Your fetus is now in the stage when it is developing organs.
Your baby measures about 4 inches and weighs 1.6 oz.
The big event in the third month is your fetus starts moving, but you can’t feel it yet. It’s floating inside a big pool of amniotic fluid and is not touching the walls. It already has bouts of restless sleep, and is moving its rib cage.
In the fourteenth week, you might be able to identify the baby’s sex. This is when we can see a little genital fold that will eventually develop into a penis or a clitoris. Depending on the direction or angle this fold is facing, we can guess the sex of the baby with some margin of error.
Twelfth week of pregnancy:
The fetus can digest the food delivered by the placenta, the liver is working, the intestines are getting longer, and the spleen and kidneys are in place. The fully functional liver and spleen enable it to produce its own red blood cells and stem cells from the white blood cells. Bone marrow begins producing white blood cells that will be allocated to the lymph nodes and thymus gland.
Since the fetus’s blood is low in oxygen, it saves energy while protected by the amniotic fluid, and stays at a constant 98.6˚F. It has low blood pressure.
Your fetus does somersaults when it’s not sleeping. The system of balance (vestibular system) is dependent on the development of the inner ear, which begins in the eighth week of gestation, but is only fully functional in the sixth month.
The baby’s head becomes increasingly rounder and takes up one-third of its body. Its face it formed, but it still lacks muscles to fill it out. Starting in the twelfth week of pregnancy, the baby’s heart rate can be heard more and more distinctly in sonograms. This is always a magical moment for parents-to-be.
- Amniotic fluid is amazingly special!
- It is water that contains 95% mineral salts as well as fetal cells and proteins. A little later, it will contain small white particles called vernix caseosa, a protective fatty substance that coats the baby’s skin until it is born.
- Your fetus swallows and regurgitates a lot of amniotic fluid. It is constantly renewing itself, and is replaced every three to five hours. There is about 1.6 quarts of water. That is why moms-to-be are urged to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- Checking the amniotic fluid is a good way to ensure the end of the pregnancy is going well; too much liquid may cause a premature birth, while not enough can be a sign that membranes have been ruptured or torn.
- Your changes: You begin to glow around the twelfth week of pregnancy. This is due to pregnancy hormones and an increase in blood flow. Only you notice a bump forming; your breasts are swelling, and you may see some brown spots appear on your face (avoid the sun). The good news is that the nausea will have virtually disappeared by now. Try to eat a healthy balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables to get a full week’s worth of vitamins. Drink mostly water or herbal tea, which can help with any insomnia. Good choices are chamomile, lemon verbena, linden, and mint.
- You will see your fetus for the first time in the sonogram. It is quite magical to put into pictures what you’re feeling–your future baby. It’s really a powerful moment.
- First prenatal exam: Depending on your situation, your physician or midwife may order additional exams, such as screenings for rubella, toxoplasmosis, and hepatitis B, your blood group, and an HIV test. This initial visit may last a while to get a full overview of your health and give you time to ask questions.
- First preventive consultation: make an appointment with your midwife (up to 70% covered by Assurance Maladie).
- First sonogram:
- Carte Vitale: Update it to ensure that all mandatory prenatal visits are 100% covered.