Are you 12 weeks pregnant and overwhelmed with what to expect in your first trimester? Congrats on this exciting journey! The next twelve weeks will be filled with many changes - both mentally and physically. Navigating the ups and downs of pregnancy can sometimes feel intimidating, so here's a quick guide to give you everything you need to know during the first trimester - from warning signs that require immediate medical attention, to tips for taking care of your body while expecting.
Your Infant at Twelve Weeks
Your child has grown significantly over the past three months. In fact, their size has doubled in the past three weeks!
Your baby's intestines are now fully formed and are beginning to change position, moving from near the umbilical cord to their proper location, the abdomen. If you were to peek inside your womb, you would notice that the baby's face resembles a real infant more than ever before. This week, the majority of their facial features are forming.
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Twelve-Week Pregnancy Ultrasound
Around 12 weeks gestation, the first anatomy scan is performed on the fetus. The ultrasound technician applies gel to your abdomen and gently moves a transducer over it. The transducer emits sound waves that are reflected by solid tissue, which creates echoes that are transferred to the screen as images.
The primary objectives of the 12-week ultrasound are to:
- Confirm the baby's heartbeat and your due date
- Detect any potential problems
- Ensure that your body is ready for pregnancy.
A nuchal translucency scan may also be recommended. The nuchal translucency is the accumulation of fluid under the skin in the posterior neck region of the fetus. Increased size is associated with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and heart conditions.
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Your Body: Symptoms at 12 Weeks Pregnant
At 12 weeks pregnant, your levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG, a pregnancy hormone produced by the placenta) are likely extremely elevated, but they should soon begin to normalize. You are one week away from entering the second trimester, which is renowned for having fewer symptoms and more energy. As the first trimester symptoms begin to fade, you may experience the following.
At 12 weeks pregnant, headaches can be caused by a variety of pregnancy-related factors, including increased hormones and blood volume, nasal congestion, hunger/low blood sugar, and dehydration. Observe your other symptoms to determine the underlying cause, and treat that first. If your headache persists, consult your doctor about pain relief options that are safe during pregnancy.
Darker skin spots
Melasma, patches of darker skin on the face, can appear at any time during pregnancy. Dr. Jenny Murase, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, explains that estrogen stimulates the production of melanin in the body. And the more time you spend in the sun, the more hyperpigmentation you are likely to develop. Remember that your skin is now more sensitive to sunlight, so limit your sun exposure and wear a hat, sleeves, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
In addition to relaxing your muscles and ligaments, relaxin also relaxes your blood vessels. This results in low blood pressure, which improves blood flow to the infant at the expense of your own brain. Low blood sugar can also cause dizziness, so even if you continue to feel nauseated or have food aversions, try to keep food in your system.
We understand that you may be sick of feeling ill, but remember that you are still in the early stages of pregnancy. Common first-trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue may persist into the early second trimester. Inform your healthcare provider if you are unable to keep any food down or if you feel constantly dehydrated in the second trimester.
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Your Pregnancy Belly at 12 Weeks
The time at which you might start to "look pregnant" can vary widely. When you're expecting for the first time, you might start to show between weeks 12 and 16 as your uterus grows upward and out of your pelvis to make room for your baby. Your body may be showing signs of pregnancy earlier if you've been pregnant before. Even if you don't have a baby bump at 12 weeks, you may have trouble buttoning your jeans due to bloating.
Need more advice about caring for your baby? Check out 123 Baby Box for more tips.
Preparing for Your Next Trimester
Fasten your seatbelts, expectant moms, as you're about to catapult into the exciting second chapter of your pregnancy! You've aced the first trimester, and now it's time to double down on the care for your little one. Ensuring you have a balanced diet rich in nutrients and adequate rest is just like creating the perfect nurturing cocoon for your baby.
Buckle up, because the upcoming months promise an exhilarating whirlwind of changes. But amidst this rapid transformation, take moments to hit the pause button, breathe, and marvel at where you are in this extraordinary journey. It's a one-of-a-kind adventure, and every step is a treasure!
Got questions? Your healthcare professionals are standing by, ready to unravel any mysteries and allay any concerns. And don't forget to involve your partner in this joy ride. Navigating this remarkable period as a team strengthens the bond and prepares you both for the thrilling journey of parenthood.
And guess what? Our blog is a treasure trove packed with resources on everything pregnancy - from nutrition and fitness, to labor & delivery, birthing options, and so much more. It's a cornucopia of knowledge, ripe for the picking!
So, dive headfirst into this ocean of information, and empower yourself to provide the best care for your baby and yourself during this awe-inspiring transformation. After all, this journey is not just about growing a baby, but also about evolving as a parent, partner, and individual. So, take a deep breath and dive into this thrilling voyage! Your second trimester awaits!
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