Pregnancy – Week 12
By the end of this week of pregnancy, your baby will be about 2 1/2 inches in length (crown-to-rump) and will weigh about 14 grams. Your baby’s digestive system (small intestines) is starting to function and is capable of producing contractions that push food through the bowels. After your baby swallows, urine can be excreted from your baby’s kidneys into the amniotic fluid, at this stage as well. The amniotic fluid is completely replaced every 3 hours, so your baby’s environment stays fresh.
Your baby will start to develop some new reflexes now such as: opening and closing his or her mouth, clenching fists, curling toes and even making facial expressions. Your baby has periods of being awake and asleep, although these are relatively short and you won’t be able to tell when these periods are quite yet.
Your uterus has grown in size and can now be felt above your pelvic bone. Your doctor or midwife will be able to feel it during an abdominal exam. Your uterus will increase in capacity about 500 to 1,000 times during your pregnancy, to hold your growing baby, the placenta and amniotic fluid. You may notice a dark line running down the center of your abdomen from the top to the bottom of your belly. This line is referred to as the “linea nigra” and will most likely fade back to normal after you deliver your baby.
Now that you are officially twelve weeks along, your chance of miscarriage has reduced significantly, so you may be able to relax a bit more and begin to enjoy your pregnancy. Many women begin sharing their exciting pregnancy news with their loved ones now (if not before!). Some people may have already guessed that you are pregnant, especially if this is a second or third pregnancy, because of your swollen, growing abdomen.