12 weeks pregnant - symptoms, fetal development and tests

As the risk of miscarriage drops considerably and you can now begin to relax and enjoy your pregnancy

Pregnancy week by week
(Image credit: Future)

Now that you're 12 weeks pregnant, you might feel comfortable sharing the happy news with family and friends (although, don't feel under any pressure). Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this special stage of your pregnancy. 

Symptoms at 12 weeks pregnant

You've nearly reached the end of the first trimester and suddenly things start looking up. The risk of miscarriage now drops considerably and you can now begin to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Those gruelling days of morning sickness and pregnancy fatigue may soon be a thing of the past and it can be a real relief to feel more normal again. Your uterus is lifting up out of your pelvis relieving some of the pressure on your bladder so the constant need for a wee will vanish, too.

Fetal development at 12 weeks pregnant

It's just 12 weeks after your last period and already your baby is fully formed. They're the size of a kiwi and weigh around 15g (that's around a tablespoon). All of their organs, muscles, limbs and bones are now in place and the sex organs are well developed. However, it's still too soon to determine the sex of your baby visually. You could try the Chinese birth predictor, just for fun.

From now on they just needs to grow and mature. They are about 7.5cm in length which is less than the height of a can of baked beans. Inside the womb they've started a mini work out. Bones and muscles are developing and they'll begin exercising arms and legs.

12 week foetus. 12 weeks pregnant, pregnancy week by week


What tests to expect at 12 weeks pregnant

Your booking-in appointment may be scheduled for this week. You may have a Nuchal Translucency Scan and a blood test this week to screen for Down's Syndrome. You may be offered a Chorionic Villus Sampling test if you have been identified as having a high risk of carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome or other genetic disorders.

It's early days but antenatal classes do fill up very quickly so book your place now. Antenatal classes are a great way of learning about everything from pain relief to labour positions to bathing a newborn. They also give you the chance to meet other expectant couples. Find out about classes from your hospital or midwife or call the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) which runs its own classes (prices vary).

How to tell people you're 12 weeks pregnant

Now that you've reached that 12 week milestone you may decide to share your good news with family and friends. You don't have to tell your employer yet but it may make it easier when it comes to taking time off for your antenatal appointments. During pregnancy you're entitled to take time off for your antenatal appointments and your employer has to give you this as paid leave.

Researchers have found that pregnant women are pretty spot on when it comes to predicting whether they're carrying a boy or a girl. In one US study, 100 pregnant women were asked to predict the sex of their unborn babies. Women who claimed to have an intuition about the gender of their child made the right choice over 70 per cent of the time.

Further advice and information:

Editor in Chief

Anna Bailey has been the editor of GoodtoKnow since 2018. Before joining the team she was Features Editor at MSN UK, where she oversaw Family Health and Days Out. Previously, she was Digital Lifestyle Editor for the broadcaster UKTV, and Lifestyle Editor for ITV.com. Anna studied Multi-Media Journalism at Bournemouth University and went on to gain her NCTJ and NCE journalism qualifications. Anna is responsible for driving the direction and editorial strategy of Goodto. A mum and experienced baby product tester, she is passionate about providing safe, trustworthy, and relatable advice for families of all kinds.