Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 12th Week
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While the days were going fast, the weeks started to move quickly and you entered the 12th week. You have entered the period when your baby is growing rapidly and you can visibly feel these changes in your body. When you go to the doctor to check your baby, there are thousands of questions in your mind: “I wonder how much has he grown?”, “Is his development normal?”, “Is my health enough for my baby?”, “When will my tummy become clear?”.
In order to eliminate these question marks, we have brought together for you what happened during the 12th week of pregnancy without skipping any details.
Your Baby at 12 Weeks
Even 1 week in pregnancy is very important. For this reason, your baby has entered a faster development period compared to 1 week ago. Let’s examine together what you need to know about the 12-week-old baby in this period when you will feel more pregnant.
How Big Has My Baby got?
Before the doctor’s appointment, the most common question that comes to your mind is: “I wonder how much my baby has grown this week?”. In the 12th week, which is one of the most important periods in the development in the mother’s womb, the weight and height of the 12-week-old baby, which has become a fetus, changes in this week compared to the previous week.
Considering this information, your baby has now reached the size of damson plum. However, if you come across information different from this mass and length when you go to the doctor’s control, you don’t have to worry. Because this information may vary according to the fertilization time of each mother.
If fertilization took place later than expected, your baby’s height and weight will also be different. For this reason, it would be better to consider this information as reference intervals and to consider the information given by your doctor.
Development of Systems and Newly Acquired Skills
As of the 12th week of pregnancy, your baby has entered a period of development that will progress quite rapidly. The organ and system development of the 12-week-old baby, who has passed from the embryo state to the fetus, will continue to occur as described below.
While brain development continues rapidly, cerebellum formation begins this week. Thanks to the cerebellum, which allows the muscles to work regularly, your baby now moves slowly. Although your baby’s movements are reflexive, as the muscles develop, they will begin to respond to brain signals. When you touch or press on your tummy, your baby will feel it and act reactively, but you are not yet able to feel these movements.
The circulatory system
As of this week, the placenta begins to fulfill its duty. However, the umbilical cord has also started to work. The umbilical cord provides blood circulation between the mother and the baby. As the kidneys have started to work, urine production has started. However, waste materials reach the placenta from the baby’s body through the umbilical cord and are then transported to the mother’s blood.
Thus, the valuable amniotic fluid your baby is in is not affected by waste materials. Also this week, your doctor may listen to your baby’s heartbeat. Your baby’s heart rate is about 120-160 beats per minute. This speed may surprise you, be prepared.
During 12 weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s organs took their place and started to work. Kidneys that started working in the previous weeks also continue to develop. In addition, meconium, which is the first poop of the baby expected within 24 hours after birth, begins to form this week.
Swallowing the amniotic fluid it is in also means preparing your baby for respiration. In this way, the swallowing reflex develops. This is a beneficial development for lung development and respiratory trials. Your baby has also started hiccuping.
Support and Movement System
As of this week, the baby spends most of his energy on physical growth, as the internal organs almost regain their developmental characteristics at birth. As the musculature continues to develop and so does the skeletal system, your baby begins to move more. As of this week, your baby may turn upside down in the womb, stretch backward, and somersault. Small kicks also start to show themselves as of this week.
The kidneys had started working in the previous weeks. As of this week, the 12-week-old baby swallows the amniotic fluid, passes it through the kidneys, and delivers it back to the placenta like urine. In this way, he gradually begins the practice of peeing.
Another question on the minds of expectant mothers is the gender of the baby. So, will the sex of the 12-week-old baby be determined? The genital organs, which begin to develop in the 7th week, continue to form and develop as of this week, specific to men and women. However, it is not yet at a level that can be seen on ultrasound. It takes a little more patience to find out the gender.
The 12th week of pregnancy is a period in which the immune system also develops. This week, bones begin to produce white blood cells, which are the cornerstones of the immune system. In addition, your baby’s pancreas begins to produce the hormone insulin.
