12 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms and What to Expect
Your Growing Fetus at 12 Weeks
At 0.49 ounces and measuring 2.1” baby is an adorable hacky sack sized bundle of joy.
- Eyelids are beginning to move and baby’s face looks more and more like a little human.
- Baby is starting to suck his tiny thumb, hands are flexing hands, toes curling and eyelids are moving.
- Babies reflexes are developing, too right along with the intestines. Nice!
Pregnancy Superfood for Week 12
Lentils are full of iron and provide a good dose of protein to your pregnancy diet. Folic acid, Vitamin B9 and fiber are also a part of this excellent food package. Some lentils are ‘beans’ while others are small or large ‘grains.’
The biggest dietary tip for eating lentils would be to pair these and other iron-rich foods with some things that are high in Vitamin C. This practice helps your body to absorb the iron which is not always readily available without this kind of combining.
Red bell peppers and tomatoes go well with nearly every lentil dish. Plus, if you love and a variety of citrus fruits; kiwi; and strawberries can make great desserts. As an added bonus lentils come in a variety of colors, sizes and even flavors depending on where they were grown.
Which Lentils have the Strongest Taste
French green lentils have the strongest taste which is considered somewhat peppery. They can provide a good crunchiness for salads and cold dishes. Brown lentils are the mildest and most common. They turn mushy if overcooked but they’re great for soups.
Red lentils are the sweetest and often used in Indian foods. They’re also mushy when cooked but they work well as a thickener and combine nicely with casserole type recipes.
Beluga lentils are strong tasting, tiny black beans with an ‘earthy’ flavor. When the hull is removed this one becomes a white lentil with a milder taste.
How much Protein does Mom and Baby need
Whichever type of lentils you enjoy they are a great source of protein with 17 grams per cup but they do not have the two amino acids, methionine and cysteine and so are not considered a “complete” protein. You can get these easily if you add a grain like rice to your dish. Baby needs a lot of protein to build muscles and it’s exactly the right kind of energy for mom’s body.
Fiber in the Works
There’s a lot of fiber in this food as well and that means good cholesterol and less constipation. The soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar so you get a steady source of energy to burn without risking excess carbohydrates and the unnecessary weight gain that goes with eating them.
Lentils are also the easiest to digest of all the legumes so they shouldn’t increase the gas problem you are probably now be experiencing. However, if it does become worse you should try cutting back on the lentils a little.
Lentils are also high in some very important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is considered the most important pregnancy vitamin and a cup of lentils will supply half the recommended daily dose. This is the source of folate which is most important in developing the brain and nervous system of a growing baby. Iron helps prevent the risk of anemia and is part of the process of bringing oxygen to your organs through the blood.
Improve your Energy with Lentils during Pregnancy
This also improves your energy supply and baby needs it, too in order to develop a circulatory system. Magnesium is great for your heart, carrying calcium to the bones and teeth and helps relax those aching muscles.
These little beans also provide pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) which can help fight those migraines you may be having. Plenty of potassium helps balance blood pressure which is always a pregnancy concern. A word of caution: if you have a history of kidney stones or any kidney issues you probably already know that excess potassium can be a problem. Discuss this with your doctor and learn how to adjust your diet.
Lentils are easy to cook with and add to your favorite types of food as their mild flavors blend easily with stronger seasonings. They cook quickly and are extremely versatile. Use them in soup, salads, casseroles or served as a side dish.
Lentil and Chickpea Sloppy Joes
Makes 6 sandwiches 10 min prep, 45 min cooking time
- ½ c dry lentils (green)
- 1 ½ c cooked chickpeas (rinse/drain)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ c diced shallot
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 c tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp tamari
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Coleslaw (or shredded cabbage, lettuce, carrots)
- Hamburger buns
Boil lentils: in 1c of water and a hint of salt. Reduce heat, simmer 20-25 minutes stirring now and then (until lentils are tender). Heat olive oil and shallots over medium heat, season to taste with salt.
Cook for 2-3 min: Add garlic, cook 1 min. Stir in tomato sauce and BBQ sauce spices. Cook 5 min, stirring to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add lentils and chickpeas: Cook 5-10 min. Spoon onto the buns, top with coleslaw (or other garnishments).
Top Tip for Week Twelve
- Learning to predict and avoid low blood pressure. Drink plenty of water and eat small meals often. Take your time getting up after sitting or laying down. Get your feet under you, breathe deeply and rise gracefully.
- So much better than risking a bump on the head and scaring yourself or any witnesses. Don’t stand for long stretches if you can avoid it and don’t feel guilty about sitting. Wear loose clothing.
