Pregnancy Week 12

Fetal development in pregnancy week 12:

This week your baby weighs about ½ an ounce and is about 3 inches long.  If you could see your baby, you’d see quite an active little one – twisting, turning and kicking.  The baby is completely engulfed in amniotic fluid at this point.  This fluid is about 1.5 ounces in volume.

The growth of the baby’s head slows down considerably by the end of this week.  The brain has the same structure it will have at birth, although it will be quite larger.  Hair is beginning to grow on the baby’s head now and teeth are forming as well as taste buds and vocal cords.

The intestines are beginning to contract as if they were digesting food and are moving from the umbilical cord into the body cavity.  A large portion of the amniotic fluid will be the baby’s urine from this point on as the kidneys begin to excrete urine.

If this is your first pregnancy, you probably aren’t showing yet, although your clothing and bra is probably feeling very snug.  If this is not your first pregnancy your abdominal muscles are not as strong and you may be starting to show.  You might want to invest in some looser clothing, although you may not be quite ready for maternity clothes just yet.

Maternal Changes

Some women start noticing changes in their skin at 12 weeks pregnant. You may notice for example that you have more freckles or that the freckles you have seem darker. Some women will grow a dark line down their stomach referred to as the linea nigra. This usually pops out sometime after 12 weeks. Other women will develop the “mask of pregnancy” which is nothing more than patches of darker skin that form on the neck or face. Fortunately these skin changes fade shortly after delivery.

Your skin is much more sensitive while you are pregnant, so it is important you use adequate sun protection. You should try to find chemical free sun blocks when possible and use a product with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect your sensitive skin.

Keep in mind that some skin products are not safe during pregnancy. Anti wrinkle fighting products for example with high concentrations of Vitamin A can contribute to birth defects. Always check the label before trying a product. If you aren’t 100% sure of its safety avoid using it altogether unless you can confirm its safety later.

At around 12 weeks pregnant many women start experiencing more heartburn. Heartburn is very common during pregnancy as the uterus expands and presses up against the abdomen, and as hormones fluctuate and contribute to slowed digestion. To help relieve heartburn your doctor may recommend you chew some Tums and avoid spicy foods or large meals. You may also want to sleep with your head slightly elevated so you can reduce the amount of stomach acid floating around your throat at night. One of the best ways to minimize heartburn is to eat small but frequent meals with mild ingredients. You should also avoid laying down right after you eat as this and worsen heartburn and interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Some great suggestions to relieve and prevent heartburn are as follows:

  • Eat less at each meal and have six meals a day instead of three.
  • Chew your food adequately and eat slowly.
  • Drink liquids before and after your meals and not with them.
  • For heavens sake stay away from fatty and greasy foods which will only make the problem worse.
  • Stay away from fizzy drinks, citrus juices and spicy meals.
  • Do not eat before going to bed.
  • Raise the head of your bed or prop yourself up with pillows which will help minimize heartburn.
  • Consider liquid antacids… they work much better than the tablet forms.

Think it’s not safe to wear a seatbelt while pregnant? Think again. As your belly starts growing you might consider forgoing your seatbelt. Wearing your seatbelt however is more important during pregnancy than ever. A seatbelt will help prevent serious injury in many cases and can protect your baby. You will just need to slide your belt underneath your belly, so it is snug but not uncomfortable. You should also still wear a shoulder belts comfortably between your breasts and carefully resting along your chest. In the unlikely event you are in an accident you’re much safer with a seatbelt than without one!

Dad

Consider joining a support group for dads! There are plenty of online groups dedicated to the art of fathering. These groups can be havens for you to discuss all of your feelings from the good to the bad and every joy and frustration in between.

Maternity Clothes

What woman doesn’t want to look and feel attractive throughout her pregnancy? Finding intimate apparel to wear during your pregnancy doesn’t have to be a chore. Yes your body is changing each and every day. Fortunately there are many quality and elegant options available for mothers looking for stylish maternity wear during their pregnancy. One of the more important things to look for is supportive and flowing garments that move with you as you grow and expand.

Whether you are looking for something special to wear for a special occasion or just every day wear, Destination Maternity clothing comes in all shapes, sizes, fabrics, and styles for women during pregnancy and after.

Pregnancy Health Tips

Many women wonder early in their pregnancy if they might be carrying twins. Your physician might start suspecting a twin pregnancy at 12 weeks if your uterus is larger than expected. Most of the time, a uterus that is larger than normal is the result of a miscalculated due date rather than twins. However, your healthcare provider might opt to perform an ultrasound at 12 weeks pregnant (though some perform one many weeks sooner) to determine if your date is correct or if you are carrying twins.

Some tell tale signs that you might be carrying twins include: larger than average uterus for your due date, larger weight gain early in pregnancy, more than one heartbeat, worse than normal morning sickness, and increased levels of AFP.

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A twin pregnancy is usually considered a higher risk pregnancy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have complications. One of the more common risks associated with carrying twins is pre-term labor, but many people will go on to carry their twins to term.

There is a slightly elevated chance of miscarriage in multiple pregnancies. Sometimes a mother will lose one baby but go on to carry the other to term. Most of the time however, the risk of fetal loss is reduced after the 12th week of pregnancy. Typically women who lose one twin will go on to deliver the other baby without complication. If a twin is lost in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it will actually be reabsorbed and not cause any harm for the health of the infant that is continuing its development in your body. If you are carrying twins or multiples, you are also at an increased risk for developing preeclampsia, a condition that results in high blood pressure during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is more common in up to 20 percent of women carrying multiples.

Are there certain things you should consider if you are pregnant with twins? You may realize worse than normal pregnancy symptoms if you are carrying twins, but this isn’t always the case. Horrible morning sickness can strike a mom carrying a singleton just as much as one carrying multiples. Symptoms of fatigue and general discomfort are sometimes greater in moms carrying multiples, particularly later in pregnancy or during the third trimester.

Almost half of all mothers with multiples will go into labor before 37 weeks pregnant. Many women assume that they will undergo a cesarean section if they are carrying twins, but this is not always the case. There is a good chance you will be able to deliver both of your babies vaginally, depending on the position they present in at birth, and whether or not you experience any complications such as preelcampsia during your pregnancy. Some women will have to be put on bed rest during their pregnancy in order to help minimize complications such as pre-term labor. A woman carrying multiples will likely be encouraged to take things easy much earlier than a woman carrying one baby.

If you are carrying multiples, even during pregnancy week 12 it is very important that you remain well hydrated and eat nutrient dense foods to maintain your energy levels and stay healthy during pregnancy. The average weight gain for a twin pregnancy is usually 45 pounds, which is more than the 25-35 pounds recommended for singleton mothers.

Twin Tips

Your uterus may begin to measure larger for dates than a singleton mom. This could also be one of the first times that multiples are suspected.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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