Mommies-to-be are in for a big change, not only on their bodies, but of course, for the little one inside as well! This article will help future mothers (especially first time moms) recognize the transformation that they are going through, now that they are 12 weeks pregnant. It may seem too soon, as generally, some women have not gone through drastic body changes yet. Here are some important notes to keep in mind, mommies.
Your Baby at 12 Weeks
The highlight of this week is that the baby has developed its reflex. When you try to move your belly, most likely the fetus will flinch as part of its reflex. At this stage, he/she can start kicking! It cannot be felt on the outside right away because your baby is about a size of a plum. Regularly, the fetus will weigh around half an ounce, and is 5 to 6 cm. long. Yes, the abdomen might still look a bit flat, but the fetus is almost complete in terms of its body parts. Their face is now undeniably human: ears are finally in place, eyes are getting closer together and the eyelids are now becoming less transparent.
They can also make facial reactions! The arms and legs have lengthened, proportioning it to the body, and will soon be starting to try out several positions. Also, given the reflex that they now have, they can move their fingers, motioning an open and close gesture. Nails on their fingers and toes will start to grow, together with the tooth buds. The genitals, though, are still on its way through development at this time, so the gender cannot still be detected at this point.
Most of the internal organs are functioning pretty well by this time: digestion, breathing, muscle response, liver produces bile, kidney produces urine, brain is quickly developing, etc. Note that the intestines have grown also, and would seem to be bulging out with the umbilical cord, but soon enough it will be back on its place. Since the baby’s body is pretty much whole, all it needs to do now is to keep on growing in mommy’s belly!
Your Body at 12 Weeks
Future moms, being 12 weeks pregnant is when you begin to keep your old clothes (for now) and switch to more loose and comfortable ones. You may feel like nothing has changed yet, but the end of the first trimester is when you start to “show”. You may notice that your waist starts to thicken, and your breasts become larger. As the baby begins to grow, the fundus (top portion of the uterus) has now moved above the pelvic bone. You may also notice more frequent vaginal discharge but do not panic, the discharge is due to increased estrogen, and it also helps avoid infections. On the other hand, your bathroom breaks will begin to lessen (for now), as the fetus moved above the pelvic bone, your bladder is not being pushed anymore. Yipee!
Another good news is that at the end of the first trimester, morning sickness and nausea have almost vanished. Beware, though, it is exchanged with occasional headaches and dizziness, caused by the unstable hormones at this time, so make sure to eat right and keep yourself hydrated until the hormones calm down. Luckily, eating properly may not be a problem anymore because your appetite will slowly revert back to normal. Fatigue is most likely to disappear too, but make sure to still get ample break. You’d rather have more rests now because it can get quite impossible to get some shuteye when baby arrives.
On the down side, besides the headaches and dizziness, some mothers experience changes in their skin. Now, some are lucky to have that pregnancy glow on them, but there are also some that get the opposite reaction. There may be dark patches on your face and neck that are called mask of pregnancy. No need to worry though, it will subside later on; it’s just an effect of increased pigmentation. And if it’s not uncomfortable enough, sometimes you may experience flatulence too. Eating slowly, rather than wolfing down your food may lessen this, avoiding you to swallow air. You have plenty of time to indulge, so take your time.
Your Schedule at 12 Weeks
If you are still keeping the baby as a secret, you may want to plan how to announce it to the rest of the family, your friends, and even your boss too, so you can plan your maternity leave in the near future.
One more thing that is important to plan is a visit to your doctor. You should start scheduling an appointment every month from now on. On your 12th week visit to your OB GYN, you can hear your baby’s heartbeat! Yes, it can lead to waterworks in the doctor’s office so get your partner to have some tissue on hand. The gender cannot be detected yet, but feel free to get an ultrasound (3D preferred) because you may just get a snap shot of the little one posing with a cute facial expression!
You are slowly gaining your energy back, so you can go back to the activities that you used to do. With the go signal of your OB Gynecologist, you can start doing some workouts again if you used to exercising before. If that is the case you may decide to add some Kegel exercises. This muscle control workout will definitely go a long way and would aid you in your labor until you give birth. You do the exercise by contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor. Ever tried to hold your urine? That’s exactly it! Do about 10 sets per day, holding it for 5 seconds per contraction, and you are on your way to strengthening those muscles.
Your Partner at Your 12th Week
When you visit your doctor, it is best to ask your partner to go with you to share the experience also. This is a magical moment for them as much as it is to you.
During this time, there is no need to worry about going on with your sex life, unless of course you have a somewhat sensitive pregnancy or you are experiencing bleeding. This is why checking in with your doctor is vital.
Being 12 weeks pregnant, the chances of having a miscarriage is unlikely now, so going back to your usual doings may not cause any trouble anymore. Of course, you should start being mindful of your activities, food and what would be less stressful to your little kicker inside you. From here on out, you will begin to see, not just feel, your growing baby. You will feel your life changing, for them.
Congratulations, mommies! You are now moving to the second trimester!