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Week 12: End of the First Trimester
Tiny details lead to major developments.
Your baby will continue to grow significantly during your 12th week of pregnancy. Here’s how:
- Your baby is almost 3 inches long, which is about the length of a plum.
- When you’re 12 weeks pregnant, your baby’s facial features continue to become more defined -- particularly her nose and chin.
- Tiny fingernails and toenails start to grow.
- Your baby’s heart might even speed up by a few beats per minute.
- At your 12th week of pregnancy, your doctor might be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time using a special Doppler device (though the first time your baby’s heartbeat could be detected ranges anywhere from the sixth week to the 18th week).
How to stay regular when your system slows down.
When you’re pregnant, the hormone progesterone causes digestion to slow down. This offers positive benefits for your baby, as your body has more time to absorb needed nutrients from food. Your colon is also absorbing more water during pregnancy, which can cause harder stools and could lead to constipation. You may be noticing some constipation around week 12 of pregnancy. Here are some ways to get things moving again:
- Eat fiber-rich foods, including whole-grain breads, oatmeal and brown rice.
- Munch on a variety of vegetables, legumes and nuts, including peas, broccoli and almonds.
- Consume plenty of water: at least 10 8-ounce glasses a day.
- Drink juices and eat whole fruits, especially prunes, pears and raspberries, which are all fiber-rich foods.
- Try eating smaller, more frequent meals.
- Add a little more activity to your exercise routine. Just an extra 10 minutes might offer the boost your system needs.
- The iron in prenatal supplements sometimes causes constipation. Counteract it by aiming for a diet that includes 28 grams of fiber each day.