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12 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development
At 12 weeks pregnant, you’ve nearly reached the end of the first trimester, and your little one has been busy.
All of your baby’s vital organs and body parts will be in place this week; even the sex organs have developed.
It’s still too early to determine the gender of your baby, but your healthcare provider will likely be able to let you know (if you choose to find out before birth) during an mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan in the second trimester.
In the meantime, you can enjoy playing around with our Guess Your Baby’s Gender quiz.
Your baby’s heartbeat is probably audible with an external Doppler device by now, so you may get the opportunity to hear it if you have a checkup this week.
At this time, your baby has fully formed eyelids.
These aren’t just closed tightly; they’re actually fused together and will remain that way until late in your second trimester.
At this point, your baby’s hands are a little more developed than the feet, and the arms are longer than the legs.
The little nailbeds that recently developed are starting to sprout fingernails and toenails, which will continue to grow to the tips of the fingers and toes during the next trimester.
Your baby is also starting to move a little, but it’s still too early for you to feel these movements.
During the coming weeks, your baby’s organs and muscles will continue to develop and your baby will continue to grow bigger.
How Big Is Your Baby at 12 Weeks?
Your baby is now about the size of a passion fruit, measuring close to 2.5 inches, crown to rump, and weighing approximately 0.5 ounce.
Mom’s Body at 12 Weeks Pregnant
Feed me! As the nausea and discomfort of early pregnancy start to subside, you may find that you’re getting your appetite back.
Be sure you’re eating enough and maintaining a healthy diet, but don’t feel you actually need to eat for two.
Experts recommend adding only about 300 extra calories a day, on average, during pregnancy.
Your healthcare provider will be able to give you personalized advice about what’s right for you.
12 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Bleeding and sensitive gums.
As your blood volume increases and hormone levels change, you may find that your gums start to swell and are more sensitive;
they may even bleed when you brush or floss.
Although this can be disconcerting, it can be completely normal.
Continue to brush and floss regularly, and speak to your dentist, if needed, to check that everything is OK.
Using a softer toothbrush and rinsing with salt water (a teaspoon of salt dissolved into a cup of warm water) can be helpful.
During pregnancy, your body produces more blood vessels, and your hormone levels change.
This can leave you feeling dizzy or lightheaded from time to time. Wearing loose clothing, keeping hydrated, avoiding long periods of standing, and remembering to eat regularly can help you feel better.
Also, try to stand up slowly after sitting and avoid changing positions abruptly.
Be sure to call your healthcare provider if you also have abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, or if your feelings of lightheadedness persist
Sensitivity to smells.
Your sense of smell can be particularly sensitive during this phase of pregnancy.
If certain odors bother you, try eating cold or room-temperature food to avoid strong odors, using a fan when cooking, and having someone else in your household take out the trash.
Hormonal changes and your growing uterus might leave you feeling bloated. Eating slowly helps prevent you from swallowing air, and this may help relieve some of the bloating.
Spotting or bleeding. At 12 weeks pregnant, or anytime during pregnancy, if you notice bleeding other than light spotting (which can occur after sex, for example), especially if accompanied by cramping, it’s a good idea to contact your healthcare provider to get the symptom checked.
12 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
Focus on a healthy diet.
Be sure to follow a balanced pregnancy diet that includes proteins like meat, chicken, fish, or plant-based substitutes.
You’ll want to include a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day for the vitamins and minerals they contain, plus calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, and tofu.
Start doing Kegels.
Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your uterus and bladder.
There are many benefits, including helping to prevent accidental urination during and after your pregnancy.
Kegels are easy to do:
You simply squeeze your pelvic floor muscles by contracting those muscles you’d clench if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or stop yourself from passing gas.
Hold for a few seconds, and then release.
You should aim for at least 3 sets of 20 each day.
You can increase how many Kegels you do and how long you hold them for as your muscles grow stronger.
Consult our guide to learn more about Kegel exercises.
Start a pregnancy journal.
You might want to write down all of your exciting pregnancy milestones so that you can look back on your journey after your baby is born.
Consider taking weekly photos of your developing bump after it begins to show.
Once you have an ultrasound scan, you could even add a print copy to the journal.
There are many styles of pregnancy journals that you can buy online or from a local retailer, or you could create your own keepsake in the form of a scrapbook or even a traditional diary.
Your Baby at Week 12
Baby Has Doubled in Size
By now your baby weighs a full half-ounce, with a crown-to-rump length of two- to two-and-a-quarter inches — about the size of a lime.
