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12 Weeks pregnant: time for your first pregnancy scan

Baby is about the size of a lime and getting cuter by the day with tiny eyes, nose, mouth and cheeks forming and soon you’ll get to see baby at your first pregnancy scan.

    3-minutes read


    At 12 weeks pregnant, you’ll have your first scan. Seeing your baby for the first time can be wonderful, nerve-wracking and everything in between. Grow baby, grow. Your tiny human has all their parts, now all baby has to do is grow. Time for protein. It’s great for transporting nutrients round the body, straight to baby.

    Read more on what to expect at 12 weeks pregnant.

    What happens at 12 weeks pregnant?

    Can you believe baby has more than doubled in size over the last three weeks? They’re becoming a proper little human now with all their bits and bobs in the right place. Even baby’s skeleton is complete and is turning into harder bone. Bone marrow is making white blood cells so baby will be able to fight off all those germs at nursery. Baby’s liver is over-sized at the moment but starting to make red blood cells, while the brain continues to form rapidly. The nerve cells are multiplying hugely at a rate of 15 million per hour!

    You won’t be able to feel it yet but with all those new muscles in baby’s legs and arms, baby will be wriggling and dancing around inside. You might even get a wave at your first scan, so look out.


    What happens to your body at 12 weeks pregnant?

    Congratulations. At 12 weeks pregnant you’re a third of the way through your pregnancy. Only one week to go until the second trimester, often known as the ‘golden trimester’. During the second trimester, your hormones have done a lot of the hard work and will start to ease off, so most women enjoy less nausea, less lethargy and more energy. Hence why it is known as the ‘golden trimester’. Soon your uterus will move up into your belly so there’ll be fewer visits to the loo too.

    On average, a mother-to-be weighs 1 to 2 kg more towards the end of the first trimester. Interestingly, at just 18g, your little one takes up the smallest proportion of the weight increase. Most of it is thanks to your expanded uterus, placenta and the amniotic fluid.

    On the down side you may have a whole new set of symptoms, like back pain, abdominal pain, and bleeding gums. If you want to keep smiling through the pain better give those pearly whites some extra love because pregnancy hormones can be unkind to teeth and gums. Book in a trip to an NHS dentist, it’s free while you’re pregnant and for up to a year after birth.

    What to eat at 12 weeks pregnant?

    From here on in baby’s most important job is to grow and yours is to give them the right nutrients to do it. So, time for protein. It helps transport nutrients around the body, build healthy bones, and maintain body tissues. Luckily protein comes in many delicious forms and should be easy to fit into your pregnancy diet – beans, pulses, tofu, fish, eggs, meat, poultry and nuts. To become a lean, mean, baby-growing machine, choose lean cuts of meat (avoiding liver), remove skin from poultry, and try cooking without oil. Meat really needs to be cooked all the way through with no pink bits left – if you enjoy a juicy rare steak, apologies. Try to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which can be oily fish like salmon, sardines or mackerel.

    You might go off certain foods and crave others. It’s very common in pregnancy. If you go off meat or fish try eating them cold in a salad, it’s often the smell that puts you off. Marinating food in vinegar, lemon or lime juice, can help too as sharper, cleaner tastes are often easier on your new palate.

    Also, now you’re pregnant your iron needs are increased. Iron helps get the extra blood flowing around the body and to baby. Here’s a clever trick – if you have vitamin C with iron it absorbs so much better. So, a glass of orange juice with your iron fortified cereal (most cereals are) is a great way to start your day.

    What are the symptoms of 12 weeks pregnant?

    Week 12 pregnancy symptoms as mentioned already may include bleeding gums. This is due to hormonal changes which can lead to a build-up of plaque – which can often leave your gums quite sore. Make sure you brush and floss frequently and try and avoid anything too sugary. Dizziness in pregnancy is also quite common and is completely normal, your body is doing quite a lot of work after all. Don’t get up too quickly and if you feel concerned speak to your midwife for advice.


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