What Is Pregnancy At 12 Weeks About?
To begin with, pregnancy lasts for around 40 weeks. These weeks are divided into three trimesters. The first trimester refers to pregnancy at 12 weeks. It is the time in between fertilization of the egg by the sperm (conception) and twelfth week of pregnancy.
A woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Most of the time, they start to have concerns over:
- what they should eat
- types of prenatal tests they should consider
- how much weight they might gain
- ways they can make sure their baby stays healthy
Having a good understanding of pregnancy week by week will help you make informed decisions. It will also prepare you for the big changes that lie ahead.\
What Happens To A Woman’s Body During Pregnancy At 12 Weeks?
In the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s body goes lots and lots of changes. Hormones that affect almost every single organ in the body are released during pregnancy at 12 weeks. The first sign that you might be pregnant is missing a period.
With the passing of the first few weeks, some women experience some of the following:
- mood swings
- weight gain
- cravings for certain foods
- revulsion to certain foods
- tender breasts
- upset stomach
- throwing up
Furthermore, you may need to rest more or eat smaller meals during this period. However, some women don’t feel any of these symptoms at all.
What Happens To The Fetus In The First Trimester of Pregnancy?
To begin with, the first day of your pregnancy is also the first day of your last menstrual period. After about 10 to 14 days after, an egg is released, combines with a sperm, and conception happens. During the period of pregnancy at 12 weeks, the baby develops very quickly. The fetus starts to develop a brain and spinal cord, and the organs begin to form. Also, the baby’s heart begins to beat during the first trimester.
Furthermore, in the first few weeks, arms and legs begin to bud, and by the end of eight weeks, fingers and toes begin to form. And, by the end of the first trimester, the sex organs of the baby have formed. Again, according to the Office on Women’s Health, the baby is now about 3 inches long and weighs almost 1 ounce.
What You Should Expect At The Doctor During Pregnancy At 12 Weeks?
The first thing to do when you learn you’re pregnant is to make an appointment with your doctor to begin caring for the developing baby. If you are not already on prenatal vitamins, begin to take them immediately. Women take folic acid (in prenatal vitamins) for a year before the pregnancy ideally. Also, women see their doctor once a month during the period of pregnancy at 12 weeks normally.
Furthermore, a doctor will take a full health history and perform a full physical and pelvic exam during your first visit. The doctor may also do any of the following:
- perform an ultrasound to confirm you’re pregnant
- carry out a Pap test
- check your blood pressure
- test for any sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, and HIV
- estimate your date of delivery or “due date,” which is about 266 days from the first day of your last period
- screen for risk factors like anemia
- check your thyroid levels
- check your weight
Again, at about 11 weeks, the doctor performs a test called a nuchal translucency (NT) scan. An ultrasound is used in this test to measure the baby’s head and thickness of the baby’s neck. The measurements can help determine the chance that your baby will be born with a genetic disorder called Down syndrome.
In addition, ask your doctor whether or not genetic screening is required for your pregnancy. Genetic screening is a test the doctors use to find out your baby’s risk for specific genetic diseases.
How You Can Stay Healthy During Pregnancy At 12 Weeks?
It’s very important for a woman to be aware of what to do and what to avoid while she’s pregnant. This will help her to take care of themselves and their developing baby.
What To Do
Here are some good personal health measures to take during the first trimester of pregnancy:
- Take prenatal vitamins.
- Exercise often.
- Do Kegel exercises, they help you work out your pelvic floor.
- Eat diets very rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat forms of protein, and fiber.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Eat enough calories, about 300 calories more than normal.
What To Avoid
During pregnancy at 12 weeks, you should avoid these things:
- strenuous exercises or strength training that can cause an injury to your stomach
- don’t take more than one cup of coffee or tea per day to reduce your caffeine intake.
- illegal drugs
- raw fish or smoked seafood (no sushi)
- shark, swordfish, mackerel, or white snapper fish because they have high levels of mercury.
- raw sprouts
- cat litter because they can carry a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis
- unpasteurized milk or other dairy products
- deli meats or hot dogs
Other Things You Should Consider During Pregnancy At 12 Weeks
Body changes will give you plenty to think about during the first trimester. However, having a baby will affect other parts of your life as well. There are a lot of things to start to think about during the first few months of your pregnancy so you can prepare for the future.
