12 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Congratulations, mommies and daddies-to-be and thanks for joining me as I make it through my sixth pregnancy. We have made it to the last week of the first trimester. Whether you’re currently in your twelfth week of pregnancy or looking ahead to the future, now is an exciting time. The second trimester is often considered the most pleasant of the three trimesters. Consider this the time in your pregnancy when the clouds begin to part after weeks of stormy weather. Cue the happy music!
With so many people giving you advice, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your pregnancy to that of others. Although you may feel like the zebra in a herd of horses, in reality, you’re a snowflake in a snowstorm. The characteristics of your pregnancy will be as unique as you are. Therefore, your pregnancy experiences will be vastly different from others. Soak up the advice and then set it aside, reminding yourself that your experience is singular and that “No one knows what it’s like to feel these feelings, like I do .… (The Who).
As you transition to the second trimester, your pregnancy hormones will begin to stabilize. The symptoms from your first trimester will mostly begin to fade away. Hallelujah! The second trimester is like the eye of a hurricane — a brief calm interlude packed between two powerful punches. Heed my advice as a mom of five active kids: make the most of this time while you can! Below, I’ll walk you through some of the symptoms you might experience as you move into your second trimester of pregnancy.
12 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
12 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Blurry Eyes During Pregnancy
It may be easy to assume your eyes are blurry from lack of sleep. Let me assure you, this is not the case! Vision changes during pregnancy are common. Your body retains a lot of fluid which can accumulate in some pretty weird places, including your eyes. Blurred vision during pregnancy has definitely been commonplace for me during this and prior pregnancies. I often notice that my vision seems less clear. Such changes in vision are caused by a thickening of your cornea and lens with excess fluid. In fact, I have blurry eyes right now as I write this post. Fortunately, the problem of blurry vision during pregnancy nearly always recedes after giving birth.
Insomnia During Pregnancy
Are you back in your college days, staying up till 2 a.m. to study for that test you forgot about? Nope, it’s just pregnancy. Insomnia is such a pain! During my first trimester, I woke up multiple times each night to use the bathroom, which made it difficult to get a good night’s rest. If you’re suffering from frequent urges to urinate like I have, try to limit your liquid intake after 8 or 9 p.m. This has helped me finally catch a few hours of sleep at night. Outside of the physical causes of pregnancy insomnia, I’ve often found myself lying awake, stressed about having a sixth child and ironically not getting enough sleep. These feelings are normal and important to discuss with either a health care professional or a trusted friend.
My Pregnant Belly Progression
I’m definitely showing a little bit at this point, which has made everything feel all the more real. I’ve also begun measuring the terrace (which I’ve decided to convert into the baby’s nursery) for cribs and changing tables. I’ll keep you guys updated on how the nursery is progressing! My theme? Simple, cheap, and practical (read: IKEA)! In the meantime, check out my pregnant belly at 3 months! I’ve been wearing yoga outfits in all of my baby bump pictures, as well as in the accompanying YouTube videos for this series, so as to easily show off my belly. Yoga pants have also been coming in handy since my jeans are starting to get tighter and tighter.
Your Baby Bump
Whether you’ve got a speed bump or a speed hump, the size of your bump can depend on many different factors (including size, weight, and the number of prior pregnancies), so don’t worry if you’re bump is MIA or taking up way too much space. Every woman’s pregnancy is different and every woman’s bump is unique at each stage of her pregnancy.
Right now, your uterus is located in your lower pelvic region, which may make it appear as if you have gained some weight, not as if you’re awaiting a future member of the family! Have no fear, as in the coming weeks, your uterus will move to the center of your abdomen, where it will reside for the rest of your pregnancy. This will give you the signature ‘baby bump’ look!
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 12 Weeks
At week 12, your baby weighs 0.5 ounces and is 2 inches long, about the size of a plum. By this time in your pregnancy, your baby is finally starting to look more like, well, a baby! This may quell some of your conspiracy theories about your partner’s genes (they’re not an alien, I promise)! Currently, the head takes up the vast majority of your baby’s body. The rest of your baby’s body will catch up in the second trimester.
Within your baby’s soft and flexible bones, white blood cells are being produced. These mark the beginning of your baby’s immune system. In addition, the thyroid, pituitary gland, and pancreas are fully formed, marking significant progressions in the completion of the baby’s endocrine organ system.
Most excitingly, by this week, most women hear their baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound (more on my 12 week ultrasound below). Week 12 is truly an amazing week of pregnancy marked with tons of development since your little one is working overtime to be ready to meet you in around six months.
How to Stay in Shape While Pregnant
At this stage in pregnancy, many women are starting to show a bit. I certainly am! I’ve been worried about getting enough exercise, but at the same time, I haven’t wanted to do anything that would potentially harm my little one.
