Pregnancy Week By Week : 12 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
It's amazing how you have sailed into 12 weeks of your pregnancy. This week is quite an important one as this marks the end of your firs...
Vocal cord formation
Once your baby is born, its little coos and cries will keep you awake. However, this is the week when the vocal cords begin to develop and that will eventually give your baby its cutest voice.
By this week the nails are visible on all the toes and fingers of your baby. The nails will keep growing till its birth and even after that (unless you cut them!)
Development of the digestive system
The intestines of your baby have grown to a large extent. They are now slowly moving in the baby's abdomen area. The digestive muscles are starting to flex and contract. These movements will allow the baby to push food through the digestive tract once it is born.
Formation of white blood cells
White blood cells are essential to fight diseases and during the 12th week of pregnancy, your baby's bone marrow has started producing white blood cells to prepare its body to fight germs after birth.
Hormones and nerve cells
The vital organs of your baby's body are already in place. In the next few weeks they will become fully functional (some of them are already performing their jobs well by now). With the commencement of this week, the brain instructs the pituitary gland to produce hormones that will eventually be used when your baby grows up and decides to have a baby of his or her own. This is also the time when nerve cells continue to multiply and create a complex nervous network that will guide your child's body and help in its smooth functioning after birth.
Size of your baby
Your baby has doubled its size in the last few weeks and is now the size of a full grown plum. The little one now weighs almost 0.49 ounce. It is two and a quarter inches long when measured from crown to rump. For some women, there is a visible bump though quite small. But for most women, there is still no evident belly bump to show this growth inside the womb.
Body Changes & Common symptoms
Freckles and pigmentation: Starting this week, you may notice some freckles, red spots around your body. You may also see some pigmentation in your face, stomach or other parts of your body. This is natural and is caused due to the pregnancy hormones. Good news is that they are not permanent and once you deliver, you can massage and moisturize your skin to get rid of them. Also, a significant dosage of Vitamin A can treat the patchy skin, though it is not recommended during your pregnancy.
Areolar darkening: As your body is preparing to nourish your baby after its birth, the mammary glands are in action. This results in the darkening of the areolar region (the darker area around the nipples). Once the task of breastfeeding is done with, the areola generally lightens slightly, if not completely.
The uterus lands down: Your uterus is easily comparable to a grapefruit. It begins its descent from your pelvis to the center of your abdomen. The migration to the front of the abdomen is a blessing as it will end the spell of frequent urination as the uterus no longer pushes itself against your bladder.
Dizziness: You may often feel dizzy as your first trimester nears its end. The reason? The progesterone in your system increases the flow of blood from your body to the baby's circulation system, but the return of blood to your baby is slowed down resulting in lower blood pressure. As the flow of blood to your brain is slow, you may encounter dizzy spells during this time.
By this time you are already feeling the phasing out of the nausea. For some women, it may still persist, but things are definitely getting better now. If you want to step into your second trimester in full zest and enjoy the best part of the pregnancy period, start paying attention to the health tips below:
- Kegel exercises at your rescue: You can improve your bladder problems and strengthen your pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises. When you feel the urge to urinate, tighten your pelvic muscles and contract the vagina for 10 to 12 seconds and then release. Do this for 2–3 sets of 20 each day. Additionally, it will also strengthen the muscles for the birthing process.
- Rest and sleep: Your body has been in an overdrive building the placenta and giving your baby all the nourishment required to build its essential organs. This is a mammoth task and your body has been drained off. In order to replenish the lost energy, you will need more sleep and tons of rest. Do not over work. This does not mean that you slide into a sedentary lifestyle. Keep your workout options open but whenever you feel tired, take the much-needed nap or just put on the headphone and relax your mind with some soothing music.
- Eat whenever hungry: Don't go without food for long periods. Now that your body is on the constant drill of helping your baby grow, it is important for you to give your body all the nutrition it requires. Also with the increased blood supply to your baby from your body, you may experience frequent headaches. In order to ease the dizziness, never have an empty stomach. Eat as much of fruits and nuts in between meal times. Salads and soups are also great ways to keep yourself full and yet avoid mounting excessive pounds.
- Drink tons of water: Fluids have always been your friends and it is true for this week too. Stock up on your fluid levels as dehydration can affect you and your baby in an adverse manner. Try to 3 to 4 liters of plain water every day, especially during your work hours.
You have made it this far and now there are two more trimesters to go before you start the journey of motherhood. Take good care of yourself, enjoy all the attention being showered upon you during this time and don't miss your visits to the doctor.
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