Your waistline may be starting to slowly disappear in week 12 of your pregnancy, as your abdomen begins to “pooch” out a little. Particularly if this isn’t your first pregnancy, looser-fitting and less restrictive clothes may be more comfortable now. Some women even start wearing maternity clothes around this time, but many can still wear their pre-pregnancy clothes; at least loose pants, such as sweat pants or any kind that is made of stretchy material. Very soon, you won’t be able to squeeze into your regular clothes any longer.
Shortly, you may notice a dark vertical line of skin pigmentation running down the middle of your abdomen, from your belly button to about where your pubic hair begins (the center of your pubic bone). This line, called the “linea nigra”, has always been present. It is normally pretty much invisible, but sometimes during pregnancy, it darkens to a brownish color. Women with darker skin tones tend to get a darker linea nigra during pregnancy, than those that are more fair-skinned. One of many old wives tales is that the appearance of a linea nigra means you’re having a boy. This is just that: an old wives tale! The good news is that it will probably fade and possibly gradually disappear in the months following delivery. Besides your belly, other areas of your body may be targets of increased pigmentation, including your nipples (or rather the areolas, which is the skin surrounding your nipples) and your underarms (well, your arm pits). Unlike the linea nigra, your areolas may stay permanently darker, even after delivery.
First Trimester Ends Week 12
As your first trimester is drawing to a close, your miscarriage risk is significantly reduced. The majority of all miscarriages occur before the twelfth week; many so early in pregnancy you weren’t even aware you were pregnant in the first place. Now you can enjoy your pregnancy a little more, knowing your odds of delivering a healthy baby are very good, especially if you’ve already seen your baby’s heart beating during an ultrasound or heard the heartbeat at your doctor’s office. If an early ultrasound confirms a heartbeat, the risk of miscarriage is reduced to less than 5% for women who are 35 or under, during the first trimester. If you have waited to announce your pregnancy, now may be a good time to share the exciting news with friends and family!
Morning Sickness May Be Ending!
By the twelfth week, you may notice that menacing metallic taste, which may have been bothering you since soon after missing your period, starts to disappear. This may help your nausea and food aversions out a bit and you may gradually begin to feel better. Some of your previously favorite foods, which had temporarily become your worse enemy, may begin to sound appetizing once again. If you are one of those unlucky women who continue to suffer with nausea and vomiting well into their second trimester of pregnancy, you should ask your doctor or midwife what will help bring some relief. Most of the time, continued morning sickness won’t hurt your baby, but if you get to the point where you can’t keep any food or fluids down, you should notify your doctor or midwife. It may be necessary in a case like that for you to be re-hydrated by IV fluids in a hospital.
Your baby-on-the-way is now about the size of a lime and by the end of this week 12, your baby will weigh close to 14 grams. Your baby is about the size of half a banana! Now that your baby’s chin and nose are complete, your baby’s face has a profile. This week, your little one’s eyes (which started out on the sides of his or her head) have continued their migration and now have moved much closer together, making your baby look more like a newborn human.
Your baby’s face is becoming more and more animated as the weeks go by. Your baby can make facial expressions such as squinting, frowning and grimacing. The facial muscles also allow your baby to pout and open and close his or her jaws. Opening and closing the mouth is a new thing for your little one to practice. Can you believe your baby is already starting the rooting reflex? Incredible!
The brain is continuing to develop. This development lets your baby move about inside your womb. Researchers believe movements correspond to the development of impulses in the brain. Your baby’s nerve cells have been multiplying and right about now, the neurological impulses in his or her brain are forming. Your baby is also developing quite a few muscles now as well. Your baby is bending his or her arms, rotating wrists and bending legs.
Your little one can already respond to touch, because of all the many reflexes he or she is acquiring. Fingers respond to the palms being touched by closing into a fist, toes respond to the soles of the feet being touched by curling down and eye lid muscles respond to the eyelids being touched by clenching. Your baby also has the ability to feel pain now.
By this week, your baby is swallowing the fluids around him or her and discharging fluids into the amniotic sac. This means your baby’s first urine is made and since the digestive system is starting to function, it is capable of producing contractions that push food through the bowels. Your baby is passing urine for the very first time, although you probably won’t be changing your first wet diaper for another 28 weeks or so (that is, if your baby stays in there until your due date). Don’t worry, your baby’s environment stays fresh and clean, because the amniotic fluid your baby is surrounded by (with is up to about one and a half ounces by now) is completely replaced about every 3 hours.