I’ve been trying to stay in shape while pregnant while heeding my doctor’s advice. My doctor has stated that I can exercise the way I want as long as I don’t feel uncomfortable. Up until this point, I’ve luckily felt comfortable laying on my stomach and doing the yoga pose, upward dog, while being careful to lift up my belly so as not to put pressure on it. I’m still practicing home barre exercises and have been walking a lot. Check with your doctor to see if they share my doctor’s views. Over the course of my six pregnancies, I’ve learned to listen to my body. Exercise is great and definitely beneficial; however if you overextend yourself, those benefits can become detrimental. Aim to work out for around 30 minutes for most days of the week. Continued and sustained exercise will have the most benefit for you and your baby! Feel free to also check out prenatal pilates or prenatal yoga classes.
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Fun Fact About Pregnancy
The oldest woman to give birth was 66 years old at the time!
Your Pregnancy at 12 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
During the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy, you will have about one prenatal appointment per month. Later in your pregnancy between weeks 28 and 36, you will have a doctor’s appointment every two weeks. After week 36, you will go to the doctor at least once per week. The frequency of your prenatal appointments will depend, of course, on your individual pregnancy. During my previous five pregnancies, because I showed signs of preterm labor, I had weekly doctor’s appointments beginning at week 28.
A pregnant woman’s first doctor’s appointment typically takes place at around week 8. Her second prenatal appointment and ultrasound normally take place at around 12 weeks of pregnancy. During your 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound, your doctor will check that you and your little one are staying healthy. They also might provide instructions on proper nutrition and exercise. There are certain risk factors that may necessitate more frequent visits to the doctor, including:
|Advanced maternal age (35+)||Pre-existing health conditions|
|Increased risk of preterm labor||Conditions that arise while pregnant|
Prenatal Testing Options
The following prenatal tests are available at 12 weeks of pregnancy:
When you’re 12 weeks pregnant, there are also multiple prenatal tests to consider. The need for tests depends largely on the individual. If you are of advanced maternal age or if your child may be at high risk for chromosomal abnormalities, you will have a greater need to have these tests done. Here are some tests that are recommended for your consideration. Next week, I’m going to have my CVS test (link to the details below). I’m already getting nervous about it despite having experienced it before during my first pregnancy. I’m preying that once the test is over and my results come back, I’ll be glad I did it.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
First Trimester combined screening (Nuchal Translucency)
Cell-Free DNA screening (cfDNA)
Your 12 Week Ultrasound Appointment
During your Week 12 ultrasound, your doctor will spread a cold ultrasound gel on your stomach and use an ultrasound transducer device to emit ultrasound waves. These waves will create the images of your baby that you see up on a screen. During this exam, your doctor determine your baby’s gestational age and due date (if that wasn’t done during your week 8 ultrasound). Your doctor will be attempting to ensure that your body is ready and capable of handling pregnancy. They also may be attempting to rule out certain pregnancy complications, including placenta previa. This will be the last ultrasound of your first trimester.
My 12 Week Ultrasound
I had my ultrasound this past week and was amazed to see all of the images and photos of my baby. The technology has really developed since I had my last child ten years ago. Please take a look at my images in this week’s video.
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide: Healthy Foods for You & Baby
Check out Week 4 and Week 5 for food to enjoy and avoid while pregnant. check back in each week for a healthy pregnancy recipe.
Quick, Healthy Dessert Tip
Watermelon Sherbet: Add 1½ cups of frozen and cubed seedless watermelon to the food processor and process till grainy. Add ¼ cup of vanilla yogurt and blend till smooth. Put in a container and repeat the process again. Serve immediately! (Tasty)
Why Watermelons? Watermelons are 92% water, but don’t let that fool you — they have a host of health benefits! Because they are so full of water, watermelon actually can make you feel really full! These big fruits are great sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin B6. In addition to improving your heart’s health, watermelons have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent cancer.
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How Many Months Is 12 Weeks?
Although doctors do not measure pregnancy in this way, 12 weeks in months means that you are approximately 3 months pregnant.
Week 12 Pregnancy Checklist
While the birth of your baby may still seem light years away, there is still a ton of work to be done in order to be prepared to bring your precious little one home! Here are some suggestions for what you can do during this exciting time:
- Do Kegel Exercises to strengthen your pelvic wall muscles
- Purchase some loose maternity clothing
- Figure out where your new baby will live in your home
- Announce your pregnancy! Added: “name”: “acf\/block-highlighted-content”,
- Maybe send your friends and family an ultrasound image, posing with your bump, or dressing your older children in “big sister” and “big brother” t-shirts. Remember, only do what you feel comfortable with, and there is no need to rush to tell anyone!
- Start researching baby products (my recommendations)
- Get your flu shot (if you haven’t already)
- Investigate your company’s maternity leave policy (and that of your partner)
- Research cribs
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists