12 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy tips and nutrition
At a glance
At 12 weeks your weight may be up by one to two kilograms
Vegetarians can get protein from beans and pulses, such as soya beans
Hormonal changes can make some foods taste metallic
Ask our Careline team if you have any pregnancy questions
Baby's development at 12 weeks
Your baby is really starting to resemble a little human now. There’s a face, with everything in place. And while the head is still very large compared to the rest of the body, it can turn.
Your little one now has lots of muscles, so arms and legs may be waving about, though not consciously of course. The over-sized liver is starting to make red blood cells, while the brain continues to form rapidly. The nerve cells are multiplying hugely and will number between 12 and 14,000,000,000 by the 18th week!
At 12 weeks, you’ll get the first picture of your baby – definitely one for the album. It might not show all the wonderful detail of their face, like the lips and eyebrows, but they are all there.
Were you jumping for joy over the pregnancy half an hour ago but now you’re feeling a bit worried? Don’t worry; the mood swings during the first trimester can be quite something. But there is good news. In the second trimester, which is just about to start, hormone levels will become more balanced again. So you should start to experience a feeling of calmer wellbeing soon.
The waistband on your trousers might be beginning to dig in and your regular bra size may feel a bit snug now too. On average, a mother-to-be weighs 1 to 2 kg more towards the end of the first trimester. Interestingly, at just 10g, your little one takes up the smallest proportion of the weight increase. Most of it is thanks to your expanded uterus, placenta and the amniotic fluid.
This week is all about good, old-fashioned protein. Make sure you’re getting enough every day, because protein is essential for both you and your growing baby. It helps transport nutrients around the body, build healthy bones, and maintain body tissues.
Protein is found in foods of both animal and plant origin. Eat some protein foods every day.
Sources of protein include: beans, pulses fish, eggs, meat (but avoid liver), poultry and nuts. Choose lean meat, remove the skin from poultry, and try not to add extra fat or oil when cooking meat. Make sure eggs, poultry, burgers, sausages and whole cuts of meat such as lamb, beef and pork are cooked all the way through. Check that there is no pink meat, and that juices have no pink or red in them. Try to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel.
Week 12 is the time most people start sharing their wonderful pregnancy news! Especially if you’re starting to show already.
Telling friends and family is one of the most exciting parts of your pregnancy. Try thinking of some fun ways to tell your family, friends and colleagues. You could take a creative photo or write a funny status update to announce the news to your Facebook friends, or have a party or a morning tea if you’d prefer to tell everyone face to face. But however you choose to share your pregnancy news, make sure you enjoy every moment.
Once everyone finds out they might bombard you with advice. Sometimes it can get a bit confusing trying to figure out fact from fiction. So if you ever have any questions, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Extraordinary pregnancy stuff
Noticed any strong food aversions lately? Totally normal! Big hormonal changes are going on inside you, and these can subtly change the nature of your body’s cells, including your taste buds. This means some foods can taste strange, maybe bitter or even metallic like you’ve been sucking pennies. It’s very common and has an odd name - dysgeusia, known as pica more commonly in pregnancy.
If you’re experiencing strong aversions to particular foods, simply opt for something similar. For example, if you can no longer stand the sight of fish, eat chicken, ham, or another white meat. If you can’t manage to eat some beta-carotene rich vegetables like carrots, compensate by eating more fruits rich in the same nutrient, such as peaches and apricots.
Some find it helps to add sharper tastes to cooking to help stimulate their taste buds. Try marinating food in vinegar, lemon or lime juice, or add these to sauces. While others say using plastic cutlery helps get rid of the metallic taste of food. When brushing your teeth, it can help if you brush your tongue too.