You are 11 Weeks and 5 Days 198 days to go…

Having your first scan this week and knowing your risk of miscarriage is reduced now, should mean you can start to relax.

Your baby today

At this stage the eye—not yet in its final position—still dominates the appearance of the face. The eye is not yet responsive to light and remains well protected behind the covering eyelid.

This can be a very positive time for you, especially if you’ve been anxious from day one of your pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage falls as your pregnancy progresses and by the end of this 12th week, it’s no more than 1 percent.

As you enter the second trimester, you should begin to feel better (see You are 11 Weeks and 6 Days), and this, combined with the knowledge that you have passed the most risky time, may help you relax. If you’ve been keeping your pregnancy a secret, you can also enjoy telling others.

… Safety
Safe scans

Ultrasound has been used for years and is thought to be safe. Children who’ve been exposed to prenatal ultrasound do not have differences in speech, hearing, vision, or school performance, or an increased risk of cancer. However, ultrasound should only be done when necessary.

… Nutritionist
Q: I have a really sweet tooth. Is it okay to indulge this while I’m pregnancy?
A: While occasional treats of cookies or chocolate are fine, processed foods usually contain hidden fats and sugars and provide few nutrients, so it’s best to try to find healthier sweet alternatives to snack on, such as fresh fruit.

Always read food labels and look for alternative foods containing less fat and less added sugars. Just as you would consider carefully how you feed your child, you should take care of yourself in the same way while you’re pregnant.

One of the best ways to curb your sweet tooth is to eat regular meals. This helps to steady your blood-sugar level and reduce sweet cravings. Try not to go longer than three hours without eating and, if you’re hungry, have a healthy snack between meals, such as a chicken sandwich, a low-fat yogurt, or fruit, which can be fresh, canned, or dried, such as raisins or apricots.

Try to drink about two quarts of water a day, since perceived hunger is often really dehydration. Drinking a glass or two of water may stop you from reaching for the cookie jar.

It’s possible to satisfy sweet cravings with refreshing fruit. You may find that you feel better after eating a fruit salad than if you eat a bar of chocolate.

Medical ultrasound has been used since the early 1960s.

However, the first discovery of high-frequency echo-sounding techniques, on which ultrasound is based, was as long ago as 1880 in Paris. In the early 20th century, ultrasound was used as a therapy tool and it was not until the 1940s that research began into its use as a diagnostic tool.

You are 11 Weeks and 6 Days 197 days to go…

If you’re finding you’re out of breath when you get to the top of the stairs, accept this as a normal side effect of pregnancy.

Your baby today

The bones of the front of the skull have continued to expand and cover the head, protecting the delicate brain structures beneath. The soft spot in between the skull bones (center) remains through pregnancy and into babyhood.

By the end of the first trimester it’s normal to begin feeling a little breathless. This is because your heart and lungs are having to work much harder to supply your body with oxygen due to all the changes that are taking place to allow the baby to grow.

The amount of oxygen you need in pregnancy is about 20 percent more than normal; some of this goes to the placenta (see You are 10 Weeks Exactly) and baby and the rest to your other organs. To get this increased amount of oxygen you breathe faster and deeper, almost hyperventilating so you feel short of breath, especially when you exercise.

As your pregnancy continues, you may find that this shortness of breath or feeling that you are not breathing very deeply continues, or worsens. As the baby grows, your uterus will expand upward and your other abdominal organs will rearrange themselves to create more room. Your organs and uterus push up against your diaphragm so it becomes more difficult to take a deep breath, so in order to get all the oxygen you need, you then have to breathe much faster. The hormone progesterone may also affect the rate at which you breathe.

If you have any concerns about breathlessness, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor.

Some of your usual vitality should begin to return toward the end of the first trimester.

… Health
Feeling better?

By the end of this trimester, many of the early pregnancy symptoms are likely to have passed.

  • Nausea may have begun to lessen and it can be a complete relief to wake up in the morning without feeling sick. Your loss of appetite will return, and you can stop worrying about whether your baby is being properly nourished, which is often a common concern for women who suffer from morning sickness.

  • You won’t need to urinate quite so often, which will be good news if you’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. This is because your uterus is now moving up the abdominal cavity and therefore is placing less pressure on your bladder.

  • The fatigue that you may have felt in these early months is likely to have lifted by now, and you may be sleeping more deeply now that you’re relaxing into your pregnancy.

    If your sickness hasn’t passed yet, don’t worry—for some women, it does last longer.

… Doctor
Q: I’ve gone from an A cup to D cup. Will this increase in size last forever?
A: The majority of women who have had babies do report a permanent increase in breast size but it’s unlikely to be to this extent! The effects of estrogen cause fat to be deposited in the breasts and when your milk comes in after the birth your breasts will get bigger, but reduce again once you have stopped breast-feeding.
You are 12 Weeks Exactly 196 days to go…

You’ve reached the end of the first trimester and in this time your baby has developed from a ball of cells to an active fetus.

Your baby today

Here the legs are crossed and the arms outstretched. The umbilical cord is short and thick at this stage, but will lengthen as the baby grows, and become much thinner with many coils.

Your amazing baby can do so many things already, including being able to open his mouth and yawn, hiccup, and swallow. Swallowing develops earlier than sucking. Your baby will be swallowing the amniotic fluid regularly but the more complex sucking movements cannot be identified until 18–20 weeks. Swallowing will encourage gut development. The amniotic fluid enters into the stomach not the lungs, which are protected now by the vocal cords and the higher pressure of the lung’s own fluid. The amniotic fluid will later be excreted as urine when the fetal kidneys start to function.

After the stomach, the amniotic fluid will enter the small bowel. The intestinal walls are developing muscular layers but these do not yet contract in a coordinated way to move the fluid along the digestive tract. It will be 20 weeks before the structural organization of the gut is finally complete. Many digestive enzymes are starting to be released into the gut but these currently act as a stimulus to development rather than for the absorption of nutrients.

Your baby is reliant on a steady stream of glucose, which is stored as glycogen in the liver. This continues throughout pregnancy and at birth your baby will, for her size, have significantly larger glycogen reserves than adults do. The correct level of glucose is controlled by insulin secreted by the pancreas. The placenta, however, has little control over the amount it takes from your blood-stream and passes on. For this reason if your glucose level is very high, for example in poorly controlled diabetes, the baby will be presented with high levels of glucose. He will maintain a normal glucose level but the insulin released leads to increased fat deposition and weight gain.

Your doctor

Most women develop a good relationship with their doctor, who can be a fountain of fantastic information, and a wonderful source of comfort and reassurance.

It’s important that you are as honest as you can be with your doctor. Like many women, you may be reluctant to reveal concerns, or to admit to unhealthy habits for fear of being embarrassed or scolded. It’s very likely that your doctor will have heard it all before, and will be able to help and advise—with a few tried-and-tested tricks up her sleeve.

Actual size of your baby

At 12 weeks your baby’s crown to rump length is 2.4 in (6.1 cm).

9 weeks

12 weeks

All your baby’s organs, limbs, and facial features are in place, but her head is still disproportionately large. She can open and close her mouth, and her eyes are developing behind closed lids.

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