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Pregnancy At Week 12

Pregnancy At Week 12

Welcome to pregnancy week 12! Things are looking brighter this week. You can expect most unpleasant pregnancy side effects of the first trimester to disappear this week or soon after.

How Your Baby Is Growing During Pregnancy Week 12

Your growing baby is now about the size of a lime, or about 2 inches long and weighs half an ounce. He will start to make small movements this week including clenching his fists, flexing his ankles, opening and closing his mouth, and squinting his eyes. These are all reflex actions. If you poke your abdomen lightly, he will wiggle and squirm in response, although you likely won’t be able to feel his tiny movements for a few more weeks.

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    If you haven’t already experienced it, you will likely be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at your next doctor’s visit. For many expectant mothers, this is a huge highlight of pregnancy.

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    How Your Body Is Changing

    You may begin to show the first signs of a baby bump this week, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy. Heartburn and acid reflux are common symptoms of pregnancy at this stage. It is generally approved for pregnant women to take an antacid, such as Tums. Make sure you follow the label directions carefully and always check with your doctor before taking any medication, including Tums and Rolaids. Altering your diet can help with this painful symptom as well. Avoid highly acidic foods such as tomato sauce, citrus, and overly salty/seasoned foods to help prevent worsening heartburn.

    Your dizzy spells may be increasing this week. Progesterone in your body has caused your blood vessels to dilate, which might make you feel light headed or dizzy upon standing up quickly. If you feel that you might fall over or have experience a blackout, lower yourself back down to a sitting or lying position with your head between your knees while you take a few slow, deep breaths. Be sure to tell your doctor about any serious dizzy spells. He or she will likely want to keep an eye on your blood pressure. A fall during pregnancy can have serious effects on you and your baby.

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    The good news is that the most uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms of the first trimester will likely start to fade away this week, including the urge to urinate, breast-tenderness, food aversion, nausea and vomiting (although this can last throughout the entire pregnancy for some women), and fatigue.

    If you’ve experienced nausea and vomiting during the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, it may start to subside around this time. If so, your appetite is likely to return. At this stage, an expectant mother should aim to eat no extra calories each day for the first trimester. Beginning in the second trimester, she should eat around 300 extra calories a day, depending on how active she is. However, if your appetite has returned, be sure you are eating healthful foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, limiting refined carbohydrates and excess fats. You will feel your best for the remainder of your pregnancy if you keep your body well-nourished.

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    Things to Do During Pregnancy Week 12

    Now is the time to make a decision as to whether or not you and your partner would like to find out the sex of your baby. It is possible for ultrasound technicians to distinguish whether your baby is a boy or a girl by around week 16, though many won’t check until you’ve reached week 20. It can be tempting to schedule a 3D ultrasound of your baby around that same time. Many practitioners discourage this because of the extended time required of 3D ultrasounds. That level of radiation can be harmful to your sensitive baby. Many couples choose to find out the sex of their baby so they feel they can prepare for his or her arrival with a completed nursery and collection of gender-appropriate clothing. But if you enjoy surprises and the suspense doesn’t kill you, you should consider holding off on a gender-reveal.

    In the coming months you will likely be spending a lot of money and time shopping for new things for the baby. Whether you’re spending money on clothes, nursery furniture, doctor’s visits, or anything else, expenses can start to add up quickly. It’s a good idea to set a budget of what you and your partner will spend in preparation for the baby. Don’t forget to register for things that you want and need for the baby. Your friends and family will be happy to help provide for your little one!

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    Featured photo credit: Pregnant/Jerry Lai via flickr.com

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    Published on July 22, 2021

    20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

    20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

    It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

    Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

    Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

    1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

      These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

      Get the recipe here.

      2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

        This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

        To try this recipe, go here.

        3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

          Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

          Check out the recipe here.

          4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

            Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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            Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

            5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

              This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

              Find the recipe here.

              6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

                The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

                Get the recipe for this dish here.

                7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                  Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                  You can find the recipe here.

                  8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                    Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                    Find the recipe here.

                    9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                      This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                      Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                      10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                        Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                        The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                        11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                          Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                            This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                            Find the recipe here.

                            13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                              Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                              This easy recipe can be found here.

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                              14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                                Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                                Find out how to make it here.

                                15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                  This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                  The recipe can be found here.

                                  16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                    This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                    Find the recipe here.

                                    17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                      Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                      Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                      18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                        Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                        Find the recipe here.

                                        19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                          Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                          20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                            Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                            Get the recipe here.

                                            Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                            Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                            Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                            1. Lose the Sugar

                                            Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                            2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                            Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                            3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                            Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                            When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                            Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                            Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                            More Healthy Eating Tips

                                            Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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