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12-week pregnant: baby development and diet tips

You’re coming to the end of your first trimester. Congratulations! Read more about this week.

3 mins to read May 11, 2021

As your first trimester is coming to a close, you can now see the face of your baby. And frankly, what a gorgeous face it is! His bone marrow is producing its own blood cells, but the liver and spleen (which makes red blood cells) will make most of the blood cells until right around birth. After birth, it will continue this exclusive role during the entire life of your child. If your baby is a boy, his penis is already apparent and visible on ultrasound. If you want to wait until he or she is born to know whether you’re having a son or a daughter, make sure you let everyone around your health care team know so they don’t spoil the surprise.

Good news – the end of the first trimester is when most mothers-to-be report their nausea disappearing overnight. Second great news – if you have been anxious to feel the baby move, it generally starts around the 4th month of your pregnancy. Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen immediately, especially if you are a first time mum. You just might not know what it feels like. It isn’t a huge earth-shaking sensation, more like light, butterfly-wings flapping inside you. When you do feel it, you can rub your belly to say hello right back!

Hungry? While you didn’t need more calories than before your were pregnant during your first trimester, you’ll soon need around 340 extra calories during your second trimester to support your growing baby. Getting these extra calories by eating nutritious meals and snacks from the five food groups (fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, and meat/fish/protein foods) will help your baby grow and develop healthily – both in your womb and in later life. But what does that number of extra calories look like in healthy food? About 340 calories can be supplied by 1 serving of whole grain bread, topped with 60 g of turkey breast, 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise, some greens and tomato slice. Add a small piece of fruit and ½ glass of milk to drink. This healthy ‘mini-meal’ contains about 340 calories.

A lot of women wonder what can happen if they get ill while pregnant. A cold or a stomach upset usually has no effect on an unborn child. It is just important to inform your gynaecologist about any illness because they will know exactly which treatment and which medicine will help a mother-to-be without damaging the child. Don’t try to choose medicine on our own.