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Week 12

Week 12

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Many mothers-to-be begin to embrace their pregnancy as they near the end of the first trimester. Often, nausea starts to decrease at this time, and you may feel your old energy returning and be able to get through the day without taking a nap or two. Frequent urination should also improve during this time, as your uterus shifts and is no longer pressing on your bladder. The bad news is that it will grow large enough by the third trimester to rest on your bladder and the symptoms can return. You may still suffer from headaches or dizziness, as there are a lot of hormonal changes taking place in your body.

The baby is now about 2.5 inches (from head to rump) and weighs in at around half an ounce. Your fetus is now fully formed, and fingers and toes have lost their webbing. The crucial time period for development is over, and your risk of your baby having genetic abnormalities like spina bifida has passed. Also, your risk of miscarriage decreases a great deal at the end of the twelfth week.

For the rest of your pregnancy, your baby will be growing in size and becoming stronger. If you're pregnant for the first time, you may not be showing much, and your pregnancy might not be noticeable to friends and family. However, if you've had previous pregnancies, you'll usually begin to show much earlier. This is also the case if you're carrying twins or triplets, and your recommended weight gain will be more than if you're carrying a single baby.

Make sure you're eating a variety of healthy foods, as your baby's growth depends on getting the right amounts of protein, iron, calcium and other nutrients. Watch out for undercooked or raw foods that can cause potentially dangerous complications. Foods like shellfish and soft cheeses can even cause infant death in severe cases, so talk to your doctor about what's safe to eat during pregnancy.

The average weight gain at this point of your pregnancy is about four or five pounds. During your entire pregnancy, you will likely gain between 25 and 35 pounds, unless you were underweight at conception or are carrying multiples. You'll need about 300 extra calories each day to nourish your growing baby and get the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. You want to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy, as this is not only risky for your health but contributes to stretch marks on your abdomen, breasts and buttocks.


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