What to expect and advice at 12 weeks pregnant


by Stephanie Anthony |

So, you’re 12 weeks pregnant, but did you know that your little one has more than doubled in size over the last few weeks?

Yep, your body is going through some really exciting changes!

Here’s what to expect during week 12 of your pregnancy, what happens during your 12-week scan and everything else you could possibly need to know about hitting the second trimester...

How big is my baby at 12 weeks?

At 12 weeks, your baby is about two inches - which is about the size of a small plum!

Your frequently asked 12 week questions answered by your midwife and doctor

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 at 12 weeks pregnant

1. Headaches {#h-1-headaches}

Headaches are another very normal symptom of pregnancy, caused by low blood sugar levels. Remember to keep snacking and ask your doctor for any pregnancy-safe painkillers should you need.

2. Breast tenderness

Hormones can cause your breasts to become sore, which often happens before you’re due your period as well. But good news! After week 12 breast tenderness should reduce as hormone levels start to become normal again.

3. 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!

4. Stomach cramps

Cramping is normal during early pregnancy, especially around week 12. A lot of women report feeling sharp pains on one or both sides of their groin as they stand up or twist. This is normal, and is caused by the ligaments supporting your womb stretching as it grows.

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 to your favourite music!

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

What happens at your 12 week scan?

The 12 week scan is usually pretty exciting, as it will probably be the first time you see your baby. It typically last around 15 to 30 minutes, and the sonographer will listen for a heartbeat and measure your baby for the first time - which will give everyone a better idea of how old your baby is, and work out your due date.

At this time, it's usually too early to work out whether you're having a boy or a girl, so you'll have to wait until your 20 week scan to find out the gender of your baby. That said, some people believe in nub theory, which is where you determine the sex from the first ultrasound photo or there's even the Chinese gender predictor.

During week 12 of pregnancy what's happening in my body?

You probably don’t have much of a bump to show off just yet, but that's okay. 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 might be time to invest in some comfy maternity clothes.

Unusual symptoms to look out for at 12 weeks (Remember call the midwife or your doctor if you're having any concerns)

  • Speak to a medical professional if you're feeling particularly lonely or sad

  • Are you having any bleeding?

  • Contact your GP if cramping is really painful

What you should be doing this week...

Start those pelvic floor exercisesPelvic floor exercises are so important (trust us!) Squeeze for up to 10 seconds, 20 times a day. Not only can these muscles help during childbirth but they also reduce your chances of bladder issues and can help with postpartum symptoms. There are several pregnancy apps for fitness that you can download to help you.

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