Your Pregnancy Fetal Development: Week 12
If you've kept the news of your pregnancy in a lockbox so far, now is a good time to announce your pregnancy ... likely by shouting, "I'm pregnant!" at all your friends and family and probably several strangers. Try to tell people in person when possible and then prepare to be assaulted with hugs and hands groping at your belly. But be kind: They're doing it out of love and curiosity. And, hey, you're pregnant! It's all good!
What You're Thinking: "Finally I can tell everybody that I'm not getting fat, I'm just pregnant!"
Baby's face is looking more human as his eyes have moved to the front of his head and his ears are in place. Hooray! Other amazing fetal highlights this week:
- Your baby is able to swallow this week and practices on the amniotic fluid he or she floats in. (And you thought baby food was kind of nasty!) And in case you're wondering how your kid can breathe in all that fluid, here's your answer: Fetuses get oxygen from the blood pumped into their bodies by the placenta and don't breathe with their lungs. Mystery solved!
- This is kind of gross, albeit fascinating, so feel free to skip ahead: Your baby's intestines are well under way, but they aren't all where you'd expect them to be. Instead of all being locked away in the body cavity, some are dangling on the outside, in the umbilical cord. Ewwww.
- Don't forget to put a baby nail file on your registry—your little nugget's finger- and toenails are forming this week. The chin and nose are also becoming more defined.
- Junior has doubled in size over the past two weeks and now weighs almost 1/2 ounce. He's also now around 2 1/2 inches long, about the length of your pinky finger or a Vienna sausage, which, in a few months, will be indistinguishable from one another.
- You can barely brush your teeth without gagging so the mere thought of visiting the dentist may make you retch. Still, healthy teeth and gums are especially important during pregnancy as poor dental care can lead to a variety of problems such as pregnancy-related gingivitis and periodontal disease, neither of which sound like any fun at all. Plus, poor dental health during pregnancy has been associated with premature and low-birth-weight babies.
- Book an appointment, but be sure to let your dentist know you're expecting, so you can avoid dental X-rays. If you notice strange lumps on your gums, don't worry. It's just another perk of being preggo. Many women develop harmless, non-cancerous oral tumors when pregnant. And just when you were feeling really sexy ...
- Once baby's here, the chances of you remembering to shop for food, never mind actually eating, are slim to none. So prepare a cheat sheet for a designated grocery getter now:
- Write out a week's worth of your favorite quick and easy meals. (Looking for new ideas? Check out our Weekly Meal Planner.)
- You will never fully appreciate the luxury of food shopping by yourself until you have a baby. So why not head to a local farmers market and browse the aisles alone? Pick up fresh veggies and make a pasta primavera dinner for you and your partner. The same dinner post-baby will most likely consist of mac and cheese with frozen peas.