Welcome to Week 12

Preg Week 12

Your Baby: A Work in Progress

From crown to rump, the fetus measures 2.4 to 2.75 inches (6 to 7 cm long). Its tiny fingers and toes have formed and have nails. Some hair is also seen at this stage. By now, almost all of the baby's organs and structures have formed and will continue to grow until delivery. The genitalia begin to show gender differences. The intestines are developing and some of the muscles in the intestines are starting to move to help process food. The kidneys have begun to produce and excrete urine, and amniotic fluid starts to accumulate -- to surround and cushion your baby. Your baby's face is almost fully formed. Your little one may even get the hiccups!

Your Body: What's in a Craving?

One of the oldest and most enduring pregnancy-related myths is that mothers-to-be crave pickles and ice cream. In fact, you may crave certain food items some days. The specific reason for this is not known. It's thought to be a result of the pregnancy hormones circulating in your system. Often this will pass after the first 3 months of pregnancy. As long as you get all the important nutrients needed for you and your baby, indulging your cravings every now and then will likely be fine.

Occasionally, pregnant women will get strange cravings for things that are not food items at all during pregnancy. This condition is called Pica. It is thought to be due to an iron deficiency. Some women with Pica report craving dirt, clay, laundry detergent, and ice chips. If you have any cravings for these items, call your health care provider right away. Though it may be difficult, do not give in to the cravings. You may have severe anemia, which can be treated with an iron supplement.

On That Note: Food, Glorious Food

It's never too late to alter your eating habits, increase your fruit and vegetable intake, and reduce your processed sweets. To see what you should be eating, how many times a day, and why, check out this RDA nutrition chart.

Weekly Tip

If your pregnancy isn't complicated by diabetes, it's OK to indulge in cravings in moderation. So if Peanut M&M's are calling you, buy a small bag and have a few to satisfy the craving. The longer you put it off, the greater the chance you'll end up devouring a quarter-pound bag.

Review Date: 8/20/2019
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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