You’re now 12 weeks pregnant! Your bump may well be beginning to show by now and your baby will be growing faster now with reflexes developing quickly. Here at NearlyBorn, we’ve gathered some advice regarding this stage of your pregnancy and ‘typical’ feelings at this point in time. Don’t worry if you don’t feel exactly as we describe below though, every pregnancy is different, but see your doctor if you think there is a medical issue.
By now your baby weighs almost half an ounce and is 2.1 inches long, and if you haven’t already had your 12-week prenatal check you’ll be having this soon. At this appointment, it’s likely that you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat! Your baby’s face is now almost completely formed and looks more like a baby ahead of this scan, so when you get the In the last 3 weeks, your baby has doubled in size, and you’re now nearly at the end of your first trimester. Your baby’s intestines are now fully developed and have moved into their correct place anatomically.
Your baby’s reflexes will now be beginning to develop, and will later become those movements you will recognize post-birth, such as being able to curl the hands and feet and blinking because of bright lights and startling at loud noises. By 12 weeks pregnant your baby’s eyelids will be formed and begin to open and close, your baby will also be able to make a sucking motion with their mouth by now too.
Your baby will now also have the reflex in place that will allow them to grasp your finger when placed into their hand post-birth. This is called the Palmar reflex, and although this becomes less noticeable after the first few months post-birth and will be gone by the time your baby is one year old it is already possible in utero.
During your ultrasound, you will be able to see your baby on screen for possibly the first time, unless you’ve had an early ultrasound. During this scan, you will be able to see your baby fully formed, although certain facial features and organs still have some development time to go. You may also be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat through a fetal doppler, remember that your baby’s heartbeat will be significantly faster in utero than it will post-birth, so don’t be alarmed.
Your symptoms at 12 weeks will be changing as you approach the end of your first trimester, your hormones have been steadily increasing for the past 10 weeks and are reaching their peak, they will soon begin to level off and become steady again.
- You may currently be suffering from severe headaches, these are caused by the hormone levels currently raging through your body. But can also be caused by dehydration and low blood sugar. As with earlier in your pregnancy, the best way to keep both of these issues under control is with increased fluid intake and lots of snacks to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t drop too low.
- Your skin color can change – you can have melasma appear on your skin due to changes in the levels of melanin in your body, as with other changes to your body this is due to changing hormone levels in your body. Please also remember that your skin is now more sensitive to sunlight throughout your pregnancy, this means you should use a higher level of sunscreen to lower the risks of sunburn.
- Dizziness is also a common symptom at this point in your pregnancy, this is another one attributed to hormones – your hormones open your blood vessels to allow for greater blood flow your baby, however a side effect of this is a reduction of blood flow to your brain, hence the dizziness.
- Morning sickness is a very common symptom at this stage of your pregnancy, it will usually lessen when you are into your second trimester so it’s nothing to be concerned regarding. However, if the morning sickness continues well into your second trimester, or if you are struggling to keep any food or water down then please see your doctor.
Ending your first trimester is a big deal, your body will start settling into a more stable rhythm as your baby continues to grow and there will be less fluctuation in hormone levels as the daily increases begin to tail off.
We remind you that as the more severe symptoms tail off during this week you may begin to become scared or nervous, some women report not feeling pregnant anymore at this stage, don’t worry this is normal for a high number of women. We recommend talking to someone if you’re beginning to feel a little down, preferably a mommy friend who will know what you’re experiencing or alternatively, relax with something you enjoy to pick yourself up.
A lot of the advice for pregnant women centers on the limitations attached to being pregnant, we advise that you make a list of fun things that you can do while pregnant, endorphins are another hormone that will be released with gentle exercise or spending time with friends. So focus on the things you enjoy and not the limitations, this can help to improve your mood and can also help the early stages of pregnancy to pass quicker.
Your mood will still be up and down at this point in time, thank those hormones again! So we recommend ensuring you have a good circle of friends and family to talk to if you need to. Don’t be afraid of speaking out about how you are feeling – you are not alone. There are forums online where you can interact with other newly pregnant women, some forums you can sign up to by due date so that you are all roughly in the same place in your pregnancy. The ability to talk to other women who are at the same stage of their pregnancy can be invaluable, just remember that you are only getting their opinions and feelings and this can also negatively impact your mood if it is already low.
Make time for yourself. Once your baby arrives your time will revolve around their schedule; feeding, changing and sleeping and your days will not be your own. Although, this is only initially and will improve steadily take the time now while you can. Relax into your most comfortable chair with a nice book, a mug of your favorite (non-caffeinated) drink and spend time lost in that feeling of contentment.
Your body is going to go through more changes during the later stages of this pregnancy, but by now you may well be struggling to fit into some of your clothes. We recommend wearing leggings which due to the elastic quality of the fabric will stretch over your bump as it grows. Alternatively, you can pair your favorite jeans with a longer shirt and use a rubber band through the buttonhole and around the button to keep them in place.
Ultrasound photographs fade with time, and exposure to sunlight, due to them being black and white so if you want to preserve that image capture that photo on your smartphone so you don’t lose the details over time.
Due to the way in which your uterus is growing, upward from your pelvis, your clothes will be getting tighter however right now you may not have the traditional ‘baby bump’ you are so looking forward to. Don’t despair it will appear more round and ‘bump shaped’ quicker than you think it will just allow time for your body to go through all of the changes.