When you are 9 weeks pregnant all your baby’s body parts will be present but not yet fully formed. He or she will be about the size of a grape – about 2cm long and weighing about 2g. He or she will more than double in size over the next 3 weeks.
By 10 weeks your baby will be about 3cm long and will weigh about 4g. All its vital organs – liver, kidneys, intestines, brain and lungs – are fully formed and functional.
By 11 weeks he will have fully formed fingers and toes with tiny fingernails. His or her genitals will be starting to form properly.
By 12 weeks he will weigh around 14 g and will be about 5.5cm long. His skeleton is now complete and the bones are beginning to harden. He will be moving very frequently although you will not be able to feel this yet.
Your uterus is about the size of a small melon and you may even be able to feel it low in your pelvis. You are unlikely to be showing unless this is your second or third child.
Your booking appointment at your local Hospital should be at some stage between 8 and 10 weeks. After you have made contact with your GP to tell him you are pregnant, you should be sent a letter inviting you for this booking appointment.
Your booking appointment is perhaps the most important appointment you will have in your pregnancy as this is when certain risks factors, if any, may be revealed. Your midwife or doctor should be able to tell if you may need additional care during your pregnancy because of physical or psychological factors. They will take a careful personal and family history and perform and tests if necessary to help them build up a picture of how your pregnancy might go.
12 Week Scan and Tests
You are likely to have your 12 week scan between 11 and 14 weeks.
Maternity care has changed over the years and is now much more focused upon gathering as much information as possible on the patient early on in the pregnancy in order to determine if there are any risk factors. Specialist (Consultant) care can then be focused upon those with certain risk factors, whilst those without can be cared for by a midwife, with fewer check ups.
Both the 12 and 20 week scans are becoming more important in helping doctors to identify any possible risks during the pregnancy.
The 12 week scan may look at factors such as the length of your cervix, the blood flow through to the baby and a thorough scan may indicate any risks of an abnormal baby, chromosomal abnormalities, a pre-term baby, a small baby and pre-eclampsia. (for more details on this, take a look at Complications in Pregnancy)
You will be weighed, and your family history will be noted in detail – which again will help doctors to predict any predisposition to risks.
You can expect to be given some blood tests to check for numerous conditions such as anaemia, Urinary tract infection (UTI) diabetes, HIV and sickle cell that may affect the course of your pregnancy.
Obviously the course and outcome of your actual labour cannot be predicted, but by identifying certain risks earlier on in the pregnancy, these can be better managed.
Nuchal Scan- Down’s Syndrome Screening
Earlier in your pregnancy you should be given some information on screening for Down’s Syndrome. It is up to you if you want to undergo this screening which is in the form of a scan (usually at your 12 week scan) and a blood test before 14 weeks. After 15 weeks the screening involves a few more tests. Under ideal circumstances the test will detect 85-95% of babies affected by Downs Sydrome. The scan test does not actually make the diagnosis but may help identify women who may require further invasive testing to find out the actual chromosomes carried by your baby. This test is called an Amniocentesis and has a slight risk of miscarriage. If the results are positive then you should be offered further information, support and more tests to confirm whether or not your baby has Down’s syndrome.
There are some new non invasive tests that are slowly being assessed for general use in the NHS. They involve a blood test from the mother and they analyse the DNA of the fetus in the mothers blood. They can be done anytime after 10 weeks and are 99% accurate in predicting the baby’s chromosomes and avoids the need for invasive testing.
You may start to sleep badly at night. The explanation for this phenomenon (when you don’t yet have an uncomfortable bump or many pregnancy related ailments) seems to be unknown, but many women do start to report trouble sleeping.
Whether or not you are sleeping well, you are likely to feel very tired. Combined with nausea and general worries associated with being pregnant, you may not be feeling particularly jubilant about being pregnant. This feeling will pass soon, many women report feeling back to normal between 12-16 weeks!
If this is your first baby you are not likely to have a bump yet and if you are not suffering from any other symptoms such as morning sickness, you may not “feel pregnant” at all and may feel eager to start looking and feeling like a pregnant women!
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