12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms Development and More
Pregnancy symptoms and change often, even week to week. But finishing your first term is a big deal and a great milestone. Since the pregnancy doesn’t break down evenly week by week into nine months, when you're 12 weeks pregnant is when your first trimester ends.
Your symptoms may start to change dramatically but it’s nothing to panic over. Here is what you can start to expect and understand around this time and shortly after.
But you can’t just run a marathon when you’re pregnant. It’s important to know which exercises are good for you and which can be harmful to your health or the baby.
Baby Development at 12 Weeks Pregnant
At this point, you may start to get your baby bump. The baby starts to double its size and you have almost made it past your first trimester. This is when couples may choose to start telling people because the first trimester is said to be the most common for miscarriages. You can expect some of the following from baby development at 12 weeks pregnant.
Doubled in Size
Likely at this point, your baby will weigh half an ounce. Their fingers and toes will develop to 5 on each hand and foot at this point allowing their reflexes to start working. They may be able to move and clench their toes and fingers. Their eye muscles begin to clench and several key areas of moving to develop.
At this point in the pregnancy, you will likely be able to hear the fetal heartbeat. A doctor may be able to help you with a stethoscope at one of your next appointments. Because 12 weeks is such an important milestone you will likely have a doctor’s appointment around this time anyways. This is because the fetal heartbeat has become stronger and more pronounced.
Baby’s Digestive System
The baby’s digestive tract will start to develop and contract to practice the functions that will be needed after birth. Other functions around the digestive tract are working hard to develop functions like being able to fight off infections and deal with illness in the gut.
At this stage, the baby’s bones are starting to harden as well. As they solidify and get more nutrients the baby will become less fragile as they continue to grow and develop in the mother’s womb.
Blood Cell Development
At this point in the pregnancy term, the baby will also start to make their red blood cells which have to do with producing and carrying oxygen to the lungs.
12 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months
12 weeks pregnant is just two weeks away from the end of your official first trimester! It is three months of pregnancy and now you will start to move towards the middle term of your pregnancy. This means you have six more months to go. A lot happens from 3 to 6 months and seems to be the time where the baby is developing at a rapid pace. It’s almost like once week 12 hits the baby has hit the ground running as they are developing key areas to the body and immune system.
12 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
While your baby may be going through some major development it is also good to take note that your body will be going through some major changes itself. Besides some of the obvious ones like you will begin to show, here is what you should expect at 12 weeks and going forward.
The baby will migrate its position from off your pelvis and to the front of your abdomen. You may think this doesn’t do much for you but it does! This will hopefully relieve your constant urge to pee. This takes the pressure of the bladder and is one of the symptoms that may end with the first trimester.
Your uterus will have grown so much that at this point your healthcare provider or doctor will be able to feel the top of it. It will sit low in your pelvic area and just on top of your pubic bone making it easy for the doctor to reach and access.
While it is exciting to be pregnant, it all starts to feel so real. There are stressors that start to come out with the mother and the father such as the baby’s future, financial situations, health, and more. It is normal to start thinking about these things as you approach the end of your first trimester and begin to show. This is when the doctor may recommend continuing going on walks and finding relaxing things to pass the time so you aren’t sitting around building up anxiety.
You can’t give something up without getting something in return. Unlucky for expecting mothers is that they may add the new symptom of feeling faint. Dizziness is one of the main symptoms that come with the second trimester because of the increased levels of progesterone. Progesterone causes your blood vessels to take it easy and widen out which results in lower blood pressure and circulation of blood and oxygen. In turn, you may feel tired and dizzy quite a lot.
Low Sex Drive
This may be unusual news for you because you have heard of other people having increased sex drives. This is because hormones are different for everyone. If the progesterone hits your heart making you feel dizzy and tired a lot of time there is a good chance you will have a decreased sex drive as well. This is normal as a lot of women experience this to some degree. It is even possible for you to feel an increase in sex drive some days and low on others. Everyone’s path is a little different so it’s better not to compare.
