What to Expect When You're 12 Weeks Pregnant

There is a lot that happens when you are 12 weeks pregnant, and this milestone symbolizes quite a bit in your journey toward parenthood. At 12 weeks pregnant, you are approaching the end of the first trimester, where most parents start to breathe a little easier and what is to come starts to sink in a little bit more. Most people know they are pregnant by this stage and understand that their little bundle of joy is really on the way.

As many changes as you are going through, your baby is going through just as many, if not more. So, let’s break down what to expect when you’re 12 weeks pregnant, and what you have to look forward to in the very near future.

What to Expect At 12 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby 

At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby is doing a lot of changing and growing. They are about the size of a passionfruit or a lime, and they officially have all of their vital organs and body parts. Their hands are a little further along than their feet, and they even have eyelids already! Nail beds are starting to develop, and the tips of the fingers and toes are about to form as well. So exciting, right?

The sex organs have even developed, and you may be able to tell if you are having a boy or a girl, but that isn’t as likely for at least a few more weeks at this point. You will have plenty of people telling you what they think you will be having, however. But don’t listen to those theories; most of them aren’t based on anything at all.

Your baby’s heartbeat is getting stronger, and you will be able to hear it at your next checkup. It is an emotional time for everyone. Baby is moving a bit more, but you probably won’t be able to feel anything yet, even if you think you do. Some moms report “phantom movements” during this phase. But don’t worry, it’s all coming soon enough!

What to Expect At 12 Weeks Pregnant: When Is That Belly Coming In? 

As a new mama, you are starting to change and grow quite a bit as well. You are hopefully over some of the nausea and discomfort that you felt in early pregnancy, and you are really starting to settle into that “new mom glow” that so many people see. You’re at the point where you need to ensure that you are eating a healthy diet with enough nutrients, but you don’t want to gain too much weight during this time.

Most people will suggest adding between 200-400 calories to your daily caloric total, but work with your doctor to get advice that fits your needs.

As mentioned, your baby isn’t really all that big just yet, so you may not have much of a belly. Every woman carries pregnancy differently, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Smaller women may be showing quite a bit, whereas women who had a higher pre-pregnancy weight won’t be showing at all. Wherever you are, simply embrace the glow!

What to Expect At 12 Weeks Pregnant: How Will You Feel

There are a bunch of strange things that come with pregnancy at this stage that you may not have expected. Some of the symptoms you may be experiencing include:

  • Lightheadedness: If you have a history of getting lightheaded, you will likely get it during pregnancy as well. Your hormone levels are changing, so you may feel a bit strange. Try to keep yourself hydrated and avoid standing for too long.

  • Sweating: Get ready to sweat. Many women will start to notice temperature changes more and more and may even experience “heat flashes” of their own.

  • Sensitivity to Smells: Some women report smelling things much more powerfully than they have before. Certain odors may bother you more than ever before, particularly things like fish, smoke, and gasoline. Try to avoid them if possible.

  • Bloating: Some women think they are getting a belly, but sometimes, it’s simply bloat. Eat slowly, drink a lot of water, and avoid foods that caused bloating before you were pregnant (cauliflower, broccoli, and other cruciferous greens).

What Can I Start to Do Now to Get Ready? 

Now is the time to make all the positive changes that you haven’t already made in your pregnancy so far. Ensure that you are eating a balanced diet of healthy foods. Aim for organic foods, a lot of calcium-rich foods, and a ton of fruits and vegetables.

Now is also the time to start “nesting” in your home. The next few months are going to fly by quickly, so get to thinking about a nursery, birth plan, and what you are going to need. Will you be pumping? A multi-bottle carrier might be a good idea - but do you need one if you won’t pump? You’ll have to think about these things.

Now is also the time to start doing research on things like diaper bags, car seats, cribs, hospitals, and more. If you are going to need nanny care, it is never too early to start looking for a nanny or at least a reliable teenager in the area who can babysit once your baby is born.

Of course, you want to start thinking about what you are going to name your baby - this is something many parents have to discuss for a long time, so it is better to start early. It will also start to feel more “real” when you have a name to call your sweet bump.

If you want to start keeping a pregnancy journey, now is a great time. Some of the “miserable” days are behind you, and you will have a ton of stuff to fill it with. Feel free to start taking weekly photos of your bump to show the development, save the ultrasound scans, and just note everything. It’s easy to find prompts online or buy a ready-made journal. Many people will do fun bump photoshoots, but you may want to hold off on the professional one until your bump is a little more prominent. Simply hold up an item that is about the size of your baby or use Canva to doctor up the photo as you like.

Most people will wait until this phase to announce their pregnancy to their friends, family, and colleagues. It’s a great time to tell your boss that you will need to take time off for your pregnancy. You may choose to make a big announcement or keep it quiet and just go the Facebook route when you’re ready.

Things to Think About Around 12 Weeks Pregnant 

Around 12 weeks pregnant, you are going to want to start thinking about a few different things to make the rest of your journey comfortable:

  • Can you paint the nursery and move everything out of the way? The bigger your belly gets, the harder it is going to become. Just be sure not to lift anything too heavy.

  • If it’s flu season, ask your doctor where to get your flu shot. Most expectant moms are encouraged to get the vaccine during flu season. You may also want to invest in some really good masks, so you don’t get sick.

  • Before announcing to your friends and family that you are pregnant, who should you tell individually? You don’t want certain people to find out with everyone else.

  • Are there any tests that you need to run because of familial history?

  • What can you start doing to avoid getting any stretch marks? While stretch marks are absolutely a badge of honor and a sign of a life lived, most people would like to avoid them if at all possible.

  • This may also be a good time to start researching birthing classes, if you are going to take them. Talk to your doctor or OBGYN to see if they have any recommendations. These classes tend to fill up pretty quickly, so be sure to start your search as early as possible.

In Summary: What to Expect At 12 Weeks

At 12 weeks pregnant, there is a lot going on and a lot of change on the horizon, but it is just a wonderful precursor for things to come. You are going to be doing a lot in the upcoming months, and there will be a time when you start to wish you had this much energy again. Try to get as much done as possible, because time will fly by, and before you know it, your sweet baby will be here.

Still, you need to take time to yourself and to rest. You are doing a lot right now as a soon-to-be-new mom, and stress can make things much worse. Know when you have pushed yourself too far, and don’t hesitate to take a break. If anything bothers you, talk to your doctor. Embrace this wonderful 12-week milestone, and just know, the best is yet to come!



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