Your Baby is the size of a


Congratulations, it’s the end of your first trimester! For many, this milestone grants women the comfort of sharing their pregnancy news with friends and loved ones. Your lime-sized baby is looking more human, with eyes at the front of the face and ears on the side of the head. If you’re noticing some skin changes, such as darker freckles on your body or a Linea nigra, don’t worry! This is normal.

Week 12

Length : 5.4 cm

Weight : 14 g

Week 12
Length : 5.4 cm
Weight : 14 g

Your Baby is the size of a


Congratulations, it’s the end of your first trimester! For many, this milestone grants women the comfort of sharing their pregnancy news with friends and loved ones. Your lime-sized baby is looking more human, with eyes at the front of the face and ears on the side of the head. If you’re noticing some skin changes, such as darker freckles on your body or a Linea nigra, don’t worry! This is normal.

This week, your little one’s facial features finally look like "my parents are human." The eyes are at the front of the face, and both ears have settled into their proper side positions. More notably, your baby's reflexes have begun! That little mouth is making even little sucking motions, eye muscles are clenching, toes are curling, and fingers and hands are opening and closing. Your baby might even be sucking on a thumb right now. It's still too soon for you to feel any movements, but your baby can feel you. If you applied pressure to your abdomen, your baby would squirm in response!

During week 12, your baby's brain is also rapidly developing. Nerve cells are multiplying, and the small junctions across which nerve impulses pass from one nerve cell to another, called synapses, are forming at an impressive speed.

Your little one's intestines are developing, too, and soon will move into the stomach cavity. It's incredible to think of how far your baby has come in just a few short months!         

By week 12, you may notice skin changes, such as darker or more freckles. You may even notice a dark line, about a centimeter across, running vertically down your stomach. This line is called the Linea Nigra (Latin for "black line"). If you develop a linea nigra, here's a fun, old wives' tale associated with it: if the linea nigra runs to the navel, it's a girl; but if it goes all the way up to the bottom of your sternum, you will have a boy!

These changes in skin pigmentation are caused by pregnancy hormones, increasing the production of the pigment melanin. Individuals with darker pigmentation are more likely to develop the linea nigra line than those with fair skin. Among the parents who do develop this line, it reportedly disappears a few months after birth.

During week 12, many individuals begin to experience heartburn. If you experienced it before pregnancy, it may be even worse now. Again, you may blame your hormones. Increases in the progesterone hormone produced by the placenta cause the valves to separate the esophagus from the stomach to relax, allowing gastric acid to sneak back up the pipe and ultimately causing you that uncomfortable burning sensation. Another fun wives’ tale is that your baby will come out with hair if you have bad heartburn. Some tips to manage your heartburn include:

  • Staying upright. Try to sit up for at least 30 minutes before bed. At bedtime, place a folded towel or extra pillow under your mattress to elevate your head above your stomach while you sleep. At bedtime, place a folded towel or extra pillow under your mattress, elevating your head above your stomach while you sleep
  • Sipping drinks slowly. Don't gulp, no matter how thirsty you are. Also, try to avoid drinking with meals, as this increases the volume of your stomach
  • Avoiding big meals before bedtime. Try grazing through smaller meals during the day
  • Keeping away from trigger foods, like carbonated beverages and greasy meals
If you've been suffering from morning sickness and exhaustion, by week 12, your nausea should begin to recede. You may even feel more energetic and motivated. If you want to get back to exercising now that you are feeling better, it is a great time to check out some local prenatal yoga classes or walk with friends in the evenings. You can also start to relax a bit as your risk of miscarriage drops significantly after the twelfth week.

If you still don't feel any pregnancy symptoms, you’ve officially made it through the entire first trimester and feel great. Congrats! If you are like most expectant moms, here are some things you're likely feeling.

Morning sickness, nausea, and/or vomiting: while morning sickness will generally begin to subside after the first trimester, some individuals will continue to experience nausea and/or vomiting. Take time to eat small, frequent meals, and be mindful of nutrition when possible to ensure that when you are able to keep things down that they will offer you and your growing baby the energy you need.