At this stage, you will notice an increase in your discharge. You should know that the discharge is meant to be a clear liquid and any other color such as green, pink, or brown discharge should be followed up with an immediate call to your doctor. This could signal an infection or even a miscarriage in some cases. But clear discharge is the way your body starts protecting itself from having infections make their way up the cervix and to the baby.
Accompanied with dizziness and a change of hormones can be headaches. This is because your body is experiencing a lot and may be dehydrated. The hormonal shift from estrogen to progesterone is quite a hefty thing for your body to take on which is why you may have an increased intensity in your headaches. Increased stress can be something that adds to this which is why it’s important to spend some “me” time a little more often.
12 Weeks Pregnant Belly
Because the baby is moving from your pelvic area to your front abdomen you will start to notice belly changes. This is when you will start to show just a little bit and feel like you have a solid round little tummy. This is because your baby is about the size of a plum or a grapefruit. Some women though show less than others at this stage depending on how their abdomen responds and the size of the baby. The general weight is 0.49 ounces and 2.1 inches long.
12 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
As you approach the end of your first trimester you will have an appointment with your doctor or OBGYN. They will perform an abdominal ultrasound like some of the other ones you likely have experienced before. This is when they take jelly and use an instrument to run over your abdomen area to see the baby. Likely you have had this before but if you had a transvaginal ultrasound before this is different.
You will be able to see on the monitor several differences from when you first saw the ultrasound.
The movement will be the first thing you can see. While it may be difficult to pick up on the growing fuzz on their body or their fingernails coming into place, you will be able to see the baby moving. This is the curling of the toes and clenching the firsts, wiggling the fingers, and such. They may even develop habits of sucking on their hands.
As mentioned, your baby has become the length of a plum or in some cases closer to the size of the grapefruit. You may be able to distinguish now certain features of the baby that were hard to depict before.
No Sex Determination Yet
While you may want to eagerly know the sex of your baby an ultrasound won’t produce this yet. While results are not 100 percent accurate some couples try to find out at the end of week 14 by ultrasound. However, many doctors recommend waiting for weeks 18 and 21 because the baby is still growing at a rapid rate and has become much more pronounced at this stage in the baby’s development and the pregnancy term.
Tips for 12 Weeks Pregnant
Your body will start to take on a lot at this stage in your pregnancy. The middle term is approaching and you may have some added and unwanted symptoms coming up. This is a good time to start preparing before that. Here are the tips and tricks you can follow to make the transition into the next term easier.
One of the first things expecting mothers forget to do is drink water. If you were bad at hydrating before it is critically important that you hydrate now more than ever. Because exercising is a good thing to do while pregnant you will need to add even more water intake after that. Hydrating can help relieve some of the symptoms like feeling lethargic and dealing with a lot of headaches from the hormone changes.
Taking time for yourself is the most important thing during the stage. The stress will begin to build up and something as simple as starting to show can both excite a mother one day and make her feel crazy the next. Taking time to relax with spa-like procedures or even exercising can do a lot for your mood and make your pregnancy a lot more enjoyable.
Part of the stress that starts to creep in towards the end of your first trimester is the “what if” questions. Money is one of the biggest things that starts to stress out your partner and if you have the time to sit down and plan it can actually be less stressful than not planning out at all. If you have time to make a budget spreadsheet for what you need and what you don't, this can be particularly useful for parents to refer back to when the craziness of labor and aftermath has started.
The Journey Has Just Started
Pregnancy admittedly for some is tough. You don’t have to pretend that it’s always this magical experience that is the best time of your life. While it is a miracle and an undoubtedly amazing process it is tough and it is fine to admit that. It can be for some truly a breeze but taking the steps to ensure that you can have an easier pregnancy is always a good thing to do.
Starting with knowing you are almost done with your first trimester is a reason to treat yourself! Especially since you need to be aware that a few of the symptoms you get rid of (no more bathroom every five minutes) will be replaced with some equally difficult symptoms. Intense headaches may be one of them.
Something to look forward to in this stage of your pregnancy is the ability to see your baby moving and hear your baby’s heartbeat. This can be done with one of the checkups your doctor will have planned for you as you near week 14!