Your baby is now the size of a lime, measuring at just over two (2) inches in length from crown to rump and weighing about half (0.5) an ounce. The risk of miscarriage drops considerably at the end of week 12 of pregnancy. You are in your third month of pregnancy.
During week 12 of pregnancy, your baby’s face is unmistakably human. The eyes have moved from the sides of the face onto the front and are now looking forward on either side of the tiny nose in the center of the face. The ears are almost fully developed and have moved from the neck up onto the sides of the head. In addition to hiccupping, your baby is also beginning to suck with her or her cute little lips. Inside the mouth, tooth buds continue to develop under the gums. Other reflexes in addition to the sucking reflex also begin to emerge. Your baby’s eye muscles clench and relax in preparation for blinking. The fingers and toes will curl. And, if you poke your abdomen from the outside, your baby will move away from the pressure.
Within your baby’s body, nerve cells are multiplying all over and synapses are forming inside the brain. The intestines, which were coiled up inside the umbilical cord last week, begin to move inside the abdomen during week 12 of pregnancy. The kidneys begin excreting urine into the bladder. Your body constantly replenishes the amniotic fluid that your baby swallows and excretes, so do not worry about your baby swimming around in something yucky. The thyroid and pituitary gland begin producing hormones. The bone marrow begins producing white blood cells that will protect your baby from a germy world. Your baby is also still as busy as ever, moving around inside your womb, although you will not be able to feel this movement for another few weeks. However, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with a fetal Doppler by the end of the week.
Good news! As your hormones even out a little and your uterus stops pressing directly on your bladder, you should find yourself needing to run to the bathroom to urinate less often. However, just remember that you will probably find yourself needing to pee more frequently again during the third trimester when your baby begins pushing on your bladder again. You may also find yourself feeling lightheaded or dizzy during week 12 of pregnancy, which you can blame on the pregnancy hormone progesterone. Be careful when standing up to avoiding fainting or falling over. You may also notice that your sex drive is changing. Some women want more intimate time with their partners during pregnancy, but some also want less. Either extreme and everything in between is normal. Other symptoms during week 12 of pregnancy include a protruding abdomen, heartburn and indigestion, bloating, constipation, changes in appetite, fatigue, and increased vaginal discharge (leukorrhea).
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice of your health care provider.
12 weeks pregnant: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/12-weeks-pregnant_70683
Curtis, Glade B. & Judith Schuler. 2011. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th edn. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Pregnancy week 12: http://www.maternityandbabyshoppingmart.com/pregnancy_week_12.html
Stone, Joanne & Keith Eddleman, eds. 2003. The pregnancy bible: Your complete guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. Willowdale, Ontario: Firefly Books.
Your pregnancy: 12 weeks: http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-12-weeks_1101.bc
Your pregnancy week by week: Weeks 9-12: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-9-12
4-D Ultrasound of 12 Week Fetus: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ecograf%C3%ADa_4D_-_Feto_12semanas_D.jpg
Life 12 Weeks: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/322392