Pregnancy Calendar Week 12
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 12Your baby is about the size of a plum now. She’s making great strides as her body parts, organs and systems grow closer to complete development. Your hormones are beginning to tone down (hooray!) as you sail through the home stretch of your first trimester. Congratulations—you’re almost there.Your BodyAt 12 weeks pregnant, you’re probably very happy to see many early pregnancy symptoms fading away. But, there are a couple of new ones that you may be coping with now:Metallic TasteA surprisingly common symptom during pregnancy is dysgeusia, which is a change in your sense of taste. Pregnant women mostly experience a metallic taste (sometimes sour) that’s caused by those pesky pregnancy hormones again.Although this symptom isn’t mentioned as much as other common ones like morning sickness, a lot of pregnant women do get dysgeusia.If you feel as though you’re chewing on aluminum foil these days, take comfort in knowing that it’s temporary and usually doesn’t last past the first trimester.Here’s what you can do to help make that metallic taste go away:
- Eat and drink acidic foods like lemonade, orange juice and pickles.
- Rinse your mouth with a mild salt solution (1 tsp of salt in 8 oz water).
- Brush your tongue when you brush your teeth.
- Chew on mint-flavored gum.
- Talk to your doctor about your prenatal vitamin; some seem to cause a flinty flavor in the mouth.
Occasional DizzinessWhile many hormone-related pregnancy symptoms like nausea and super-sensitive breasts are on their way out, one new symptom may have just arrived: dizziness.During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone increases blood flow to your baby, which leads to lower blood pressure for you and reduced blood flow to your brain. That’s why you may be experiencing occasional dizziness right now.To get rid of that light-headed, the room-won’t-stop-spinning feeling, try these tips:
- Eat regularly. One cause of dizziness can be low blood sugar levels, so eat often to help maintain your equilibrium.
- When you feel faint, lie down or take a seat, putting your head between your knees while you take deep breaths.
- Loosen any tight clothing that may be restricting blood flow.
- When standing up, do so slowly.
Your BabyIn the 12th week of pregnancy, your baby’s body parts and systems are largely in place and working nicely together to help your baby grow:Your baby’s intestines move into her abdominal cavity.During weeks 6 through 11, your baby’s intestines grew longer and pushed out from her belly into the umbilical cord. By week 12, they’ve made their way back into her abdomen where they’ll remain.In some cases, the intestines don’t move back into the abdominal cavity as they should. This is a birth defect called omphalocele, which can also lead to heart and neural tube defects. Prenatal screening tests that you undergo will detect or rule out omphalocele.Your baby is forming meconium.Right now, your baby’s digestive system is in high gear. She’s swimming in amniotic fluid, which she swallows, breathes in and gets rid of through her urine. While in your womb, she’s also swallowing mucous, bile and skin cells that have shed.All of these waste products are forming meconium, which collects in your baby’s intestines. Meconium is the blackish-brown, tarry stool that’s passed very shortly after birth, usually within the first 12 hours.Your baby’s nerve cells are rapidly multiplying.The rate at which your baby’s neural network is building is truly mind-boggling: Every minute, your little one’s brain is forming around 250,000 neurons.A neuron is a nerve cell that’s the basic building block of a human’s nervous system. By the time your baby is born, she’ll have about 100 billion neurons to help her learn, think, move and experience the exciting new world she’ll be welcomed into.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 12:Eat foods rich in iodine. Your baby’s thyroid is growing now and needs iodine. Eat foods like ocean fish, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, and iodized salt—along with taking your prenatal vitamin.Relieve stress with exercise. Exercise helps you relieve stress, which is very important for you and your baby. So be sure you stick to a stress-busting exercise routine that includes pregnancy-friendly exercises like walking, swimming and yoga.Things You Should Do
- Tell your friends, family and colleagues you’re pregnant, if you haven’t yet.
- Attend a childbirth preparation class.
Words You Should KnowAmniotic Fluid: The fluid inside the amniotic sac that surrounds and protects your baby during pregnancy.Cord Blood:Blood stem cells in your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta, which can be preserved after birth for use in medical therapies such as stem cell transplants. It can be stored privately for family or donated for public good.Glucose Screening Test: Common test for a pregnant woman to check for gestational diabetes, a high blood sugar condition that some women experience during pregnancy.Quickening: First movements of the baby felt by a pregnant mother.