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12 WEEKS, 1 DAY

195 days to go...

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ultrasound of human fetus at 12 weeks and 1 day

Your baby today

This 3D ultrasound scan clearly demonstrates that the baby's arms and legs are now fully formed and much more in proportion with the trunk. All of the baby's joints are now formed, enabling a full range of movement.

This is a good time to start telling the important people in your life your exciting news-before they guess for themselves.

Now that you're in your second trimester and have had your dating scan (see First Ultrasound Scan), you may want to start telling a wider circle of people that you're pregnant. You can feel confident doing this, knowing that the risk of miscarriage is reduced to no more than 1 percent after the 12th week. Besides this, your belly will begin to show in a few weeks, if it hasn't already, so hiding the pregnancy will become difficult.

If you and your partner have been keeping the pregnancy a secret for the past three months, announcing it will be a huge release and it can be a positive experience to share the news with others. However, be prepared for an onslaught of advice and people's tales of their pregnancy and birth experiences!

Sometimes letting others know that you're pregnant can be difficult. Be sensitive to other people's feelings: friends who also want to be parents, but are having difficulty conceiving, may find it difficult to share your happiness right away. It's preferable to tell these people face to face rather than them hearing it through the grapevine. Even if they don't react positively, and don't want to talk about your pregnancy all the time, give them time to come to terms with it at their own pace. Remember they can be sad for themselves while being happy for you.

Time To Think About

Second trimester tests

If you haven't had a nuchal translucency scan, blood tests will be offered this trimester to screen for Down (see Screening Tests).

  • The triple test is done at 16-18 weeks. It measures levels of the hormones hCG, AFP, and estriol.
  • The quadruple test is done at 15-22 weeks. It measures levels of inhibin A in addition to the hormones measured in the triple test.

Focus On... Your body

Become a clothes cheat!

Although your clothes may be feeling a little tight by this stage, you probably aren't ready to wear voluminous maternity clothing just yet, so it's time to get creative! Simply bridge the gap between your button and button-hole with an rubber band or by sewing in an elastic panel. Assuming he's bigger than you, try raiding your partner's wardrobe-his T-shirts, shirts, and sweaters can be ruched in with a low-slung belt.

Check what's in your wardrobe already: empire-cut dresses will see you through most of your pregnancy; looser smock tops can be layered over tight-fitting T-shirts; low-slung pants can sit neatly under your belly, topped with an oversized shirt. The one item you might want to purchase is a pair of maternity pants-something stretchy with an adjustable waist.

pair of jeans fastened with rubber band over pregnant belly
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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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