Pregnancy or gestation is a term used to describe the period during which a fetus develops and grows inside a woman’s uterus. In an ideal condition, it lasts approximately around 40 full weeks, where the first 12 weeks are crucial and the most critical.What changes after being 12 weeks pregnant, then?
Pregnancy, as the period in which any woman’s body transforms into a new shape, followed by all hormonal changes and possible mood swings is still that part of a life cycle that no woman can forget, and even after 15 years of her pregnancy she would remember details about the special cravings, how her taste buds have changed and how she could not wait to embrace her baby. It is well known that pregnancy lasts for nine months, about 38 weeks in between the fertilization of egg and the childbirth or around 40 weeks when counting the date of the last menstrual period.
These nine months in medical terms are separated into three equal periods (trimesters), where the first three months, especially the first 12 weeks play an immense role over in how pregnancy will continue to flow.
What Do 12 Weeks Stand For?
The first 12 weeks in the modern era of developments and findings related to pregnancy present the most important part of pregnancy when it’s recommended for women to exquisitely take care of their bodies, moderate the hard activities, and just focus on the well-being of the fetus. These 12 weeks are sometimes partially spent without awareness of being pregnant but thankfully for most women, usually in developed countries where family planning is important; these women put focus and priority on these first weeks.
In particular, this concept gained more importance in the 21st century, and with the advantage of technology and digitality, many women worldwide can now follow their pregnancy development week by week, through many websites and apps.
The first 12 weeks are crucial because most of a child’s organs start to form and develop while women also face the first changes related to common 12 weeks pregnant symptoms are such as nausea. The highest number of miscarriages also occur during this period, thus each woman who is planning a pregnancy in close future should get fully informed about precautions, medical facts, and prenatal preparations.
First Trimester and All the Changes That It Brings
You may sound what is the 12 weeks pregnant size that I should be expecting about? During the first three months (12 weeks) the fetus is so small in size, almost invisible till around the 6th week when its size is compared to the size of a single grain of rice. And although it’s very well protected by the wall of the placenta that forms instantly after fertilization, the fetus is very susceptible and easily damaged by outer factors including mother’s illness or by various harmful substances such alcohol and drugs, moreover most medicines even.
Any of you, as future mothers or fathers even, should know especially because of the last listed reason that the pregnancy is not always easy-going and that before planning, as family, you should look for consultation, check former illnesses, and genetic factors and try to avoid consumption of medicines or put them on a lower dosage, just as the doctor will recommend.
Women more than men naturally get more concerned, because in the end it will be their bodies that are facing the changes but during this preparation period for the pregnancy and the first three-four months men should not forget that all kinds of their support are essential, for both – mom and baby.
Together with mothers’ concerns and questions such as: ‘How much weight am I going to gain?’ , ‘What do I need to eat to keep my baby healthy?’, all future mothers face first symptoms that indicate the start of changes that will go on through pregnancy.
Thus, we can list just some of the initial changes that can even later follow the women on their pregnancy journey:
- upset stomach
- throwing up
- mood swings
- tender breasts
- weight gain
- cravings for certain foods
- revulsion to certain foods
Many women can experience very few or none of the symptoms, some can experience several ones in drastic measures, while some women can deploy vomiting that can be highly severe and stay present throughout the whole pregnancy. This condition is named Hyperemesis Gravidarum and it can lead to dehydration and weight loss.
Women with this condition feel extremely exhausted and in some cases babies born after the pregnancy that was followed by this condition can weigh less compared to the other babies, born in the same week.
Classic morning sickness is usually the most found symptom among all women;
whereas all vital findings and reports are all fine; the sickness and nausea can come during each part of the day, it can be provoked by the smell or without a cause and it usually, gradually goes away after the 20th week of pregnancy.
What Happens After 12 Weeks?
The baby develops rapidly during the first trimester, despite the fact that it’s still not showing on the body of the mother. Can we have 12 weeks pregnant heartbeat of the baby? With the help of transvaginal ultrasound, you may hear your baby’s heartbeat as early as three to four weeks after conception, and you may be able to see fluttering cells and fetal movements by the sixth week when you’d probably stay astonished by the feeling and stay thankful to the technology that always keep evolving and offers humans such unique experience as this. Even before 9th month is one of the major point, you can read more about what to expect in 9 week ultrasound and so…
During your first visits to the doctor, through the whole first trimester, you will probably feel bombarded by dozens of pieces of information and advice regarding pregnancy.
