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1st trimester: Week 12

Your Baby

You're reaching an important milestone--the end of the first trimester. Your baby now weighs about half an ounce and is about 2 1/2 inches long from top to bottom. He can open his mouth and wiggle his fingers and toes, upon which tiny nails have begun to grow. Brain development is in high gear, as fetal nerve cells multiply rapidly and synapses start firing.

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Your Body

Your uterus has moved from the pelvic floor to the front of your abdomen, which -- fingers crossed -- may ease the pressure on your bladder, cutting down on bathroom breaks. A dark vertical line of pigmentation, called linea nigra, may appear on your belly. If so, don't worry! It will disappear soon after birth. 

Do's and Don'ts

Do fight fiery heartburn! Try skipping fatty, acidic, or spicy foods; eating small, frequent meals; and waiting a few hours after eating before lying down. You can also take antacids with calcium carbonate, such as Tums. 

Health

So much for that fabled glow: Dermatologists say the same hormones that may keep one expectant mom's complexion blemish-free can cause a bout of acne in another. If you're breaking out, use oil-free, noncomedogenic makeup to cover pimples.

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Mom to Mom

"If you need help or advice, ask for it, but don't worry too much about hurting other people's feelings by not doing what they say. If your gut says no, trust it. Do what seems right." --Ariel Gore, mother and founding editor of HipMama.com

Your Pregnant Body:

Shopping

Baggy tops and roomy sweats are comfier now that your waistline is expanding, but clothes that lightly accentuate your shape may be more flattering. Look for ones that have Lycra in the fabric to add a little cling. 

Exercise

If you lift weights, decrease the number of pounds you're using, and watch your pulse when doing cardio exercises (a heart-rate monitor, which most gyms supply for their members, can do this for you). You don't want your heartbeats to clock in at more than 140 beats per minute, at which point your body may get overheated and blood flow may be diverted away from the uterus.

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Relationships

Long-buried rivalries may resurface between you and a sibling once you announce your pregnancy. While it's not fun, know that tension is completely normal, even expected. You may have a baby before an older brother's wife does, for instance, or you and your sister may have entirely different approaches to pregnancy (she loves her ob-gyn; you prefer a midwife). But with the strife comes lots of support and warm wishes, too, so try to focus on the positives and keep the lines of communication open--both ways.

Family Bonds:

Siblings

Wondering how to break the news about your second baby to your first child when the time comes? Pediatrician William Sears, M.D., suggests saying something like: "When moms and dads love each other, they sometimes decide to have a baby." Connecting the due date with a holiday, he adds, will also make things more concrete: "Your new brother or sister will be here in time for Thanksgiving!" But if your child is under 2 1/2, he suggests you wait until the third trimester.

Twins

Nutritionists recommend 300 extra calories a day if you're carrying twins--on top of the extra 300 calories you need during pregnancy. Keep in mind some should-haves on your shopping list: lots of fiber, found in whole grains and fruit, to ease constipation; calcium to help build your baby's bones; and extra iron, which you can get from lean meats and dark, leafy veggies, to prevent anemia. 

 

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