This is a big week for your baby: Your little one's key body systems and vital organs have formed! If you haven't already, you'll be able to hear fetal heart activity at your next prenatal checkup.

Meanwhile, at 12 weeks pregnant, your baby bump may be looking a little more pronounced.

Your Baby at Week 12

At a Glance

The big move
The big move
During week 8, your baby’s intestines were infringing on umbilical cord space. But this week, they’re completing the move back into the abdomen.
Future grandparent?
Future grandparent?
Your baby's pituitary gland at the base of the brain has begun producing hormones, meaning your little one could give you grandchildren one day.
Germ fighter
Germ fighter
Your baby’s bone marrow is making white blood cells, so she’ll be able to fight off all those germs passed around the playground.

12 weeks pregnant is how many months?

If you're 12 weeks pregnant, you're in month 3 of your pregnancy. Only 6 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.

How big is my baby at 12 weeks?

By now your baby weighs a full half-ounce, with a crown-to-rump length of 2 to 2¼ inches: about the size of a lime.

It's hard to believe — especially from the outside, since you're probably barely showing at this point — but your baby has more than doubled in size during the past three weeks.

Baby’s digestive system begins working

This week marks a turning point for your baby. At 12 weeks pregnant, the Herculean task of developing new bodily structures is nearing an end, as most of your baby's systems are fully formed — though there's still plenty of maturing to do.

Now comes the maintenance phase, during which your fetus' systems continue to evolve for the next 28 weeks and the organs get to work. For one thing, the fetal digestive system is beginning to flex its muscles — literally — as it starts practicing contraction movements, a skill your little peanut will need after birth to push food through the digestive tract.

The bone marrow is busy making white blood cells — weapons that will one day help your baby fight infection once she's out of your safe haven and in a regular play group. And the pituitary gland at the base of the brain has started producing the hormones that'll enable her to make babies of her own in a few decades or so.

Fetal cardiac activity ramps up

If you haven't already had the pleasure, it's likely that at this month's checkup you'll hear sounds of fetal cardiac activity — a noise that will make your heart race with joy!

Your Body at Week 12

baby size at 12 weeks pregnant

The end of some pregnancy symptoms

As you near the end of your first trimester, your uterus, now about the size of a large grapefruit, begins to migrate from the bottom of your pelvis to a front-and-center position in your abdomen.

If you're lucky, this will bring an end to one pesky early pregnancy symptom: the constant urge to urinate.

Also slated to diminish somewhat now that you're on the cusp of your second trimester are some of those other early pregnancy symptoms: nausea, super tender breasts and nipples, food aversions and fatigue.

Your 12 weeks pregnant belly

At 12 weeks, your baby bump may be more pronounced and may even show to the outside world. But it’s just as likely that while your clothes may be getting a little tight, you won’t yet have a noticeably pregnant belly at this point. If anything, you may look like you’ve gained a little weight around the middle, or you may not look different to anyone else at all.

Whatever the case may be, know that your 12 weeks pregnant belly is completely normal, whether it’s on the bigger, smaller or invisible side. Baby bumps can vary widely depending on the woman’s size and shape and whether this is a first or subsequent pregnancy.

So don’t fret if your bump at 12 weeks doesn’t look like your pregnant friend’s at the same stage. All bumps are beautiful! If you’re not showing yet, you will be in time, and if you are showing quite a bit, that’s fine too. You can always talk to your practitioner if you have any concerns.

Dizzy spells

Once you hit your second trimester, there's a new pregnancy symptom that may be added to the mix: dizziness. And guess who's to blame? Yup — it's your old friend progesterone again, which causes your blood vessels to relax and widen around 12 weeks pregnant, increasing the flow of blood to your baby (again, good for baby), but slowing the return of blood to you (as always, not so good for mom).

What that means for you is lower blood pressure and reduced blood flow throughout your body, including to your brain. These factors can contribute to that light-headed, dizzy feeling — especially when you get up too quickly — which is why slow and steady wins the race here.

Another cause of dizziness during pregnancy is low blood sugar levels, which can occur if you're not eating regularly. So don't try to run…or even walk…on empty.

Here's a quick tip: If you feel dizzy or faint, lie down or sit with your head lowered between your knees, take deep breaths and loosen any tight clothing — like that button on your jeans you struggled to close in the first place. As soon as you feel a little better, get something to eat and drink.

Low sex drive

Your best friend says being pregnant has seriously boosted that good old libido — but you aren't feeling any friskier. What's the deal with your decreased sex drive?

