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12 Weeks Pregnant – What You Need to Know

12 weeks pregnant

At a glance:

  • What’s the startle reflex? 
  • Pregnancy cravings
  • Your 12-week ultrasound scan

What’s happening to your baby

All your baby’s body parts are present and she’s now officially a foetus in medical terms (although she looks like an adorable little alien!). Her intestines have moved into place in her abdomen.

And your unborn baby will have developed the startle reflex, also known as the Moro reflex. This means she’ll hear sound and react to it by opening and closing her arms and legs.  Probably not the time to freak her out with your banging collection of techno tunes. Instead, take the chance to introduce your baby to your favourite music following some of our tips for a making baby playlist.


What’s happening to you

You probably don’t have much of a bump to show off yet, but your womb is now about the size of a grapefruit. It’ll push itself above your pelvic bone so you may get the first vague outline of a baby belly.


Your jeans, trousers and skirts are probably becoming quite snug, so it’s time to invest in a belly band (which you can put over your pre-pregnancy clothing until you stock up your maternity wardrobe). 

You may also notice that you’re craving different foods, or have gone off previously favourite dishes. Nobody’s entirely sure what causes cravings, but it’s thought that pregnancy hormones heighten your sense of smell which explains why you ‘go off’ certain foods. 

You might seriously crave salty foods, which some experts say is a way of replacing salts lost through being sick. Any excuse to add crisps to your diet, no?


What you may consider doing 

You’ll have your first ultrasound scan at around 12 weeks which is often called the ‘dating’ scan because this is when your due date is confirmed. You’ll have a cold gel applied to your stomach while the sonographer rubs an ultrasound probe over your bump to pick up images of your baby. 

They’ll also take measurements from your baby’s head to her bottom (known as the crown–rump length) and monitor her heartbeat. And the best bit? You can usually take home a printout of the scan to proudly show off to family and friends (although you may have to pay for it).

<< SEE Week 11

SEE Week 13 >>

Image courtesy of Your Pregnancy Day-By-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell, published by Carroll & Brown, £9.99

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