The 12th week of pregnancy is both the first week of Month 4 as well as the end of the first trimester. You are now one-third of the way through the 40 weeks of pregnancy! In Week 12, when the placenta is completely formed, the fetus is at less risk, so there will be good days ahead and an end to severe morning sickness.Sounds nice, right? What else can you look forward to in Week 12?
12 Weeks Pregnant: The belly becomes noticeable
Clench both your fists and take a good look at them. That’s approximately the size of your uterus this week. The baby bump is also now noticeable.
As your belly grows, wearing tight-fitting clothes might affect your blood circulation and in turn cause your stomach to feel constricted. If the clothes you have been wearing up till now start feeling a little too tight, it’s time to ditch them for loose-fitting clothes. If your wardrobe is centered around pants, you might want to consider purchasing some maternity clothes.
Although you might not look pregnant to some people, don’t feel bad about asking people to give up their seats to you if you don’t feel well while using the public transport. Remember, taking good care of yourself means you’re taking care of your baby!
12 Weeks Pregnant: Role of the placenta
The placenta, which transports oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, becomes completely formed between Week 12 and Week 16. The digested nutrients in the mother’s bloodstream are transported to the fetus through the developing placenta. Once the placenta is completed, it acts as a filter and prevents molecules that are too big from reaching the fetus.
However, alcohol and nicotine, which are small in molecular size, are not filtered out by the placenta and are absorbed by the fetus. Alcohol or nicotine molecules are introduced into your body whenever you smoke or drink. As they cause blood vessels to constrict and the volume of blood reaching the fetus decreases, less oxygen and nutrients reach the fetus. For the sake of your baby, stop drinking and smoking.
Symptoms: Backache? How do I sleep with a big belly?
Even when morning sickness abates, pregnancy symptoms like backache, pollakiuria (frequent urination) and constipation will persist. Backache is caused by the effect of the hormone relaxin (which has the effect of making the pelvis loosen up) and the sudden increase in body weight. Take good care of your body and refrain from eating too much when your morning sickness improves.
As your belly becomes bigger, tossing or turning in your sleep will become much more difficult to do, and this in turn, can be another cause of backache. You might want to try sleeping in the Sims position: lying on your left side, left leg straightened but right leg bent and propped up by cushions, your left arm behind your back and you are almost all rolled over on your stomach. If you tried just about everything under the sun but cannot find a comfortable way to sleep, the Sims position just might be what you have been looking for. How about trying it out tonight?
When the uterus grows bigger and puts pressure on the bladder and bowels, you might start experiencing pollakiuria (frequent urination) or constipation. What you can do is increase your intake of fiber and go to the toilet when you need to – don’t hold it in! Your bowels will also move much more easily if you add some exercise into your regime, so try to take walks outdoors when you feel up to it.
You might want to consider attending prenatal yoga or prenatal swimming classes, especially since you’re almost into the second trimester! You might be feeling better then, and what better way is there to enjoy your pregnancy journey than doing things only pregnant moms can do?
12 Weeks Pregnant: Sonogram of fetus in your belly
Fetus’ Length and Weight
The fetus is 6–7 cm long and weighs 15–20 grams. The fetus has been growing at an astounding rate, but from Week 12 onward, the fetus’ growth rate will slow down.
The Fetus’ Growth
- Vocal cords are now complete
- The hard tissues of 20 milk teeth start to form in the gums
- Bones in limbs harden
- Eyebrows, eyelashes and lanugo (soft, downy hair) start growing
- The intestines, which were in the umbilical cord, move down toward the stomach. The other digestive organs also start functioning place while the villi of the intestines start growing.
12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms – sudden weight gain
There is a risk of high blood pressure or diabetes in pregnant women, especially since the end of morning sickness lead to a bout of overeating. It is recommended that moms put on 2 to 4 pounds during the first trimester, and then about 1 pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy.
Although your weight will increase partially because the fetus’ weight increases, talk to your OB-GYN if your weight increases suddenly. Note that the aforementioned recommendations are guidelines for those who have a BMI that falls in the normal range pre-pregnancy.
Prenatal care includes a variety of tests, including ones that test for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities in fetus. On one hand, some moms might think, “even if my child has Down Syndrome, I will be mentally prepared.” On the other hand, some might think, “if I find out my child has Down Syndrome, what should I do?”
Whether or not you wish to find out if your child has Down Syndrome is a choice that should be made based on your own personal values. As one man’s meat is another man’s poison, don’t feel obliged to take the test because you were told to do or not do it. What’s important is that you talk to your partner about it and come to a consensus together. Also, talk to your OB-GYN or get a professional to advise you on this before deciding on whether or not to go ahead with the test.
12 Weeks Pregnant: A relaxed lifestyle!
In Week 12 of pregnancy, you’re still in that last leg of the first trimester. This period is rough on your body, so remember to rest up whenever you feel tired and remember not to push yourself too hard.Communicate with your baby by caressing your slightly rounded belly and thinking about your shared future together. Try to have as relaxed a lifestyle as you can!