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Pregnancy at week 12

5-minute read

Your baby

Your baby has almost doubled in size in the past 4 weeks and is now fully formed, with all of their organs, muscles, limbs and bones in place. At this point, your baby fills your whole uterus.

Their head is about half the length of their body and their arms appear a more proportionate length, although their legs are still short.

Their kidneys and digestive system are also starting to function. Your baby is swallowing the amniotic fluid that surrounds them and is passing this back out as urine. This fluid helps to protect your baby and also supports development of their lungs, digestive system and muscles.

Your body

By now your uterus will have shifted so there is less pressure on your bladder which may mean you are needing to go to the toilet a little less. You may also be feeling less tired and find you have more energy to get back to some of the activities you previously enjoyed.

Pelvic floor exercises are important at all stages of life to prevent bladder and bowel problems, such as incontinence and prolapse, and can improve sexual function. In pregnancy, hormonal changes cause your muscles to soften and stretch more easily. These changes, along with the weight of your growing baby, put extra strain on your pelvic floor.

The best solution is to do regular pelvic floor exercises. If you are struggling to do these on your own, ask for advice from a physiotherapist, continence nurse or your doctor or midwife.

Things to remember

Week 12 is around the time when some women start their routine antenatal visits. This may be with your doctor, midwife or an obstetrician depending on which model of care is available in your area and what you have chosen. How often you see them will depend on your individual circumstance.

Even if your pregnancy is going well and you’re feeling well, it’s important for you to attend your appointments so any potential risks can be identified and prevented or reduced. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about your pregnancy.

During your routine pregnancy check-ups you will be offered a number of different types of tests including blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound scans and special tests. Ask your doctor or midwife if you’re not sure when you need to have a particular test, or why it is recommended for you.

Many women feel emotional when they are pregnant. While its normal to experience ups and downs during pregnancy, it’s time to seek advice from a health professional if you feel consistently bad (for example, if you feel sad or worried) for longer than 2 weeks. It’s important to seek help early.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 13 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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