Your pregnancy week-by-week: week twelve

You are now 12 weeks pregnant. Your baby, although tiny at 6cm, is now fully formed and the size of a plum.

Your baby

Her size has more than doubled over the last three weeks, and she can now wave and swallow. The next stage of your baby’s development is to grow bigger, and to develop breathing and sucking motions. The placenta is also now fully developed.

This week your baby will have developed the startle reflex, also known as the Moro reflex. It’s a good time to introduce her to your favourite music – she should hear the sounds and move arms and legs, although you won’t be able to feel movement for a few weeks yet.

You

It is the last week of your first trimester. For many the sickness and tiredness has now eased somewhat. You may find that hormones and low blood sugar levels are causing changes in your body such as headaches, nosebleeds and dizziness.

Ensure you keep hydrated and that you eat a balanced diet with plenty of vitamin-rich foods to help you and your growing baby. If you feel faint or dizzy, try lying down and ensure you have regular snacks to keep blood sugar levels stable.

You’ll have an ultrasound scan around weeks 11 to 13. Known as the dating scan, it will confirm your due date and check that baby is healthy. This is likely to be the first time you see your baby and hear its heartbeat – a very exciting time!

Reassuringly, the risk of miscarriage becomes lower after this week, and therefore less of a worry. If you haven’t told friends, family and colleagues about your pregnancy yet, this could be a good time. Ask your employer to do a risk assessment to ensure your workplace is safe and comfortable for you and the baby.

Ask your midwife about local free antenatal classes or look on the National Childbirth Trust’s website to find out about classes in your area (the NCT charges a fee but may offer classes more local to you). The classes tend to start from mid-pregnancy but they can get booked up fast so it’s worth signing up early.

Your partner

It might be helpful to do a list, to discuss with your partner, of things you need to consider in the lead-up to the birth. For example, the changes you might need to make to your home, like decorating the baby’s room, and what you might need to buy for baby’s arrival.

If your partner wants to do antenatal classes, ask her if she’d like you to accompany her. These sessions are invaluable for understanding the birth process, and for meeting people in a similar situation to you both.

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