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12 Weeks Pregnant

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Your Baby

Nail works. Last week nail beds formed at the tips of your little one's fingers and toes. This week, fingernails actually start to grow from those nail beds and will continue to grow until birth. Many babies are actually born with long fingernails that need to be trimmed soon after delivery.

Parts in place. The truly critical period for your little one's development is coming to a close. By the end of this week, the monumental task of growing new body structures will be complete. All the parts are there, from the pinky fingers to the little toes. Even the sex organs have developed, though it's too soon for an ultrasound to determine if you're carrying a girl or a boy.

Lights out. By this week, the eyelids have formed and will close. They'll remain fused together until late in your second trimester.

Measuring up. For the next 28 weeks, your little one's job is to keep growing and developing. This week your baby weighs 0.3 to 0.5 ounce and measures around 2.5 inches.

Your Pregnancy

Feed me! As the nausea and discomfort of early pregnancy subside, you may find that you have your appetite back—and then some! This is the time when many women report feeling that "the baby is hungry." Be sure you're eating enough, but don't feel you actually need to "eat for two." Click here for nutritional guidelines that will help you figure out how much is enough.

What's normal, what's not. As your blood volume increases to keep the fetus nourished, you may find that your gums are more sensitive and bleed when you brush or floss. This can be disconcerting, but it is normal. Don't stop brushing and flossing regularly—just do it gently.

From the experts. Looking your best may be important to you during pregnancy, but you should postpone highlighting and coloring your hair until after your baby is born. "Although research has not shown a relationship between hair dyes and birth defects, the effects of these chemicals during pregnancy are not known," says Elaine Zwelling, R.N., Ph.D.


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