The more developed the organs become, the more "functions" and abilities your baby has: In the 12th week of pregnancy, this includes yawning and hiccupping. Read on to discover what the grand finale of the first trimester has in store!
The ultrasound image shows that your little one is looking more and more like a cute baby. The body has become slightly straighter and the limbs have had a growth spurt.
The eyes have moved further towards the center of the face and the ears are a little higher. You can also already see the nose and the earlobes growing. The inner and middle ear are fully developed now.
Your baby is now about the size of a plum.
The fetus moves around a lot – after all, it is getting good at this now! The arms, for example, are already so well developed that your baby can clench its fists and bend its elbows and wrists. Although you may be unable to feel it yet, your baby is starting to respond reflexively to touch. If someone presses on your baby bump, it may pull back. When your baby touches its mouth, the lips begin to pucker, as they will continue to later on when suckling.
The mouth also opens and closes because the fetus takes in amniotic fluid as it practices drinking. You can even watch baby’s swallowing movements on the ultrasound. Sometimes your little one yawns and – because the diaphragm has already developed – even hiccups now and then.
The skeleton is changing: calcium is being stored and cartilage is increasingly turning into bone. However, the bones will continue to harden long after birth (right up to puberty)!
The tooth buds of the 20 milk teeth are now also visible. And new things are happening when it comes to the nutrient supply: The placenta has taken over this job completely.
The fetus is around 1.5-2 inches long and weighs roughly 0.5 ounces
The most critical phase is over – you can finally let the whole world know that you are pregnant! Of course, it is impossible to completely rule out the risk of miscarriage or complications until the end of the pregnancy, but the likelihood of something going wrong is much lower now.
Many pregnant women are eagerly waiting for their baby bump to appear – though the uterus is now protruding a little beyond the pubic bone, there is still not much to see. A small bump may appear around this time if this is your second pregnancy, but it will take a bit longer for most women to start showing. Expectant mothers are more likely to see their breasts grow around the 12th week. Special maternity bras can help to reduce discomfort caused by pressure and give good support to the tissue to prevent the skin from stretching.
Various prenatal screening procedures are often offered at this stage, in order to test whether any genetic defects or malformations are present. If you’re interested in these tests, now is the time to ask your doctor about the options that are available to you.
If you notice heavier vaginal discharge, it may be due to changes in the hormone balance. This also ensures that the vagina is supplied with more blood. The increased secretions protect the vagina against infections. Healthy vaginal fluid is largely odorless and colorless. This is not the case if bacterial infections are present. It is therefore best to consult a doctor if you are unsure of your symptoms, or if the discharge has a noticeable odor.
Light bleeding can occur after sex. If you experience any pain, cramps, or heavy bleeding, it is best to consult a doctor immediately or go to the hospital.
For most pregnant women, the good times are coming – the second trimester is just around the corner!
Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Prof. Lesley Regan, DK Limited, London, 2019, pp. 107 ff
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