Pregnancy Week 12
Congratulations! You are almost through it. Yes, the tough period of pregnancy, untimely nausea and queasiness, super tender breasts and sore nipples, food cravings and aversions and fatigue which took their toll in the last three months will come to an end after one more week. Just breathe a sigh of relief as hard going days will be gone soon. Now is the time when you can enjoy your pregnancy to its fullest. Despite being pregnant, you will live a normal life enjoying with friends and family. There will be no ill feelings in the next three months.
This week is quite important for your baby as by the end of one more week he or she will complete all the development of organs and placenta. The organs will mature and grow in size in the coming weeks.
Let us see what all dramatic changes your baby is busy with.
Growth and Development of Baby
By now, your baby has grown significantly to the size of a large plum. He weighs around half an ounce and about 2.5 to 3 inches long from crown to rump. You won’t believe but your baby has grown considerable making its size double during the last three weeks.
Now, this week marks the most dramatic developments in the baby. He or she is stretching, kicking, twisting and turning but unfortunately you still can’t feel anything. This is because right now uterus rests on the top of pelvis but as the baby grows, uterus will exert pressure on the uterine walls which will make you feel baby movements.
Your baby has developed into a cute adorable little fellow with every organs getting in its place. Eyes are becoming closer and ears are also taking their appropriate position. The fingers can be opened and closed and toes can be curled. The mouth is making sucking movements. The eyelids have completely covered his eyes. By now, almost all the organs are fully formed, however a lot of maturing still needs to be done. In the next six months, all the organs will grow in size, mature in their physiology and get to work.
The baby’s bone marrow has started producing white blood cells which helps baby in fighting infections and staying healthy once he or she is out of your safe womb. The most remarkable development this week is of fetal digestive system. It has started practicing contraction movements which helps baby push his foods further in the digestive tract.
The following five-six weeks are quite critical as the baby’s brain is developing with the rapidly forming nerve cells. It is in this period that pituitary gland starts its work and produces its own hormones. Therefore, it is a strict advice to give up smoking, alcohol or tobacco to avoid any short term or long term affects in the baby.
Though, your baby’s heart is beating from the last few weeks but you must have not enjoyed the pleasure of listening to its beats. The time has come as probably this week or next week, you will have your ultrasound scan and you will finally hear fetal heartbeat. Your heart would definitely race with joy after listening to that.
The baby placenta is busy offering nutrition and filtering oxygen for the uninterrupted growth of the baby. The kidneys have started producing urine into the bladder. However, there is lot more to happen in the coming weeks. Just wait and watch!!
Changes in Mother’s Body
- Have you noticed your breasts lately? If you will do so, you will see that the skin around your nipples is getting darker. There could be patches of dark pigmentation on your skin too. Apart from these, there can be dark shadowy line running vertically on your belly. This is known a linea nigra. All this is happening due to hormonal influence on the body.
- Though, energized and relaxed but you are still weak emotionally. The sight of infants, prams, fluffy animals or other pregnant ladies can make you feel weepy and sensitive at times. The only way is to ignore such situations.
- As the fetus starts moving out of your pelvis, you will sense some thickening around your waist. Your health care provider can now feel the uterus by putting her hands on your belly.
- You will notice a continuous weight gain especially in the legs and at the sides. In first semester, mostly women are likely to gain 1.8-3.6 kg if morning sickness is not bothering them too much.
- Extra vaginal discharge is common during pregnancy due to activation of mucous membrane by the pregnancy hormone, estrogen. Use panty liners to stay dry and comfortable.
Some good changes this week:
- What’s that glow on your face? You might find people compliment you like this. Pesky pimples which were bothering you from last few weeks are gone by now. Instead, there will be radiance on your face due to increased blood volume to your face.
- Frequent dashing to the bathroom will be reduced considerable as your uterus is lifting up and out of your pelvis. Now it will not exert any force on your bladder. But don’t forget to continue your Kegal exercise as it help you prevent pregnancy related incontinence later.
- Your queasiness is all gone and you feel reenergized. You are becoming your old self and feeling euphoric. Now, you can leaf through baby catalogues and make preparations for the baby-to-be.
- With the end of this week, the risk of miscarriages is also reduced significantly. This will make you feel more relaxed and happy about having a baby. This can be your ideal time to declare the news of your pregnancy to others.
- During your first trimester, the baby development is at its peak along with the building of placenta which zaps most of your energy. However, by the end of this week, baby’s organs and placenta are almost fully developed refilling you with your previous energy.
Interesting activities during pregnancy:
- Find time and start writing a diary. This must include all thoughts (positive and negative) about baby, baby’s health, your feelings, expectations and everything you go through your pregnancy, this will serve two purposes. Firstly, writing will keep you off from your worries and secondly, the diary would be a good memory to cherish and last forever.
- Now, when you have left your queasiness behind and feeling good, why not plan a day for shopping with your friends or partner. Believe me, this will be a great time. You will notice cute baby clothes everywhere and would be dying to buy them. This is also a good time to spend on some loose fitting clothes which you will be requiring soon.
Some nice Tips to follow
- Exercise is good but when you are pregnant, there are some restrictions of course. Stay away from exercise and activities which can reduce oxygen supply to your body like scuba diving, mountain climbing or travelling to high altitudes.
- Most of the irritating pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, morning sickness almost go away or at least subside by this time. If it is not so with you, you must bring it to the notice of your doctor as it may be due to molar pregnancy. In such pregnancies, cysts are formed in the uterus which can lead to miscarriages also.
- To avoid any preggo bladder issues, you must try practicing squeezing your pelvic floor muscles for 5-10 seconds for 10-20 times a day.
- Discuss with your doctor and get vaccinated for all the vaccines to reduce any risks for infections.
- From now onwards, you must develop a habit of deep breathing. This is due to the lesser space your lungs would get with the growing uterus. So, you have to breathe deeply to ensure optimum supply of oxygen in your body.
- Though, when pregnant, you have got some liberty to eat what you like but it never means that you fall for junk and unhealthy food all time. Weight gain is important but it should be quality weight gain which can benefit your growing child.
- It is good if you have quit smoking but if other family members are doing that, you are doing an equal harm to you as well. So, better ask them also to give up their habit for a while when you are pregnant.
- Until 28 weeks, you are called for antenatal visits every month. So, make sure to be regular with them. Ask as many as questions as you feel. Keep aside your hesitation and shyness for a while
Some Tips for your Partner
- Being a husband, you must know that your partner is going through many changes. Tasks which seem easy once now are big challenges. Extend some help to her in household chores.
- Her body needs extra comfort and rest but if she could not make it, at least express some care by rubbing her hands, feet and back after a hectic and tiring long day. Use lotion or oil of her favorite fragrance to make it more special.
- There may be many queries, fears, demands and curiosity in her mind related to pregnancy and related issues. Though, you can do much about it but sharing, discussing and communicating thoughts and feelings can ease them a bit.
- Make her believe that you are there for her always and would support her physically, mentally, emotionally and financially also.
This is it; you are about at the end of first trimester. The era of profound and dramatic physical and emotional changes will come to an end in a week. Soon, you will begin to show your baby bump. The coming semester would bring lot of excitement physically, emotionally and mentally. Gear up yourself!