Your Baby at 12 Weeks of Pregnancy

pregnancy first trimester

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Week 12 is an exciting time during pregnancy . . .

As you reach the latter part of your first trimester of pregnancy, your baby will have gone through many developments. By the 12th week of pregnancy, your baby is actively moving and your obstetrician can easily detect a heartbeat by this time.

In terms of size, your baby, while fully developed, is still very small. Despite this small size, which is on average, is about two to three inches long, baby is actively showing signs of further maturity in development. 

What does baby look like?

By the 12th week, even with such a tiny size, your baby looks human. All body parts, while minuscule in nature, are fully formed. Eyes, nose and ears have shifted on the head to where you’d expect to see them; earlier baby’s eyes would have been on the side of the head. Additionally, at this time the head likely looks disproportionately large to the rest of the body. Baby’s eyelids are formed and will remain shut for several weeks. His or her sex organs are already formed, although it is too soon for an ultrasound examination to determine whether your baby will be a boy or a girl.

What can baby do at 12 weeks?

At 12 weeks, baby’s hands are opening and closing as her fingernails and toenails are forming. As Baby Center notes, reflexes are a “most dramatic development” during the 12th week. In addition to baby being able to move its hands, your baby can curl toes, clench eye muscles and even make sucking motions with its mouth. Baby is also routinely kicking and stretching inside the womb and responds when the mother’s abdomen is touched. While mom cannot yet feel these movements and it’ll be a few more weeks until baby’s movement is actually felt, these kicks are happening regularly.

Development of body organs

Towards the end of the first trimester, baby’s organs are also developing at a solid rate. For instance, the newly formed liver and kidneys are able to function, with the liver producing bile and kidneys excreting urine. The heart is also steadily beating and chances are you’ve already heard your baby’s heartbeat at one of your prenatal visits. If you haven’t due to scheduling of appointments, you will be able to by week 12. In addition, baby’s brain and nerve cells are also rapidly growing by this time. According to Baby Center, “synapses are forming furiously”.

Week 12 is an exciting time during pregnancy, in addition to your baby’s rapid development occurring these past week weeks, the earlier nausea symptoms may begin to subside as your body becomes accustomed to pregnancy and as you enter the second trimester, you may also feel a burst of energy.

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