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Your pregnancy - week 12

Your pregnancy - week 12


What's happening now

You are now 12 weeks pregnant (about 70 days since conception) and at the start of week 13. This time marks the end of the 1st trimester (the first 3 months of pregnancy) and the beginning of the 2nd trimester (the second 3 months of pregnancy).
 
Your baby now measures about 7.6 cm (3.04 inches) from crown to rump and weighs approximately 20 grams (0.7 ounces).
 

FetalDevelopmentWeek12.jpg


Your baby's bones are changing from being soft and flexible (made mostly of cartilage), to hardening and being mostly bone. He or she is now capable of making creeping and climbing movements, although for most women their baby is still too small to feel. Very fine wisps of hair start appearing on your baby's upper lip and eyebrows.
 
Your baby's bowels are now able to expand and contract (called peristalsis) filling with a black-green, tar-like substance called meconium. Babies pass meconium as their first bowel motion after birth.
 
If you have any questions about your pregnancy, why not ask our midwife Melissa? Email your question here.
 

Physical changes

Feeling healthier and stronger

Many women start to feel healthier and stronger within themselves now, compared with the earlier weeks of pregnancy. Perhaps signs of tiredness and morning sickness are starting to subside. However, around 15% of women continue to feel nauseous (or vomit) until 20 weeks of pregnancy, or even beyond this time. If this happens for you, you can read more here.
 
If you are feeling more energised you may wish to resume (or begin) some physical activity to support your changing body. You can read more about physical activity during pregnancy here.
 

Glowing

Others may comment on how you are glowing with pregnancy. Many women find their skin, eyes and hair are shining with good health. You may also notice your hair growth is stronger, due to increased levels of oestrogen. You can read more about skin, hair and nail changes here.
 
Other physical changes during the second trimester are explained here and here.
 
Wondering how much weight you'll gain during pregnancy? Read this article here for all the latest research and guidelines.
 

Emotional reactions

Many women seem more balanced with their feelings at this stage often with a sense of calmness and an acceptance of their pregnancy and everything that goes with it. This may follow feelings of ambivalence and the amazing hormonal, physical and emotional adjustments that often accompany the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is also common to feel more relaxed, now that the 'magic' 12 weeks has passed and the chances of miscarriage have lessened. However, miscarriage after this time is still possible. You may wish to read about this here.
 

Other considerations

Diet

You may begin to notice your appetite returning. Looking after yourself, eating healthy meals and being aware of good nutrition still remains important for both you and your baby. You can find out more about nutrition here.
 
Women with a vegetarian or vegan diet also need to be mindful of what they eat to make sure they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals they require. You can read more here.
 
For more information on individual vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, you can click here.
 

Folic acid and Iron

After 12 weeks of pregnancy, you no longer need to take folic acid supplements. More about this here. Generally, iron supplements are not routine at this stage of pregnancy. This is explained in more depth here.
 

Calcium

During pregnancy, your developing baby needs plenty of calcium to grow their own bones. If you do not have enough calcium in your diet, your baby will still obtain the calcium they need, but take calcium stored in your bones, which may lead to inadequate calcium levels for your own health. You can read more here.
 

Foods to avoid

You may be wondering about certain foods to avoid during pregnancy. Listeria can be present in some soft cheeses and other foods. You can find out more about this here.
 
A few types of fresh fish can also contain high levels of mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy. These are listed here.
 

Natural therapies

Massage and Shiatsu

Massage is one of the most popular natural therapies and is often incorporated into other forms of health treatments. Massage aims to deeply relax the body to reduce tension and stress and relieve depression, fatigue, insomnia as well as health problems such as back pain, headaches, muscle strain, digestive and circulatory disorders. You can read more about massage here. Shiatsu is a form of massage originating from Japan. It works on the same principles as acupuncture, but is less invasive, using acupressure instead of needles. You can read more about Shiatsu here.

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