This week is all about the brains. Well, for your baby that is right around week twelve, a massive number of nerve cells begin to form and fill the head. Currently you baby’s head makes up one third of his or her body size. That head at least looks fairly normal now. The ears are properly located on the sides of the head and the eyes have nearly settled in their proper place, (they start at the sides as well). Over all it is an adorable, though eye lash and eye brow-less face. (Your baby won’t develop eyelashes and eye brows for quite some time) As this brain development continues your baby will develop reflexes in the womb. For example he or she will startle at loud sounds and move away when touched or exposed to loud sounds or bright lights. He or She is now around two inches long (think size of a lime) and weighs about half an ounce.
This week your baby’s intestines which grew so fast that they found themselves up in the umbilical cord, move back into your baby’s body where they belong. The external genitalia have also become visible. Then it’s just a matter of getting him or her to sit still and show the goods. Other than that just more weight gain, growth and fine tuning going on.
Your doctor can now feel your uterus above your pelvic bone. This measure meant is far more important than how much weight you gain in pounds, so don’t feel bad if you don’t measure up to someone else’s pregnant belly, or you dwarf theirs. You should have the distinct baby “bump” in your abdomen now, a perfect little basket ball of love even if it’s a small one.
Another reason, the second trimester of your pregnancy is so much easier than the first and third… the uterus begins to move up in the abdomen which can relieve pressure on the bladder and lead to less frequent potty breaks. This will return in the third trimester, or last thirteen weeks or so of your pregnancy, but for now at least relief, that doesn’t come in porcelain form. As a note, less doesn’t mean just as much as before you were pregnant you still have increased fluid intake and hormones working against your bladder.
The growth of your uterus may take pressure off your bladder, but it will put pressure on the tissue that holds your uterus in place. You may experience side pains in the coming weeks. They will feel as if you’ve run far too long, so most of your sides ache. As a rule, if it doesn’t go away or the pain is severe, call your doctor. It could be something besides strained tissue.
Some women develop a dark line running down their abdomen in the second trimester. (Which you will begin next week, congrats!) This line is called the linea nigra and it’s caused by naturally, hormones. It will go away after the baby is born. You may also develop dark splotches on your neck and face, this called the “mask of pregnancy” and again it will go away. Not all women get both, or either of these symptoms like most pregnancy woes and joys, it is just the luck of the draw.
Now that you have completed you first trimester your risk of miscarriage drops dramatically, which in itself for sure is a relief. It is now below 5%! This also makes the best time to tell friends, family and co-workers about your pregnancy. Most women choose to wait this long because sharing the joy of getting pregnant is fun, but sharing the grief of a loss of one can be uncomfortable.
It is a great time to be socializing. You look beautiful so much so you’re glowing! Ah, finally a perk of pregnancy. The same increased blood flow that plagues pregnant women with nose bleeds, swelling, head aches and all sorts of other wonderful things also makes skin beautiful no more pepperoni face! The hormones settle letting your acne give way to oxygenated, firm, glowing skin.
The growing belly, the act of spreading the good news as the second trimester begins, many women begin to really realize they are in fact pregnant. Not in a physical way, the pregnancy test revealed that, but in a psychological way. It finally hits home, “I’m making a life. I’m a mother. My life will never be the same ever again.” It’s an overwhelming sort of joy, be sure to share it with you partner. He may not be carrying this baby but he is having it. It is very important to keep your mate active in your pregnancy so he does not feel pushed out by the new baby. Relationships grow stronger with every new experience as long as you experience it together.
Another experience you can do together? Look into pregnancy classes. These courses will help teach you and your partner what to expect during your labor, and after. Pregnancy is something, nothing can prepare you for, but every little bit helps. You’ll learn every thing from breathing techniques to manage pain during your labor, to how to properly fasten a car seat.