Things are changing fast during this week. You are reaching an important milestone, the end of the first trimester, which means your hormones are likely to tone things down a bit, hopefully making you feel fewer pregnancy symptoms. It also means you may be ready to share your pregnancy news with family and friends. So exciting!
Starting from this week, your baby is referred to as “fetus”. It is a time of big changes: the fetus is fully formed, has all the organs, muscles, limbs, and bones; from now until the birth it only keeps growing. The head turns round. The spine, arms and legs are visible and the toes and fingers are fully separated. The profile shows clearly and it jumps all around. Toes and fingers start growing nails. The amniotic fluid accumulates as the baby’s kidneys start creating and excreting urine. The intestinal muscles start practicing peristaltic moves, bowels contraction during food digestion. The pituitary starts producing hormones.
From head vertex to the spine end, baby is around 65 mm long and weighs 18 grams.
Your baby is about to enter the growth and maturation stage, in which organs and tissues will grow and develop rapidly.
At 12 weeks pregnant, you are in the last week of your third month of pregnancy which means you are ending your first trimester. The constant feeling of nausea and tiredness should start to lift. You may find your appetite is returning and the thought of eating is not anymore an instant turn off.
However, you should pay attention to your diet to make sure you do not gain too much weight that could lead to complications like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and pain in your back and legs. Carrying around a lot of extra weight can also lead to greater fatigue.
This is also the time that the risk of miscarriage drops significantly, but it is still vital that you pay attention to warning signs that could indicate problems. These include: bleeding with cramps, spotting that lasts for three or more days, severe pain or cramps that last all day.
If you have been feeling especially tired during the first trimester, you may start getting your energy back at this stage. Also, you may start feeling the need to wear looser fitting clothes or even maternity clothes, as your womb is growing to accommodate the rapidly expanding fetus.
Maintaining peak physical health is essential to both your wellbeing and that of the fetus. Eat a healthy diet and be sure to take any necessary nutritional supplements recommended by your doctor during pregnancy. Regular exercise can also help maintain health during this crucial time.
Week 12 can be a good time to start doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your vaginal muscles. This can help with delivery and recovery after the birth. If you’re unsure how to do Kegel exercises, talk with your doctor. You may also learn about these exercises if you participate in a birthing class.
During pregnancy, lifestyle modifications need to be made as well as after delivery. Most women try to make conscious efforts to do everything they can to help them have a healthy baby. Try to stay positive and do the best you can to deal with the realities of our modern life and the world we live in. You may find that speaking with a professional counsellor assists you to keep things in perspective.