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12 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Your baby at 12 weeks

You’re 12 weeks pregnant – by now your baby is about two inches, or about the size of a small plum! Over the past three weeks, your little one has more than doubled in size, but how is that affecting your body? Here’s what to expect during week 12 and during your 12-week scan.

What’s my baby doing at twelve weeks pregnant?

All your baby’s body parts are now present (though there’s still some maturing to do) and her intestines have moved into place in her abdomen. Your little foetus will now enter the maintenance phase; for the next 28 weeks, her systems and organs will develop so she’s ready for life on the outside. Her digestive system is beginning to start practising (literally) and her bone marrow is busy making white blood cells.

This week your unborn baby will have developed the startle reflex, also known as the Moro reflex. This means she’ll hear sounds and react to them by opening and closing her arms and legs. This is the time to introduce your little one you your favourite music!

Another exciting moment this week will be the 12-week scan, and hearing your baby’s heart beat for the first time. Scroll down for more information on what to expect during that 12-week scan.

What is my body doing at twelve weeks pregnant?

You probably don’t have much of a bump to show off just yet, but your womb is now about the size of a grapefruit. It’ll push itself above your pelvic bone soon, so expect the first vague outlines of a baby belly. On that note, 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 on your maternity wardrobe.

As your uterus moves from the bottom of your pelvis to the front of your abdomen, you’ll hopefully (finally) lose the need to constantly wee! That said, you might start feeling dizzy as a replacement, as progesterone causes your blood vessels to relax and widen to increase the flow of blood to your baby. Remember, if you feel dizzy or faint, lie down with your head lowered between your knees, take deep breaths and keep snacking to keep those blood sugar levels up.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Headaches: Another one caused by low blood sugar levels, if you ever needed an excuse to snack, it’s pregnancy! If your headaches are really bad, talk to your doctor about pregnancy safe pain relief.
  • Fatigue: You’re nearing the end of your first trimester, but your body is still exhausted from growing your baby. Rest up when you can, and get ready for that energy burst that’s expected during trimester two!

What you should be doing this week

The 12-week scan: what to expect

It’s finally time to clap eyes on your baby for the first time, but what really happens at the 12-week scan? This can take place any time between 11 and 13 weeks. In order to get a clear view of your baby, try and drink a pint of water an hour before the scan – this will push your uterus into a better position. The scan will last between 15 and 30 minutes, and will show you a black and white image of your baby. The sonographer is looking and listening for the heartbeat, and measuring your baby to give you a better idea of your due date. Find out more about your 12-week scan here. 

Start those pelvic floor exercises 

Squeeze for up to 10 seconds, 20 times a day. Not only can these muscles help during childbirth, they reduce your chances of bladder issues and can help with postpartum symptoms.

Download those pregnancy apps that will make all the difference

From the pregnancy fitness apps, to those that make your life that little bit simpler, we’ve chosen a few of our favourites here. (There’s even a few he might want to download!)

Your baby shopping list:

As you get ready for your bump to start growing, here's a few things that might help keep you comfy! 

Cake Lingerie Women’s Nursing Bra, £34.90, Amazon  

Maternity Bra

A seamless bra that might make things a bit more comfy as your boobs start to grow. This Mother & Baby gold award winner is fully adjustable and designed to stretch with your body.

Wingslove Bra Extenders, £5.99, Amazon  

Bra extenders

A little trick to make your current bra more comfortable – get some extra space without having to buy a new bra just yet.

Blooming Marvelous Maternity Support Belt, £12.00, Mothercare 

Support belt

A supportive maternity belt that grows with your body, this will help support your lower spine as your bump grows.

Maternity Support T Shirt Bras, £30.00, Mothercare 

Maternity bra

These cute bras don’t look like something from the maternity section, with smooth molded cups to keep you comfy as you focus on your growing bump! 

Take me back to week 11

Take me to week 13

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