The twelfth week marks a rapid decline of major ‘troublesome symptoms’ that characterized other weeks of the first trimester. The pregnancy hormones level off so that you can finally feel the greatness of being pregnant as the baby bump finally starts to show.
Baby’s growth and development in week twelve
By this week, the baby is about 55 mm in length and about ½ an ounce. The legs are very developed, and the baby can be seen trying all sorts of movements in the week. Unlike during the previous weeks, the movements of either hear, arms, legs, or fingers are very frequent.
One major development during the week is the sucking movement. By the close of the 12th week, the baby is seen opening the mouth for the first time and making sucking movements. This means that the digestive system is already developed, and the sucked amniotic fluid goes through the entire digestive tract. The movements include sucking, yawning, and swallowing the amniotic fluid. These are believed to be the main training activities for the baby to suck the mothers’ breasts immediately after birth.
The head becomes more rounded, and little buds that will ultimately become teeth are seen inside. Notably, the buds development continues and then stops as other parts develop during the second and third trimester. Rapid development will take place further after the baby is born.
The baby’s heart is beating stronger compared to the previous weeks. In fact, it is beating at a rate of about 167 beats/minute. This is double the speed of an adult and will slow down during the second trimester. Besides, the brain’s development is also very advanced and can communicate with respective organs through synapses.
Other developments at this week include kidney cells differentiation so that they can help to clean the blood in the baby and even release urine. The umbilical cord is also fully formed and will keep growing longer to supply all nutrients and other requirements.
A time to have the first ultrasound scan
At the twelfth, it is the ideal time to get hold of your baby’s image, get its heartbeat, and other movements. Though you may have visited your doctor as often as possible after knowing you are pregnant, the 12th week should correspond to the second antenatal clinic. Have your doctor take the first scan and even the image printed for you so that you can take it home to show your spouse and enjoy the progress.
Many mothers take hours looking at the scanned image and always keep referring to it because it demonstrates what is happening inside there. The image acts as a ray of hope and can be a source of positive mood when morning sickness takes toll on you. If you broke the news to the family and friends, you can now show them the scan of your buddle of joy.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 12
By the 12th week, your waist line will have advanced so much and a prominent bump starting to show. For those with twins or those who have been pregnant before, the bump will be more prominent. From the first week of pregnancy, you will have gained about 5 pounds by the close if the 12th week.
Fatigue and morning sickness should have decreased by now because the pregnancy hormones are leveling. Notably, the sharp pain you were experiencing at the lower abdomen will also disappear because the uterus grows upwards. Additionally, the pressure on the bladder will ease so that you no longer feel the regular urge to urinate regularly. However, this is a temporary relief because the growing baby will later (third trimester) exert even more pressure.
Notably, as the first trimester symptoms ebb out, new ones will emerge. For example, as food craving, fatigue, and morning sickness goes away, you will notice major skin changes.
- Pregnancy glow: The elevated level of blood flow to the skin will result in a rosy beautiful appearance. This is because the skin can regenerate faster so that it looks smoother, supple, and attractive.
- The appearance of mask of pregnancy: About 70% of pregnant women experience the mask of pregnancy from the 12th week. This is the appearance of brownish patches on the chin, cheeks, and forehead. The patches could get darker if you get exposed to a lot of sunlight that triggers release of melanin.
- Stretch marks: As different parts of the skin get stretched by the fat deposits, growing placental, or developing baby, you will start experiencing stretch marks. Though many will experience intense stretch marks in the second trimester, some will start experiencing them especially on the thighs and stomach.
- Other changes may include breast soreness, linea nigra, acne, and skin irritation.
Things to do during the 12th week
- Make sure to attend your prenatal clinic for regular check by the doctor. Even if you had visited the doctor last week because if any issue related to your pregnancy, it is important to attend the prenatal clinic for additional checkups.
- Have your baby scan so that you can see him/her, listen to the heartbeat, and follow the movements. This will give you a lot of satisfaction and special bonding with the kid and entire family.
- If the fatigue and nausea has not gone completely, consider selecting your fruits well and doing mild exercises in the morning or moments when the symptoms set in.
- Because the morning sickness and other severe symptoms that were experienced in the earlier weeks are fading away, it is an ideal time to take time out and enjoy. Take a short holiday away from home to simply relax and enjoy. For example, consider a good getaway in Miami beaches or a hotel of choice.
- Attend you regular prenatal classes whether online or at a facility nearby. This will help you to understand even deeper things about pregnancy and how to nurture the baby well.
- Take your thoughts of parenthood and start thinking about the baby you are carrying. While the thrill of love in the best holiday destinations yielded your goal of becoming pregnant, what is next? This will lead you to consider expanding the pregnancy insurance so that the baby’s life after birth is covered. For example, medical, education, entertainment, and other risks will be catered for so that his/her upbringing will be easy and fun.