You and Your Baby at 12 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnant woman having an ultrasound at 12 weeks

During the 12th week of your pregnancy, your baby is growing quickly. You're also experiencing some changes, but those early pregnancy symptoms of nausea and fatigue are beginning to improve.

Your Baby's Development

By the 12th week of pregnancy, your baby is over two inches long. According to Pregnancy.org, your little one is experiencing several major developments this week:

woman with doctor

By this point in your pregnancy, you have probably already heard the baby's heart beating. Depending on your health history and age, you doctor may also perform some tests to check for health concerns with the baby. You and your doctor or midwife may consider the following prenatal tests at this point in your pregnancy.

First Trimester Screening

printable pregnancy calendar
Download this pregnancy calendar

A minimally invasive and very low-risk test, the first trimester screening is a combination of a blood test and an ultrasound evaluation. This test determines whether your baby may be at risk for a chromosomal abnormality that would require additional testing. Typically, the blood test checks hormone levels, while the ultrasound measures the translucency of the nuchal fold, or the skin and fluid behind the baby's neck. Doctors and midwives typically recommend this test between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy.

Chorionic Villus Sampling

Typically performed between the 10th and 13th week of pregnancy, chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a genetic test offered to mothers of advanced maternal age (over 35), those who have an abnormal first trimester screening, or those who have a history of genetic defects. This test, which carries a small risk of miscarriage, involves removing a few cells from the placenta and testing those cells for chromosomal abnormalities. It also allows doctors to determine a baby's paternity before birth. Since there are risks to this procedure, it's important that you fully discuss it with your doctor.

If you need help downloading the printable pregnancy calendar, check out these helpful tips.

Looking Forward

It's normal to feel anxious during this point in your pregnancy. Although testing for chromosomal abnormalities is beneficial in many cases, it can contribute to your nervousness. As always, it's important to talk to your doctor about these concerns and any other worries you may have about your health or the baby's health. You and your health professional will be working together for many weeks to come.

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You and Your Baby at 12 Weeks Pregnant