Week 12



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Your uterus shifts upwards about now, so the pressure on your bladder won’t be so bad. For a little while at least, you probably won’t need to go to the toilet so often.

Many women start feeling a little less tired now. Others still feel very low on energy.

You might notice brown patches on your face or neck. This is called ‘chloasma’ (or the ‘mask of pregnancy’), and it’s normal. Also normal is the linea nigra, a brown line that shows up on the skin of your belly, running from your belly button to your pubic area. You might see it now, or not until much later in your pregnancy. Chloasma and the linea nigra are caused by hormonal changes that increase the amount of melanin in your body.

Many women have their first pregnancy care visit around this time, as well as the 12-week ultrasound.

Your baby eats and drinks what you eat and drink

The placenta is working now, sending oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord and taking waste products away.

Most things that you eat and drink pass through to your baby. This is why you need to eat well, not have too many caffeinated drinks – like coffee, tea and energy drinks – and quit alcohol and other non-prescribed drugs. Other things that you might take in, like cigarette smoke, pass through to your baby as well, even when you’re around other people who are smoking. Ask your doctor or midwife for help to quit smoking or call the Quitline on 137 848.

You also need to check with your doctor or midwife that any medicines you’re taking are safe for pregnancy. This includes prescribed medicines, natural supplements and medicines from chemists and supermarkets.

Your baby

Here’s what’s happening with baby:

  • Baby is about 6 cm long from head to bottom, and weighs about 18 gm.
  • The kidneys are working and the baby can pass urine and swallow amniotic fluid.
  • Baby’s chest rises and falls, practising breathing movements. The digestive system is also in test mode.
  • Twenty teeth have formed in baby’s gums.

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