12 WEEKS PREGNANT
Time flies and you are almost at the end of the first trimester (hooray!).
Your uterus has expanded to accommodate the growing baby such that your doctor is able to feel the top of it just above the pubic bone.
Your hormones should also start stabilising so you will be feeling better in no time.
Also if you believe in the superstition (absolutely nothing wrong!) that you should not announce your pregnancy till after the third month, you can start to think of how you plan to break the news.
It is also this time that you may start looking for nursery inspiration and ideas and plan how you can convert your home to be infant friendly.
Sit down with your other half to discuss finances for the baby, including costs for diapers, infant care, confinement lady, toys, milk powder etc.
You can also start looking for maternity insurance as insurers only start coverage from week 13 at the earliest.
12 WEEKS BABY SIZE
How big is baby at 12 weeks? Your baby is the size of a plum, which is about 53mm (5.3cm).
The current weight of your baby is about 14grams (0.014kg).
12 WEEKS PREGNANT WEIGHT GAIN
You are still in your first trimester, so you do not need to gain much weight. By the end of the first trimester (week 12), you should be expected to gain a total of anywhere between 0.5kg to 2kg.
12 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
Your raging pregnancy hormones are starting to calm down, so this means your pregnancy symptoms should also start to tone down next week. However headaches and dizziness may follow.
Being 12 weeks pregnant, here are some signs and symptom that your body might be experiencing:
- Heartburn. The placenta produces a lot of the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, which relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This causes gastric acid from your stomach to seep back up your pipe, thereby causing heartburn. Many women get heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, and those who already suffer from it may find the condition exacerbated.
- Headaches. As your body goes through hormonal shifts, headaches may start to hit you. This will be made worse by other factors such as a lack of sleep, stress, dehydration and fluctuations in your blood sugar level.
- Dizziness. As your hormones change and your blood pressure fluctuates, this could cause you to have dizzy spells. Sit down or lie down if you are feeling dizzy. Do remember to drink lots of water and snack regularly to keep your blood sugar level up.
- Vaginal discharge. This clear and odourless discharge protects your vagina from infection. This is fairly common but contact your doctor if you see a coloured (yellow, green, brown) and/or foul smelling discharge.
- Spotting. You may still face the problem of spotting during week 12 of pregnancy. While this could be a cause for concern, it could also mean nothing at all. After all, your cervix is filled with blood vessels, and even having sex could cause you to bleed. Another potential cause of spotting is constipation, which is fairly common during pregnancy.
At your prenatal appointment this week, you will most probably still not be able to find out the gender of your baby. You should be able to know at your next prenatal appointment 4 weeks later.
12 WEEKS THE PREGNANT BELLY
Your baby bump is getting noticeable as your uterus has grown considerably. You may find that you’ve got to break the news about your pregnancy as friends and family will soon notice your growing baby bump.
Pregnancy is such a fulfilling journey, so do remember to document the entire journey of your baby bump so you can look back on it in future.
HOW IS MY BABY 12 WEEKS PREGNANT?
The most exciting development this week is the baby’s reflexes. If you poke at your pregnant belly, you will likely get a response on the ultrasound, though you won’t be able to feel it just as yet.
The baby is opening and closing his or her fingers and curling the toes. The eye muscles will clench, and the mouth will start to make sucking movements. The kidneys are also now functioning and will begin to excrete urine into the bladder.
The little one’s face now begins to resemble a human being as the eyes move from the side of the head to the front. The baby’s brain is developing rapidly as nerve cells are multiplying and synapses are forming at a rapid rate.
Unfortunately, this week will not be the week that you will be able to find out the gender of the baby as the earliest that you can find out will be at week 13. That means, you will most probably find out the gender at your next prenatal appointment about four weeks later.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR WEEK 12 PRENATAL APPOINTMENT
You should be going for your next prenatal appointment sometime this week. During this appointment, your baby will be screened for abnormalities, such as Down’s Syndrome.
All expectant mothers have a 2% risk of delivering a baby with major physical or mental handicap. The most common is Down’s Syndrome, which occurs in about 1 out of 700 babies born.
You will undergo the combined first trimester screening test. For the first trimester screening test, you will undergo a blood test that looks for hormonal changes that can suggest a problem with the baby’s chromosomes.
More specifically it will measure the levels of two pregnancy hormones PAPP-A (pregnancy associated plasma protein A) and free beta-hCG (free beta-human chorionic gonadotropin). You will also undergo an ultrasound scan that measures the thickness of the fluid behind the baby’s neck, called the nuchal translucency (which is often bigger for babies with down’s syndrome).
If the results show an increased risk, you can choose to go for a diagnostic test. Diagnostic test (which is invasive) is the only sure way to know if your baby has Down’s Syndrome, however, this increases the risk of a miscarriage. As such, it is only offered to pregnant women whose results show a high risk.
WHAT TO DO AT 12 WEEKS PREGNANT
Reminders for the week:
- Schedule your week 16 prenatal appointment
- Start planning finances for your baby
- Start sourcing for maternity insurance
- Share your news with family and friends