- Even if you still enjoy them, avoid very hot baths and showers, they can make you dizzy. Your doctor may recommend compression socks or a slight increase in salt consumption to keep blood pressure up but check first.
Big Efforts from your Co Creator
Headaches are a big part of this week and possibly beyond. Learning a bit about reflexology to ease the pain will be very helpful to the soon-to-be mom. Many of the recommended pressure points are easy enough to use by ourselves but when a migraine suddenly descends it could be a lifesaver to have a loving partner there to use this pain relieving method.
This Art of Allowing
You may be starting to experience some headaches allow yourself one last week of sheer indulgence. The headaches are probably the result of increased blood volume or shifting hormones and stress can make them so much worse.
Poor posture won’t help either and sometimes a change in vision will bring on a headache. So you need to allow yourself to sit and relax, stretch your neck and let the stress run out of you instead of letting the headache stress you out.
As your center of balance shifts you must allow your posture to change to accommodate that. This is the time to develop good habits to protect your muscles and the connective tissue from too much stress. Keep the knees slightly bent, head resting gently on your neck, shoulders down and back. Breathe!
Pregnancy Symptoms of Week Twelve
- If your waist is starting to thicken up it’s a sign that your uterus is moving. As it rises to a position above the pelvic bones you will begin to develop a little extra girth where you aren’t used to seeing it. Keep an eye on it for that is where you will wake one day to discover The Bump!
- You might be gaining your energy back now but you could be having headaches and dizziness instead. An inordinate amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are bringing on some new symptoms which may remind you of your teenage years.
- Dizziness and fainting which are sometimes brought on by low blood pressure
- Headaches from the hormones or dehydration and suddenly low blood sugar
- Dark patches caused by melanin, sometimes referred to as the Mask of Pregnancy
Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water and eating many small, nutritious meals throughout the day may prevent these symptoms or at least lessen the severity when they strike.
There are a few symptoms that require serious medical attention.
If you have these symptoms call your doctor immediately:
- Blurred vision
- Rapid breathing
- Clammy/cold skin
- Extreme thirst
- Inability to concentrate
- Severe tiredness
Your Body will Change and It’s Necessary
Sit and enjoy the fact that you have an empty lap right there in front of you, big enough to hold your purse. Your clothes are probably telling you this lap won’t be empty for long because baby needs a bigger room and that’s about to become a construction zone.
Creating Memories for Your Soon to Be
Make a Soundtrack for Your Kid to Listen to Later on
Anyone who attended high school can remember some of the hit tunes from those days. Songs that remind you of good things and events you didn’t enjoy. These months of growing your tiny human will have its own soundtrack.
The iPod and sites like Pandora have made it much easier to compile playlists. What you’re listening to now, even the music they play in your yoga class can be added to the mix. Every song will remind you of something in the years to come and your child could find it an interesting archaeological artifact.
Preparation for Motherhood
- Do you want to know the gender of your baby and, if so, when? Sometimes the baby’s gender is a huge part of how we relate to the child we carry and sometimes it is hardly an issue at all. It may help others in choosing gifts if they feel the need to opt for a pink or blue theme but it could be fun to pick a non-gender related color (or colors) for yourselves and ask friends and relatives to just have fun and go with it. Babies grow fast so clothing will only be around for a minute or six; but strollers and diaper bags could get some heavy use for a couple of years.
- There are some items you’ll want to start looking into right about now because they require research. A car seat is one of the most important safety items you’ll need if you plan to take the baby anywhere at all. New standards are set nearly every year and some seats are more difficult to wrangle than others. Talk to friends and moms with very young babies. Ask lots of questions and be prepared to write things down or take photos whenever you can. You want the product that’s right for you and you might have to look around to find it. You should also decide if you want to make some sort of announcement about your choice. Friends often get together and decide to get you gifts you really don’t want. Rather than insulting them and going through the hassle of returning something you can just let people know what you’ve decided to get. You can announce that this is what you want but you’re open to hearing opinions if anyone has experience with this product. That allows friends and family to feel they’ve made some sort of useful contribution to your quest. It also lets them know that you’ve got this covered and don’t need them to get you one you really don’t want.
- Think about a backup birthing partner. Even if you and your partner have a perfect plan covering every possibility, things can still go awry. One flat tire, a traffic jam or a power outage can wreak havoc with your detailed, minute by minute, perfectly graphed, timed and practiced birth plan. So, think about who might be able to step in at any time if your partner is stuck elsewhere or if things just don’t go as planned. Sometimes a sister or a close friend is a good choice, sometimes a neighbor with some experience in birthing or medicine is a great ‘go to person’ if needed.
Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guides