Pregnancy 12 Weeks
The baby weighs about 14 grams and is approximately 3.54 inches in length.
Your baby now practices inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid into it's lungs. This strengthens the diaphragm, the major muscle
of respiration, located below the lungs. Occassionally, the baby will swallow the amniotic fluid, which is then excreted as urine into
the amniotic fluid. This cycle of swallowing and excreting amniotic fluid continues up until birth.
Your baby can now suck and swallow, and their tongue's taste buds are mature enough to taste the amniotic fluid. The sucking and
swallowing muscles are not mature until 24 to 28 weeks.
Your baby's face has now taken on a human appearance, complete with a tiny chin and nose. (The baby's chin is more prominent)
All 32 tooth buds have now been formed in the baby's jaws, but teething is yet to come. The eyes begin to move closer together
and the ears move to a normal position, the neck is still getting longer and stronger.
The pancreas begins to produce insulin and the liver is even secreting bile. The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to rhythmically
contract. Known as peristalsis, it's purpose is to move food through the digestive tract.
The placenta now takes over the important task of hormone production. It produces the hormones progesterone and estriol, which
help to maintain the pregnancy.
If your practitioner uses a Doppler sound-wave stethoscope (a machine that magnifies the sound of your baby's heartbeat so you
can hear it), you may be able to hear your baby's heart beat at your next appointment. Your baby's heart rate will be very fast,
at about 160 beats per minute.
Your baby now moves regularly and should continue to do so since movement is very important for your baby's development. It helps
the muscles grow and strengthens the bones. Movement can be felt starting from week 16.
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