It’s hard to believe (especially from the outside, since you’re probably barely showing at this point), but your baby has more than doubled in size during the past three weeks.
12 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 12 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 3 of your pregnancy.
Only 6 months left to go! Still have questions?
Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
Baby’s Digestive System Begins Working
This week marks a turning point for your baby.
At 12 weeks pregnant, the Herculean task of developing new bodily structures is nearing an end, as most of your baby’s systems are fully formed – though there’s still plenty of maturing to do.
Now comes the maintenance phase, during which your fetus’ systems continue to evolve for the next 28 weeks and the organs get to work.
For one thing, the fetal digestive system is beginning to flex its muscles — literally — as it starts practicing contraction movements, a skill your little peanut will need after birth to push food through the digestive tract.
The bone marrow is busy making white blood cells — weapons that will one day help your baby fight infection (including all those germs passed around the play group) once he’s out of your safe haven.
And the pituitary gland at the base of the brain has started producing the hormones that’ll enable him to make babies of his own in a few decades or so.
If you haven’t already had the pleasure, it’s likely that at this month’s checkup you’ll finally hear your baby’s fetal heartbeat — a sound that will make your heart race with joy!
Your Body at Week 12
As you near the end of your first trimester, your uterus, now about the size of a large grapefruit, begins to migrate from the bottom of your pelvis to a front-and-center position in your abdomen.
If you’re lucky, this will bring an end to one pesky early pregnancy symptom: the constant urge to urinate
Also slated to diminish somewhat now that you’re on the cusp of your second trimester are some of those other early pregnancy symptoms:
nausea, super tender breasts and nipples, food aversions and fatigue.
Your 12 Weeks Pregnant Belly
At 12 weeks, your baby bump may be more pronounced and may even show to the outside world.
But it’s just as likely that while your clothes may be getting a little tight, you won’t yet have a noticeably pregnant belly at this point.
If anything, you may look like you’ve gained a little weight around the middle, or you may not look different to anyone else at all.
Whatever the case may be, know that your 12 weeks pregnant belly is completely normal, whether it’s on the bigger, smaller or invisible side.
Baby bumps can vary widely depending on the woman’s size and shape and whether this is a first or subsequent pregnancy.
So don’t fret if your bump at 12 weeks doesn’t look like your pregnant friend’s at the same stage.
All bumps are beautiful! If you’re not showing yet, you will be in time, and if you are showing quite a bit, that’s fine too.
You can always talk to your practitioner if you have any concerns.
Don’t look now (though considering the symptom, maybe you should), once you hit your second trimester, there’s a new pregnancy symptom that may be added to the mix: dizziness.
And guess who’s to blame? Yup — it’s your old friend progesterone again, which causes your blood vessels to relax and widen around 12 weeks pregnant, increasing the flow of blood to your baby (again, good for baby), but slowing the return of blood to you (as always, not so good for mom).
What that means for you is lower blood pressure and reduced blood flow to your brain. These factors can contribute to that light-headed, dizzy feeling — especially when you get up too quickly — which is why slow and steady wins the race here.
Another cause of dizziness during pregnancy is low blood-sugar levels, which can occur if you’re not eating regularly.
So don’t try to run…or even walk…on empty. Here’s a quick tip:
If you feel dizzy or faint, lie down or sit with your head lowered between your knees, take deep breaths and loosen any tight clothing (like that button on your jeans you struggled to close in the first place).
As soon as you feel a little better, get something to eat and drink.
Low Sex Drive
Your best friend says being pregnant turned her into a sex kitten — but you feel more like a dead fish (and just about as bloated…which makes you feel even less sexy).
What’s the deal with your sex drive? Hormones hit every woman differently, turning up the heat for some and throwing ice water on others.
Pregnancy symptoms can also stand between you and a good time — after all, it’s hard to purr when you’re busy gagging on dinner, get busy when you barely have the energy to get undressed or let your partner take advantage of those extra large breasts when you have a strict look-but-don’t-touch policy in effect (ouch!).
Rest assured, whatever you’re feeling is normal.
Just stay emotionally connected with your partner and remember that many women who’ve lost that lovin’ feeling in the first trimester get it back in the second in spades.
So don’t be surprised if a very warm front moves into your bedroom soon.
12 WEEKS PREGNANT
Things are changing fast at 12 weeks pregnant.
You’re reaching the home stretch of the first trimester (we know, finally!),
which means your hormones are likely to tone things down a bit—hopefully making you feel fewer pregnancy symptoms.
