When you are 12 weeks pregnant, your baby’s brain enters an intensive development phase. Stay away from alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes, and eat healthy foods!
By the end of this week, the risk of miscarriage significantly decreases, especially when a live embryo has been seen at an ultrasound scan.
To learn more about fetal development, how big your baby is, what month you are actually in, pregnancy symptoms, and changes in your body, read on, Mom.
What to Expect when 12 Weeks Pregnant
In this article:
How Many Months is 12 Weeks Pregnant?
You are approaching the final stage of your 1st trimester (which lasts until the end of this week). You will soon complete your third month of pregnancy.
To learn the difference between how many months you are pregnant and what month you are in, read here how to calculate pregnancy weeks and months.
Many women will breathe a sigh of relief at this point as the risk of miscarriage is significantly reduced. By pregnancy week 13, statistics indicate that 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 parents-to-be choose to start announcing the big news. You are now almost 1/3 through your pregnancy. Weird.
Your Baby’s Development
How Big is My Baby at 12 Weeks?
The fetal age of your baby is now 10 weeks.
Your baby is now just over 2 inches long (5.4-6 cm) and weighs around half an ounce (14-18 grams). That’s about the size of a plum or lime.
Interestingly, at this time during pregnancy, most babies are roughly the same length. Later on, the length will start to vary due to genetics. Right now, measuring the fetus’ length is an excellent way of estimating your due date.
What Does My Baby Look Like When 12 Weeks Pregnant?
At 12 weeks, your baby looks like a little human.
Eyes, ears, and nose are more or less in their correct places, which, of course, is vital for a pretty face. You can see the nose tip in the ultrasound image above. :-)
Although the baby is moving and kicking already, you won’t be able to feel it just yet. We know you may feel impatient about this, but wait just a little bit longer, and then you’ll finally feel these tiny movements.
Fetal Development in Pregnancy Week 12
All your baby’s vital organs and body parts will be in place this week. What a huge milestone!
Another big milestone for your little one this week is the development of detailed body movements. Fingers will move, hands will open and close, and toes can curl up. The ultrasound may catch your baby sucking their thumb!
Sometimes, your baby may feel you moving about and will respond by moving as well, even if you can’t quite feel it yet. Muscles are mostly formed and start responding to different stimuli, helping your baby develop natural responses with their body.
The brain starts making hormones, and nerve cells develop rapidly. Actually, the second trimester is the start of a critical development phase for your baby’s brain. Brain development is particularly rapid and sensitive from this stage up to the 27th week of pregnancy. Ensure you stay away from alcohol and nicotine, and take the appropriate prenatal supplements.
The placenta is now functioning well to exchange oxygen, nutrients, and waste products via the umbilical cord.
Muscles within the intestines also begin to practice contractions known as peristalsis; these movements are needed to pass food through the digestive tract and out as poop. Your baby’s intestines are also moving back into the abdomen at this point (the intestines used to be camped out closer to the umbilical cord). The kidneys start producing urine. The bones of your baby’s spine are also now visible.
Although the sex organs are formed, it is still too early to say if you are having a boy or a girl.
Mom’s Body When 12 Weeks Pregnant
Your uterus is now about the size of a grapefruit.
Your baby bump might start showing a little bit. However, if you are not showing yet, don’t worry. That is perfectly normal, too, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Every woman’s body is different, and the belly sizes will also vary. Try not to compare yourself to other women, and don’t worry about whether your belly is too big or too small for 12 weeks. Just make sure that you undergo a prenatal check-up.
You may also find yourself looking a little more bloated now because of pregnancy hormones, and you may notice a few more pounds are showing up on your scale than before you got pregnant.
For many women, 12 weeks pregnant is a turning point, with decreased anxiety levels related to worries of miscarriage.
Some women may find several positives this week, including increasing energy, a change of libido (it can increase or decrease), changes in appetite and food preference, 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.
Because of changes in hormone levels in your body, you might experience dizziness.
You might still feel bloated and experience gassiness because of the hormonal changes and your growing uterus.
Skin changes occur for some women who may notice freckles or dark pigmentation in their faces (called chloasma or melasma). That may not always seem attractive, but it is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about. Use pregnancy-safe sunscreen to lessen the chances of developing this.
The skin around your nipples and your areolas will darken, and some women find that starting a moisturizing routine now will help as your skin starts to stretch and grow with your baby.
Spotting might be nothing to worry about if it is light because your cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy. However, it is always best to contact your doctor when you notice bleeding, even when it is light, to make sure everything is okay. If you experience more than just light bleeding, especially if it is accompanied by cramping, contact your doctor immediately.
Things to Do and Buy This Week
A baby registry is fun! Amazon has one of the best; check it out here. Or take a look at my review of some other stores to set up your (free) baby registry!
The book What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a great read throughout your pregnancy.
Is your waist expanding? Check out Motherhood Maternity Women’s Maternity Bi-Stretch Secret Fit Belly It might be time for your first maternity pants. These are nice and soft and work well already in the first and second trimesters.
If you haven’t already, start taking weekly photos of your growing belly! I only took monthly photos, and I really regret it.
You may want to start looking for a prenatal class to enroll in. It is fun to meet other women who are in a similar pregnancy stage and 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. If you feel that it is too early to actually pay for anything related to giving birth, sign up for this free prenatal online class, provided by an experienced labor nurse.
Week 12 Pregnancy Video
Diary of a Daughter
What’s it really like being 12 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a 12 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)
Week 12 – now the risk of miscarriage is going down. My husband wants me to announce our pregnancy at work. I want to put it off until next week after the nuchal fold screening test.
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
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- Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD, The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
- Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. A Child Is Born
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- Swain SK, Pati BK, Mohanty JN. Otological manifestations in pregnant women – A study at a tertiary care hospital of eastern India. J Otol. 2020 Sep;15(3):103-106. doi: 10.1016/j.joto.2019.11.003. Epub 2019 Nov 22. Erratum in: J Otol. 2020 Dec;15(4):179. PMID: 32884561; PMCID: PMC7452357.
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.