At 12 weeks
What’s happening to you?
The good new is that your feelings of nausea and sickness begin to ebb around now and you may even feel a surge of energy. Also your baby has completed the vulnerable phase of her growth and is now hardly vulnerable to infections and the effects of drugs. But you shouldn’t take any medicines, not even OTC, without consulting your doctor.
Your first visit to the antenatal clinic will be at around 12 weeks, and you should have about 10 more during the next six months. On your first visit the staff will want to find out as much as possible about you to try and gauge your needs. They will ask about your social and domestic life, to check whether your circumstances will be good for a home delivery. Be sure to ask any questions and share any concerns.
During antenatal care you will be offered a number of tests to check your baby’s health and development. These are routine and nothing to be concerned about, and can be reassuring if you have any particular concerns. Ultrasound scans are perfectly safe and are used to check your baby’s position in the womb and general well-being. The first be at around 13 weeks.
Smile mum! Researcher Allan Schore believes that your smiles will actually help your baby’s brain to grow because a smile produces love hormones. It’s the same after he’s born, when he looks into your eyes and sees happiness, his heart rate will go up.
To help you bond with your baby try this –
- Gently massage your partner’s tummy and after 18-20 weeks you’ll feel your baby move
- Talk and coo softly to your baby, kiss and nuzzle your baby through your partner’s skin
- Use inner tubes of toilet rolls to listen to your baby’s heartbeat
- Go with your partner when she has a scan to see your baby develop
A Nuchal scan, given somewhere around 11-13 weeks can assess the risk of having a Down’s syndrome baby. A shadow of a particular shape and size on her neck may indicate a higher risk of a chromosomal defect such as Down’s. Nuchal scans are not routinely offered everywhere, but if this is of particular concern to you, you should investigate your options. And speak to your midwife or doctor.
Now your baby is no longer considered an embryo, he’s officially a foetus! At 12 weeks your baby’s bones will all be formed and growing rapidly. He’ll be moving his body, bending his arms and legs but he’s too tiny for you to feel his movements and could even have hiccups.
Your baby is becoming a recognisable little person. Her face is completely formed and she can purse her lips, turn her head and wrinkle her nose. Sex organs will be growing and your scan may be able to tell the gender of your baby.
You need to give a thought to your expectant dad. He’s expecting too and may have a whole set of his own questions and anxieties. You can help by talking to him, including him in antenatal visits from the start and encouraging him to talk to other new fathers. Give him pregnancy books to read so that he’s familiar with everything that’s happening to you and your developing baby. Massage your bump together, talk and sing to him. Listen to his heartbeat through a cardboard tube and talk over names together. Check out dates of antenatal visits so you can plan ahead and go together. Make space for timeouts together and don’t neglect to talk about sex.
Bye till next time
for more information please visit http://www.dk.co.uk/static/html/features/stoppard/intro.html
Copyright Miriam Stoppard 2012