However, it’s good to keep in my mind if you actually follow most of this advice, if you as a responsible mother take an adequate amount of prenatal vitamins, you keep yourself
moderately active and avoid some foods such as raw fish; you will build up a good surface for feeling better for the other part of pregnancy.
In these first months, you will get extra questions from your surroundings, you will question yourself about most of your plans and future decisions because now you need to count that you will bring an extra member to your loving family.
Many doctors and psychologists suggest that delivering the happy information and sharing pregnancy to broader circles, such as work environment or not-so-close friends, shall be postponed till after the first trimester. Some women, express overjoy and extreme happiness that can later be collided with immeasurable disappointment, rage,
sadness, and depression even if that mother passes through miscarriage and she had already shared her happiness with almost everybody.
In the initial part of pregnancy, some girls/women can be diagnosed with high-risk pregnancy; thus their struggle for healthy posterity is usually full of attention on how to avoid risks that could terminate the pregnancy. We can never know what kind of emotional rollercoaster any woman is going through during those 9 months, hence it’s important to respect anyone’s privacy and not to interfere much.
After 12 weeks, usually between 16-20th week of the pregnancy, most women get advised to the double screening test that will eliminate or definitely prove whether there are some malformations, diseases such as Spina Bifida or Down Syndrome and to act accordingly.
Later, it is recommended to use iron supplements, to engage in preparations for giving birth, practice Kegel exercises, etc.
The Role of Vitamins And Exercise During The First 12 Weeks?
Obtaining good personal health measures and following the rules day by day till inevitably the mother will reach her full potential by living a healthy lifestyle if she was not doing the same before the pregnancy should be underlined as one of the keys to living the happy pregnancy.
Any mother should improve her healthy habits not only for her own sake but for the sake of new life for whom the whole period of uterus equals getting the roots that will provide him strong bones, a well-developed brain, and non-damaged lungs with which he will be ready for more quality life that is waiting for him outside. It all gets into shape with 12 weeks pregnant uterus size.
What to expect at 12 weeks pregnant? What to do in the first 12 weeks?
- Take prenatal vitamins (during the first 12 weeks, as well as prior to pregnancy).
- Exercise regularly (including pelvic area exercises) You should consider studying more pregnancy exercises that lead to a healthy labor.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, low-fat forms of protein, and fiber.
- Drink lots of water. (more than two liters)
- Eat enough calories (around 300 calories more than earlier).
What to avoid in the first 12 weeks?
- Avoid or fully quit smoking if possible.
- Avoid alcohol and abusive substances
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and excessive use of dairy
- Do not consume raw fish or smoked sea products (sushi for instance)
- Try to limit the usage of caffeine (Americanos, filter coffees without milk, too much tea)
When it comes to vitamins you should know that a combination of vitamins is the best. Your doctor could offer you a list according to your budget, or according to what is considered as best on market at that time; but generally, it is known and found as proven by many pediatrics organizations that folic acid-based vitamins are the number one to be used.
Balanced nutrition with constant use of vitamins will also open you the road to feeling more energetic since most minerals in combo supplements will strengthen your body.
Why Should Every Woman Give Herself the Freedom to Embrace the Changes in Her Own Way?
After being pregnant for more than 12 weeks, most likely it is that you will accept all the positive and negative effects that pregnancy brought. Because to be honest, vomiting, dizziness, and tiredness cannot come under the cloud of general satisfactory feeling that a new situation also caused. For some days, you may feel like you are special, like your body is something unique, and feel proud that this feminine side of you had given you a chance to deliver something so worthy into your life.
On other days, you may feel like you lack support from your husband, boyfriend, or parents and that they don’t actually see all that you are passing through.
In those moments you should know that this journey, as we already entitled a few times during the article, is indeed only yours – yours and of your baby and that situations and experiences that come on your path, are simply yours.
Other people will still be busy with their work, the schools, and traveling; no one will be there to hold your head each time that you feel bad. But this ‘bad’ period is really short, compared to the adventure of what is waiting for you ahead. You should not allow anyone to make decisions instead of you, you should deliberately choose where you
want to give birth, and you should never forget how strong you are and how strong you can be.