The 12th week of pregnancy is the third month or the 1 trimester
The structure of the brain of a child is similar to that of an adult, only in a reduced size. He has not yet learned to control his body and move spontaneously, but his muscles become stronger with every movement. The umbilical cord is detached from the bowel, but useful substances continue to flow into the child's body. The liver and the gallbladder start functioning, contributing to the absorption of fats in the digestive tract of the fetus.
The sexual organs have already been formed, hence, the doctor will be able to determine the sex of your baby during the ultrasound. Compared to previous weeks, the fetus behaves more actively which could cause the mother’s discomfort.
The placenta produces hormones that contribute to the preservation of pregnancy and its course without any complications. Toxicosis finishes by this time, a woman feels energetic and cheerful once again. The size of the uterus gradually increases, its width reaches 10 cm. The uterus rises above, since it does not fit in the small pelvis anymore. Since the blood circulation accelerates, the heart of the pregnant woman works harder than before.
The End Of The First Trimester
The long awaited 12th week of pregnancy came, marking the end of the first trimester. Usually by this time, a woman is feeling considerably better, even if she suffered from toxicity during the previous weeks. Nausea and vomiting, that a pregnant woman was suffering from during 11 weeks, finishes. Now the placenta supports the life of the fetus. Unfortunately, in case of the multiple pregnancy the symptoms of toxicity may last longer, accompanied by irritability, nervousness, variations in mood. All of this can be attributed to serious hormonal adjustments occurring in the body.
If the toxemia led to weight loss in the first trimester of pregnancy, then, starting from the 12th week, there will be a constant weight gain. During this period, the normal weight gain amounts to 500 grams per week. The body of a future mom fully adapts to the development of the growing baby, all organs and systems are stretched to the limit.
The heart beats faster, circulating bigger volume of blood, lungs and kidneys work more actively. In comparison with the beginning of pregnancy the urination frequency comes back to normal, the desire to urinate is reduced, especially at night. At that, the growth of the uterus can cause intestinal slowdowns and result in constipation.
Now, a woman may notice that her belly is a bit rounded and the waste line is smoothed out. In fact, during the first pregnancy the belly begins to grow somewhat later, and by the 12th week its size almost does not change. A pregnant woman may continue to wear usual clothes, feeling comfortable in it. During the second pregnancy the belly may increase by the end of the first trimester, encouraging future mother to choose looser clothes.
As the size of the belly increases, skin itching may occur. Its appearance indicates the need to use special moisturizers in order to avoid stretch marks. In addition to the belly, the stretch marks can appear on the thighs, chest, lateral surfaces of the body. You should take care of yourself and your skin. You may also notice pigmentation spots and a dark stripe, running down from the belly button. These phenomena are of a temporary nature, are not dangerous and will go to naught after the baby is born.
Belly growth, of course, is associated with the increased size of the uterus, which, reaching 10 cm width, shifts from the pelvic cavity to the abdominal cavity. Now and later during the course of pregnancy, a woman is able to palpate and assess how her uterus has grown.
The 12th Week Ultrasound
On the 12th week the gynecologist sends a woman for the first ultrasound. At this period the dimensions of the fetus and the estimated date of delivery are determined. The future mom sees her baby for the first time, a little human being that she will fold to her breast very soon. The first ultrasound monitors more important indicators.
It estimates the size of the uterus and its tone, condition and location of the placenta, specifies the presence or absence of an ectopic pregnancy, as well as the exact number of fetuses in the womb of a woman. During the ultrasound the future mom sees her child for the first time. It is still too small, and without the assistance of a doctor is difficult to understand exactly what is shown on the screen. So ask questions without hesitation, you can even ask to show the face of your baby. You will not see each other till the next screening, so catch the precious moments, remember, how tiny is your baby.
The values of the parameters determined during the ultrasound by the doctor, are compared to the data in the norm values table. This comparison gives the information if the baby is growing properly. Later, the results of the first ultrasound will be used for repeated ultrasound studies in order to compare, track changes and prevent deviations.
