At 12 weeks pregnant, the baby has doubled its original size! Isn’t it difficult to believe this, especially when you can see no physical change in yourself? One of the most remarkable changes taking place in the body of the developing baby is the development of the body reflexes.
The baby at 12 weeks will be able to open and shut the fingers, curl the toes, clench the eye muscles, and suck the mouth! At 12 weeks, you won’t be able to feel any movements. However, the baby can topple, bend, roll, and move about actively in the womb.
Baby Development At 12th Week:
Most of the organs in the body of the baby will be formed by 12 weeks pregnant. However, the maturation of the organs will take the entire 9 months of pregnancy. The various baby developments are as follows:
- Rapid developments take place in the baby during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- The baby will be about half an ounce, with the crown to rump length of about 2 1/3 inches.
- The size of the baby will be around that of a small plum.
- The intestines have developed well, and start getting positioned in the abdominal cavity by this week.
- The kidneys begin functioning and excrete urine into the baby’s bladder.
- There is the rapid multiplication of the nerve cells, leading to the formation of synapses in the brain of the baby.
- The ultrasound scan will show the baby development at 12 weeks, to have more human features and appearance now.
- The eyes have moved from the sides of the head and are now in proper position.
- The eyelids will cover the eyes but remain tightly shut during the first trimester. The eyes won’t open until the 23rd
- The facial features of the baby will become more and more distinct as the pregnancy progresses. However, it will be difficult to make out the features distinctly through an ultrasound scan.
- The bone marrow of the baby actively produces the white blood cells, which will help in developing the baby’s immune system.
- The formation of the baby’s reproductive organs takes place by the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, found at the base of the brain of the baby.
- The external genitals begin development during the 10th week of pregnancy, and hence not visible. However, the gender of the baby can be determined by the 12th week of pregnancy.
- Free movement of the baby in the amniotic fluid takes place during this stage, though the expectant mother can’t feel these movements.
The fetal heartbeat can be heard during the 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound scan. Each time you meet your gynecologist, she will use a Doppler, to listen to the heartbeat of the baby. A Doppler is a hand-held device used to hear the heartbeat of the baby. At 12 weeks, the heartbeat will range about 110-150 beats per minute.
Symptoms Of Pregnancy At 12th Week:
The development of the baby will lead to many visible changes in the body of the expectant mother. The most common 12 weeks pregnant symptoms and signs are as follows:
- Morning sickness
- Bloating and burping
- Frequent headaches
- Increased urge to urinate
- Weight gain
- Uneasiness or tightening at the abdomen
- Enlargement of the breasts
- Darkening of nipples
- Food cravings
- Mood swings
- Fatigue and tiredness
Body Changes At 12 Weeks Of Pregnancy:
Pregnancy is associated with drastic changes taking place inside and outside the body of the expectant mother. The various changes taking place in the body at 12 weeks pregnant are as follows:
- The uterus has grown and can be felt by the gynecologist just above the pubic bone.
- The thickening of the waist occurs, and you might feel the need to wear comfortable and loose clothing.
- By the end of the 1st trimester, your appetite will increase.
- Body aches are common during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
- Tenderness of the breasts, increase in the breast size, enlargement of the nipples, etc. are common signs during early pregnancy. The changes will help in lactation and will gradually subside, with time!
- The 12 weeks pregnant belly won’t be visible to others. However, you might feel the tightening in the abdomen.
- Heartburn or acid indigestion is one of the most common problems during pregnancy. You might feel a burning sensation in the lower area of the throat.
- Indigestion is a common pregnancy symptom. The production of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy leads to the relaxation of the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, leading to indigestion.
- As the pregnancy progresses, there will be intense pressure exerted on the stomach by the growing uterus, which is another cause to stimulate indigestion.
- Weight gain will be moderate at the 12th week of pregnancy.
- The constant urge to urinate tends to decrease by the end of the 1st trimester of pregnancy. The change can be attributed to the position of the uterus and the various pregnancy hormones.
- By the end of the 1st trimester, most women have decreased nausea and vomiting.
- One of the most common symptoms at 12 weeks pregnant is feeling dizzy. The increased blood volume during pregnancy can make you feel dizzy, decrease the blood pressure, and reduce the flow of blood to the brain.
- Many women are susceptible to “varicose veins” during pregnancy. The situation wherein blood gets collected in the weak spots of the veins, making them bulge out is called as varicose veins. The legs are the most likely parts of the body to develop varicose veins.
- Cramping of the calf muscles is a very common sign of pregnancy, especially during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
Understanding the weeks and the month of the pregnancy is paramount for efficient pregnancy care. You can identify the week of your pregnancy to the corresponding month, and the trimester through the pregnancy calendar. You will be able to understand the week by week development of the baby by following a pregnancy calendar, as follows:
|1st Trimester||Month 1||1 to 4 weeks|
|Month 2||5 to 8 weeks|
|Month 3||9 to 13 weeks|
|Month 4||14 to 17 weeks|
|Month 5||18 to 21 weeks|
|Month 6||22 to 26 weeks|
|Month 7||27 to 30 weeks|
|Month 8||31 to 35 weeks|
|Month 9||36 to 40 weeks|
Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy:
It is very common for pregnant women to suffer from more than normal vaginal discharge, especially at 12 weeks pregnant.
- The vaginal discharge will be mostly odorless or mild-smelling.
- The discharge will be milky in appearance.
- Vaginal discharge is very common before pregnancy as well. However, the vaginal output will be greater during pregnancy than before.
- The increase in the quantity of the discharge is mainly because of the increased production of the hormone Estrogen.
