12 Weeks Pregnant
12 Weeks Pregnant
The end of the twelfth week of pregnancy is an important milestone. You’re about to complete your first trimester, or the first 3 months, and your baby is making great progress in its development.
Another benefit of reaching this milestone is that many women start to notice that their early signs and symptoms of pregnancy subside after week 12.
After the end of the first trimester, the probability of a miscarriage is also greatly reduced. But many questions still might persist. How big is my baby at week 12? What can I expect in the second trimester? This article provides the answers to these questions and will offer tips on the best ways to deal with being 12 weeks pregnant.
Photo by Eric Froehling on Unsplash
12 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
This is the last week of your first trimester, and many pregnancy symptoms will ease off after this week. Yet, some of the pregnancy symptoms at week 12 may still hit you hard. Here are the most common signs of pregnancy that you should expect at this stage:
If you haven’t felt constipated already, it may become a problem for you this week. It’s one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy at week 12 and cause great discomfort. It’s caused by an increase in progesterone in your system – a pregnancy hormone that slows digestion.
- Frequent urination
Urinating frequently is very common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The good news is that this should get better as you progress into the second trimester, especially if you start to perform Kegel exercises to help control urinary incontinence.
As with recent weeks, this common early sign of pregnancy is present at week 12. The increased vaginal discharge evicts harmful microorganisms from your body and helps to protect your vagina from being infected.
A combination of hormonal changes, fatigue, increase in blood volume, and dehydration from morning sickness can leave you with some intense headaches.
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, your body is concentrating a lot of energy on building the placenta that will eventually nourish your now 12 weeks old embryo.
- Changes in sex drive
Hormones affect every woman differently. Some women may have a seemingly uncontrollable increase in libido, while others might not be able to think of anything worse than jumping between the sheets. Both are normal and you shouldn’t be concerned if you find yourself in either scenario.
Your Body at Week 12
When you’re 12 weeks pregnant, you may start to show signs of a baby bump, if you haven’t already. The uterus has been expanding bit by bit every day since the moment of conception. Now, this may show in your lower abdomen region and friends and family may even start notice it from the outside. This is not a certainty, though, and many women aren’t visibly pregnant until later on.
Once the bump is noticeable, many moms-to-be start to announce their pregnancy to the people around them, so this could be a hectic time for you, mentally and emotionally. Try and manage your announcements as best as you can, too much at once might be overwhelming, and increased stress is not good for you or your baby’s development. That being said, if you’re someone who can’t wait to tell as many people as possible, then go right ahead. It might be a nice idea to take a few pictures to document your progress, too.
Another important development inside your body is the progress being made in the formation of the placenta. This will soon take over the role of the corpus luteum in nourishing your baby and is nearing the final stages of its development.
Baby Size at Week 12
The size of your baby at 12 weeks pregnant is the same as a lime. Your little 12-week fetus has almost doubled in size over the past week and is making some remarkable changes in terms of development.
Last week, your baby started producing enzymes in its stomach, and this week its digestive system usually begins to start working. Most of your baby’s organs and limbs have been established at his stage, and it will now begin a process of maintenance whilst it continues to grow and evolve inside your womb.
Another impressive ability of your baby at 12 weeks pregnant is its ability to produce white blood cells. Your baby’s bone marrow is now starting to prepare the immune system by producing plenty of white blood cells to fend off harmful bacteria in later life.
Photo by Frederick Tubiermont on Unsplash
Week 12 Pregnant Ultrasound
It’s not uncommon for women to have their first pregnancy scan at week 12, and doctors usually have them scheduled between weeks 8 and 14. It is also possible to have screening tests when you are 12 weeks pregnant, which can help to discover any developmental disorders that your baby may have.
The next ultrasound usually takes place between the eighteenth and twenty-first week of pregnancy.
Your stomach will probably be turning itself inside out at this point, as the twelve-week-pregnant symptoms start to take their toll on your body. This is likely to ease off going into the second trimester, though.
At 12 weeks pregnant, symptoms that you have experienced up until now may start to subside. You may also start to look visibly pregnant to more than just you or a significant other.
The development of the fetus will be causing your body to work overtime. Add to that rapidly changing hormones and slight changes in body shape, and you’ll likely be feeling thoroughly fatigues as you reach the end of the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Your stomach could now be showing some very visible sings of pregnancy. If not to others, then it’s likely that you will have noticed an increased tightness and firmness in your lower abdomen as a result of your womb expanding.
Tips for Week 12 of Pregnancy
- Invest in some comfy fitting pregnancy clothes
As you enter the second trimester, your body shape will start to change, and your baby bump will become more pronounced. Buying some comfortable stretchy clothes will make your life easier over the coming weeks, and it is better to plan for it early before your pregnancy progresses further.
- Eat smartly
Certain seafood and fish that are high in mercury should be avoided when you’re twelve weeks pregnant, and for the rest of the gestation period. It’s also important to maintain a healthy diet, taking in a variety of vitamins and minerals for the healthy development of your baby.
- Remain calm
It has been 12 weeks since the official start of your pregnancy and you are 10 weeks after conception. Your body has undergone a lot of changes in the first trimester and you’ve likely experienced some early signs of pregnancy in the first 12 weeks. If you’ve made it to here, though, you’ll be in a good mindset to power on through the rest of the pregnancy in a healthy and determined manner.