Sometimes the first ultrasound diagnostics gives the woman and her family members an unpleasant "surprise" — the identification of foetal congenital malformations or chromosomal abnormalities. At the present stage of development of medicine it is impossible to cure such diseases, so soon parents will have to make the difficult choice on whether to have an abortion or keep the baby.
More informative way to identify congenital anomalies of development is not just an ultrasound, but screening, done at the 12th week. The first screening, or double test, is a comprehensive study that includes ultrasound and biochemical blood test. The analysis shows the content of two markers in the blood - free b-HCG (free beta chorionic gonadotropin subunit) and PAPP-a (protein and plasma associated with pregnancy).
The 12th Week Ultrasound
For the whole period of pregnancy the screening is done 3 times, the first of which falls between the 11th and the 13th weeks. Particular attention is given to an ultrasound study of the neck of the fetus, which tells about the presence or absence of gross malformations and anomalies incompatible to life. The neck area is the space between the skin and underlying tissues of the neck which can accumulate free liquid. This is a non-permanent marker, the neck area and its research standards change as fetus develops, so it is important to do the first screening during the planned time It is also important that the analysis of the neck area is conducted by a highly qualified specialist capable of setting the diagnosis accurately.
Hormonal studies, conducted within the framework of the first screening enable to determine the risk of development of certain deviations. Thus, if the values of free b-HCG are increased twice on average, you may suspect trisomy 21 (down syndrome), while its decrease indicates trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) chromosome. Despite the high informativeness of the first screening, is not a final analysis, if some abnormalities are identified. It is intended only to identify the risk and determinate the likelihood of defects. The first screening is also able to detect the fetal neural tube defect. Based on its results, a doctor may send a woman pregnant to a geneticist which carries out further studies.
On the 12th week, in addition to the biochemical analysis of blood and ultrasound studies, a gynecologist may prescribe to conduct other analyses. For example, in the case of late visit of a doctor, a woman should have mandatory planned tests. Or the state of the future mom requires additional research.
A Picture Belly Of A 12 Weeks
Analyses On The 12 Week
The following blood tests are required at this stag: HIV, hepatitis b and c, syphilis, blood group and rhesus factor, the level of glucose, as well as biochemical blood analysis. As mentioned earlier, the biochemical analysis is included in the first screening and shows the level of HCG in the body of a pregnant woman. If a gynaecologist suspects some specific diseases, an additional blood test to check your hormone level and a pap smear for urogenital infections may be required.
A necessary timely research allows to monitor the health of a pregnant woman, as well as to monitor the growth and development of the fetus. The future kid weights 14 grams on average on the obstetric gestational age of 12 weeks, and the length of his body to the tail bone can be from 6 to 9 cm. At the later stages the growth rate of the fetus will be more important indicator of development to a doctor than the weight.
By the 12th week the fetus is almost fully formed, all the organs and systems of the child are engaged in active work, while continuing to improve as he grows. Toes on his feet and hands are already divided, a unique pattern appears on the pulps, and tiny nails are growing at the tips of his fingers. The skin of the fetus is constantly being renewed, the first fluff appears where subsequently eyebrows and eyelashes will grow. Peach fuzz hair also covers the chin and the space above the upper lip.
Now your baby can already make faces, open or close his mouth, put his thumb into his mouth and suck it. His movements are very active, though not controlled. He moves his hands and legs, flips and tumbles, moves freely in the mother's womb, where there is still much space at its disposal.
By the 12th week all the child's internal organs are formed and function, continuing to evolve with the growth of the baby. His kidneys and nervous system are fully functioning, his heart beats often, his pituitary and thyroid gland produce their own hormones and iodine. The bone tissue matures and strengthens, muscles become stronger with each movement. The intestinal canal is already in its place, it contracts systematically, and the liver secretes the bile. The immune system continues to improve, now there are not only red cells in the baby's blood, but also leukocytes.
Pains On The 12th Week
Everything that happens in the womb of the future mom normally is not accompanied by pain. Light minor pain in the abdomen is allowed. It is explained by the tension of ligaments holding increased in size and heavy uterus. A woman may also experience lower back pains related, according to doctors, to the changing center of gravity because of the gradual growth of a belly. In addition, progesterone, produced in large quantities to sustain pregnancy leads to some softening of spinal bones and supporting ligaments.