- The overall blood volume in the body increases during pregnancy.
- The greater flow of blood to the vagina during pregnancy is responsible for the increased vaginal discharge.
When Is Vaginal Discharge Dangerous During Pregnancy?
Now that you are aware of vaginal discharge being normal during pregnancy, it is essential to understand when to see your gynecologist, as follows:
- If the vaginal discharge isn’t milky but thin and clear, you might be leaking the amniotic fluid.
- You must meet the gynecologist immediately in case the discharge is watery and pink in color. It might be a sign that you are going into preterm labor.
- If the discharge causes discomfort such as pain during urination, irritation, burning, itching, etc. you must inform the gynecologist about it. It could be a possible sign of a yeast infection.
- If the vaginal discharge isn’t odorless, rather gives a fishy smell and is gray in color, you might be suffering from “bacterial vaginosis.”
- If the vaginal discharge is frothy, yellow or green in the shade, with an unpleasant odor, you must meet the gynecologist immediately. It could be a sign of “trichomoniasis.”
- If the vaginal discharge is foul smelling, and not milky white, it could be a sign of any vaginal infection. You need to see your gynecologist immediately.
Understanding When You Need Medical Help:
It is paramount to comprehend that self-medication can’t treat any vaginal infections. During pregnancy, everything needs to be taken seriously. There are many symptoms and signs which must never be ignored, to the best of your health as well as the health of the baby growing inside you!
You need to see your gynecologist immediately and get the appropriate diagnosis done in case there is any problem. The various other symptoms which need immediate medical attention are:
- Intense pain in the lower part of the back
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Cramping in the lower part of the abdomen
- Urination discomfort
- Decreased urine output
- Severe vomiting
- Excessive dehydration
- Itching around the pubic area
- Swelling or redness of the vagina
Care During Pregnancy:
The first trimester of pregnancy is the most critical time for the development of the baby at 12 weeks pregnant. The chances of miscarriage and abortion are very high in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Hence, pregnancy care is essential.
As the pregnancy progresses to the 2nd trimester, the chances of miscarriage will be decreased by approximately 50%. However, you will need to stay cautious throughout the duration of gestation to be able to deliver a healthy baby without many complications. Concentrating on the 12 week pregnancy diet is paramount to stay active and healthy.
- Avoid foods that can provide a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria, or parasites.
- Avoid raw and undercooked meat, poultry, fish, eggs, etc.
- Unpasteurized milk and dairy products must be avoided.
- Never have refrigerated meats and spreads. It is safest to have foods which can be heated well before consumption.
- Avoid cold salads such as chicken and egg salads during pregnancy, especially at 12 weeks pregnant.
- You must never consume fruits and vegetable salads which have been kept open for more than 2 hours.
- Always avoid eating fruits and vegetables which aren’t washed well with water or peeled. Alternatively, never have fruits and vegetables which are cut by vendors.
- Seafood can be dangerous for the growth of the developing baby. So it is best to avoid seafood during pregnancy.
- Alcohol is strictly prohibited during pregnancy.
- You must drink milk to help in the development of healthy bones in the baby.
- Caffeine in moderate quantities is allowed, but it is best to avoid caffeine during pregnancy.
- Never have aerated drinks during pregnancy.
- Smoking is strictly not allowed during pregnancy.
- It is safest to consume perishable foods as soon as they are opened.
- Pregnancy fatigue is the most common symptoms of pregnancy, especially in the 1st You will revive your energy levels by the 2nd trimester.
- Swimming and walking are excellent exercises to be involved in throughout pregnancy. However, strenuous exercising or overdoing anything during pregnancy can be dangerous.
- You must avoid the lifting of heavy weights, and bending down often during pregnancy.
- Frequent urination, especially at 12 weeks pregnant makes your private areas damp, thereby giving room to the growth of bacteria and fungi. Hence, staying hygienic is crucial.
- Never skip the pregnancy medication prescribed by your gynecologist. The regular intake of Folic Acid medication, Vitamin D supplements, calcium, and iron medication will help in protecting the baby from many congenital disabilities.
- Passing gas during pregnancy is normal! Indigestion, bloating, and heartburn are common signs of pregnancy.
- Avoid the intake of oily foods, deep fried foods, and unhealthy snacks to protect yourself from digestive problems.
- You can protect yourself from the embarrassment by avoiding foods which stimulate gas production, namely peas, beans, etc.
- Concentrate on having more fresh fruits and raw vegetables, to stay healthy than munching on unhealthy snacks.
- Drink lots of water during pregnancy to avoid constipation. Alternatively, you can also increase the fluid intake to protect yourself from getting dehydrated by morning sickness and nausea, especially at 12 weeks pregnant.
- Avoid staying on an empty stomach for long durations of time as it will worsen nausea. You can reduce nausea and morning sickness from getting worse by eating small meals at frequent time intervals.
- You can sniff a lemon wedge to keep morning sickness at bay.
- Hair dyes have chemical additives in them, which can be very dangerous for you. Hence, avoid coloring the hair during pregnancy.
- The skin becomes extremely sensitive during pregnancy. Hence, use a good moisturizer on the body and keep skin problems at bay.
- Acne is a very common problem during pregnancy but you must strictly avoid self-medications and understand your body changes at 12 weeks pregnant.
Every woman is different and so are their pregnancies! In fact, most gynecologists suggest that the same woman can suffer from various symptoms during her different pregnancies. So, it is paramount to take proper care, stay cautious, rest well, get sufficient sleep, and eat well! Bond well with your partner and stay happy so that you can deliver a happy baby and enjoy your days of motherhood.