It also means you may be ready to share your pregnancy news with family and friends. So exciting!
How Big Is Baby at 12 Weeks?
At 12 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a plum. The average fetus at 12 weeks is about 2.1 inches long and .49 ounces.
Now that baby’s got pretty much all his or her important organs, his or her main job is to keep on growing.
o, baby go!
12 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
At twelve weeks pregnant, you’re in the last week of your third month of pregnancy.
In other words, you’ll be three months pregnant around the end of week 12 of your pregnancy.
12 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
Here’s the good news about 12 weeks pregnant symptoms: morning sickness and fatigue may start to fade a bit soon, as your hormones start to calm down. The bad?
Headaches and dizziness may replace them. We’ll take that trade-off.
Here’s more info about what’s happening to your body at 12 weeks pregnant:
This clear discharge might seem weird, but it’s normal and has an important purpose: to protect your vagina from infection.
But if you have yellow, greenish, pink, or brown discharge during pregnancy week 12, call your doctor right away.
Those colors could be a sign of infection or preterm labor.
Spotting. Spotting or bleeding during pregnancy at 12 weeks could be worrisome—or it could be nothing at all.
For example, your cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy, so simply having sex could cause light bleeding that’s harmless.
If you’re spotting or bleeding, definitely tell your doctor.
If the bleeding is accompanied by cramping or the flow is heavy, it’s an urgent call
These may start to intensify around week 12 of pregnancy.
Headaches may be caused by hormonal shifts, drops in blood sugar, dehydration, lack of sleep, or stress.
To deal, pay attention to what might be triggering your headaches and try to avoid those culprits.
If you notice a drastic increase in headaches or a type of headache you’ve never experienced before (such as a migraine), or if your headaches are accompanied by other weird symptoms, let your OB know.
Dizziness. Whoa! Hormone shifts and blood pressure changes could cause dizzy spells around pregnancy week 12.
You can help prevent dizziness by snacking regularly and drinking plenty of water. Sit or lie down if you’re feeling dizzy or lightheaded and let your doc know about any severe bouts.
If you’re 12 weeks pregnant with twins, you may still be experiencing morning sickness, while your singleton mom-to-be counterparts are likely starting to see the light at the end of the nausea tunnel.
Know that things will likely improve soon.
12 WEEKS PREGNANT BELLY
A 12 weeks, your pregnant belly is an official bump!
In other words, it’s probably getting noticeable now. This is one reason many moms-to-be start to tell others they’re expecting around 12 weeks.
(Of course, if you’re 12 weeks pregnant with twins, you may have been showing for weeks now, obviously because you’ve got double the baby in there!)
If you haven’t already, start taking photos of your pregnant belly at 12 weeks.
Trust us, after pregnancy you’ll want a memento of how much your body changed throughout the nine months.
12 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
Your fetus at 12 weeks is almost done developing his or her body’s important systems and parts, which means it’s all about getting bigger and more mature from here on out.
Yep, baby’s about to enter the growth and maturation stage, in which organs and tissues will grow and develop rapidly.
Baby at 12 weeks is opening and closing his or her fingers and curling toes.
And baby’s brain is developing fast!
Baby’s now developing reflexes—if you poke your 12-week pregnant belly while looking at baby on an ultrasound, you’ll likely see movement.
If you’re 12 weeks pregnant with twins, your twosome is developing at a similar rate as singleton babies at 12 weeks.
Later on, they’ll have a slightly slower rate of growth.
You may have one more prenatal checkup before the end of your first trimester.
Whether or not you have a 12-week ultrasound may depend on your doctor’s preference and maybe also on what your insurance covers.
If you do get an ultrasound at this time, you’ll notice that you can see your 12-week pregnant fetus more clearly this time around, which may make you want to start spreading the news that you’re expecting.
Itching to find out if it’s a boy or a girl? We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but on a 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound, gender isn’t usually revealed.
Between 12 and 13 weeks is the very earliest a boy or girl could possibly be seen on an ultrasound, and the anatomy is still difficult to make out with any certainty.
Your OB or technician is much more likely to be able to see baby’s gender at the mid-pregnancy anatomy scan, which will happen around week 20.
However, if you received DNA blood testing for chromosomal disorders, you may find out baby’s gender when you get those results—if you want to know, that is!
Around week 12, you might want to know more about baby’s health, so you may have genetic testing done to determine the risk of birth defects or other problems.
This can be a little scary—and confusing—so be sure to ask your OB plenty of questions, and know that it’s much more likely baby’s A-OK than anything else.