The lower back pain caused by the presence of a urinary tract infection is totally different. It can be acute or pulling, excruciating, radiating the pubis and genitals. In the case of such pain it is worth to see a doctor immediately and pass the required examination. It is also required to consult a gynecologist if pulling, aching pain in the abdomen periodically occur on the 12th week of pregnancy and continue 2-3 hours without a break. This type of pain, accompanied by the spotting from the vagina, may cost your child his life. Only careful treatment and timely response to the emergence of threatening symptoms can help to avoid premature termination of pregnancy or miscarriage. Seek help immediately and save the life of your baby.
On the 12 week any spotting with an admixture of blood should alert the future mom. Accompanied by specific abdominal pain, they indicate the risk of spontaneous abortion. If spotting occurs after sexual intercourse or bimanual research, it indicate cervical erosion. Erosion requires additional research through colposcopy and compulsory treatment.
On the 12th week of pregnancy moderate secretions, discolored or milky, uniform in consistency, with slightly sourish smell or no smell at all are considered normal. Vaginal secretions with admixtures of pus, mucus, of mixed consistency, with yellow or green tint, with a sharp unpleasant smell indicate the infection of the genitals. Thus, the main symptoms of trichomoniasis, yeast infection and chlamydia are changes of color and consistency of the discharge. All sexually transmitted infections should be treated immediately to avoid further spread of microorganisms and the defeat of the ovum.
There is a popular belief that the different nature of bleeding in early pregnancy is often and almost normal. Doctors, however, refute this view, suggesting that bleeding at the 12th week is a cause for compulsory medical help. Bleeding may be the harbinger of a spontaneous abortion. Is it worth risking a life of your own child?
The bleedings, accompanied by cramp-like or long dragging pain in the abdomen, as well as painful sensations in the lumbar region are considered the most dangerous. In addition to possible termination of pregnancy (abortion), they may indicate pathological and complex ectopic pregnancy.
Unfortunately, is not possible to save the life of the baby in case of ectopic pregnancy. It also threatens life and health of a woman. The twelfth week completes the first trimester of pregnancy, the most critically dangerous period. After it is terminated, the most of the anomalies and malformations do not longer threaten the child, but the pregnant woman should continue to take care. It is best to avoid even cold at this stage.
Any cold-related diseases are highly undesirable at early stages, it can lead to serious troubles such as fetoplacental insifficiency, hypoxia, increased risk of miscarriage. Such diseases at the 12th week may entail the defects in the development of the baby, sometimes incompatible with life. This is highly negative scenario that could end in spontaneous abortion.
The main problem with the occurrence of cold is how a pregnant woman should treat it. The gestational age is still too small, and the conservative medical therapy is inadmissible because drugs pass through the placental barrier and bring harm to the unborn child. A woman have to limit the treatment to folk remedies and drugs of vegetable origin, but even its use requires prior consultation of an attending physician.
If you have got the cold, you should keep calm and better stay in bed. Drinking warm fluids will alleviate the symptoms of intoxication and have a warming and distracting effect. We recommend decoctions of hips, berry drinks from cranberries, raspberries, currants, different herbal soothing teas. In small quantities and assuming a woman does not have allergies, honey can be added to drinks (warm milk or tea). The warm milk mixed with mineral water "Borjomi" can calm the coughing. Also Doctor MOM cough syrup and lozenges, Gedeliks syrup or mixtures with althaea are admissible.
If in 3-4 days the cold symptoms are still there and accompanied by intense headaches, the body temperature rises up to 38 degrees and above, there’s profuse nasal discharge and painful cough, it is worthwhile to consult a doctor again and discuss further treatment.
Also, in some situations a woman may notice the periodic rises in temperature to 37-37. 5 degrees in the absence of any cold symptoms. One reason may be a specific reactions of a pregnant to the increased levels of progesterone. Another cause may be disease in erased form. To identify such disease a woman should do an overall blood test - the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and the white blood cell count will indicate the presence or absence of an inflammatory process. Under normal values of these indicators and good overall feeling, slight rises in body temperature at the 12th week can be regarded as an individual reaction of the organism to pregnancy.
