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Second Trimester 1stTrimester     3rd Trimester

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12 WEEKS, 3 DAYS

193 days to go...

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Your baby today

The toes are now separate and are all the same length. The ankle joints are now mature enough to be working, although it will still be many weeks before you are likely to be conscious of any kicks.

As your uterus grows to accommodate your baby, you may begin to notice a few twinges around your pelvis.

There's a strong band of connective tissue in your pelvis, supporting your uterus. Known as the round ligament, this band has to stretch as your uterus expands, which can cause some discomfort. The pain is generally felt in the groin or lower abdomen and can be on either side. Although the pain starts in the pelvis, it may travel up to your hips. You may feel a short, sharp stabbing pain or a more prolonged, dull ache.

You will soon adapt and find sitting and lying positions that cause you the least discomfort and which may relieve discomfort. Also, try other common methods of pain relief, too, such as taking a warm bath or resting comfortably with your feet up.

Round ligament pain is common in pregnancy and isn't a cause for concern. See your doctor, however, if you have sharp abdominal or pelvic pains don't resolve quickly or if your pain becomes crampy; if there is any bleeding; if there is a burning sensation when you urinate; or if you're feverish. If you're in any doubt, always seek medical advice.

Focus On... Twins

Carrying twins

If you're expecting twins, or more, it's good to know that most multiple pregnancies are straightforward and without complications. However, being pregnant with multiple babies is going to be more challenging for your body to handle than if you were carrying just one baby.

It's wise to know about the slightly higher risk of certain conditions that can occur. These include:

  • Placenta previa (see Low-lying placenta)
  • Polyhydramnios
  • Poor growth of one or more babies, which may be caused by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome
  • Premature labor.

    The fact that any of these conditions can develop is the reason why you'll have more prenatal checkups to preempt problems and minimize their effects.

The round ligaments, which help support the uterus, stretch as the uterus enlarges and pull on nearby nerve fibers and sensitive structures, causing discomfort.

As A Matter Of Fact

Fertility treatment has had a huge impact on the number of multiple pregnancies.

In 1977, the year before the world's first "test tube baby" was born, the natural occurrence of multiples in live births in the US was: twins 1 in 53; triplets and other multiple births, 1 in 3,092.

Today, with the increased use of fertility treatments, those numbers are 1 in 618 for triplets and other multiple births.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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