8-12 weeks of pregnancy

You are still in the 1st trimester of your pregnancy but your baby is transforming rapidly. Once you have reached 11 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is no longer referred to medically as an embryo and the term fetus is used from now until birth. Once you reach 12 weeks of pregnancy your baby has all their internal structures in formed and in place and is now ready to grow bigger during the next two trimesters.


At week 8 of your pregnancy your baby is developing webbed hands and feet. Your baby is making movements but you wont be able to feel these yet, as your baby is about the size of a kidney bean. If you haven’t confirmed your pregnancy with your GP yet, you may want to consider this to enable you to access more information, or to talk about any general worries or queries you may have.


At week 9 of your pregnancy your baby has all their internal organs in place, such as the heart, lungs, liver, brain and kidneys, although they are still very immature and are continuing to develop. Your baby is about 20mm in length.


At week 10 of your pregnancy your baby is starting bend their arms and legs to make movements. Your uterus is about the size of a grapefruit and your baby weighs about 3 grams.


At week 11 of your pregnancy the bones in your baby’s face have formed and their ears are starting to develop. Your baby’s eyes are developing but are covered by their eyelids, which wont open for a few months yet.


At week 12 of your pregnancy your baby is the size of a plum. Body parts and internal organs have formed and your baby just needs to continue growing. If you are unsure about the date of your last period, an ultrasound scan can tell how far along your pregnancy is, predicting your due date as well as checking the development of your baby. Many families feel as though this milestone is the right time for them to announce their pregnancy to family and friends, if they have managed to keep their exciting news secret for this long!


Checklist for the 1st trimester

  • Remember to continue taking folic acid at the recommended dose, as there is robust research, which suggests this can help to reduce neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
  • Try to eat a healthy balanced diet, preferably rich in vitamins and nutrients, whilst avoiding foods that are not recommended, including alcohol.
  • You may want to ask your GP about ultrasound scans to check how far along your pregnancy is or whether there is more than one baby.
  • Stay well hydrated to help with any sickness and nausea. Plain, bland foods may help, as may food and drink infused with ginger. Listen to your body, as you may also need to rest more during the first trimester.
  • Spend some time thinking about where you would like to have your baby. There are several options, which include; at home, at a midwife led unit or at a consultant led unit in a hospital. Not all of these options are available to women in every area in Ireland though. To check what is available around you visit this website http://aimsireland.ie/where-will-i-have-my-baby-where-to-get-advice/

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