You’re almost one-third of the way into your pregnancy! As hard as it may be to believe, it was been 12 weeks since this tiny life started forming inside of you. The first thing you need to do is pat yourself on the back for making it till here through all the pain, discomfort and stress. You’ve been so brave and strong, carrying all these changes inside, doing your best to take care of both you and your child. Right here, right now, stop everything you are going and tell yourself that you already are an excellent parent.
At 12 weeks pregnant, you have reached the end of your first trimester, which means that the chances of miscarriage have reduced significantly, meaning that the odds are now in your favor. This week will see the increase in the size of your 12 week baby bump, along with the disappearance of a few early pregnancy symptoms.
In place of them, newer changes will be happening, which means that there will be newer things to adjust to and learn. As nervous as you are, remember that you have been doing this for the last 3 months and will do even better in the time to come.
Size of the Baby at 12 Weeks
The size of the baby at 12 weeks is approximately 2.1 to 2.5 inches, weighing around 0.49 ounces. This means that the baby is now around the size of an apricot. The baby now has almost all their internal organs developed, even being able to open and close the fingers and curl the toes.
External sex organs may have started forming or will start forming soon. The skin is translucent and delicate, with the bones beginning to harden. Even the fingernails are beginning to develop, along with complex reflexes such as sucking! This means that the size of the baby at 12 weeks is now of a tiny formed human with mostly all the parts in place, having only growing and maturing left to do.
The good news is that this means you now have a small 12 week baby bump! Your older clothes will start fitting snugger and you may need to invest in maternity clothing soon. Looser pants, bigger bras and comfortable fabrics are the way to go. With your 12 week baby bump growing more and more noticeable, it may be time to share your news with others if you have not already.
12 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
You may be surprised to find the morning sickness is no longer as strong as before among your 12 weeks pregnant symptoms. This is because your body is slowly getting used to all these new hormones. Consider this your reward for having come so far! You should start feeling the nausea fade, along with the frequent urination. While the frequent urination will make a comeback sometime in the later weeks, the nausea is as good as gone once it disappears.
Don’t celebrate too fast yet, because there will be a few newer symptoms taking their place. The good news is that they probably won’t be as bad as the morning sickness was, so you will likely be glad to have made the exchange.
Here are the various 12 weeks pregnant symptoms that you may experience:
1. Increases vaginal discharge
As your body tries to protect your vagina from infection, you may notice an increase in the clear discharge this week, which is completely normal. In case you notice any colored or smelly discharge, call your doctor immediately to inform them.
While noticing spotting this week can be concerning, there can be normal causes of it, such as light bleeding of the cervix during sex. So, don’t assume the worst immediately and instead, give your doctor a call, so they can find out the actual reason behind it.
3. Skin pigmentation
The increase in hormones can affect your body in different ways, including causing an increase in the pigmentation of your skin. Around 50% of pregnant women are affected by a condition known as melasma or chloasma, also called “the mask of pregnancy”. Due to this, dark spots may start appearing on your forehead and cheeks, usually lightening or disappearing after delivery.
4. Breast changes
One would have thought that you would be used to breast changes by now, but the truth is that your breasts will only grow more tender and sore with your pregnancy. At 12 weeks pregnant, you can observe your areolas becoming darker as well. You can relieve these by buying bigger bras, using ice-packs as well as small, silicone breast soothing products which you can wear in your bra. You can confirm the safety of the material with your doctor.
All the stress of the weeks before may start culminating up to this point, enhanced by lack of sleep, dehydration, drops in blood sugar, etc. causing headaches. Try to recognize the triggers behind these headaches and do your best to avoid them. In case the headaches are oddly intense (such as migraines, if these are not usual for you) or are accompanied by other strange symptoms, give your OB a call.
Nausea may be gone, but dizziness may take its place this week, due to the changes in hormones and blood pressure. Remember to eat healthy snacks from time to time and avoid getting overheated. Rest and take naps when you feel a dizzy spell coming and if you find the feeling too severe, inform your OB immediately.
12 weeks pregnant Ultrasound
You will most likely have at least one or more prenatal checkups before your first trimester ends, where your doctor may choose to conduct an ultrasound. If you do have a 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound, you will notice that you can see your fetus more clearly than before.
The facial profile resembles a newborn even more and baby as one hand in front of their face as if shielding their eyes. If your belly is poked during this time, you might even spot movement. This is because, at 12 weeks pregnant, your baby’s reflexes are actively developing.
At the 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound, the sex of the baby will most likely not be detected yet.
If you have any genetic testing scheduled, then one of these may be conducted during this week. This is done to detect any abnormalities in chromosomes. It’s normal to be scared, but remember to ask your doctor about any doubts that you may have about your baby’s health.
Self-Care Tips for Being 12 Weeks Pregnant
As with each pregnancy week, there are a few reminders that you should have in mind to continue strong on this journey ahead.
Start going for maternity pants and pants with stretchy waists to accommodate your growing belly. Remember to switch out for bigger sized bras with material that does not irritate your tender skin. No matter what you wear, as long as you are comfortable, that baby bump and pregnancy glow are going to make you look beautiful.
Food and hydration
With nausea beginning to fade, you may find yourself becoming hungrier. While it is important to eat well during pregnancy, pay closer attention to your diet, because gaining too much weight can lead to complications such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, increase in fatigue, etc. Ask your doctor for suggestions about good and opt for healthier snacks such as nuts, yoghurt, fresh fruit, etc. Continue with your prenatal vitamins as they will give you the added nutritional boost.
Along with the increase in pigmentation, your skin is also becoming more sensitive. Thus, when you go out of the house, remember to wear sunscreen with SP15 or higher, along with a cap or hat to shield yourself from the sun if you are going to be under it for too long.
If you have not yet shared the news, this may be the time to do so and your 12 week baby bump is now beginning to form. Reaching the end of your first trimester and catching a glimpse of your baby on ultrasound may give you the confidence to finally share the news you have been itching to reveal.
Talk to your partner
Soon you will have the choice about finding out the sex of the baby. This is something that fully depends on you and your partner (if you have one). Remember to talk to them and discuss if you want to find out or keep it a surprise until the very end.
Ask your doctor about starting Kegel exercises to strengthen your vaginal muscles, which can help with the delivery and the recovery after giving birth. You may learn about these exercises in a birthing class if you choose to go to one later.
If you haven’t yet made a pregnancy journal, start this week and fill it with pictures to keep a track of the growth of your belly through all the weeks that are about to come.
As you reach the end of this week, let yourself be truly proud of the progress you have made from the initial disbelief to this moment in time. Let yourself fully believe that you are going to walk the remaining road with even more determination.