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Welcome to week 12 — you’re quickly closing in on your second trimester and that’s worth celebrating! For most pregnant folks, this means that you may have a few months of increased comfort and energy ahead of you!
Your sweet baby continues to grow rapidly, measuring just over two inches long, about the size of an apricot.
Right now, Baby is starting to develop reflexes as their brain continues to grow and their body to curl their fingers and toes. Your baby’s nerve endings are developing right along with their reflexes, and at this point, if you poke your abdomen, Baby will respond by wriggling (though you almost certainly won’t feel it). And your wee one’s neck, which they’ve only just started to form in the last few weeks or so, has already begun to straighten as they lift their chin off of their chest.
Baby is also just starting to practice breathing by inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid that surrounds them, which is made up of mostly water, their skin cells, and their waste. This may seem a little icky, to be sure, but it’s also just one of the many incredible ways your little one is preparing for life on the outside.
Pretty soon, your little one’s intestines are going to move into their abdomen. Baby is beginning to form the waste that will become their first poop, a tarry substance known as meconium.
What’s new with you?
The good news? As you move toward the end of the first trimester, it’s likely that many of the more unfortunate symptoms you experienced in the first trimester may be behind you, like fatigue and nausea. You may, though, have a few new symptoms popping up. Symptoms like increased vaginal discharge, headaches, saliva, and flatulence along with a heightened sense of smell are all common symptoms right now.
Heartburn is another notable symptom that causes many pregnant folks a lot of discomfort. This is because the same hormones that relax your muscles to make it easier to give birth also relax the valve that keeps the stomach acid out of your esophagus. Your expanding uterus, which by now has grown to the size of a softball, doesn’t help either. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on your stomach, which can push acid into the esophagus. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to try and reduce your heartburn. You can eat nutritious food in smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and take your time when eating. You can also avoid food and drink that increases heartburn for you (for many people this can include spicy foods, caffeine, greasy or fatty foods, acidic foods like citrus or tomatoes, and carbonated beverages), and avoid lying down right after eating or eating shortly before going to sleep. And while staying hydrated is important and you should be drinking water throughout the day, some people find it helps to drink water between meals but not during meals. It may take some trial and error to find what works for you, but hopefully some of these will help. And don’t feel that you have to go it alone — speak to your healthcare provider if your heartburn is persistent so they can help you find some relief.
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Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Sir John Dewhurst. Dewhurst’s Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 8th ed. Keith Edmonds. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2012. Print.
- Irina Burd et al. “Amniotic fluid.” U.S National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. January 25, 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002220.htm.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.