12th Week Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development And Body Changes

12th Week Pregnancy

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How Many Months Pregnant Are You At 12 Weeks?

At 12 weeks, you are in the last week of the third month of pregnancy.

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How Big Is Your Baby At 12 Weeks?

In the 12th week, your baby is the size of a lime (1). The baby measures 2.13in (5.4cm) in length and weighs 0.5oz (14g) (2).

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Baby Development At 12 Weeks

Here is how your baby develops in this week of pregnancy:

Body parts Development
Face (3)Well-formed
NailsStart appearing
LimbsLong and thin
Brain (4)Continues to develop
KidneysStart functioning
IntestineMakes its way into the abdomen
Vocal cord (5)Begins to form
Bowel movements (6)Start by this week, and meconium begins to form
BladderCells are organized in patterns resembling smooth muscles
MouthTaste buds are developing
LimbsArms are in proportion to the size of the body. Legs are developing slowly
Fingers and toes (7)Developed but remain webbed
EyelidsFused together
Genitals (8)Developing
BonesThe skeleton is covered with cartilage and is getting harder

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[ Read: 13th Week Pregnancy ]

What Symptoms Do You Experience In The 12th Week Of Pregnancy?

As you enter the 12th week, you are almost at the end of the first trimester and might get some relief from the morning sickness and fatigue. However, you might still experience these symptoms this week, especially if you had them previously.

  • Headaches due to the hormonal changes.
  • Fatigue, as the body starts working overtime.
  • Bleeding gums, due to the change in the hormonal levels.
  • A heightened sense of smell and aversion to specific smells or scents as the hormonal levels fluctuate.
  • Gas and bloating, as the hormone progesterone relaxes the digestive tract and slows down the process of digestion.
  • Excessive saliva as the mouth starts producing excessive saliva to neutralize the acidity of mouth.
  • Frequent urination due to hormonal changes.
  • Dizziness, owing to increased blood flow to the baby that lowers the blood pressure.
  • Increased discharge with hormonal fluctuations and also to prevent any bacterial infections from reaching the uterus.
  • Spotting is quite common this week. Indulging in sex during this time can also cause spotting as the cervix becomes more sensitive.

You will also experience physical and emotional changes.

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Changes In The Body At 12 Weeks

Here are some changes you may experience this week:

  • Pregnancy glow
  • Belly bump may not show this week if you are pregnant for the first time. However, second-time pregnant mommies may see a difference. The belly may look a little protruded in the case of women with multiple pregnancies
  • Increased skin pigmentation, also known as melasma, can be seen as patches on the skin
  • Darker areolas around the nipple
  • Tender or sore breasts
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Linea nigra

Chances of miscarriage are present in this week. Read on to know more about it.

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[ Read: 14th Week Pregnancy ]

Risk Of Miscarriage At 12 Weeks

The factors that increase the risk of miscarriage between 11 and 13 weeks include (9, 10):

  • Increased maternal age and weight
  • Reversed A-wave in the ductus venosus
  • Low serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A)
  • High fetal nuchal translucency
  • Women who conceived on ovulation drugs
  • Pre-existing diabetes mellitus
  • Women of the African race

The symptoms of miscarriage include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Period-like pain

Certain symptoms could indicate a danger to you or your baby and may require immediate medical attention. More about it next.

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When To Call The Doctor

Call the doctor right away in the case of:

  • Less frequent urination or dark colored urine (11)
  • Painful urination that could indicate UTI
  • Pelvic pain other than cramping
  • Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  • Feeling unconscious
  • Severe vomiting
  • Vaginal bleeding/ vaginal fluid leak
  • Dizziness or a feeling that you might pass out
  • Low blood pressure

If everything seems normal, schedule your regular prenatal checkup.

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Your OB/GYN Visit

Here is what you can expect during your OB visit this week:

  • Blood pressure
  • Weight check
  • The combined screening test is carried out between 11 and 13 weeks, to check your baby for any chromosomal abnormalities. It includes an ultrasound scan as well as a blood test to evaluate the risk of congenital disabilities (12):
  • Nuchal translucency assesses the risk of Down syndrome by measuring the fluid thickness in the area behind the baby’s neck. The Down syndrome risk increases with greater thickness. Increased nuchal translucency may be associated with increased risk of aneuploidies (triomy 13,18 and 21).
  • A scan helps detect the nasal bone and helps ascertain the correct fetal gestational age. Babies having Down syndrome may not show the nasal bone clearly. Absent nasal bone or non-ossification may also be associated with aneuploidies.
  • A blood test, also called the double marker test, is done to measure the level of two proteins in the blood.
  • The placenta produces PAPP-A during early pregnancy. An abnormality in this protein level points towards the risks of any chromosomal abnormality.
  • Any abnormality in the human chorionic gonadotropin, which is produced during early pregnancy, indicates the risk of chromosomal abnormality.

The combined results of these tests help determine the risk of Down syndrome and aneuploidies like 13 and 18 in babies. An abnormal test result calls for additional tests such as chorionic villus sampling, cell-free fetal DNA, amniocentesis, or further ultrasounds.

Your doctor may ask you to take certain precautions and follow a particular lifestyle to keep yourself and the baby healthy. Keep reading for more tips on that.

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[ Read: 15th Week Pregnancy ]

Tips For Mom-to-be

  • Follow a healthy lifestyle and eat home cooked food.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Avoid eating fish such as king mackerel, shark, tilefish, or swordfish that are high in mercury.
  • Avoid raw (eggs), undercooked (meat or poultry), unpasteurized (milk and cheese), and deep-fried foods.
  • Limit your intake of sweets.
  • Avoid junk foods and late night snacking.
  • Carry fruits and snacks to the office and have it during regular breaks.
  • Exercise a little (walking) to feel energetic.
  • Do not miss the prenatal vitamin supplements such as iron and folic acid.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking illicit drugs.
  • Limit the caffeine intake (less than or equal to 300 mg/d) (13)
  • Give your body enough rest.
  • Keep stress at bay.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises and perform Kegel exercises and mild exercises like walking.
  • Switch to nursing bras that help support the enlarged breasts.
  • Wear breathable and loose clothes.
  • Avoid taking any over-the-counter medicines without the doctor’s prescription.
  • Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Use moisturizers to prevent dry and itchy skin.
  • Spend time with friends and family.

Most importantly, involve your partner in the pregnancy.

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Tips For Dad-to-be

Your partner can extend his support in the following way:

  • Distribute the household chores, taking away the burdensome ones from you.
  • Attending the prenatal visits with you.
  • Accompany you during the workouts.
  • Create a pleasant environment at home.
  • Plan a refreshing day out.
  • Go shopping for maternal clothes.
  • Give you a good foot and neck massage.
  • Find baby names.

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[ Read: 16th Week Pregnancy ]

Pregnancy is a new phase of life that brings the joy of carrying a life inside your womb. Though it is a roller-coaster ride of emotions and discomfort, holding your baby in the arms after a stretch of nine-months wanes all the pains you have gone throughout. So bear with the not-so-nice parts of pregnancy by taking good care of yourself.

Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comments section.

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shreeja pillai

Postgraduate in Chemistry and content writer. She has worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and also holds a diploma in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. She is a writer for MomJunction and aims at providing informative articles based on health and wellness. Apart from writing, she takes a great interest in music and traveling. know more about her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreeja-pillai/
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