12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms and Baby Development | Pampers (2023)

At 12 weeks pregnant, you’re wrapping up your first trimester and about to welcome the second, which for many moms-to-be is the most enjoyable phase of pregnancy. That’s because pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness may start to subside, and you might feel a little better. Read on for more information about what happens at 12 weeks pregnant, such as the typical signs and symptoms, and to learn about your baby's development at this stage.

Highlights at 12 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some exciting developments that may occur when you’re 12 weeks pregnant:

  • You’re about to say farewell to your first trimester and enter the second, which is when symptoms like nausea and fatigue typically improve—hang in there!

  • Your baby is only as big as a passion fruit but is growing and developing rapidly!

  • Now or sometime soon your baby bump might make its first appearance, so keep an eye on that belly of yours this week and in the coming weeks.

  • You might consider starting some Kegel exercises, which help strengthen your pelvic floor for pregnancy and delivery.

  • If it’s getting close to flu season (usually October through March), ask your healthcare provider about getting a flu shot.

  • It’s still too early to discover your baby’s gender, but don’t let that stop you from having fun with our Chinese Gender Predictor:

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Your Baby’s Development at 12 Weeks Pregnant

At 12 weeks pregnant, you’ve nearly reached the end of the first trimester, and your baby's development continues to progress at a brisk pace. You may need to wait for the midpregnancy ultrasound to see your baby, but at 12 weeks, know that your little one's major organs and various body parts are underway.

  • All of your baby’s vital organs and body parts will be in place this week; even the sex organs have developed.

  • Can you find out the gender at 12 weeks? It’s unlikely that you'll learn the biological sex of your baby at this point but stay tuned for your second-trimester mid-pregnancy ultrasound. In the meantime, you can enjoy playing around with our Guess Your Baby’s Gender quiz.

  • At 12 weeks, your baby’s cardiac activity is probably audible with an external Doppler device by now, and you may get the opportunity to hear this if you have a checkup this week.

  • At this time, your baby has fully formed eyelids. These aren’t just closed tightly; they’re actually fused together and will remain that way until late in your second trimester.

  • Your baby's hands are a little more developed than the feet, and the arms are longer than the legs. The little nailbeds that recently developed are starting to sprout fingernails and toenails, which will continue to grow during the next trimester.

  • Your baby is also starting to move a little, but it’s still too early for you to feel these movements.

  • During the coming weeks, your baby’s organs and muscles will continue to develop.

How Many Months Is 12 Weeks Pregnant?

You may know how many weeks pregnant you are, but how does that translate to months? At 12 weeks pregnant, you’re approaching the end of your third month of pregnancy, even if you haven’t noticed any belly bump or symptoms!

How Big Is a Baby at 12 Weeks Pregnant?

Right now, your baby is about the size of a passion fruit, and is roughly two inches long.

Your Baby: What Does 12 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

Check out the illustration below to see how things are shaping up inside your belly at 12 weeks pregnant.

Your Body at 12 Weeks Pregnant

At 12 weeks pregnant, as nausea and discomfort of early pregnancy start to subside, you may find that you’re getting your appetite back. Be sure you're eating enough and maintaining a healthy diet, but don't feel you actually need to eat for two.

Experts recommend adding only about 300 extra calories a day, on average, during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to give you personalized advice about what’s right for you.

To get an idea of what a healthy weight gain looks like based on your pre-pregnancy weight, try our Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator.

12 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

What should I be feeling at 12 weeks pregnant? Many pregnant people wonder about this as they navigate pregnancy symptoms. Though every pregnancy is unique, here are some of the symptoms you may experience this week:

  • Bleeding and sensitive gums. As your blood volume increases and hormone levels change, you may find that your gums start to swell and are more sensitive; they may even bleed when you brush or floss. Continue to brush and floss regularly, and speak to your dentist, if needed, to check that everything is OK. Using a softer toothbrush and rinsing with salt water (a teaspoon of salt dissolved into a cup of warm water) can be helpful.

  • Feeling lightheaded. Changes in your circulation and hormone levels can leave you feeling lightheaded, more tired, or dizzy from time to time when you're 12 weeks pregnant and at other times during your pregnancy. Wearing loose clothing, staying hydrated, avoiding long periods of standing, and remembering to eat regularly can help you feel better. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider if you also have abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding or if your feelings of lightheadedness persist.

  • Sensitivity to smells. Though morning sickness might start to subside, your sense of smell can be particularly sensitive during this phase of pregnancy. If you’re at 12 weeks pregnant and feeling nauseated or can’t keep anything down due to the smell, it could be that certain odors bother you. Try eating cold or room-temperature food to avoid strong odors, using a fan when cooking, and having someone else in your household take out the trash.

