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, the 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. Weird.
Some cool baby milestones this week:
- 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.
- The placenta is functioning effectively and blood now 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.
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.
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. An online class to check out is the one provided by childbirth educator and author Catherine Beier. She focuses on natural childbirth and empowering moms-to-be. Check out her birthing class here!
And here I have listed a number of high-quality, useful online prenatal classes.
Fun Stuff to Buy and Do 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 my review of12+ stores to set up your (free) baby registry!
- The book What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a great read throughout your pregnancy. The best-ever selling pregnancy book came out in a new edition in May 2016.
- Is your waist expanding? Beachcoco Women’s Maternity Fold Over Comfortable Lounge Pants It might be time for your first maternity pants. These are cheap, soft and work well already in the first and second trimesters.
Week 12 Pregnancy Video
Diary of a Daughter
Are you also 12 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below! 🙂
More info perfect for the 12-weeks-pregnant mom-to-be![
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.
Top image: Top image by Ben Klocek
Image: Image 2 of 12 weeks belly by Mylissa