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A weekly guide to pregnancy: week 12

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In December, St James's Palace made one of the most eagerly anticipated announcements in years with the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. And since then, all eyes have been on Kate as she embarks on an incredible nine-month journey into motherhood. With that in mind, Fiona Walkinshaw, Maternity Services Manager at The Portland Hospital For Women and Children, shares a week-by-week guide to pregnancy with HELLO! Online.

What's happening to your baby? Week 12

Amazingly just 12 weeks after conception, your baby is now fully formed. All its organs, muscles, limbs and bones are in place, and the sex organs are well developed although it is still difficult to distinguish the gender of your baby on ultrasound. Baby’s fingers and toes are less webbed and the nails have started to grow. Your baby is already moving about but you will be unable to feel these movements yet. At the end of the third month, your baby is about 6cm long (about the size of a lime) and weighs between 9-14g. From now on, it has to grow and mature.

What's happening to you? Week 12

Your uterus is growing and will be beginning to move up putting less pressure on the bladder, hopefully meaning fewer trips to the loo! This is one of the most crucial times in pregnancy because the placenta takes over hormone production from the ovaries and you may find that your mood swings ease off. If your doctor or midwife has not yet done so, they will take a range of blood tests to assess your iron level, blood group and immunity to certain viruses. 

Also included in these tests will be those to exclude the presence of certain inherited conditions. If you are taking Folic acid you can now stop taking this although it is recommended that you continue with a pregnancy multivitamin containing vitamin D throughout your pregnancy. Remember that it is important to discuss with your midwife or doctor all medications and vitamins you are taking, including homoeopathic remedies. You should now have an appointment arranged to have an ultrasound scan between 11 - 12+6 weeks. As well as confirming the date that your baby is due, this scan can provide screening for abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome. Your midwife or doctor will discuss this with you and ask for your consent prior to carrying out this screening test.

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