12 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms, Your Baby, and Vital Tips

Each week of pregnancy brings with it significant changes. Your baby is developing and growing, and your body is changing to ensure the proper growth of your baby. Between weeks 8 and 12, your baby has almost doubled in size. This article provides insights into how your baby is developing during the 12th week of pregnancy and tips to follow.

When you are 12 weeks pregnant

You are now near the end of the first trimester. Your baby is the size of a plum, and most of her organs are fully formed now. You may also be feeling better now as your hormone levels shift. The end of the first trimester is also the time when your risk of miscarriage drops significantly. Many couples share the news of pregnancy around this time.

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Symptoms

1. Vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge around 12 weeks of pregnancy is normal. It helps to protect the vagina from infection. However, if you have a yellow, pink, or brown discharge, you must call your doctor immediately.

2. Excess saliva

Pregnancy hormones may cause you to produce excessive saliva. You may find yourself drooling in your sleep.

3. Headaches

Hormonal changes can trigger headaches. Dehydration and low blood sugar levels may also be responsible for your headaches. Drink water regularly and have healthy snacks to prevent headaches.

4. Dizziness

Pregnancy hormones help to relax blood vessels to ensure better blood supply to the baby. This process can lower your blood pressure and lead to dizziness. Low blood sugar levels can also cause dizziness. Keep snacking regularly to avoid low blood sugar levels.

5. Increased skin pigmentation

The hormone surge during pregnancy can lead to an increase in skin pigmentation, known as melasma, which causes dark spots on the forehead and cheeks. These marks disappear soon after delivery.

6. Breast changes

Breast tenderness and soreness continue during the 12th week. Your areolas may become darker at this stage.

7. Bleeding gums

Pregnancy hormones can lead to dental problems like bleeding gums. Visit your dentist regularly to ensure that your teeth remain healthy. Some other symptoms continue during the 12th week of pregnancy. These include –

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating and gas
  • A heightened sense of smell

Your body at week 12 of pregnancy

During this week, your uterus is growing up and out of your pelvis. It is positioned in your lower abdomen, and it is starting to protrude. You may be able to feel your uterus poking up from the top of the pubic bone. The shift in the position of the uterus also lowers the pressure on the bladder and gives it more room for urine.

As your belly expands, it will stretch your muscles and ligaments and may cause pain in the area. You can talk to your doctor to help you ease the pain. You will also feel emotional changes this week. Your energy levels are improving, and so is your mood. You will find yourself more relaxed from the 12th week onwards.

Your baby at week 12 of pregnancy

By the end of Week 12, your baby will measure almost three inches in length and will weigh about an ounce.  You can now hear your baby’s heartbeat on a fetal Doppler.

  • Your baby’s intestines are fully developed and are now shifting from near the umbilical cord to the abdomen.
  • Your baby’s bone marrow is beginning to produce its white blood cells. White blood cells help in fighting infections.
  • Your baby has started to move a bit, but it is still too early for you to feel the movements.
  • Your baby can open and close his fingers and curl her toes. She is also developing reflexes currently.
  • At this stage, your baby is producing urine, which is peed out into the amniotic fluid.

Tips to follow when you are 12 weeks pregnant

1. Focus on a healthy diet

Follow a balanced diet during pregnancy. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, proteins like chicken and fish, and dairy for its calcium content.

2. Stay hydrated

Drink enough fluids to prevent problems like constipation, gas, bloating, and bladder infections.

3. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs

Week 12 to week 18 is a critical period for the development of your baby’s brain. Avoid consuming alcohol, tobacco, or drugs as they can long-term effects on your baby’s brain.

4. Start doing kegel exercises

Kegel exercises strengthen your vaginal muscles. These can help in shorter labor and recovery after delivery. Kegel exercises also reduce your chances of bladder issues and other post-partum problems.

5. Avoid sun exposure

Your skin can become sensitive during pregnancy. Wear a sunscreen with SPF over 15 and a hat to keep the sun off your face when outside.

6. Foods to avoid

Avoid uncooked seafood as it can contain parasites and harmful bacteria. Some fish like swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish contain high levels of mercury. Avoid them. Soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk can contain listeria and other pathogens. Avoid eating such cheeses and opt for hard cheeses like Swiss or cheddar.

7. Start a pregnancy journal

Note down all the pregnancy milestones in a journal. You can also take pictures of your baby bump and put them in your journal.

8. Get your flu shot

Flu season runs from October to May. Experts recommend that all mom-to-be should get vaccinated as soon as it is available, which is usually a month before the flu season.

Your week 12 pregnancy doctor’s visit

Your second prenatal visit is usually about a month after the first appointment. During this visit, the doctor will check on your progress and that of your baby. Your doctor will check your weight and blood pressure. He will check your baby’s heart rate. You may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat during this visit.

Your doctor will take your urine sample to check it for sugar and protein levels. High sugar levels are a sign of gestational diabetes. High protein levels can indicate a kidney or urinary tract infection. During this week, your doctor may also suggest screening for chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome and trisomy 18. These include a blood test and a nuchal translucency scan.

If you are considered high risk, the doctor may suggest a detailed ultrasound scan during the week 20 visit or a diagnostic test like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Tips for the partner

After 12 weeks of pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is much lower, and so are your worries. Most people start sharing their pregnancy news around this time.  Discuss with your partner if you want to share this news with your friends and family.

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Try and attend prenatal appointments with your partner. Not only is this reassuring for your partner, but it also allows you to ask the doctor any questions that may be bothering you.

Final thoughts

You’re in the 12th week of your pregnancy. Your body is going through some exciting changes, and your baby bump is beginning to show.  You may still have some of the same symptoms that you have been experiencing since the last few weeks, but they are on the wane now.

Your baby is almost 3 inches and is looking more like a person. Her eyes are moving from the sides to the front of her head, and her skeleton is starting to harden. She can also open and close her fingers and curl her toes. Focus on a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and avoid unhealthy food, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. You can also start doing kegel exercises now.

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