Hormones hit every woman differently, meaning a spike in sex drive for some and a damper on it for others. Pregnancy symptoms can also stand between you and a good time — after all, it's hard to get in the mood when you're queasy, tired or constipated (or all of the above and then some!).

Rest assured, whatever you’re feeling is normal. Just stay emotionally connected with your partner and remember that many women have ups and downs in sex drive throughout pregnancy. So you may be in for a warmer spell soon.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 12

Increased sense of smell
Increased sense of smell
Fewer frequent bathroom trips
Fewer frequent bathroom trips
Occasional headaches
Occasional headaches
Bloating and gas
Bloating and gas
Excessive saliva
Excessive saliva

Tips for You This Week

Get your flu shot

All pregnant women are with child sometime during flu season, October to May, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all moms-to-be get the flu shot. And being pregnant doesn’t up your risk for shot side effects, notes a recent study.

Embrace loose styles

Your doctor can feel your growing uterus by touching your abdomen, but your belly may not be sporting a bump. Until you're ready for maternity wear, shop for looser or stretchy clothes, like empire-waist maxi dresses, drawstring pants and lightweight sweaters.

Start doing Kegels

Pushing your baby through your pelvis and into the world is demanding not only on you, but also on your pelvic floor muscles — which have to stretch to proportions previously unimaginable.

Doing pelvic floor exercises can ease pregnancy symptoms and lead to a faster post-birth recovery. Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for up to 10 seconds, shooting for three sets of 20 a day.

Building these bladder- and uterus-supporting muscles reduces your chance of bladder issues and eases a host of other pregnancy and postpartum symptoms.

Steer clear of alcohol

The warning labels on the sides of beer, wine and alcohol bottles are there for a reason. Drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy can have serious consequences for your baby, including birth defects and complications.

Even moderate drinking can cause problems, so it's best to abstain entirely until after delivery. Don't worry, however, if you had a couple of drinks before you found out you were pregnant.

Rethink hair removal

Shaving might be a cinch right now, but as your pregnancy progresses, you might have trouble seeing below your belly or keeping your balance. While a shower can soften your hair and skin, making it easier to remove, always shave after you've finished, since a slip-up could be serious.

If your skin isn't too sensitive, you might want to try waxing and sugaring (ask your doctor if it's okay first), which is a long-term solution to unwanted hair.

As for bleaches and hair removal creams and lotions, the jury is still out on whether they're safe to use during pregnancy, so consider shelving them until after you give birth.

Stay hydrated

Here's one bottle you need to be hitting: the water bottle. It's more important than ever to stay hydrated now, so plan on adding an extra glass of liquid for every half hour of activity — and no should be an 8-ounce glass.

Stick to water when possible — sports drinks contain too many ingredients you just don't need. Take in even more in warm weather or when you're just plain sweating a lot.

Know which foods to avoid

Fortunately, you don't have to worry about finding unpasteurized milk at the supermarket, thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But you can run across soft cheeses that have been made with unpasteurized milk — and those can harbor listeria and other pathogens.

To stay safe, don’t nosh on feta, Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, blue-veined cheeses and queso fresco unless you’re positive they’re made with pasteurized products. Always check the label to make sure.

For a safer alternative, stick with hard cheeses (like Swiss and cheddar) or heat up soft cheeses until bubbly.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

Recommended Products

What to Expect selects products based on real-life testing conducted by staff, contributors and members our user community, as well as independent research and expert feedback; learn more about our review process. Prices and details are accurate as of the published date. We may earn commissions from shopping links.

Best Products for Soothing Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy
View All
Neotech Care Maternity Belt
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Best Products for Round Ligament Pain - Neotech Care Maternity Belt
Gabrialla Pregnancy Belly Band
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Best Products for Round Ligament Pain - Gabrialla Pregnancy Belly Band
HomeTop Premium Classic Rubber Hot or Cold Water Bottle
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Best Products for Round Ligament Pain - HomeTop Premium Classic Rubber Hot or Cold Water Bottle
McKesson Large Instant Hot Compress 24-Pack
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Best Products for Round Ligament Pain - McKesson Large Instant Hot Compress 24-Pack
Cozy Bump Pregnancy Tape
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Best Products for Round Ligament Pain - Cozy Bump Pregnancy Tape

What Other November 2023 Moms Are Talking About

There are 8,179 active discussions happening now with other November 2023 parents-to-be.
Join in