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Being pregnant

Your pregnancy: 12 weeks

This is the last week of your first trimester. Most of your baby's organs are fully formed now and starting to function, and her external genitals are beginning to show distinct characteristics of her sex.

By Today's Parent
Your pregnancy: 12 weeks

Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

Twelve weeks pregnant: What's going on in there

Your first trimester is almost over! All the hard work your body has been doing over the past three months has paid off. At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby is now pretty much fully formed: She has all her organs, muscles, limbs, bones and sex organs (though it’s still too early to see your baby’s sex on an ultrasound scan). Now, she just needs to get a lot bigger and stronger as her muscles and brain continue to develop. Despite the fact that she has doubled her weight since last week, she is still only five centimetres (two inches) long and weighs about 1/2 ounce (14 grams).

She is looking more like a person, too, thanks to her eyes moving in from the sides of her head to the front of her face. Her skeleton, which is made of rubbery cartilage right now, is starting to harden into bone. She is also making sucking movements and opening and closing her little hands.

 woman laughing out loud at some hilarious joke, keeping hands on stomach Viorel Kurnosov / Getty Images

Twelve weeks pregnant symptoms

While your baby might only be a couple of inches long, your uterus at 12 weeks pregnant is about the size of a grapefruit. It’s also starting to pass the top of your pelvic bones, giving you more of a baby bump (and, hopefully, giving your bladder a bit of a break). Thanks to all the progesterone and estrogen in your body, your boobs have been looking fuller for the past few weeks, too.

woman touching her breasts stefanamer / Getty Images

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What's on your mind when you're 12 weeks pregnant

Telling everyone

Soon, your rate of miscarriage will drop significantly: Only an estimated two to three percent of pregnancies that make it to the second-trimester end in miscarriage. (After 20 weeks gestation, that drops to less than 0.5 percent.) That’s why a lot of women choose to make their pregnancies public around week 13. At work, make sure to tell your boss about your pregnancy in a private conversation before letting other members of your team know. Then the fun part: telling friends and extended family. Check out our 12 favourite baby announcement videos for some inspiration on how to do it.

Young woman showing smart phone to brother and parents in kitchen at home Maskot / Getty Images

Hearing the heartbeat

One of the most emotional moments in pregnancy is hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. If it hasn’t happened by week 12, you should get a chance very soon. This is often the time when your doctor or midwife will find your baby’s heartbeat with a handheld ultrasound called a Doppler machine. Your baby’s little heart is racing away at about 110 to 160 beats per minute —that’s probably twice as fast as yours (and totally normal, BTW). If you can’t hear it, don’t panic: The baby might be in the wrong position or your due date might be off by a week or two.

Performing An Ultrasound FatCamera / Getty Images

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Just for kicks

If you’re telling everyone about your pregnancy this week, prepare yourself: You’re about to get an onslaught of unsolicited advice. Get used to it, mama! This continues throughout pregnancy, birth and parenthood. Have you made up your mind about whether or not you’re finding out the sex of your baby? After you make the announcement, everyone is going to ask you where you stand and debate the merits of both approaches

three woman are sitting together on a sofa EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS / Getty Images

Baby names

According to a recent poll in the U.K., one in five new moms admits that she regrets her baby name choice. Can you guess the baby names that parents regret most?

Thinking about baby names GoodLifeStudio / Getty Images

Pregnancy to-do list: 12 weeks pregnant

Start building your maternity wardrobe

As your baby bump becomes more prominent, it might be time to invest in a few more pieces of maternity wear. If your boobs have gotten bigger, start with some new bras. You might want to skip straight to buying nursing bras that you can wear later as well. Maternity tank tops are also a good investment right now because you can layer them under shirts that are getting a bit too short and you’ll be able to wear them for a long time. A stretchy belly band will let you unbutton your pants without anyone knowing. Click through to see the eight pieces of maternity wear that will get you through your WHOLE pregnancy.

pregnant woman shopping for maternity wear SrdjanPav / Getty Images

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The ultra-long tank

Don’t underestimate these basic tank tops as you’ll likely live in them all pregnancy long. The extra-long length is ideal for when you’re still transitioning from classic sizes to maternity (and perhaps doing the hair-elastic trick around the top button of your jeans) keeping everything tucked away and concealed. In your third trimester, they’re also useful as they layer under knits and blouses that might be a tad too short.

happy pregnant woman Photo: H&M

The opaque legging

Sure, your regular leggings will work for a while, but once you find that the pesky waistband keeps rolling down every time you move a maternity style is needed. To avoid any knicker issues, make sure you go with a pair that’s completely opaque or has a thick double-knit.

