The baby’s body systems and vital organs are fully formed and are set to enter the maturation stage. The 12th week also brings some respite for you; very unlike the other weeks of the first trimester. Take a peek at what’s happening inside your womb at week 12.
Up to the 11th week the length of the fetus was measured from the crown to the rump. By the 12th week, the legs are fully formed and hence hereafter the length is taken from the head to the heel. The average size of the fetus at 12 weeks is almost 3 inches. It weighs around half an ounce. It is the size of a medium sized plum.
The fetus now gets a much more defined shape than earlier. The varied proportions look just like they would with a newborn. The arms and legs develop tiny muscles. The toe and finger nails that were only emerging in the last week begin to grow. The nose and the chin also become more defined. The growth of the head slows down while that of the rest of the body catches up. The posture starts straightening out and becomes less curled.
The baby also starts developing its reflexes. She can curl her toes. She can open and close her fingers.
The baby’s organs are fully formed most of which have started functioning. The digestive system is getting accustomed to contractions needed for ingestion and digestion. The bone marrow too has started producing its own fighters – the white blood cells. The body will need these to fight against diseases and infections after birth. Also, you will be surprised to know, the pituitary gland located at the base of your baby’s brain has already started secreting hormones. These hormones are the same that will help your little one produce offspring in the distant future.
Changes to your body
The hormone levels begin to stabilize and the discomforting pregnancy symptoms begin to tone down a bit. You start feeling less emotional. Not only this, symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue also subside.
Many expectant women experience headaches and slight dizziness during this week. You feel faint because the body supplies more blood to your baby and relaxes the supply to your own body. There will likely be more vaginal discharge. The increase in the amount of discharge has a purpose. It protects your lady parts from infection.
The relaxed muscles of your stomach affect digestion causing the stools to get harder. You feel gassy and bloated. The uterus has got bigger and now starts pressing down on your bladder. You will notice your hips getting wider to make room for your growing baby. Your tummy is getting bigger and it’s about time you break the news to your boss, co-workers and all who don’t know.
You may also observe changes in your sex drive. The fluctuating levels of hormones could turn you into a sex kitten or a dead fish who totally detests the idea of sex.
How should you prepare?
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration sets in during the 12th week. Water will also relieve the problem of constipation.
- Snack on smaller, more frequent meals.
- Make sure your daily diet is composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Fiber is a very important component at this time.
- Eat your last meal earlier giving it more time to digest.
- The changes occurring in your body also call for an increase in activity.
- If you have kept the pregnancy a secret for the fear of miscarrying, you will have to spill the beans now because you may have already started showing. Think about ways in which you are going to disclose the secret to others.