Image of a Week 12 Ultrasound: http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/12-Weeks-Pregnant-Ultrasound.html
What to Expect at This Ultrasound Appointment?
This week the doctor will take a look at the baby to determine if any physical abnormalities are present. At 12 weeks, the basic structures of the human body have developed, which allows the doctor to determine through the ultrasound physical abnormalities. Week 12 is when the doctor will check, with the ultrasound, the fluid in the lower portion of the baby’s neck. This is done to assess for Down syndrome. If the results are worrisome, the doctor might suggest performing an amniocentesis in the following weeks.
During week 12, some mothers experience blurred vision. This blurred vision can be caused by fluid retention, or can be a symptom of many other pregnancy complications. If the mother is experiencing blurry vision, she should discuss it with her doctor immediately.
What is Developing at 12 Weeks?
The most impressive aspect of development that is happening during week 12 are the reflexes. Week 12 sees the beginning of reflexes, which will eventually turn into kicks in the uterus. The fetus is able to clench their eye muscles, can product a sucking motion with their mouths, can wiggle the fingers and toes, and the baby can squirm. Week 12 sees the fetus becoming aware of touch. If someone puts their hand on the pregnant mother’s stomach, the baby would squirm.
The digestive system is flexing during week 12. This motion will be the same motion that propels food through the digestive system once they are born. The bone marrow has developed enough that it is able to take over white blood cell production. White blood cells are the cells that attack pathogens, or the things that make us sick. The pituitary gland is maturing in the brain and is producing a few hormones.
The nerve cells and their synapses are continuing to form throughout the body. The skeleton is gradually becoming harder. At 12 weeks, the majority of the fetal skeleton is shaped from cartilage. This cartilage will continue to harden for the next few weeks of development until they are hard bone. Babies are born with over 300 bones or cartilage in their body. The adult human has roughly 206 bones. Even after birth, the baby is still developing and will continue to grow while the extra bones fuse together.
The intestines, which up until week 12, were developing so fast they were coming out of the body, are regressing into their appropriate space inside the abdomen. The urinary bladder comes online and the fetus begins filtering urine from the kidneys into the bladder.
Blood sugar levels fluctuate a lot during pregnancy, even in women that have never experienced any type of blood sugar problems. Hypoglycemia is common in some pregnant mothers. Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar level drops. This can cause shaking, dizziness, and can cause mothers to black out. There is nothing quite as alarming as being fine one minute and being on the ground the next.
It is almost impossible to avoid flu season. Pregnant mothers are advised to get the flu vaccination. At 12 weeks, it’s okay to get the vaccination.