12 Week Baby Movements
From the moment you find out that you are pregnant, you are eagerly waiting for the day when you can feel your baby’s movements. Your baby can wiggle or even curl their fingers and open and close their hands this week. But if you’re wondering if baby movements can be felt at 12 weeks, the answer to your question is no for now. It needs a little more time for that. Because it has not yet reached the size where you can feel its movements.
Sensory Organs and Developmental Characteristics in 12 Weeks Baby
The sense organs work under the control of the brain. For this reason, the brain, which develops with each passing week, ensures that the sense organs work in accordance with their function. Let’s examine together what are the developments and changes in the sense organs in the 12th week of pregnancy.
Eye and Sight
While the eye continues to develop, it has gained the infrastructure of the ability to see and the eyelids have developed as of this week. However, the eyelids will remain closed until approximately 26 weeks. Since the eyes are getting closer to where they should be on the face, we can say that it has a human appearance when viewed from the profile.
Ear and Hearing
The development of the ear, the hearing organ, had accelerated in the previous week. This week, the ear has started to become evident. As with the eye, you can see the ear in the ultrasound image.
Skin and the Sense of Touch
It is the sense of touch that starts to work first among the sense organs. The skin is transparent and light hairs begin to appear on the skin surface. Along with hair growth, nails also begin to grow. You will need to cut these long weak nails after birth, so do not forget to add nail clippers to the list you will buy for your baby.
Tongue and Taste
During swallowing the amniotic fluid, your baby also begins to taste the liquid. He can open and close his mouth, and the swallowing reflex works clearly as of this week. Apart from the sense of taste, vocal cords are also formed this week. Get ready to hear the first postpartum cry.
Mom at 12 Weeks Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a period in which changes are experienced in the mother-to-be with the development of the baby. During this period, both physical and mental changes occur. As a 12-week pregnant, we researched the changes you will experience during this period.
The most obvious physical change experienced during pregnancy is weight gain. At 12 weeks of pregnancy, the expectant mother should gain a total of 2-2.5 kilograms so far. Especially if you are pregnant with overweight, you should pay more attention to weight gain. At the end of the first trimester, weight gain will accelerate. For this reason, you should keep your weight under control for the first 3 months. By week 12, you usually gain weight on the sides of your abdomen, hips, and legs.
With the onset of your pregnancy, it began to grow in your womb. This week, your uterus reaches the size of a large grapefruit. For this reason, you may feel muscle pain from time to time on the sides. The pressures that begin with the growth of your uterus put pressure on the bladder. However, this pressure will begin to decrease as the uterus moves into the abdominal cavity.
Heartburn or heartburn is usually a condition experienced by first-time mothers at 12 weeks. This burning or souring sensation affects the breastbone to the lower part of the throat. Especially when you lie on your back, stomach acid moves towards the pharynx and this complaint becomes more unbearable. If you have such a complaint before pregnancy, this situation will be more challenging during pregnancy. For this reason, you should definitely tell your doctor about this situation.
With the enlargement of the uterus, the protrusion in the lower abdomen becomes more pronounced. This is an indication that you will begin to noticeably feel your pregnancy. Because slowly your belly started to grow.
In the pre-pregnancy period, you may have seen an odorless or slightly odorous milk-like discharge from your underwear from time to time. You may have more discharge with the increased production of estrogen hormone with pregnancy and the acceleration of blood flow in the vaginal area.
If there is a lot of discharge and this discharge changes shape, for example, if it has a pink or brown appearance, it may be premature birth, or if there is a burning sensation and itching with the discharge, it may be a different health problem such as a fungus. For this reason, you should definitely inform your doctor about this situation.
Dry or oily skin:
While some expectant mothers say that their skin gets better with pregnancy, some expectant mothers may have problems such as acne and blemishes on the contrary. This is due to your skin type and hormonal changes. You may notice that the freckles and moles are also getting darker.
This is one of the changes expected to be experienced within the 12th week of pregnancy. That’s why you don’t have to worry. If you are experiencing such skin problems, you can ask your doctor to recommend a cream or ointment that will not harm you and your baby.
