When you are 12 weeks pregnant, your baby’s brain is entering an intensive development phase. Staying away from alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, and eating well will promote your baby’s development into a healthy child both during pregnancy and after. Learn about what foods are safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy here.
By the end of this week, risk of miscarriage is down to below 2.5%, and even less if a live embryo has been seen at an ultrasound scan. Learn about miscarriage statistics by week here.
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 10 weeks and you are approaching the final stage of your 1st trimester (lasting only one more week).
Many women will breathe a sigh of relief at this point, as the risk of miscarriage is significantly reduced. By pregnancy week 13, the average risk of miscarriage is down to below 2.5%, compared to 4.9% in week 9 and between 10% and 20% on average for the whole first trimester. You can learn more about miscarriage statistics week by week here.
Many choose to start announcing the big news. You are now almost 1/3 through your pregnancy.
Your baby is now just over 2 inches long (5 cm), and weighs close to half an ounce (14 grams). Interestingly, at this time during pregnancy, most babies are of the same length. Later on, the length will start to vary due to genes. But right now, measuring the length of the fetus is an excellent way of estimating your due date.
The biggest thing for your little one this week is the developing reflexes. Fingers will open and close, toes will curl, even facial expressions will change. Your baby can both scratch his nose and suck his thumb!
If you move a specific way, your baby will respond by moving as well, even if you can’t quite feel it yet. Muscles start responding to the stimulus development for a more natural movement for your baby.
The brain starts making hormones as well as the rapid development of the nerve cells while the kidneys start producing urine.
Actually, week 12 is the start of a critical development phase for your baby’s brain. Between week 12 and week 18 and later between week 24 and 36, brain development is particularly rapid and sensitive. Make sure you stay away completely from alcohol and nicotine.
The placenta is functioning effectively and blood flows from the umbilical cord.
Muscles within the intestines also begin to practice contractions known as peristalsis in order to digest food later on.
The eyes of your new baby have moved from the sides of the head to the front where they belong, and the ears are where they belong as well.
For many women, 12 weeks pregnant is a turning point, with anxiety levels subsiding due to the dramatic drop in miscarriage risk.
Some women may find a number of positives this week including increasing energy, a change of libido, appetite change and even less nausea than before.
If you are still experiencing your early pregnancy symptoms, don’t worry; you are not the only one.
Some women will experience the negative effects longer than others, while some women even feel them to some degree throughout their entire pregnancy. Which pregnancy signs are you experiencing? Vote in this poll and compare pregnancy signs with other moms.
You may find yourself looking a little more bloated now from water retention, and you may notice as much as 2 or 3 pounds heavier showing up on your scale than before your little one was created.
Some skin changes occur for a select group of women that may notice freckles or dark pigmentation in their faces, which may not always seem attractive to you, but are perfectly normal and are nothing to worry about. Use sun screen when outside to prevent this.
The skin around your nipples and your areolas will darken and some women find that starting a moisturizing routine now will help later once your skin starts to stretch and grow with your baby.
You may want to start looking for a prenatal class to enroll in. It can not only be fun to meet other women who are close to you in their stages of pregnancy, but also very informative now as you are going to be a new mother. Having a class with a qualified nurse or medical informant can help ease those fears and anxiety that you may have as you come closer to your due date.
Week 12 Video Gallery
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Are you also 12 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!
- Breasts and areola changes during pregnancy and beyond
- What to eat and not during pregnancy
- Miscarriage statistics week by week
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Image 1: Image of 12 weeks belly by Maturana
Image 2: Image 2 of 12 weeks belly by Mylissa