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Before Birth and Beyond
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Week 12
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 10 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Check out this week:
Easy Labor Authors Are Here to Answer Your Questions
Dr. William Camann and Kathryn Alexander, authors of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth are here to discuss how you can make confident, informed choices regarding pain relief preferences. [Click Here]
Healthy Pregnancy Over 35 Author Interview
Laura Goetzl, MD, MPH, author of Health Pregnancy Over 35, is visiting to discuss the unique concerns of women over the age of 35. [Click Here]

Fetal Development:

Third MonthBy this point, nearly all of the organs and structures of the fetus are formed. They will continue to grow and develop until delivery. Fingers and toes have separated and hair and nails begin to grow. The genitals begin to take on their gender characteristics. Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the baby's kidneys begin to produce and excrete urine. The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice peristalsis - contractions within the intestines that digest food.
Maternal Changes:
Around this week, your uterus will shift up and forward as it grows. The good news is it won't be pressing on your bladder so much and those bathroom visits will get less frequent. Enjoy this while you can because by the third trimester, the uterus will grow large enough to sit on your bladder once again.

Morning sickness is usually getting better by this time, and you may be less tired. Headaches and light-headedness are common now thanks to the increased blood volume but be sure to discuss these symptoms with your care provider.

Ideas for Dad:

Mom is probably feeling better. Now's a good time to exercise with her regularly. Go out for a nice walk in your neighborhood and be sure to hold hands.

Inspirational Thoughts:

Pregnancy is getting company inside one's skin. ~Maggie Scarf

Reading:

Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year: A Guide to Health and Comfort Before and After Your Baby Is Born by Elizabeth Noble, published by New Life Images, 1995.

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