Tips to Minimize Annoying Pregnancy Symptoms!
Some of the pregnancy symptoms you experience this week, as you slowly start to leave behind the troubled days of pregnancy, may disturb you. Here are some easy and comforting tips to minimize these uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.
- The most obvious problem you may experience this week is heartburn or heartburn. One of the most important things you can do to avoid this problem is to pay attention to what you eat. You should avoid the consumption of bitter and sour foods, coffee, and chocolate as much as possible. You should also change your sleeping position. Instead of lying on your back, you should keep your head and chest higher. Thus, you can prevent stomach acid from advancing towards the pharynx.
- You should chew your bites well to both facilitate digestion and prevent heartburn.
- Another thing you can do to control weight gain and prevent heartburn is to keep portions smaller and choose easily digestible foods.
- As morning sickness begins to subside, your appetite will also increase. In this period, instead of eating for two, you should consume foods that are beneficial for both you and your baby’s development. In addition to protein-rich foods such as chicken, fish and meat, you should add fibrous foods such as rye, oats, barley, beans, legumes to your diet.
- Week 12 of pregnancy is a time when your breasts continue to grow. If you have pain in your nipples, you should get a cream that you can use after giving birth to relieve them. You can apply the cream to the nipple without prolonging the application time of the cream. If the duration is prolonged, arousal begins and this is a triggering factor to initiate labor.
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
Considering that the baby continues to develop and its mass is still 8-14 grams, at the 12th week of pregnancy, excess weight gain is undesirable. For this reason, if there is a question mark in your mind such as how much weight will be gained in 12 weeks of pregnancy, it would be appropriate to gain 2-2.5 kilograms until this week. Over the next few weeks, your baby’s mass will increase, so weight gain will accelerate.
The baby, whose organs are developing and growing rapidly day by day, also benefits from the nutrients you consume through the placenta. That’s why you should pay more attention to everything you eat and drink. Our recommendations on nutrition at 12 weeks of pregnancy can be listed as follows:
- You may experience heartburn or heartburn during this week. For this reason, you should choose foods that will not tire your stomach. In addition to bitter and sour foods, caffeine and chocolate are among the foods you should stay away from.
- If your constipation complaint that started in the previous weeks continues, it will be useful to add fiber foods to your diet.
- Now that your baby will start to use your stores, you should definitely consume calcium-rich milk and milk products during the day. You can add foods such as kefir, ayran, milk, yoghurt, and cheese to your diet by sharing them with main and snack meals.
- Fruits and vegetables are beneficial for a healthy and balanced diet, while products containing excess fat and sugar make you feel complacent.
- You should take care to drink plenty of fluids. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is good for constipation and helps your body get rid of toxins.
Being pregnant does not mean abstaining from movement. On the contrary, the light exercises you do will provide control in weight gain and at the same time prepare you for birth. You will need strong muscles at birth and beyond. However, as of this week, you may start to get tired more quickly and be out of breath.
This is because your body needs more oxygen than before. For this reason, you should be careful while exercising. You should rest and take small breaks in between.
Considering this situation, the 12-week pregnancy exercises you can do are activities such as walking at a light pace, pilates, and yoga.
12 Weeks Pregnancy Checklist
- You can have the double genetic screening test, which should be done between the 11th and 14th weeks, within the 12th week of pregnancy. The double test, also known as the nuchal translucency test, is an application that includes ultrasound and blood analysis. This test is done to detect if there are some common fetal abnormalities. This test provides preliminary information for the condition called Trisomy 21, which is known as Down Syndrome among people. However, it cannot make a definitive diagnosis.
- You can start creating a shopping list for both you and your baby. It will be quite fun to decide what to buy for your baby with your spouse.
- It will be helpful to know in advance what you will experience in the next week. In this direction, you can turn to improving yourself and gaining new knowledge.
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 1st and 2nd Weeks
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 3rd Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 4th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 5th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 6th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 7th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 8th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 9th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 10th Week
- Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 11th Week