When To Tell Your Friends, Family, and Employer
The most common time for a loss of pregnancy (miscarriage) is usually during pregnancy at 12 weeks. Thus, you may want to wait for the pregnancy to settle into the second trimester.
Also, as your pregnancy progresses, you may want to consider whether or not you will keep working or quit your job, and if your employer provides unpaid maternity leave for the birth and care of your newborn.
Where You Want to Deliver Your Baby
You might want to start to consider where you would like to deliver your baby when it’s time for childbirth. Women can choose to deliver at a birth center, hospital, or even at their own homes. However, weigh the pros and cons of each location and discuss them with your doctor.
Furthermore, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) believe that hospitals and birthing centers are the safest places to deliver a baby. This is because if there is an emergency, a hospital is fully equipped to handle such a situation.
If You Have a High-risk Pregnancy
A high-risk pregnancy means that there is a greater chance of complications. Some factors that may make your pregnancy high-risk are:
- being young
- being over 35 years old
- being overweight
- being underweight
- having high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, cancer or other autoimmune disorders
- being pregnant with twins or multiples
Again, women with a high-risk pregnancy might need to visit the doctor more often and may need a specially trained doctor sometimes.
Additionally, having a high-risk pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean you will have any problems.
Which Pregnancy Workouts Are Safe During Pregnancy At 12 Weeks?
First-trimester pregnancy workouts are important especially if you must stay fit during the early days of your pregnancy. Thus, pregnancy workouts during pregnancy at 12 weeks are really essential.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is staying healthy and fit when you’re pregnant. Getting up and moving around will often help you feel better even if you have morning sickness or other discomforts of early pregnancy. However, you should rest when you need to rest.
Furthermore, exercise will help you control weight gain, prepare you for bearing more weight, and get you in shape for childbirth. Also, it’s very good for mood and sleeping too.
Again, you probably aren’t noticing many major bodily changes yet, other than feeling like you need a little more rest. Paying attention to the new limits on your energy and avoiding falls are the most important rules for a workout during pregnancy at 12 weeks. Make sure your doctor is aware of what exercise you’re doing, and talk to them about anything new you start.
The first trimester is a good time to add a low-impact exercise that you’ll be able to do as your pregnancy progresses. For example, if you run for exercise three times a week now, replace one session of water exercise with one weekly run during your first trimester. By doing so, you’ll have a head start on water workouts if and when you give up running.
If you weren’t exercising regularly before you got pregnant, now is the time to begin a habit that could serve you for a lifetime. Start with a low level of exertion and work up to 30 minutes daily, 3 to 5 times weekly. Work with a trainer who is an expert in working out during pregnancy if possible.
Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. If you are not cut out for going to the gym, don’t beat yourself up about it. You can go dancing with friends or splash around in the pool. It is better to carry out seemingly small exercises than doing none at all.
Below are some pregnancy workouts you can do during pregnancy at 12 weeks:
Balance and lower back pain are two of the challenges you’ll experience during pregnancy and Pilates can help you address this! Thus, you can add them to your workouts during pregnancy at 12 weeks.
Furthermore, pilates build core muscles through a series of equipment and floor exercises. Your first sessions should focus on building strength, Then, your later sessions challenge that strength and your balance.
Additionally, stay away from poses where you lie on your back as well as any twisting of your midsection. Don’t overexert yourself during pilates or other belly-focused exercises. This could cause diastasis recti, a condition in which the parallel panels of your abdominal muscles separate temporarily.
Finally, how much of Pilates should you do? A prenatal Pilates workout once every week will help you build strength and balance.
One of the best exercises you can do for yourself during pregnancy and for the rest of your life is Yoga. It builds strength and balance, keeps muscles limber, reduces your blood pressure, and teaches you breathing rhythms that will help during the delivery of your baby. Even long after childbirth, as you enter menopause, yoga can help prevent osteoporosis by building bone mineral density. Thus, it’s perfect for workouts during pregnancy at 12 weeks.