  • Bloating. Hormonal changes and your growing uterus might leave you feeling bloated or cause digestion issues like constipation or diarrhea at 12 weeks pregnant (or throughout pregnancy). Eating slowly helps prevent you from swallowing air, and this may help relieve some of the bloating.

  • Spotting or bleeding. At 12 weeks pregnant or anytime during pregnancy, you may notice light bleeding known as spotting (which can occur after sex, for example). This is likely no cause for concern, but if the bleeding is heavier and/or accompanied by cramping, stomach pain, or lower back pain (whether at 12 weeks pregnant or other weeks), it’s a good idea to contact your healthcare provider.

How Big Is a Pregnant Belly at 12 Weeks?

At 12 weeks pregnant, you may or may not be showing. You might be looking at your belly and wondering when you’ll see a baby bump, or if it’s the right size for 12 weeks pregnant. Try not to compare your bump to someone else's. Every pregnancy is unique, and when you start to show will depend on many factors like your build, whether you’re pregnant with twins, your prepregnancy weight, and whether this is your first baby.

It’s possible to notice a difference in the size of your pregnant belly at 12 weeks, or even a baby bump, especially when pregnant with twins. This week (or the following few weeks) is when your uterus starts to move outside your pelvis area, but remember that your little one is only the size of a passion fruit right now, so it could take a little more time for you to begin showing.

How about movement? Can you feel your baby move at 12 weeks? Probably not, as they’re likely too small for you to feel anything. If you’re wondering when can you feel the baby move for the first time, this tends to happen around 16 to 20 weeks and is known as quickening.

What Does 12 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

The image below may give you a better idea of what your belly might look like around 12 weeks pregnant, when you’re at the end of your third month of pregnancy.

12 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

As you end your first trimester and prepare for the second, you've got a lot to think about and look forward to. Check out our list below.

  • Make an effort to follow a balanced pregnancy diet that includes proteins

    like meat or plant-based substitutes. You’ll want to include a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day for the vitamins, minerals, and fiber they contain, and don't forget calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, and tofu.

  • Start doing Kegels if you haven’t already. Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your uterus and bladder. These exercises offer many benefits, including helping to prevent accidental urination during and after your pregnancy. Kegel exercises are easy to do: You simply squeeze your pelvic floor muscles by contracting those muscles you’d clench if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or stop yourself from passing gas. Hold for a few seconds, and then release.

  • Start a pregnancy journal. You might want to write down what you're doing and how you're feeling so that you can look back on your journey after your baby is born. Consider taking weekly belly pictures (12 weeks is a good time to start). Once you have an ultrasound scan, you could even add a print copy to the journal.

  • Have you thought about baby names yet? Try our Baby Name Generator, which will help you find a name you’ll love.

  • Think about how you’ll announce your pregnancy to colleagues. If you’re a working parent, you might want to announce your pregnancy early in the second trimester.

  • Take stock of what’s to come and download our handy Pregnancy Guide. At 12 weeks, and as you head toward the second trimester, it helps to know what to expect and how to prepare for the next big stage!

  • If you have an ultrasound around this time that reveals you have a twin pregnancy or are pregnant with triplets (or more), congratulations! The two types of twins are fraternal and identical twins, which bring twice the amount of fun.

12 Weeks Pregnant: Questions for Your Healthcare Provider

Your healthcare provider is always there for you and is ready to answer any questions or concerns you have now and as you anticipate your second trimester. Some common questions at twelve weeks pregnant include:

  • When and where will flu shots be available? Experts recommend those who are pregnant get the vaccine as soon as it comes out, which is usually a month or two before “flu season” begins. Flu season runs from October to May.

  • When is it OK to share the news with friends and colleagues?

  • Is it possible to avoid getting stretch marks?

  • Is chorionic villus sampling recommended?

  • Is a nuchal translucency ultrasound recommended?

12 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Now that your first trimester is nearly finished and you’ve likely gotten used to some of the emotional and physical symptoms, the following to-dos might prove helpful:

□ Start to plan when you will tell your employer about your pregnancy.

□ Plan how you will reveal your big news to family and friends. You could organize a fun pregnancy announcement party, or you could give those closest to you a special pregnancy announcement card. No matter how you do it, your loved ones will cherish this special moment.

□ Schedule a dental checkup.

□ Sign up for a childbirth education class.

How We Wrote This ArticleThe information in this article is based on expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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