Baby Growth at 12 Weeks Pregnant
The end of the first trimester is near! At this stage, your baby’s vital organs are fully developed and continue to grow throughout the pregnancy. Best of all, the heartbeat is detectable with a fetal doppler and heard at your next prenatal visit!
Reaching just over the size of a small lime, your little love has doubled in size in the past 3 weeks and measures about 2.15 inches long and weighing in at 0.5 ounces.
This week marks a major milestone for your baby as the digestive system practices contractions in order to push food through the digestive tract, which is important after birth. The intestines begin to move away from their temporary home in the umbilical cord and into their permanent home in the abdomen.
The baby's bone marrow creates white blood cells to fight off infection and illness when it comes time for lots of kisses (and eventually a play group) in the outside world. The kidneys secrete urine and the nervous system matures as the second trimester quickly approaches.
The arms are longer than the legs at this stage of the pregnancy and nail beds recently sprouted on both the hands and feet. Your baby developed more complicated reflexes such as sucking and teeny tiny toes also curl and fingers form a fist as the brain continues to develop.
Your little one will be camera ready for the 12-week ultrasound! Their eyes and ears moved into their permanent placement and the baby looks more like a baby than ever before. Eyelids formed and remain fused shut until the end of the second trimester.
You and Your Body at Pregnancy 12 Weeks
Baby bump, is that you? Your uterus is now the size of a grapefruit in your lower abdomen and can be felt by a medical professional. Bumps come in all shapes and sizes. Beautiful in their own way, so dress to your comfort as your body – and baby’s home – continues to transform.
Hormones are still on the rise this week, but luckily there are only a few more weeks of the steady increase. Some pregnancy symptoms – especially the not-so-fun ones like the constant urge to urinate and intense nausea – may be less noticeable.
Clear vaginal discharge is normal at this stage. Consult your doctor if your discharge has any of these colors: yellow, greenish, pink, or brown or if you’re experiencing any spotting or bleeding, particularly if the flow is heavy or it is accompanied by cramping.
Typical Symptoms at 12 Weeks Pregnant
Just because some symptoms fade, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of new ones on the horizon as the second trimester approaches!
One new kid on the block: dizziness.
Progesterone continues to increase, which causes a chain reaction in your blood vessels to make sure the baby gets adequate blood flow. This may slow down the return of that blood to … Yup, you guessed it, your brain.
One method to avoid these pesky dizzy spells is to stand up and move slowly as much as possible. Healthy snacking and eating frequently also keeps your blood sugar at optimal levels, if that is the root cause of feeling woozy. Experts recommend about 300 extra calories per day at this stage. However, your healthcare provider will provide advice tailored to your specific needs.
In the event that you do become dizzy, sit or lie down slowly and take deep breaths until it passes. Placing your head between your knees may also help. Once your condition improves, grab a drink of water, a sip of fruit juice, or snack right away.
Other symptoms that pregnant women commonly experience in week 12:
- Continued bloating
- Continued headaches
- Darker skin spots and the ‘linea nigra’ on your abdomen may show up; neither are permanent
- Lowered sex drive
- Leg cramping
Pregnancy Week 12 Tips and Advice
Be your own bestie! Make sure you prioritize self care practices and increased rest. Yoga, meditation, and other activities you enjoy are a wonderful way to relieve stress. When in doubt, turn on your favorite movie and curl up with a cozy blanket.
Keep headaches at bay by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water. Hydration is key for a healthy developing pregnancy and keeps you feeling your best while your body does the heavy lifting of baby development. Adding fresh squeezed lemon to your water also helps with any lingering bouts of nausea.
Another B word worth mentioning – budget. Now is a great time to begin creating and agreeing on financial plans, so when your little one arrives, you can enjoy every moment.
One common question we get from Premom users is, “What should I NOT be eating at this stage of pregnancy?” This answer is consistent with all other weeks of pregnancy and includes avoiding alcohol, unpasteurized cheeses, raw fish, and deli meats. Medical professionals recommend keeping processed foods and sweets consumption to a minimum as well.
Consider practicing kegel exercises before, during, and after pregnancy. Kegels strengthen the vaginal muscles to assist in the birthing process as well as improving muscular response and recovery after pregnancy.
If your partner is looking for ways to support as your body changes, neck and back rubs help ease aches and pains at this stage of your pregnancy journey. It also reduces stress and improves your sleep quality.
You’re doing great, mama! Next stop – the second trimester.