Bump Update: Week 12
Congratulations! Oh, wait. You found out you were pregnant seven or eight weeks ago? Well, guess what? That means you’re now in the last week of your first trimester! Not only are you almost a 1/3 of the way through your pregnancy, but you also have something extra to celebrate this week. The best part about this week is that you’re much less likely to have a miscarriage at this point. In fact, your risk of miscarriage is now down to below 2.5%, and your risk is even lower if you’ve seen your baby in an ultrasound. Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard? I mean, other than that time you found out you were pregnant? Now that the risk of miscarriage is so low (and because most mamas start to show at this point), most people also feel like it’s FINALLY safe to tell their family and friends . . . if they haven’t already spilled the beans about their little bean already! Have you thought about how you’re going to announce your pregnancy? Even if you’re not ready to tell the entire world, you can start planning how you’ll tell people when you do feel comfortable doing so.
Just in case you needed one more reason to celebrate this week, most mamas report that their morning sickness is starting to go away at this point. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t seem to be diminishing yet, you should start getting some relief from the constant nausea in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, you might also notice a few new pregnancy symptoms this week. Because of changes to your hormones, blood pressure, and reduced blood flow to your brain, you might start experiencing dizzy spells. Add the fatigue you’ve been feeling throughout the first trimester, and it can make it pretty hard to stay active. The best way to avoid these dizzy spells is to stand up slowly, and to make sure you’re not going too long between meals. If you do experience a dizzy spell, make sure to sit down until it passes. You might also notice some changes to your skin this week, including an increase in the pigmentation on your face. Once again, you can thank increased hormones for these changes, as approximately half of pregnant mamas are affected by melasma or “pregnancy mask.” So, smother sunscreen on like crazy!
Your baby is now between over two inches long (the size of a lime) and has changed so much in the last few weeks. All of his or her organs are almost fully formed, so from now on, most of the development will just be focused on growth. Because of this, if you get an ultrasound at your twelve-week appointment, you’ll be able to see him or her so much more clearly than in previous ultrasounds (if you have already had them). This ultrasound is extra exciting because you'll definitely get to hear baby’s heartbeat, and due to baby’s developing reflexes, you might even get a response if you poke your belly during the ultrasound, or be able to see his or her little fingers open and close. Baby’s digestive system will also begin working this week, as it starts practicing the movements he or she will use to digest food after birth. Baby’s intestines are starting to move into the abdominal cavity and his or her kidneys are starting to excrete urine into the kidneys.
Most mamas feel so much better and have so much more energy during the second trimester than they do during the first and third trimesters. Take advantage of your increased energy to “nest” as you work on baby’s room or make other preparations for his or her birth. Now you can start thinking about your baby registries, stocking up on diapers, or thinking of baby names.