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  • Pregnancy Symptoms Week 12: Your Baby Is Developing His Reflexes!

    Many make their pregnancy announcement around this time because the risk of miscarriage drops.
    by Rachel Perez .
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 12: Your Baby Is Developing His Reflexes!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • You're about to say goodbye to your first trimester of pregnancy, and you're officially on your way to your second trimester. Many make their pregnancy announcement around this time because the risk of miscarriage drops.

    Pregnancy signs Week 12

    Your 12-week-old baby bump is a lot more noticeable now since your uterus is beginning to migrate from your pelvic area to the front and center position in your abdomen. You may have some challenges buttoning your pants because of your firm and rounder abdomen, but check out your cleavage. Your morning sickness has abated, which means fewer trips to the bathroom.

    Pregnancy symptoms Week 12

    Your pregnancy hormones are a little more tamed. Your body had adjusted to being pregnant, so you should be feeling a lot better (hopefully!). But while some first-trimester symptoms may go away, there could be more pregnancy symptoms to replace them. 

    Increased vaginal discharge

    Having more of the clear or milky-white, odorless vaginal discharge, called leukorrhea, is your body's way of fighting off bacteria. You can rest easy as long as your vaginal discharge's color is not red, it does not have a bad odor, and it does not cause any discomfort. If the color is yellow, greenish, pink, or brown, call your doctor ASAP as these may point to an infection or a sign of preterm labor.

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    Dizziness

    The culprit the dizziness during this stage can be hormone levels (hello, progesterone!) and blood pressure changes as your body sends more blood flow to your baby than your body. You are also generating more heat now, and the other possible culprit could be low blood sugar levels if you are not eating well.

    To manage the dizziness, try to stay in well-ventilated areas. Snack regularly and drink plenty of water. Keep it slow and steady when you change positions, from lying down to sitting and then standing up. If you are feeling lightheaded, sit down with your head lowered between your knees, take deep breaths, loosen any tight clothing, and then eat or drink something as soon as you feel better.

    Vision changes

    The increased blood volume and flow may thicken your eyes' lens and cornea and add pressure, which may cause occasional blurred vision and dizziness when you move too quickly. Other eyesight changes may include temporary near- or far-sightedness, lack of peripheral vision, and sensitivity to sunlight. These should correct itself after giving birth, but let your doctor know you're having issues to rule out any other pregnancy complication.

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    Headaches

    There can be many reasons for headaches such as fluctuating hormone levels, dehydration, hunger (maybe even caffeine withdrawal), lack of sleep, or even stress. Consult your doctor before taking any medication. If you notice that your headaches are happening more frequently, more intense than what you've had before, or accompanied by problems with your vision, tell your doctor ASAP.

    Low sex drive

    Once the first-trimester symptoms go away, some preggos have heightened libido and swear that pregnant sex is way better. For other pregnant women, it can be the opposite. They experience low sex drive also because of the fluctuating pregnancy hormones. The key is to stay emotionally connected to your partner. Remember, you can have intimacy without sex.

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    Skin color changes

    Your areola may be larger and darker than usual, but that's not the last of the pregnancy skin changes you may encounter. You may start to notice skin discoloration known as "chloasma," irregular dark patches on your face and neck. These skin changes are expected to return to normal a few months after you give birth.

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    Frequent urination

    That gotta-go feeling may finally be starting to wane. But be sure to practice Kegel exercises throughout the next several months to help prevent pregnancy-induced incontinence down the line.

    Bloatedness and gas

    Expect to burp a lot and pass gas frequently, which are caused by the relaxed muscles in your intestines. It may also add that bloated feeling. Stay away from foods that produce gas, such as fried foods, broccoli, root crops, and beans.

    Excessive salivation

    Producing more saliva now than before you were pregnant may be tied to morning sickness, which should be now be lessened as you enter the second trimester. If you're still experiencing this, chewing sugarless gum may help.

    Heartburn and indigestion

    The muscle valve between the stomach and esophagus has relaxed, so that's why you can get heartburn easily now. Your uterus may have also begun to press down on your stomach. Eat slowly and drink only when you've finished your meal. Avoid eating spicy, greasy, and fatty food.

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    Fatigue

    Your body is still continuously producing more blood and increasing blood flow to your uterus as well as to other parts of your body. Listen to your body, and don't overexert yourself. Rest and sleep if you must.

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    Your baby's development on Week 12

    At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby is about more than two and a quarter inches long and weighs about half an ounce. It's about the size of a plum or a lime. If you haven't been lucky in detecting your little one's heartbeat, now is a good time to try again.

    All the baby's essential body organs are all about formed and working now, and your little is about to enter the faster pace of his growth and maturation stage.

    According to What To Expect, the baby's digestive system has started moving food through the intestines. His bone marrow is now producing white blood cells to help him fight off infection once he's out of your womb. The baby's pituitary gland, the one responsible for producing hormones that'll help him make babies in the future, has also started doing its job.

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    Your little one has probably discovered to open and close his fingers, curl his toes, and jerk his arms and kick his legs. The little one may have also learned to develop reflexes, particularly the Moro reflex, otherwise known as the startle reflex. If you were having an ultrasound and gave your belly a tap, you might see your baby move as a reflex response.

    You'll see your baby more clearly now via ultrasound, but if you want to find out if it's a boy or a girl, it's not going to be clear for your doctor to predict with much certainty. (You can have non-invasive genetic testing to find out this early.)

    Your to-do list on Week 12 of pregnancy

    So many things to do, but so little energy to accomplish them, right? Hopefully not anymore since your first trimester symptoms are waning. Here's a checklist of what you need to do now that you're going to be more up and about.

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    Plan, plan, plan!

    By now, you can send an email to your boss or your company's human resource department, and let them know about your pregnancy to help you with your maternity leave (and lucky you, the Expanded Maternity Leave is now a law!). It will give them time to prepare for your impending absence.

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    Get your prenatal checkup done

    Make sure you've listed down your questions for your doctor if it's your first time to see your doctor. If it's your second, don't forget to bring the results of your routine pregnancy tests, such as blood test and urinalysis. You may undergo your first ultrasound at this period. Ask your doctor also about genetic testing.

    Discuss pregnancy exercise with your doctor

    If you don't have a high-risk pregnancy, exercise will be good for you, so get a simple low-impact routine started. You may want to work on your Kegel exercises to strengthen your muscles down there and prevent pregnancy incontinence.

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    Watch your weight gain

    Weight gain is expected, but depending on your body mass index pre-pregnancy, you may not need much more calories added to your diet. The key is eating healthy (not for two!) and taking your essential pregnancy vitamins and supplements regularly.

    Always prioritize comfort!

    It could be a pregnancy body pillow to help you sleep at night, maternity clothes that give your belly some room to breathe and grow, or nursing bra to provide support to your heavier breasts. But don't go overboard in shopping; you'll only grow bigger and faster in the coming weeks.

    More on your week-by-week pregnancy:

    Pregnancy Symptoms Week 11: Expect to Burp a Lot and Pass Gas at This Stage!

    Pregnancy Symptoms Week 13: You May Catch Your Baby Thumbsucking!

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