12 Weeks Pregnant: Nourishing Your Body and Baby

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


At 12 weeks pregnant, so many new things are in motion, and your body is working hard to keep the baby inside you growing and growing!

The mom-to-be is reaching the beginning of the second trimester slowly, which means that the crazy pregnancy hormones are likely to tone things down a bit and take the uncomfortable early pregnancy symptoms with them, hopefully.

Many pregnant women and couples who are expecting a baby decide to wait for the beginning of the second trimester to announce the pregnancy to their friends and family. At 12 weeks pregnant, that point is slowly approaching, which is very exciting!

Keep reading to find out more about all of the changes going on under the surface 12 weeks pregnant.

Physical early pregnancy symptoms during the twelfth pregnancy week

At 12 weeks pregnant, the uncomfortable symptoms, such as morning sickness and fatigue, might be on their way out the door and out of your life for good (as far as this pregnancy goes).

However, the bad news accompanying this good news is that the headaches and dizziness might replace them.

Apart from that tradeoff, here are some other pregnancy symptoms that you are very likely to experience at 12 weeks pregnant.

  • Headaches
    You might have been struggling with headaches every once in a while, but they might start to intensify around week twelve of your pregnancy. The culprits are usually the drops in blood sugar, stress, hormonal shifts, dehydration, and lack of sleep. If you notice a drastic increase in headaches or if you happen to experience a type of headache you have never experienced before at 12 weeks pregnant, make sure to mention that to your healthcare provider once you are listing all of your pregnancy symptoms.
  • Dizziness
    Hormonal changes and different blood pressure changes can cause moms-to-be to feel like they are losing the ground under their feet at 12 weeks pregnant. To avoid potential injuries, make sure to sit or lie down when your head starts feeling dizzy. Dizziness can also be avoided; just keep healthy snacks at hand (to avoid low blood sugar), eat regularly, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water for the next few weeks.
  • Increased vaginal discharge
    At 12 weeks pregnant, you might notice some clear discharge that happens in abundance.
    Although this discharge might seem weird and out of place, its purpose is to protect the vaginal canal from infections during your pregnancy, and it is expected at 12 weeks pregnant. If you notice that your vaginal discharge is yellow, green, pink, or brown, call your healthcare provider right away, as it could be a symptom of an infection or even miscarriage.
  • Spotting
    Spotting or light bleeding can be a sign of concern at 12 weeks pregnant, but it could also be completely normal. For example, sex can cause spotting, as your growing uterus is particularly sensitive, and intercourse can cause light bleeding. Make sure to mention spotting or bleeding during your prenatal visit with your healthcare provider.
    If you are also experiencing pelvic cramping or the blood flow is particularly heavy at 12 weeks pregnant, visit the hospital urgently.

What happens to the baby during week twelve of pregnancy?

Well, let’s say that the little baby inside of you is going through a lot of changes at 12 weeks pregnant. At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a plum, which is about half an ounce.

At 12 weeks pregnant, the baby is starting to form some human-like features, and it can now open and close its hands to make a little fist and curl its toes. And just the thought of that is simply adorable!

Some of the intestine, which retreats into the abdominal cavity through the opening, where the navel will later be, can still be seen in the umbilical cord. But don’t worry, this is completely normal at 12 weeks pregnant.

The baby is going to keep developing, and in the upcoming weeks, the abdominal wall will close, and the baby’s intestines will make their way inside the baby’s abdomen. In the coming weeks, you will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat!

Ultrasound examination shows subcutaneous edema on the back of the baby’s neck and nape. This edema is called nuchal translucency. Nuchal translucency measurement is part of the first-trimester screening test to detect fetal chromosomal anomalies.

An ultrasound examiner can do the screening test between the 11th in 14th weeks of pregnancy. Ask your healthcare provider for information about the screening test.

Pregnancy Checklist During Week Twelve

There are some important things you need to do during the twelfth pregnancy week to keep up with your pregnancy duties, and the best way to do that is to follow this easy week twelve pregnancy list.

Here is what you need to get done at 12 weeks pregnant

  • Continue taking folic acid and supplements recommended by your healthcare provider, stay hydrated and stock up on pregnancy-friendly food.
  • Discuss the matter of sharing your pregnancy news with friends and family with your partner.
  • Schedule your 16-week prenatal visit and prenatal checkup with your healthcare provider to motion your baby’s development.
  • Give your breasts a break. Your body is preparing itself for breastfeeding in the future, and you have probably noticed that your breasts are feeling sore or tender. Wear comfortable clothes, maternity or nursing bras with soft support, and try using ice packs for temporary pain relief. As the pregnancy progresses, the same will be true for your baby bump, which is probably not showing yet.
  • Don’t give in to the temptation of junk food. As the dreaded morning sickness fades, your appetite is likely to return in full force, and you are very likely to start craving sugar, fats, or processed foods. While honoring your cravings is okay and well-deserved, make sure you are sticking to a healthy diet the majority of the time and snacking unhealthily just sometimes. Healthy weight gain is expected during pregnancy, but not so much during the first trimester.
  • Think about getting back into physical activity. You are very likely to have much more energy during the second trimester, and you are likely to be able to follow a safe exercise plan for the rest of your pregnancy. Make sure to get approval from your doctor.

What to avoid or begin to avoid?

For your and baby’s safety, as well as baby’s development, there are some things you need to stay away from at 12 weeks pregnant.

Some of the things you should avoid when you are twelve weeks pregnant include:

  • Lifting heavy weights and physically demanding workouts
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs, and being exposed to toxic substances.
  • Touching kitty litter or cat feces, as they can cause an infection that could harm the fetus.
  • Drinking caffeine excessively. Limit your caffeine intake to 300 mg, which is about two cups of coffee or tea each day.
  • Eating deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheeses from unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish such as swordfish, shark, and king mackerel.
  • Consuming unwashed fruits and vegetables.