12 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Update

This week, your umbilical cord is fully formed, carrying oxygen-rich blood and nutrients from your placenta to your baby. It’s working double while it ferries deoxygenated blood and waste from your baby back to your placenta. Your baby may seem to be resembling a bobble-head figurine at this point as she’s mostly head…her arms, legs and trunk will catch up soon. A fine layer of hair called lanugo covers her body—it helps protect her thin, delicate skin from the amniotic fluid she’s floating in. She’ll shed this hair in your 3rd trimester—though some babies are born covered in it!

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a window to see inside your belly? If you did, you’d be able to see your baby’s sweet, little face, which is almost completely formed. Her eyes have moved closer together, her ear lobes have taken shape, and her mouth can open and close. She can also open and close her fists and will reflexively move if you press your stomach—you won’t be able to feel it yet, though! 

12 Weeks Pregnant: About Your Body

Your belly may begin showing this week…announcing your pregnancy to the world. Start looking into comfortable clothing options that can adapt to your ever-changing body.  

In the not so obvious areas, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge…a slightly annoying side effect of pregnancy. But if yours looks clumpy, thick, yellowish or greenish, you may have a vaginal infection. They’re extremely common during pregnancy, especially during the 2nd trimester.

Before you (or Dr. Google) make a diagnosis, have your care provider do a vaginal swab. It’s easy to mistake a yeast infection for a bacterial infection, and each requires different treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream to deal with a yeast infection vs. antibiotics or a holistic regimen for a bacterial infection.

A To-Do List for Your 12th Week of Pregnancy 

  1. Think before you buy. It can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions to steer you to the products that will best fit your lifestyle before shopping or creating a registry. Some examples:

  • Who might give me hand-me-downs, and what kind?
  • How important is safety?
  • How will environment play into my decision?
  • Do I expect to travel a lot / be on-the-go?
  • How much floor space do I have?
  • Where will I store things?

    The next step is to make a list of essentials vs. nice-to-haves (you need a car seat, but many families make do without a baby tub). Research the products that will make life with baby healthier and easier and not just add clutter to your house.

    1. Cut back on sugar. Some women find their sweet tooth or sensitivity to sugar can become more extreme during pregnancy. Try to cut back on processed foods and simple carbs—like bread, potatoes and white rice—and replace them with complex carbs. If cravings are killing you, the supplement L-Glutamine has been shown to help fight sugar urges safely.

    1. Practice your Kegels. Incorporating Kegel exercises into your daily routine can help ease labor, as well as recovery post-birth. (Bonus: strengthening and toning your pelvic floor helps throughout your pregnancy, keeping incontinence and hemorrhoids at bay!)

    2. Relax with an Epsom salt bath: Fun fact: Epsom salt is actually a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. And, most Americans are deficient in magnesium. A bath is a great way to absorb this mineral naturally. During pregnancy, it’s very important to make sure your water is warm, NOT HOT (100 degrees or under). If you’re worried, use a thermometer to verify. Baths are also an excellent form of self-care….it’s good for relaxing and to potentially relieve swelling and inflammation.

    Myth or Fact?

    You shouldn’t sleep on your back past the first trimester.

    Fact: One of the first things pregnant women are told is to not lay on their back for too long. The research says that sleeping on your back is safe through your first trimester, which is just ending at 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, sleep on your side. Your left side or right side works just fine. But don’t panic if you wake up in the middle of the night and you’re on your back—just turn over to your side. 

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