The 12th week of pregnancy is a big one! With doctor’s appointments, questions, answers, and all of that fun stuff, it’ll be hard not to feel like this pregnancy is real after this week. Staying focused on your health and well-being is the top priority at this point. Your health, and what is expected and acceptable, for your pregnancy will be the main topic of discussion in your appointment with your healthcare provider. If you have any bad habits remaining, or questions about how to kick those habits, be honest and be open to the answers your doctor provides.
Growing rapidly every day, your baby now has the ability to suck and move her limbs in reflex. If you push low on your abdomen (obviously, not too hard!), your baby will actually react with movement… though you won’t be able to feel her movements for some time. She’s over 2” long and thriving mentally now, too; her brain is developing at an amazing rate that far exceeds that of her physical growth. At 12 weeks pregnant, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to enjoy one early highlight of your pregnancy this week: hearing your baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler used by your healthcare provider! If this is your first pregnancy, you might be astounded at how fast the heart beats, but keep in mind that the heartbeat you hear is of a little life just developing. If this is a subsequent pregnancy, the rate of the heartbeat may be no surprise, but the meaningfulness of hearing your baby doesn’t diminish at all… no matter how many times you’ve heard it.
With you, at 12 weeks pregnant, your health should be the main focus. Try to familiarize yourself with the type of health questions you will be asked about your family health history, your partner’s, and any other concerns that may have any effect on your pregnancy; if you or your partner have down-syndrome, mental illness, STD’s, or a host of other health symptoms that could possibly complicate your pregnancy, you should be prepared with that information for your appointment so that you and your healthcare provider can discuss the possibilities, do any necessary testing, and develop a plan for your pregnancy and delivery. Make sure you are able to discuss any medications you take, or have taken since becoming pregnant. If you have any questions, regardless of how silly they may seem, jot them down. Although you will have the opportunity to discuss questions with your doctor again, it will put your mind at ease to have any questions you may have resolved as soon as possible.
In summary, your baby is doing beautifully and her brain is developing quickly. In order to keep her developing into the healthiest baby, you can take the opportunity to ensure your health and well-being stays top-priority. If you smoke, drink, or engage in any other harmful activities, your baby is being exposed to the same…and without the tolerance or ability to process dangerous carcinogens that you’ve had your lifetime to develop. At your 12 week appointment with your healthcare provider, you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat and hear the good news that your baby is developing healthfully and on schedule. An important tip, though, is to write down anything you want to ask your doctor; do not rely on a brain being overthrown by stress, hormones, and information to remember important questions on the spot!