The rise of body temperature to high figures may accompany the various diseases which a pregnant woman may also have. High temperature is dangerous for the child and can lead to a stalled pregnancy. How do you reduce the temperature in an environment when most anti-febrile drugs are prohibited? (A doctor can only prescribe paracetamol to lower your temperature).
Use folk remedies to reduce the temperature: rubdown with cool water mixed with vinegar (not alcohol - it affects the fetus!), cold compresses on the wrists and ankles, a cool shower and, most importantly, drink fluid to relieve intoxication. Do not hesitate to consult a general practitioner. He will be able to assess the degree of risk for the future mom and her baby, prescribe an adequate dosage of paracetamol and, if necessary, propose to the hospitalization.
At the 12th week it’s better to refrain from any doses of alcohol, if you want your baby to stay healthy.
The brain of the child continues to shape and the alcohol may be disastrous for him. Ethyl alcohol is able to negatively affect brain cells, destroying them, the consequences can be dire and unpredictable. In more serious cases, alcohol leads to physical malformations in the fetus, because of the impact on the development of bone and muscle tissue.
Large quantities of alcohol, penetrating through the placenta, have a toxic effect on the child which eventually could provoke a miscarriage.
Sex At The 12th Week
A woman may have sex at this stage of pregnancy if she feels good, and there are no contra-indications: multiple pregnancy, low insertion of placenta, threat of miscarriage.
While having sex, try to avoid squeezing the abdomen and track your sensations after intercourse. It is also normal if short seizures occur. However, if they continue for a long time, amplified and accompanied by bleeding, seek medical help.
Nutrition of a pregnant women at any term should be healthy and balanced. In the early stages it is especially important, because miracles that are occurring in your belly, require additional resources. Give preference to products such as meat and fish, milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, a variety of cereals. The way of cooking is also important. A good alternative to frying is baking, boiling or braising. Fruits and vegetables is better to eat fresh, the fibre they contain will protect you from possible constipations.
Even if you have never used to have breakfast before, now choose a healthy and nutritional breakfast. A good option for lunch will be soup and a protein product. Dinner should be light. Eating small portions can help you avoid overeating and acid reflux. If you do not like any particular product, you can always find an alternative: replace meat with poultry or fish, boiled fish with baked fish, etc. The food you force yourself to eat, won't bring you the desired benefits, whatever vitamins it may contain. Learn to enjoy eating healthy.
Dangers On The 12th Week
- on the 12th week many pregnant women dark spots on different areas of the body: neck, abdomen, face, etc. Don't worry, they also disappear after the child's birth;
- spider veins may appear on your feet during this period, especially on the lower legs and thighs. If everything is fine, they will disappear after your baby is born;
- don't push yourself to endure abdominal pain! It can be dangerous for both you and your child, urgently seek medical help;
- you may start experiencing heartburn, an uncomfortable but tolerable phenomenon.
A dark streak may appear on your abdomen from the navel to the pubes. This is a temporary phenomenon, it is not dangerous. It will disappear over time.
If you have not done the ultrasound yet, then do it now. Otherwise, if your baby have some congenital defects, adjusting them may prove to be ineffective or even impossible.
The recipe for your well-being and full development of your baby are balanced nutrition, relaxed lifestyle, weight control, avoiding infections and bad habits.
Twin Pregnancy At The 12th Week
During a standard gynecologic examination, the doctor identifies multiple pregnancy already at the 9th week, and on the 12th week parents are already informed that their family will soon welcome not one, but two babies.
A later diagnosis of multiple pregnancy happens only in two cases: when a women does all tests later, at the 4-5th month, either if the first survey was conducted too early and the number of embryos could not be determined properly.
Miscarriage at this term is a rare phenomenon. A fetus is no longer in danger, which is present in the early stages of development. Each fruit reaches a length of about 5-6 cm, the first reflexes appear. There is a good chance that the ultrasound will diagnose the sex of the twins, their external sex organs have already reached a certain size.