Baby's Growth and Development at 12 Weeks Pregnant
From the tiny details to major developments, your baby's growth continues with significant progress during your 12th week of pregnancy:
- When you’re 12 weeks pregnant, your baby is almost 3 inches long. That’s about the length of a plum.
- When you’re 12 weeks pregnant, your baby's facial features continue to become more defined, particularly his nose and chin.
- Tiny fingernails and toenails arrive for your baby when you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
- Your baby's heart might even speed up by a few beats per minute.
- By the 12th week of your pregnancy, your doctor might be able to hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time, using a special Doppler device. You can ask about this at your next prenatal visit.
Your Changing Body at 12 Weeks Pregnant
Congratulations! You’re almost at the end of your 1st trimester. For most women, the next 12 weeks of pregnancy represent some of the most comfortable weeks. Many of your pregnancy's early discomforts, such as morning sickness and frequent urination, are declining or already are gone at 12 weeks pregnant. The pressure on your bladder might be gone as your uterus continues to expand upward.
- Hormones are still at work, but now your baby and your placenta are producing more estrogen and progesterone than your ovaries.
- While your increased blood volume will continue throughout your pregnancy, after the 12th week of pregnancy it might not increase as dramatically as it has in the early weeks. Your heart probably has adjusted already to the extra volume and is pumping faster now.
- Breasts might not feel quite as sore as they did a few weeks ago, although they still might feel heavy.
- Now showing: your baby!
- Through the 12th week of pregnancy, your uterus probably has continued to fit within your pelvis, making it difficult for those outside of your body to know you're pregnant, unless you've told them already.
- If you haven't started already, you might begin to show your pregnancy soon, as your uterus continues to expand.
- Your weight: By the 12th week of pregnancy, you might have gained about two to three pounds. Many doctors recommend that women already at a healthy weight gain 25 to 30 pounds during pregnancy, although it can be different for each individual. Speak with your doctor about what's best for you.
Wellness and Nutrition at 12 Weeks Pregnant
During the 12th week of pregnancy, exciting changes are continuing throughout your body. With these changes, you might be experiencing new challenges in your day-to-day care.
Constipation and its causes: What’s the digestion connection?
- When you're pregnant, the hormone progesterone causes digestion to slow down.
- This offers positive benefits for your baby, as your body has more time to absorb needed nutrients from the food.
- Your colon also is absorbing more water during pregnancy, which can cause harder stools.
Try these tips for controlling constipation:
- Eat fiber-rich foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids — at least eight glasses a day.
- Don’t forget the old favorites: Fruits and juices, especially prunes, continue to be effective remedies.
- Try smaller, more frequent meals.
- Add a little more activity to your exercise routine. Just an extra 10 minutes may offer the boost your system needs.
- Iron supplements sometimes can cause constipation. Try taking them with prune juice.
Gas and bloating also are common complaints in the early months of pregnancy. You unknowingly might be aggravating the situation by gulping air in response to nausea. Here are few tips to help:
- Eat slowly.
- Don't lie down right after eating. Give your food time to digest while you're still upright.
- If constipation persists, speak with your doctor about which medications are OK.
- Keeping constipation in check also will help with gas or bloating.