Well, now the all important 12 weeks is finally here, and if you found out early on about your pregnancy then this wait will have seemed like a lifetime!
You are now at the end of the first trimester so if you want to go and shout the news out to your loved ones, friends, colleagues – everybody – then get on that rooftop because the chances of miscarriage have now decreased substantially. Fantastic news, and a great reason to relax and enjoy the next stages of pregnancy.
Pick up a grapefruit and look at it, at 3 months pregnant your uterus is already that size and will give way to a protruding belly soon.
You might be able to feel the hard womb wall just above your pubic bone… go on see if you can feel it! By this stage most Mums to be have gained about 2-4 pounds in weight, not a reason to worry about weight gain this is one of the best times of your life! However, you may have only put on a little bit less – especially if you have had a strong personal relationship with your bathroom due to morning (all day) sickness! If you are experiencing morning sickness this should tail off by the end of the 12th week.
If like many you have trouble sleeping at this stage of pregnancy due to heartburn, then talk to the pregnancy guru – your Midwife. Not many people know but your midwife can prescribe a large bottle of Gaviscon free of charge to pregnant mums, lovely stuff!
At this stage though, don’t take the phrase ‘eating for two’ too seriously. About 300 extra calories a day is all a pregnant woman needs to keep Junior on the right track in the later stages of pregnancy. Gaining too much weight can lead to increased aches and pains, high blood pressure and can risk putting a strain on your back, so the most important thing is to focus on a healthy balanced diet and light exercise.
You will soon be having your first scan, the dating one, and it usually happens at about 13 weeks, just over 3 months pregnant. If you are over 35 you will be offered a nuchal test for Downs Syndrome, this is routine. Some regional NHS and private care schemes offer this to everybody and it can be requested if you have concerns. Having this in a first pregnancy is very normal.
What will happen is that the Midwife or Doctor will simply take the measurement of the fold of skin at the baby’s neck and combine it with the result from a blood test that’s taken after your scan – sorry, yes, more needles! The test will then show whether you are at high or low risk of giving birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome.
At the scan itself, wow, you are in for one of the most amazing and magical experiences of your life. You will need to drink a ridiculous amount of water beforehand, but if need be get to the ultrasound department early so if you do need a desperate trip the bathroom you can use the water dispenser in the waiting room to top you up.
The sonographer will put some gel on your belly and then use a special instrument which she or he will pass over your bump. Once in the room, you will be have some gel put onto your belly and an instrument passed over it. The sonographer, in most cases (some are very quiet, don’t let this worry you), will talk you through what is happening on the screen. It shouldn’t worry you if it takes a while to get your baby in a good position.
Most scan rooms now have large plasma screens on the wall so you get a good view. – and what a view it is. To see your child for the first time and get a view of that tiny heart beating, that’s nature’s miracle and most parents-to-be will leave that room with a huge grin.
At 3 months pregnant your little one is about 3 inches long and weighs about the same as half a banana.
Already she has her own fingerprints and her body is now growing faster than her head. His or her wafer thin skin is now covered with a thin layer of downy hair (lanugo) which will disappear before birth.
Hair and eyebrows are developing although these will change in colour and texture once they hit the outside world. If you could see your bundle of joy you would think they were smiling as the tiny facial muscles receive a daily workout. Your baby can grasp with her fingers and may even suck a thumb.
The newly developed kidney’s are already producing urine which gets released into the amniotic fluid.
Soon will be time for your second scan, for now enjoy your pregnant time if you’re not sick and that exciting time will soon come.