The health condition of an expectant mother should greatly improve in the 12th week of pregnancy. If up to this week you suffered from early toxicosis, nausea and vomiting, now you’ll get better. In multiple pregnancies, morning sickness can last a little longer.
The baby in the 12th week — fetal development
The brain of a baby inside you has the same structure as your adult brain, but it is still very small. Muscle tissue strengthens. Now the umbilical cord is detached from the intestine, but the fetus still gets the nutrients. The tiny liver and gallbladder begin to work, and the fetus begins to metabolize fat.
Now, the genitals of your baby are formed. Read about Ultrasound gender determination.
Now the baby weighs approximately 14 grams and its length is 6 to 9 cm (measured from crown to tailbone). By the way, from this time on, such indicators as the growth rate and length will be more important for doctors than the weight of the fetus.
In this week, tiny fingers are totally separated, they have nails and even unique fingerprints on the pads. The baby moves freely in the womb.
It the 12th week of pregnancy, all the inner organs of the fetus work properly. Bone tissue continues to mature, baby muscles become stronger and stronger. In addition, white blood cells begin to form. The immune system improves increasingly.
The mother in the twelfth week of pregnancy
Now, your placenta begins to produce hormones. The size of your uterus is greatly increased — its width is 4 inches. It rises higher, as now there isn’t enough place in the pelvis. A woman can palpate and feel the increased size of the uterus. You heart begins to work harder as you blood volume increases.
Even if you were losing weight because of toxicosis in the previous weeks, now you’ll start to gain. The normal weight gain for this week is 500 g. Learn more about weight gain during pregnancy. All organs and systems of the female body are working hard. There are no problems with urination, but the bowels slow due to the growing uterus, and constipation may appear because of the difficulties with bowel movement.
From this time you’ll notice that your belly is growing. Some women feel itching. This itching suggests that you need to use creams or other special means to avoid the formation of stretch marks that can appear not only on the abdomen, but also on thighs and breasts.
Ultrasound in the 12th week
The 12th week is the time for the first of the scheduled ultrasounds. The doctor will determine the size of your baby, and set the approximate date of birth. In the future, the results of the first ultrasound will be compared with the results of the next ultrasound examinations. This is necessary in order to track the pregnancy progress.
There is even a more informative method to assess the fetal development. This is screening, which takes place in the 12th week of pregnancy. A screening study includes ultrasound examination and biochemical blood analysis. This analysis measures two markers in pregnant women — free b-HCG and PAPP-A. For this reason, the first screening is also called a double test.
Screening at 12 weeks pregnant may exclude gross defects in the development of the fetus, as well as anomalies that are not compatible with life. During the screening in the 12th week, the doctor analyzes the collar area of the fetus. The collar area is an area in the neck between the skin and soft tissues, in which fluid accumulates. The volume of the fluid is a non-permanent marker of Down syndrome.
The study of hormone levels, which is held as part of screening also helps to determine the risk of certain abnormalities in the fetus. For example, a high level of free b-HCG may be a sign of Down syndrome, and its low level may indicate Edwards syndrome.
Tests in the 12th week of pregnancy
By this time each pregnant woman should have passed the following blood tests:
- For syphilis,
- hepatitis b,
- RH factor and blood group,
- for sugar,
- and biochemical analysis.
Pain in the 12th week
All the processes, which take place in the mom’s tummy, should not be accompanied by painful sensations. Some women still feel light abdominal pain because the ligaments that support the growing uterus, strains. At the same time, pain in back is often associated with changes in the center of gravity due to the growing belly. Progesterone softens the supporting discs and ligaments, which also causes pain.
Another cause of pain in the 12th week can be a bladder infection. In such a situation consult a specialist. If you have periodical or long-lasted abdominal pains, if the pain is accompanied by spotting call your doctor to avoid a miscarriage.