You are now 12 weeks pregnant, the last week of your first trimester. This must be very exciting for you. Now things should get easier, but it’s not always the case. Most of the pregnant women claim that once they overcome the first trimester, they don’t have morning sickness anymore, and they do not feel as exhausted. On the other hand, they still feel like a hormonal mess. But once again, this is not always the case. Some of them feel morning sickness till the very end of their pregnancy, some of them have no symptoms whatsoever and so on. Each woman is unique and may experience pregnancy differently.
If you did not have an ultrasound until this moment, you should. The 12-week ultrasound is very important. One of the most important aspects of the 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound is the screening for one of the congenital abnormalities, the most common being Trisomy 21, also known as Down Syndrome. It is imperative to screen for this abnormality, as it may predetermine the course of your pregnancy.
Let’s not allow our minds to head off negative thoughts. There are more positive aspects of the 12-week ultrasound. First of all, you get to see your baby. How exciting is that! For the first time, you get to see something other than a peanut. Your baby is now about 6 cm in length and fully formed. From this moment on it grows larger and practices sucking and breathing motions. Despite their fully developed form, the 12-week ultrasound cannot reveal the sex of the baby. Not accurately anyway. But its kidneys start to work this week, which means that they will excrete urine in your baby’s bladder.
Another aspect of the 12-week ultrasound is, once you see your baby, you may develop a more emotional bond towards him/her than first you found out you are pregnant. Usually, parents feel more attached to their babies because they had visual contact. Your emotional rush may start once you hear the baby’s heartbeat. If you have already had an ultrasound before, you may have heard the heartbeat, but now you can hear it more clearly.
Let’s move on to the technical importance of pregnancy at 12 weeks. Don’t let the medical terms that your doctor may throw at you scare you. He is compelled to tell you all these things, but you can ask him to explain everything to you. Don’t be shy.
First of all, at this stage, your doctor can check if the fetus is developed as it should be. He can measure your baby’s skull and compare it against standard lengths for fetuses at the same stage. Also, the doctor can measure it from head to bottom, which is also known as the Crown-Rump length.
Second of all, the ultrasound at 12 weeks will reveal if there are multiple fetuses and confirm if one or more are present. Right about now you will want to know if you are having twins. You must be prepared for what you’re getting into. Also, at this stage, your doctor can give you an estimated date of delivery. Trust me; you want to know this. That way you can organize your time and make due preparations for the new member of your family.
Last, but not least, your doctor must also check the uterus, fallopian tubes, and pelvic region for possible complications. If any are found, your doctor may recommend a course of treatment. My advice is not to worry too much. Medicine has advanced a lot, so there are very few things that cannot be fixed.
All in all, the 12 weeks ultrasound is quite revealing. You can even enjoy the 12-week ultrasound pictures. At this point, you should know a lot of things about your baby. And you will find out right away. Usually, your doctor will tell you on the spot if everything is in order. So sit back and relax. You can already buy some clothes, unisex for now, plan to decorate the nursery and whatnot. Be happy and take good care of yourself. The rest will surely follow.