A side view of a pregnant woman in a pair of black leggings that go over her belly and have build-in support lines Photo: Knix

The oversize button-up

Whether you go with a solid white shirt, denim or a print, the oversize button-up offers endless options. Try it tucked into a midi-length skirt that showcases the tummy or worn untucked or tied over skinny jeans.

A pregnant woman has her hand in her jeans pocket wearing an oversize blue and white striped button-up shirt Photo: Gap Canada

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Dark denim

A denim style with a maternity panel with plenty of stretch (look for spandex or elastane on the label) is an essential in your closet. Stick to a classic indigo, dark grey or black to get maximum wear.

pregnant woman touching her belly Photo: Motherhood Canada

The slouchy knit

When it comes to cozy knits, purchase a size up or opt for a slouchier cut that will allow this basic to easily blend into every outfit you own. Pair with a high-waisted jersey (read: stretchy) pencil skirt or a pair of distressed jeans and sneakers.

pregnant woman in urban setting Photo: Seraphine

The patterned jacket

Don’t feel like your wardrobe needs to slump just because you’re pregnant—a printed bomber, blazer or loose kimono-style jacket adds major style cred to any basics you’ve got kicking around. Pair with a white tee and jeans or a comfy black dress.

Your pregnancy: 12 weeks Photo: Angel Maternity

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The sweater dress

If you feel like wearing nothing but jogging pants, a sweater dress is the next best thing—but miles more stylish. Team with a pair of ankle boots or sneakers with leggings or boyfriend jeans.

stylish pregnant woman Photo: ASOS

The jumpsuit

This will be your go-to one piece both during and after your pregnancy. Made from a comfy, stretch bamboo and cotton blend, this romper will stylishly stretch over your growing bump, and once you’ve had baby, works great for breastfeeding. Simply style with a scarf, blazer, denim or leather jacket and you’re good to go!

woman wearing romper Photo: Smash + Tess

The swing dress

A dress that will grow with you is essential to your wardrobe. A swing, A-line or trapeze silhouette can be belted in your first or second trimester and then worn without a belt as your bump gets bigger. Try layering a turtleneck or fitted blouse underneath or simply add a necklace to switch things up from week to week.

Your pregnancy: 12 weeks Photo: Kit and Ace

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The party dress

Even if you’re not one to attend a lot of fancy events, the minute you get pregnant something will pop up—who doesn’t want an adorable pregnant lady at their wedding? Invest in one formal dress that has versatility—like this Hatch dress, which has a clasp at the neck that converts it into a v-neck gown. Ideally you can at least change the look with accessories or it can be dressed down with sneakers. Even if you don’t get that invite, you can wear this for those maternity shots you said you’d never do.

Your pregnancy: 12 weeks Photo: Hatch

Research your rights

Before you tell your workplace, you might want to brush up on your rights. If you suspect that your employer may not be supportive, keep in mind that Canada’s Human Rights Act protects you from discrimination during your pregnancy. That goes beyond not firing you because you’re pregnant: it also includes things like having the right to reasonable accommodations, having a safe work environment, not being denied promotions and not being harassed or treated differently because you’re pregnant. 

woman at the office pixdeluxe / Getty Images

Keep moving

Now that you’re moving past the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester, you might feel up for exercise. That’s a move that the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada supports because regular moderate exercise comes with a host of health benefits during pregnancy, including reducing weight gain and back pain, helping with constipation and lowering the risk of gestational diabetes. Once you have the green light from your doctor to work out, make sure to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard. You should be able to carry on a conversation while you’re exercising. If you’re just starting out, begin with three 15-minute sessions a week and work up to 30-minute sessions four times a week. Start looking into prenatal yoga, prenatal Pilates or other prenatal classes or simply ask your regular instructor if you need to make any modifications to your usual exercise habits.

Read more: Yes, I'm pregnant, but that doesn't mean my body is up for discussion What to do if you’re fired on maternity leave Next up: 13 weeks pregnant

Your pregnancy: 12 weeks

This article was originally published on Jul 02, 2019

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