Pregnancy at 12 weeks is an exciting time. Your belly is growing, and your baby is developing fast! This is the month that your child develops their sense of taste. Here’s how you can help provide good nutritional habits for both you and your developing baby.
Pregnancy at 12 Weeks: Your Changing Body
Now that you’re 3 months pregnant, you can expect your clothes to feel a little tighter as your belly grows. Average weight gain at this point is only around 2 pounds (around 900 grams), but your uterus is growing rapidly to make room for your baby1. Your doctor should be able to feel your uterus in your lower abdomen by now.
You may also experience some tenderness in the breasts as well as darkening of your areolas. Some women also have melasma, a darkening of the skin around the forehead, which goes away shortly after delivery1.
Your Baby: Learning About Tastes
Your developing baby is around the size of an apricot now that you’re 3 months pregnant. Not only is your child growing, but they are also developing taste buds and early taste perception during pregnancy at 12 weeks to about week 14 of your pregnancy. This means that many of their future food preferences will be influenced by what you eat.
Since your developing baby’s food preferences start in the womb, it’s important to give them the taste of nutritious food in life.
Food that’s rich in calcium is essential for the development of your baby’s teeth and bones. These include sesame seeds, almonds, mustard greens, dried shrimp, and fish like sardines that are eaten bones and all2.
Doctors recommended that you take prenatal multivitamins to get the recommended amount of essential nutrients3.
Try to avoid fatty foods during pregnancy and drink alternatives to coffee or green tea. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your favorite beverages; just try to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg per day to reduce any risks to your baby’s health4.
How Does Your Baby Eat When You’re 3 Months Pregnant?
Throughout your pregnancy, your baby is dependent on you. You pass nutrients your child needs along the umbilical cord. This lifeline runs from an opening in your developing baby’s stomach to the placenta in your womb.
The umbilical cord becomes fully functional between weeks 11 to 14 of your pregnancy, and contains two arteries and one vein. This important vein supplies nutrition and oxygenated blood to your developing baby; and their heart pumps deoxygenated blood and waste away via the umbilical arteries.
This means that aside from your diet’s influence on your child’s food preferences, what you eat during your pregnancy has a direct impact on their growth and development.
Take DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps brain and eye development5. And stick with a well-balanced diet so your developing baby can get the benefits of balanced nutrition too. After all, your baby is relying on you for all their needs!
A sufficient intake of DHA can be achieved by eating oily fish such as salmon and tuna. Alternatively, you can also supplement your intake of this nutrient by consuming Enfamama A+. Sign up for a FREE SAMPLE of Enfamama A+, which contains DHA and essential nutrients like Folic acid, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, and Vitamin B6 which are important for your developing baby.
Did You Know?
Even at this early age, your developing baby can develop hiccups, although you won’t feel them yet. Their vocal cords will also begin to develop around week 13.
Pregnancy at 12 Weeks: Your Baby’s Development
During pregnancy at 12 weeks, your developing baby now weighs about one ounce (28 grams) and measures about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters). What’s more, their internal organs are now functioning.
By the end of this month, your baby will have tiny ears, eyes, eyelids, eyebrows and even hair. Their fingernails, genitals, and teeth are all starting to grow and develop too. Your developing baby’s gender can now be discerned from your ultrasound, although you can choose to keep your baby’s gender a surprise. You’ll also be able to see your developing baby and listen to the beat of their tiny heart via ultrasound.
Next month, when the second trimester of your pregnancy begins, your developing baby will develop their other senses and will be able to see for the first time. To learn how visual senses develop, read more about Pregnancy Stages: Month 4.
Missed out on last month’s pregnancy milestones? You can track how far you and your developing baby have come in Pregnancy Stages: Month 2.
Your pregnancy diet influences your developing baby’s food preferences in the future -- even as early as pregnancy at 12 weeks. Learn how to make an easy and quick meal that’s delicious and contains essential nutrients such as DHA and other important vitamins and minerals for your developing baby and you.
Want to learn more about how your developing baby will develop over your pregnancy – plus, nutritional advice for you and your developing baby, online support and more? Sign up for Enfamama A+ Club to receive new articles, useful tips and rewards that can help you and your developing baby!
Dr. Raymond Choy Wai Mun
MBChB (UK), Aviation Medicine (Singapore)
- 12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Tips, and More, https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/12-weeks-pregnant#your-body, Accessed 17 November 2020
- Calcified Tissue International March 1991, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 153-156, Calcium content of common food items in Chinese diet K. K. Pun, L. W. L. Chan, V. Chung, F. H. W. Wong, Accessed October 2015
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ001 Nutrition during pregnancy, https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/nutrition-during-pregnancy, Accessed 17 November 2020
- How much caffeine can I have in pregnancy?, http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a3955/caffeine-and-pregnancy-whats-safe, Accessed 17 November 2020
- Innis SM. Dietary (n-3) fatty acids and brain development. J Nutr 2007;137:855-859