Furthermore, if you already practice yoga and your pregnancy routine is comfortable in your new condition, you can add it to your workouts during pregnancy at 12 weeks.
Again, you should avoid:
- poses that twist the abdomen
- positions like headstands where your feet are over your head
- lying on your back
- Bikram or “hot” yoga
Swimming and Water Aerobics
This one of the best exercises anyone can add to their workouts during pregnancy at 12 weeks or pregnancy workouts in general. The pool is your friend during pregnancy because the water is soothing, the exercise is low-impact, and you won’t fall over. There are helpful series of prenatal exercises that focus on building core strength you can engage in.
Furthermore, if you’re already engaged in water exercise, there’s no need to change your routine. Just like all exercises, avoid twisting your middle too much and pay attention to your energy limits. Also, if you get tired, it’s not time to push yourself, it’s time to get out of the pool.
Additionally, if you’re starting water exercise during pregnancy, ask about safe routines from a swim coach or trainer at your pool.
Finally, engage in this pregnancy at 12 weeks workout 3 to 5 times every week, 30 minutes at a time.
To begin with, if you’ve never been a runner, you may want to consider other pregnancy exercises. It’s highly unlikely that running in your first trimester will cause a pregnancy problem. However, you will need to give it up in the next several months eventually, and there are lots of other ways to get a healthy workout. However, running is still a good addition to pregnancy workouts for first trimester, make sure you are extra careful though.
Furthermore, you can probably continue to follow your safe running routine in your first trimester if you were a runner before pregnancy. These same cautions apply to falls and energy. Try to run on only flat tracks or a treadmill with safety bars to prevent falls. Again, stop when you’re tired, not after because now is not the time to push yourself.
Additionally, if your pre-pregnancy routine still feels good, keep it up. Aim for 30 minutes of running at least 3 days per week.
What weight training does is to help you build strength throughout your body. This prepares you for carrying more pregnancy weight and to help you during delivery. Thus, it is a very good addition to your pregnancy at 12 weeks workouts.
Furthermore, you can lift free weights and work out on weight machines at a gym. Stay away from any maneuvers that hold weights over your belly and that have you lying on your back. Again, take care not to strain your breathing and work with a trainer on a prenatal routine.
Shop for free weights
According to a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, low to moderate intensity strength training twice weekly is safe and helpful for pregnancy.
Stationary Bike and Spin Class
Stationary Bike and Spin Classes are a really good addition to pregnancy at 12 weeks workouts. The problem during pregnancy is not getting on a bike, it’s falling off. Or, in the case of riding a bike on the streets, having an accident is a risk. Thus, stationary bikes and spin class are good options during your first trimester. This is because both are low-impact and get your heart moving without the dangers of the road.
Furthermore, be careful not to fall prey to the competitive atmosphere of some spin classes. Always go at a pace that feels right for your body.
Again, late in your first trimester, you might notice your center of gravity changing. Whether you’re on a stationary bike or spinning, ensure that the height of your handlebars is properly supporting your back, and adjust it if you need to.
Additionally, try 2 or 3 sessions on a bike or spin class every week in sessions of 30 minutes to an hour.
You probably don’t look pregnant in your first trimester yet. Thus, make sure your exercise coaches and workout buddies know that you’re expecting.
It can help to do warm-ups before a workout. Five minutes of stretching before you begin your pregnancy at 12 weeks’ workouts will help your muscles prepare for exertion.
Also, you should do a cool down. Switch to slower exercise and stretch any tight muscles during the last five minutes.
Furthermore, take a break from pregnancy at 12 weeks workouts if you:
- feel nauseated
- get too hot
- feel dehydrated
- experience any bleeding, vaginal discharge, or abdominal or pelvic pain
Take a lot of water regularly during pregnancy, whether you’re exercising or not. Eat quality snacks after you finish exercising.
Additionally, there is no recommendation for the ideal heart rate during pregnancy at 12 weeks workouts. However, a good rule of thumb is that you should work at a pace where you’d able to carry on a normal conversation.
Finally, pregnancy at 12 weeks’ workouts is very important to any expectant mother especially because it’s the best time to begin to exercise. This is largely because at this time you’ll be able to have an idea of what works for you especially if you weren’t into workouts before.