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WEEK 12: Time for your first scan

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 him at your first pregnancy scan.
    5-minutes read

    At a glance

    12 week scan week. Seeing your baby for the first time can be wonderful, nerve-wracking and everything in between.

    Grow baby, grow. Your tiny human has all his parts, now all he has to do is grow.


    Time for protein. It’s great for transporting nutrients round the body, straight to baby.

    Smile. Dentistry is free when you’re pregnant, so get that check-up booked.

    Baby's development at 12 weeks pregnant

    Can you believe baby has more than doubled in size over the last three weeks? He’s becoming a proper little human now with all his bits and bobs in the right place. Even his skeleton is complete and is turning into harder bone. His bone marrow is making white blood cells so he’ll be able to fight off all those germs at nursery. His 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 and will number between 12 and 14,000,000,000 by the 18th week!

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


    Changes in you and 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 ‘golden’ trimester. Golden because 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. 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 10g, 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 not-so-golden 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.

    Pregnancy nutrition 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, 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.

    Your first baby scan at 12 weeks pregnant

    It’s around now at 12 weeks pregnant that most women have their first baby scan, which has to happen between 11 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days. It’s often a time of mixed emotions – excitement at seeing baby for the first time along with anticipation that everything with baby is ok. You’ll find a list of questions you might want to ask at this scan on our Mother of all Checklists web app.

    Once you know baby is healthy, it’s the green light to share the exciting news. How will you break it to the family? Upload the scan on social media? A surprise announcement at Sunday lunch? A t-shirt with a baby on board sign? Whatever you do, enjoy.


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