Yay, you’re 12 weeks pregnant!
Finally, you’re at a point (or not far from it) where early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness will stop.
Bring on some more energy and that famed pregnancy glow!
Here’s everything you need to know about being 12 weeks pregnant.
12 weeks pregnant is how many months?
12 weeks in makes you 3 months pregnant.
For some, it probably feels like a long ride already, but now you’re at the end of your first trimester and heading into your second trimester.
Generally, things pick up from here, and you can start enjoying the brighter side of pregnancy.
12 weeks pregnant
Over the next few weeks, you might discover your sex drive is returning now you’re entering your second trimester.
Just bear in mind your cervix is quite sensitive during pregnancy.
It’s not unusual for pregnant women to see some spotting or even light bleeding after sex.
This happens because pregnancy hormones make the cervix softer, and also very vascular, making it more likely to bleed during pregnancy.
It can be worrying to experience bleeding during pregnancy.
If you have any spotting or bleeding, seek professional medical advice from your healthcare provider.
Don’t let this put you off having sex during pregnancy, though, if you feel like it.
Just remember to ask your partner to go gently and try pregnancy sex positions, which reduce pressure on your cervix.
12 weeks pregnant symptoms
Although the extreme fatigue and morning sickness might ease, new pregnancy symptoms could take over.
Now you’re 12 weeks pregnant, your uterus is beginning to rise up out of your pelvis. This takes some of the pressure off your bladder. Hallelujah!!
You should notice that you don’t need to go to the toilet quite so often; this will last until baby is quite a lot bigger.
Reflux, heartburn and bloating
Your stomach and digestive system are going to get squished by your growing uterus and baby in the coming weeks and months.
As your body starts to produce more progesterone hormones, the muscles in your body will relax.
This includes the muscles of the intestines. As a result, digestion slows down, so food and waste aren’t passed through as quickly as normal. This happens so your body can absorb all the nutrients it needs for your growing baby.
The downside, however, is this can lead to bloating, gas, heartburn, reflux, and sometimes, constipation during pregnancy.
To reduce these symptoms and discomfort during pregnancy, try to:
- Eat regularly. Having smaller meals, more often, is key. Avoid long gaps between eating; otherwise, your stomach produces extra stomach acid, making reflux and heartburn worse
- Avoid acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits, greasy food, coffee, and spicy foods
- Increase fluids – even things like smoothies – to ease symptoms
- Eat at least 3 hours before lying down in bed; elevate your head and lie on your left side
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s something light, such as walking or yoga. This keeps everything moving smoothly through your system.
Dizziness can also be a problem when you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Your growing uterus can put pressure on your blood vessels, which can leave you feeling dizzy.
Over the next few months, your blood pressure will begin to drop; this can also quite frequently make you feel dizzy.
The best way to cope with dizziness when you’re pregnant is to lie down, preferably on your side.
Eat and drink regularly to avoid low blood sugar, which can also lead to feeling faint.
You might also notice you have more frequent headaches.
If you do, read about the five most common causes of headaches during pregnancy.
Try to figure out your headache triggers and avoid them.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration is often the cause of headaches, particularly if it’s hot.
Any sudden changes to headaches, such as migraines or other symptoms, including visual disturbances, vomiting, or abdominal pain, should be reported to your midwife or doctor.
Cramping at 12 weeks pregnant
Some women experience cramping around this stage in pregnancy. Understandably, any sort of cramping can be worrying – especially if you’ve experienced a pregnancy loss or miscarriage before.
Cramping at this point in pregnancy is usually due to your womb growing, and the ligaments around the uterus stretching.
Usually, mild period-type pains or discomfort that resolves by itself are likely to be pretty benign.
However, if you’re concerned the pain is worsening, or if you’re experiencing any spotting or early pregnancy bleeding, be sure to seek further advice from your healthcare provider.
If you’re concerned, check out Signs Of Miscarriage | 5 Signs To Know.
Why is 12 weeks safe?
At 12 weeks your baby is fully developed and the placenta is feeding and supporting your baby. By this stage, your pregnancy hormones have settled down too.
Pregnancy week 12 is considered a milestone for many, and is often the time couples choose to share their news with the world. This is because the risk of miscarriage significantly reduces after this point.
When we think about miscarriage, we tend to think about it occurring during the first trimester. Miscarriage, however, is defined as a pregnancy loss up to 23 weeks and 6 days.
Sadly, miscarriage is very common. You might already be aware 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Around 80% of these will occur in the first 12 weeks. This is known as an early pregnancy loss.
These figures include very early miscarriage, before a woman realizes she is pregnant. A pregnancy loss after 12 weeks up to 20 weeks is known as a late miscarriage and is much less common.
The risk of miscarriage reduces in line with gestation. That means the further along you are, the less chance there is of miscarriage.
Since the majority of miscarriages occur in the first trimester, the risk dramatically reduces to around 3-4% after this point.
One study suggests the overall risk of miscarriage after the detection of a fetal heartbeat is around 4%, dropping to 1.5% after 8 weeks and to 0.9% by 9 weeks.
