasound scan by now. And on top of this, you’re probably starting to show a little!
12 weeks pregnant belly
Up until now, you may have been enjoying keeping your little secret while you’ve had little or no bump to show for the new member of your family growing inside. But now, you’ve probably noticed that you’re starting to thicken around your belly. If you’ve had any previous pregnancies, you’ll start to bulge earlier than if this is your first time. Either way, just bear in mind that your bump is on its way!
As your belly starts to expand, it will stretch the muscles and ligaments and this may cause pain in the area. Seek advice from your healthcare professional if this becomes troublesome.
12 weeks pregnant symptoms
Now’s the time that constipation can be a problem for some women. Not everyone experiences this, but it’s pretty common and can be uncomfortable. If you’re having trouble keeping things moving along in your gut, you can blame your hormones. But there are a few things you can do to help: consume a high-fiber diet by including wholemeal bread and cereals and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; make time for a little exercise every day, and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Stomach pain and cramping can also be troublesome for women at this stage of pregnancy. It’s nothing to be concerned about: it’s usually the result of constipation, gas, or your ligaments growing as your uterus expands. But if the pain is severe or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding, then seek your doctor’s advice immediately.
On the whole, most women find that the second trimester is the easiest of the three to cope with, and if this is the case for you make sure you take full advantage! If you’ve been cooped up at home with fatigue and nausea, take the opportunity now to get out and about with friends and family. And do whatever you can to be kind to yourself — you’ll be glad you did in the months ahead.
In most countries, the first scan of a pregnant woman takes place between weeks 8 and 14. It’s usually followed by another scan at 18-21 weeks. This is sometimes referred to as a dating scan because it will give you a reliable idea of your expected due date (EDD) and also confirm how many babies you’re carrying!
You should also be aware that screening tests for a number of serious developmental disorders (including Down’s syndrome) are available to you at this stage. Your healthcare provider has probably already mentioned this to you and put things into motion, but if not feel free to flag it up and ask what arrangements need to be made.
Your pregnancy may be a challenging time for you, but do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle. This will provide the best support for you and your baby until full term. Your diet should contain a wide variety of foods from all the recommended food groups, including a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible. You should also aim to drink between eight and 10 8-ounce glasses of water (from all sources) a day.
Try not to fixate on the old idea of ‘eating for two’ — in reality you only need around 300 extra calories per day to provide for your baby.
Sex at week 12 of pregnancy
Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, your sex life can continue as normal throughout pregnancy.
Here’s your week 12 pregnancy checklist:
- Once you’ve had a dating scan, you’ll have a very good estimate of your expected due date (EDD). This scan will also confirm how many babies you’re expecting — if you’ve got triplets on the way, it’s best you find out sooner rather than later! Your health professional will also make you aware.
- Now might be the time to start thinking about what kind of delivery you want. Most women deliver in a hospital setting and wouldn’t think of doing it any other way — hospitals typically have the best facilities for coping with perinatal emergencies. However, an increasing number of women are choosing to deliver at home or in other settings — these environments are often much more calming than a hospital. Which options are available for your delivery depends very much upon the healthcare facilities in your location — if you’re considering an unconventional delivery, then seek medical advice as early as possible.
- Try not to worry too much about stretch marks appearing in your skin over the course of your pregnancy. They are usually most prominent on your breasts, abdomen, hips, and buttocks and most women get some during pregnancy. Despite what you’ll hear from the cosmetics industry, lotions and creams won’t make any difference, How much they show depends on your skin's natural elasticity, but they usually fade gradually after delivery.