Pregnancy Week 12

(10 minute read)

Pregnancy Week 12

Reaching the 12th week of pregnancy is a significant milestone for many expectant mothers. This week marks the end of the first trimester, which is often associated with major developmental strides for the baby and significant changes in your body.

How Big is Baby at 12 Weeks?

By the 12th week of pregnancy, the foetus is now fully formed. So your baby now has all of his or her organs, muscles, bones and limbs, along with well-developed sex organs. On average, the baby will now measure about 5.4cm long from crown to rump, roughly the size of a plum. All your baby has to do now is to grow and mature.

Although your baby is moving quite a lot, you will still not be able to feel anything just yet.

The heartbeat can now be picked up on an ultrasound scan.

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Changes in Your Body at Week 12

As you enter the 12th week, your body undergoes several changes. One of the most noticeable changes is the expansion of the uterus. Around this time, the uterus starts to grow out of the pelvic cavity, becoming more apparent. This growth is the beginning of the 'baby bump.'

The increase in hormone levels, especially human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and progesterone, continues to impact the body. These hormonal changes can lead to symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and mood swings, though many women start to see a decrease in morning sickness around this time.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 12

The symptoms experienced during the 12th week of pregnancy can vary widely among women. Common symptoms include:

  • Constipation: This is a common pregnancy symptom starting at around week 12, and can make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: While often referred to as 'morning sickness,' these symptoms can occur at any time of day. For many, these symptoms start to decrease around the 12th week.
  • Increased Discharge: An increase in vaginal discharge is normal due to the increased blood flow and changes in the vaginal wall.
  • Dizziness: Changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels can cause dizziness.
  • Headaches: Fluctuating hormones, along with stress and dehydration, can lead to headaches.
  • Fatigue: The body's increased production of progesterone, along with the metabolic changes, can contribute to continued fatigue.
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Emotional Changes

This period can also bring about a range of emotional changes. The combination of hormonal fluctuations, physical changes, and the reality of pregnancy can affect your emotional state. It's not uncommon to experience mood swings, anxiety, or bouts of joy.

 

Nutrition and Self-Care

Proper nutrition and self-care are vital during this stage of pregnancy. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein supports the baby's growth and development. Staying hydrated and getting enough rest are equally important. Prenatal vitamins, as recommended by a healthcare provider, can supplement dietary needs.

 

Medical Care and Checkups

Regular checkups are crucial during the 12th week of pregnancy. These visits allow healthcare providers to monitor the health of both you and your baby. You will be offered antenatal screening tests to check for abnormalities such as Down's Syndrome, but it is entirely up to you whether you have these tests or not.

 

Preparing for the Second Trimester

As you approach the second trimester, it's an excellent time to start planning ahead. This includes thinking about maternity wear, considering prenatal classes, and discussing maternity leave. You can also think about where you would like to give birth: at home, at the hospital or at a birth centre. Check out what is available in your area.

 

Week 12 is a significant milestone in your pregnancy journey. Your baby, albeit still tiny, is now fully formed. You are most likely filled with immense joy and anticipation. Understanding and adapting to the changes that occur during this period can help ensure a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy experience.

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