12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms and More

Entering your 12th week of pregnancy means you are ending your first trimester. This is also the time that the risk of miscarriage drops significantly.

If you haven’t announced your pregnancy to your family, friends, or co-workers, this might be the perfect time for the “big tell.”

Your Baby’s Development at 12 Weeks

The end of the first trimester is near! And if you have a prenatal checkup this week, you’ll probably be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with a fetal doppler.

  • Major growth: Whoa! Your baby doubled in size over the past three weeks. At the ninth week of pregnancy, they were only about an inch long, and now your 12-week fetus is almost 2 inches.
  • Digestive progress: Your baby’s intestines are fully developed, and they’re starting to change position, moving from near the umbilical cord into their rightful place, the abdomen.
  • Cuter face: If you peek inside your belly, you’d see baby’s face is looking more like…well, a baby, than ever before. This week, their eyes and ears are in (or close to) their permanent spots, making your baby camera-ready for the upcoming 12-week ultrasound.

12 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Your HCG levels are likely super high at 12 weeks pregnant, but they should start to level off very soon. Not feeling any pregnancy symptoms? You may have made it through the first trimester without any! If you are, though, there are some things you may be feeling.

  • Headaches: At 12 weeks pregnant, headaches can be triggered by the fact that your hormones are raging like you’re back in ninth grade. Dehydration and drops in blood sugar can contribute, too, so drink plenty of water and snack regularly to help prevent them.
  • Darker skin spots: Patches of dark skin on your face—a.k.a. the mask of pregnancy/melasma/chloasma can appear. That’s because hormonal changes have upped the amount of melanin, which creates pigment, in your body. Remember, your skin is more sensitive to sunlight now. So limit your time in the sun, and wear a hat, sleeves and SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.
  • Dizziness: Those lovely hormones also relax blood vessels, which means better blood flow to baby, but possibly less to your own brain, since your blood pressure may be lower than usual. Keep up the snacking to avoid low blood sugar, which can also cause of dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Morning sickness: You may be tired of feeling sick, we know, but remember: you’re still in early pregnancy. Morning sickness can linger until you’re comfortably into the second trimester. Just let your healthcare provider know if you can’t keep any foods down or if it continues over the next few weeks.

Lifestyle changes

You will soon find that many lifestyle modifications need to be made during pregnancy and after delivery.

General health

Maintaining peak physical health is essential to both your wellbeing and that of the fetus.

Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and narcotic substances during pregnancy, and discuss any ongoing medications with your doctor.

Eat a healthy diet and be sure to take any necessary nutritional supplements recommended by your doctor during pregnancy. Regular exercise can also help maintain health during this crucial time.

Discuss your current exercise regimen or any regimen you have planned to make sure it is safe.

Cosmetics

Using permanent hair color is not recommended during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Consider using semi-permanent dye as an alternative.

This article is part of a series exploring the development of a fetus at different stages of pregnancy and the effect it will have on the body.

Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Continue drinking about eight to 12 glasses of water a day.
  • Think about getting a pregnancy belly band.