12 weeks pregnant
Being 12 weeks pregnant is a more positive time in your pregnancy journey, where (hopefully) a lot of those first-trimester symptoms start abating and maybe now that pregnancy glow (and super-cute bump) will start.
Your week 12 pregnancy symptoms
It may not be noticeable from the outside yet, but your womb is starting to rise up out of the pelvis. Just above your pubic bone, you might be able to feel the tip of your uterus.
Your 12 weeks pregnant bump: You might want to think about maternity clothing as you may be finding your usual clothes are becoming tighter. Some women will still have a flat stomach, while others will have a noticeable bump; how much your 12 weeks pregnant belly shows is a combination of height, genetics, and if you’ve had children before.
The most important thing to consider when buying NZ maternity clothes is comfort - you need to have plenty of room to grow. Those stretchy pants are super important, but mastering the hair-tie-around-the-jeans-dome trick will give you breathing room (literally) for a few extra weeks.
Your 12 week pregnancy symptoms may include:
Vaginal discharge: You might have more clear discharge, which is the body’s way of preventing infection. A bit of light bleeding/ spotting is normal too. However, if you have thrush, your discharge is yellow, pink, or brown, or bleeding is heavy, seek medical attention.
Headaches and dizziness: Both are common pregnancy symptoms, and can be caused by hormones, high or low blood sugar levels, dehydration, stress and lack of sleep. Make sure you drink plenty of water and seek help if the headache is really bad or dizziness is severe.
Sore breasts and nipples: Your painful breasts and tender nipples should start to feel normal again, no more constant agony.
Sex drive: Either your partner is completely repulsive and sex is the last thing you want, or you’re incredibly frisky and insatiable. It’s all normal, blame the hormones.
Smell sensitivity: You’re sniffing and can smell smoke or you’re requesting your partner go brush their teeth because you can smell what they had for lunch. It’s an evolutionary trait designed to keep you and your unborn baby safe, but if the smell of floor cleaner, or meat, or something else is making you feel queasy, keep some fresh mint or a wedge of lemon nearby to sniff.
Peeing normally: As your uterus rises in your body, it lifts off your bladder and your constant need to urinate abates. Still, keep on doing those kegels though.
Baby development at 12 weeks pregnant
In NZ, the average 12 week baby weighs around 14g—and is the size of a plum. From crown to rump, the 12 weeks pregnant size is a touch longer than 5cm long. It’s around now that your midwife or doctor may be able to use a doppler to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. This device magnifies the sound of a heartbeat so that you can hear it.
Your baby can open and close their hands, and curl over their toes. Their brain is developing fast and they have some basic reflexes. He or she is starting to make white blood cells, so that there is some ability to fight of infection and germs once they are born.
What happens during week 12 of pregnancy?
Your baby’s digestive system is starting to function, and most internal organs are in place. Your baby's sex organs are not yet visible, but most other internal organs are formed. Baby's head is becoming quite round, and might even have hair growing!
Can you feel the baby at 12 weeks?
Some women who have been pregnant before may be able to feel flutterings. Especially if you’re slim, and the baby is super active. Most people won’t feel the baby until much later though.
What should I be feeling at 12 weeks pregnant?
You should be starting to feel better. As you exit your first trimester, hopefully the morning sickness and exhaustion stop. You may experience round ligament pains as your stomach grows to accommodate the extra baby weight and size; you’ll feel pulling and pain in your lower pelvic area.
What to eat at 12 weeks pregnant
Focus on lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and drinking lots of water. Avoid alcohol, and there are a few foods that can be problematic and you want to avoid. Anything that gives you food poisoning is a very bad thing—and your body is more sensitive to it now. So, avoid all those delicious things that are a risk of salmonella, listeria and other food borne disease.
- Raw fish
- Sushi (rice at room temperature can be a place bacteria grows, so you can safely make at home if the rice is well refrigerated)
- Soft cheeses and unpasteurised dairy products. If you still want to eat soft cheese, you need to heat them until they are hot and bubbly.
- Blue cheese
- Undercooked meats including rare to medium steak
- Raw or undercooked eggs
- Deli meats (once again, heat them until any bad bacteria has been killed, over 70oC).
Where is the baby in your belly at 12 weeks?
Your uterus is about the size of a grapefruit, and fills your lower pelvis up until four to five cm below your tummy button. If you’re 12 weeks pregnant with twins, it’s slightly bigger and will be taking up more room.
How does your stomach feel at 12 weeks pregnant?
This depends on a variety of factors, but for many women, your stomach will feel exactly the same, or you might have a small bump that makes wearing your tightest jeans a little uncomfortable.
Can you tell gender at 12 weeks?
Maybe. A 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound may be able to see gender, but it’s unlikely to be a definite answer. There are some DNA blood tests such as the NIPT that can be done in order to ascertain if it’s a girl or boy, but otherwise, you will be waiting for your 18-20 week anatomy scan.
What can I expect at my 12 week ultrasound?
Your scan at week 12 of pregnancy in NZ is expected to show a few things. You can expect to hear his or her heartbeat. You should be able to see a small, baby-shaped thing on the screen, curled up in your placenta. This scan is often called the dating scan, as it will hopefully be able to give you an accurate due date, if you don’t have one already. The scan also checks for abnormalities, multiple babies, the position of the placenta, and that your baby is healthy.
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