Skin darkening: hyperpigmentation is a common symptom during pregnancy. It can occur at any point, but generally appears gradually. While most skin changes are normal during pregnancy, always check with your healthcare provider to be sure there’s nothing to be concerned about. 

Increased vaginal discharge: increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy is called leucorrhoea. This symptom can serve as a protection for your growing baby as it prevents infection from traveling up the vagina and into the womb. You can wear a panty liner if it makes you more comfortable, but do not use tampons or insert anything into your vagina during pregnancy.  

Headaches and/or dizziness: hormonal changes will continue to affect everything in your body during pregnancy. That, and increased blood flow, may  be responsible for headaches and/or dizziness that you may experience. Take time to be sure you are well-hydrated and getting enough rest. Talk to your healthcare provider if headaches and dizziness is frequent, especially if accompanied by additional symptoms such as blurred vision or heart palpitations. 

Heartburn and/or indigestion: increased levels of progesterone cause your digestive system to slow down so nutrients can be more easily absorbed, but this can result in digestive discomfort including heartburn and indigestion. Talk to your medical care provider about options for relief if you’re feeling too uncomfortable.

Spotting: At 12 weeks, spotting can be a concern or completely normal; so it's a good idea to call your midwife or doctor to determine which one it is.

Low sex drive: pregnancy can have a direct impact on libido in both directions. If you are experiencing a lowered sex drive, this may be in response to nausea, fatigue, mood swings, or increased sensitivity. Communicate with your partner so they can be supportive and look for alternative forms of intimacy in the meantime.          

You're reaching a milestone - the end of your first trimester - are you finally ready to share your news? For many parents, this milestone is what grants them the comfort of sharing their pregnancy with friends and loved ones. If you've been waiting to spread the news, you might decide to let people in on your little secret in a creative, fun, or dramatic way. For example, if you gather a group of family members and/or friends together, ask someone to take a photo of you and your partner. Right before the picture is taken, proudly announce, "I need a great shot of the three of us!" And then wait for it to sink in. Alternatively, turn the camera around. 

Pose your family and friends together for a group shot. But instead of instructing them to say, "cheese," before snapping the photo, say, "We're having a baby!" The resulting photo will be a fantastic memento for the baby book. Or you can invite guests over for a dinner party with a theme: baby carrots, baby greens, baby back ribs... see how long it takes before someone starts asking questions. These days, baby and gender reveals can get a little wild, so do your best to not harm the environment or yourselves with sharing your news. Sometimes the most simple baby reveals are the best ones.

Don't forget to take a profile picture of your growing belly this week!

Practice putting your feet up! As the weeks continue, you will need to be patient with yourself. Keep an eye on your stress levels. If your ankles are swelling, or if you are feeling overwhelmed, sit in a comfy chair and elevate your feet for 30 minutes. Read a book, drink some warm tea, or listen to relaxing music. This is the time to be your own best friend. It's okay to feel nervous. Just be sure to listen to your mind and body when it needs some down time.

At a Glance

  • Kidney practice: Your baby’s kidneys are beginning to function; siphoning amniotic fluid as a practice run for eventual urine production.
  • Fingernails: Your little one’s fingers and toes are now topped with tiny nails.
  • Sweet relief: Many of the yuckiest symptoms of pregnancy will slowly begin to subside now as you leave the first trimester.
  • Plan a babymoon: Consider planning a trip with your significant other to enjoy together before your baby arrives.
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1st Trimester

Louise Broadbridge

Expert Midwife

Hi, my name is Louise, I am a registered senior midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby antenatal classes and the face behind instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have taught over 100,000 expectant parents since starting my antenatal classes which have 5* reviews.

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The information on the Your Baby Club website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always discuss any health concerns with a qualified healthcare provider and carefully review all guidance that comes with any medications or supplements before taking.