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12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Baby Development (Size & Weight), and More

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Now, it’s week 12 of pregnancy, and you are in your last week of the first trimester. By the end of 1st trimester, would-be mothers can have a sigh of relief with easing pregnancy symptoms. But, mind you! The baby is growing at a fast pace, and you will need to take care of a lot of things further relating to nutrition, diet, and daily activities. 

The baby bump can get slightly visible with the growing uterus. Within the uterus, most of the baby’s vital organs and systems are fully functional by now. And if you haven’t had your first-trimester ultrasound scan, book your appointment with your doctor to read the baby’s first heartbeats. 

Further, in the article, you will get more information on the development of the baby, noticeable pregnancy symptoms, and tips to manage through the last week of the first trimester.

Also Read: 11 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Baby Development (Size & Weight), and More

The Baby’s Development @ Week 12 of Pregnancy

Tracking every small development happening within you can be fascinating. At week 12, the baby’s size is similar to that of a kiwi measuring approximately 5.4 cms and weighing nearly 18 gms. Some of the organ and system developments of the baby happening within the womb this week are,

Pituitary and pancreatic hormone secretion

Though many more developmental activities and maturing are lined up, at week 12, the pituitary glands have started producing hormones, and the pancreas has begun synthesizing insulin. 

WBC production

One of the best developments is that the bone marrow commences making white blood cells (WBCs)- the essential armors that help fight infections. While the baby is well-protected within the womb, these WBC’s will perform their actual defensive function post-birth.   

Fetal Digestive Muscles Begin Contracting

The muscles of the baby’s digestive system start contracting and relaxing. The infringing small intestines on the umbilical cord completely move back into the baby’s abdomen. 

Also Read: Leg Pain During Early Pregnancy: What does it indicate, and how can you reduce it? 

Mom-to-be @ Week 12 of Pregnancy

Sonn, you will begin your second-trimester journey, and by now, you might have gained around 10- 12.5 kgs. However, some may not put on weight, and for this, the overriding pregnancy hormones their resulting symptoms are to be blamed. The pregnancy symptoms noticed this week include:

  • Heightened sense of smell that may lead to morning sickness anytime during the day.
  • Unusual liking and disliking for foods
  • Stomach uneasiness- bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion. Some may even have constipation.
  • Soreness of breasts
  • An increase in white vaginal discharge sometimes, light spotting is also observed. However, in case of any abnormal bleeding/ spotting, connect with the doctor immediately. 
  • Occasional headaches, dizziness
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Slight pain in the abdominal muscles due to stretching
  • Oily, spotty skin sometimes accompanied by dark patches on the face called Chloasma

Also Read: NT NB Scan During Pregnancy: What is It, When is It Done, What Will You Find Out from the Scan?

Things to Consider at Week 12 of Pregnancy

Would-be mothers who have gained weight or mothers who are yet to increase their weight should focus on following a healthy pregnancy diet with well-balanced nutrition and plenty of fluid intakes. Other things to-be mothers will need to follow this week include;

  • You will need to start with Kegel exercises and make them a part of your daily routine. Kegel exercises can help you prevent pregnancy-induced incontinence during the upcoming months of pregnancy. Ask your doctor how to do the kegel exercises or go through a step-by-step kegel exercise procedure described by Mayo Clinic. 
  • The growing uterus will require you to switch to wearing loose, stretchy, and comfortable clothes. 
  • Avoid raw, unprocessed, uncooked, or partially cooked foods and meats. Also, make sure to avoid consuming unpasteurized milk and milk products as they can harbor listeria and other harmful pathogens.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins regularly along with fresh fruits, vegetables, well-cooked and processed meat or fish such as salmon, tuna, etc., with no-mercury content. These can help you maintain good nutrition and healthy weight during your pregnancy. 
  • Use mild skincare products and dermatologists-recommended skin solutions as the skin gets ultra-sensitive and injury-prone during pregnancy.
  • Practice prenatal yoga asanas, regular exercises, and walking, guided by the experts for a healthy pregnancy.

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Are there any immunizations to be given during the first trimester of pregnancy, on or before the 12th-week pregnancy?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu vaccination for pregnant women during the flu months of October to May to protect the mother and child from flu-related complications.

The National Immunisation Schedule for pregnant women advises taking tetanus and adult diphtheria (Td vaccine) vaccination during early pregnancy, followed by a second dose four weeks after the first dosage administration. It is required to check with the obstetrician on the requirement and the best time to take these vaccines. 

Also Read: Argipreg (L- Arginine) Sachet Uses in Pregnancy, How It Should be Consumed

Conclusion/ Take- Away

At the 12th week of pregnancy, you have only 6 months of pregnancy to go. Your baby bump may be distinct and visible to the outside world. But, even if your baby bump is not prominently visible, your doctor can feel the growing uterus during a physical examination or by simply touching the abdomen. The baby’s growth is phenomenal by week 12, where its size has doubled since the last three weeks of the first trimester. Consult the obstetrician for an impending ultrasound, vaccination, prenatal scan, pregnancy abnormalities, queries, and other information. 

 

References

Overview | NHS

Pooja N Swamy (M.Sc Biomedical Sciences)
Pooja Holds Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Vellore Institute of Technology. She believes in strong research and clear understanding over the subject. Always determined and focussed with a thirst to learn new things. Hardworking, flexible and grounded to align with the goals.

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