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12 Weeks Pregnant

Week 12 is a significant week in a woman’s pregnancy. It signifies the end of the first trimester and the end of the most critical stage of your baby’s growth and development. After three months pregnant, many women feel more secure in spreading the good news of the pregnancy, and the chances of miscarriage decrease at this point, as long as Mom continues to stay healthy, eat right, and exercise accordingly.

Your Baby’s Development

This is a very exciting week for your baby. The vocal cords form during this twelfth week, and the nails on all 20 fingers and toes become visible. The intestines are still growing, and they now have room to move into the abdomen area. More facial features come into focus, such as the eyebrows and lips. The brain continues to develop as it makes hormones of its own, and the nerve cells multiply rapidly. Muscles begin responding to the brain, which wants to control everything, but cannot just yet. As the brain and muscles develop together, natural movements such as bending of the arms, clenching and opening the fists, and twisting of the wrists and elbows become more frequent.

Changes in Your Body

Your uterus is now protruding above the pubic bone, and through weeks 12–16 you will definitely start showing. Some moms will get that “glow,” but others experience more negative changes in their skin. The areolae (the skin around the nipples) darkens, and freckles and spots begin to appear around the body. Unfortunately, some women begin to get dark brown patches of skin on their faces during this week. Large doses of Vitamin A would normally be the cure for this, but large doses of Vitamin A should be avoided while you are pregnant, since they can damage the liver, among other things. Heartburn is more frequent due to the increase of the same progesterone hormone that is continuously playing with your emotions. To help reduce heartburn, you should try to eat small portions more frequently, avoid foods that commonly cause heartburn, and stick to high fiber foods.

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Week 12 Tips

During the twelfth week, it is important that Mom continues to take care of herself and her baby. Such irritating pregnancy symptoms as fatigue, morning sickness, and nausea will probably have gone away by now. This is a good sign that all is well. If these symptoms do not go away or at least subside, you should let your healthcare provider know, as this could be a sign of a molar pregnancy, especially if bleeding or spotting is detected. A molar pregnancy means the formation of cysts in the uterus. It occurs due to abnormal development of the placenta, and is a major cause for miscarriage at this stage of the pregnancy. Next is Pregnancy at 13 weeks.

12-Janet Hendrickson

Photo credit: Janet Hendrickson 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound

[Page updated November 2014]