Week 12 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 12 of Pregnancy
By now, your baby weighs a full half-ounce and is about the size of a large plum. Most of his systems are in place, though there’s still plenty of maturing to do. For one thing, his fetal digestive system is beginning to practice contraction movements necessary for eating, and his bone marrow is busy making white blood cells — weapons against germs once he’s out of your safe haven. The pituitary gland (at the base of the brain) has started producing the hormones that’ll enable him (or her) to make babies of his (or her) own in a couple of decades or so.
Learn more about your baby in week 12 and fetal organs and systems.
Your Body in Week 12 of Pregnancy
If all those changes in your baby sound dizzying, that may just be you dealing with yet another problematic pregnancy symptom: Lots of women experience occasional dizziness and/or feel faint due to progesterone, which causes increased blood flow to your baby by relaxing your own blood vessels. The decrease in blood flow to your body and brain, along with typically lower blood-sugar levels during pregnancy, can set your world a-spinning. Do your part to keep your equilibrium by eating regularly, getting adequate rest, and standing up slowly.
Learn more about your body in week 12 and dizzy spells during pregnancy.
Week 12 Pregnancy Tip: Sex Drive
Your best friend says being pregnant turned her into a sex kitten — but you feel more like a dead fish (and just about as bloated…which makes you feel even less sexy). What’s the deal with your sex drive? Hormones hit every woman differently, turning up the heat for some and throwing ice water on others. Pregnancy symptoms can also stand between you and a good time — after all, it’s hard to purr when you’re busy gagging on dinner, or to get busy when you barely have the energy to get undressed, or for your partner to take advantage of those extra-large breasts when you have a strict look-but-don’t-touch (ouch!) policy in effect. Rest assured, whatever you’re feeling is normal. Just stay emotionally connected with your partner, and remember — and remind your partner — that many women who’ve lost that lovin’ feeling in the first trimester get it back in the second, in spades…so don’t be surprised if a very warm front moves into your bedroom soon.
Learn more about sex and love during pregnancy.
Week 12 Pregnancy Symptoms
Decreasing need to urinate frequently: That gotta-go feeling may finally be starting to wane. But be sure to practice your Kegel exercises throughout the next several months to help prevent pregnancy-induced incontinence down the line.
Fatigue: Throughout this first trimester your body is working overtime to build the placenta, which is likely zapping your energy. So let yourself rest when you feel the need, and take advantage of any opportunities to sleep now — before your baby arrives and demands three a.m. feedings.
Excessive saliva: This annoying pregnancy symptom will likely go away as you head into your second trimester. Minimize your discomfort (and distaste) by chewing sugarless gum or swishing mouthwash.
Flatulence: One way to decrease this embarrassing pregnancy symptom is to slow down when you eat. Scarfing down food can cause you to swallow air, which creates gas pockets in your already-overtaxed belly.
Increased sense of smell: If your nose knows a little too much lately (you can tell what your hubby ate for lunch the moment he walks in the door), try opening the windows. Or keep a lemon wedge nearby, and sniff it when you start to smell a nausea-inducing odor — citrus can quell queasiness.
Increased vaginal discharge: Extra discharge is completely normal during pregnancy — thanks to increased estrogen, which stimulates your body’s mucous membranes. Stay dry by wearing panty liners.
Occasional headaches: Be sure to eat regularly throughout the day — skipping meals causes low blood sugar, which can trigger headaches. Also, remember that it’s usually okay to take acetaminophen during pregnancy (but make sure your medical practitioner gives you the go-ahead first).