Although many couples delay telling family and friends about a pregnancy, you might like to read 4 Reasons Not To Wait Until 12 Weeks To Announce Pregnancy.
12 weeks pregnant ultrasound
Between pregnancy weeks 11 and 13 you might have decided to have an ultrasound scan.
This scan is done to check on your baby’s health, growth and development, so you might get to see your little one this week.
During the ultrasound, the sonographer will measure your baby from crown to rump. This helps to determine whether your baby is growing according to what’s expected at this gestation.
The sonographer will also check for any obvious birth defects, such as spina bifida.
The ultrasound will confirm your due date, plus or minus seven days.
About your estimated due date (EDD)
By now you might have had your first-trimester scan and heard or seen your baby’s heartbeat on the screen. From the scan, your estimated due date (EDD) will be confirmed.
Remember, your EDD is just that – an estimate. It doesn’t predict the exact day your baby will be born.
Did you know only 3-5% of babies are born on their due date? This is totally normal.
You can read Estimated Due Dates And The Myth Of The 40 Week Pregnancy for more information.
This is important to remember, as you’re likely to get very tired of being asked, ‘Isn’t the baby here yet?’ as you approach the end of your pregnancy.
It’s worth thinking about adding two weeks to your EDD when you tell family and friends, to avoid the frustration. Perhaps you could even give a due month rather than a due date.
That way, if you go over your dates (and chances are you will) you won’t have to field all those questions and messages.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like a watched pot when you’re 40+ weeks pregnant.
Find out more in How To Tell If Baby Will Come Early Or Late?.
12 week ultrasound gender
The main purpose of the 12-week ultrasound is to check the fetus is growing in the right place, and the size is completely normal for your gestation.
Some expectant parents will be desperate to know the gender of their baby.
You’re unlikely to be able to discover the sex of the baby at 12 weeks, as the baby’s sex organs aren’t yet fully formed. At this stage, accurate identification is only possible through invasive procedures such as amniocentesis, or special blood tests.
You might have heard of the ‘nub theory’ which is said to help doctors to detect the gender of the baby at 12 weeks.
The nub theory involves predicting the sex of the baby by assessing the angle of the genital tubercle that forms in early pregnancy.
Eventually, this ‘nub’ turns into a penis in male infants, or a clitoris in female infants. The theory says if the ‘nub’ points up, it’s a boy, and if it’s straight, you’re having a girl.
Bear in mind, though, predicting gender based on this theory means your baby needs to be in a good position during the scan – and not curled up or with legs crossed – which can’t always be relied upon.
12 weeks pregnant your body
Big hormonal changes occur at the end of the first trimester as the placenta starts to take over. This is typically why your early pregnancy symptoms begin to ease and your mood and emotions begin to stabilize.
The effects of pregnancy on other parts of your body – particularly your pelvis – are probably starting to hit you about now.
It’s never too late to start doing kegel exercises. They help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your uterus, bladder, and bowels.
During pregnancy, these muscles also have to support the weight of your growing baby, and play a key role during birth.
A healthy pelvic floor makes for a faster recovery after birth, and a more pleasurable sex life. Be sure to give it some love!
You can read more in 7 Great Times To Do Your Pelvic Floor Exercises.
Being 12 weeks pregnant can be difficult for your self-esteem.
Many women at this stage might feel a bit down about their appearance. If you’re one of those moms to be who feel self-conscious, please be kind to yourself. This too shall pass.
If your finances allow, treat yourself to something special you really enjoy. You will feel so much better.
A pregnancy massage is a perfect way to release stress and tension.
At 12 weeks pregnant you might not quite look pregnant yet, but it’s likely your pants don’t fit the same way.
Start thinking about maternity clothes. Although it might seem early, you’ll feel much better in maternity pants that actually fit, rather than trying to squeeze into your old jeans.
12 weeks pregnant bump
At 12 weeks your body starts to look a little more pregnant. Your baby bump is much more evident as the uterus begins to creep up towards the top of your pubic bone.
It can be difficult not to compare baby bumps with friends or others you know who became pregnant at a similar time.
Remember, everyone carries a pregnancy differently. Even at the same gestation, two baby bumps can look completely different.
12 weeks pregnant your baby
At week 12 your baby’s development is rapid.
Sex organs are distinguishable, but still incomplete.
Your baby’s eyes are almost in the correct position in relation to the head, as are the ears.
The lungs are developing and you can see primitive breathing. Vocal cords are also beginning to form.
The amniotic fluid your baby swallows can now pass out through the bladder.
Your baby’s bones, which until now were soft, are starting to harden; this includes the ribs and spine.
Your baby’s arms are in proportion to the rest of the body at 12 weeks, and the toes and fingers are now formed. Fingernails are starting to grow at this stage too.
You won’t feel any movement yet, but your baby is busy kicking away inside.
At 12 weeks, babies can now curl their toes, rotate their ankles and wrists, press their lips together, and make facial expressions, like frowning and smiling.
The umbilical cord is quite thick and still short. But as your baby continues to grow, the cord will lengthen and become thinner.
12 weeks pregnant baby size
At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby measures approximately 4-5.5cms in length, weighs around 14 grams, and is about the size of a lime.