Your belly and your baby are growing quickly, here’s what’s in store

Quick notes

  • Your 12-week ultrasound is one of your most critical prenatal appointments

  • You can expect to see your baby moving at this ultrasound, which is exciting

  • After a healthy check-up and 12-week ultrasound, this is also the time many parents decide to share the news with friends and family that they are expecting

When you get to the 12-week mark, your body and your tiny babe are changing faster than you may even realize. The first trimester is finally wrapping up, and a new chapter of pregnancy is about to begin.

This guide will go over how your body and your baby are changing and what you can expect at your 12-week ultrasound.

Pexels / Pixabay

How your body is changing at 12-weeks

By the time you reach 12 weeks, your hormones are finally starting to tone down. This usually signifies an end to many of the first-trimester pregnancy symptoms. You may begin to feel less nauseous and less tired.

Although some women report an end to nausea or bouts of throwing up, many still deal with these symptoms into their second trimester, so know that either is normal.

At 12 weeks pregnant, you may start to feel more headaches and dizziness to replace your nausea. Discharge is also normal at this stage. It is your body’s way of fighting off infections. Dizziness can happen at any stage of pregnancy due to the hormonal changes and shifts in your blood pressure.

By this point in pregnancy, you may start to feel bloated and that your clothes are getting tight. Your belly may also have a notable bump.

What to expect at your 12-week ultrasound

Your 12-week ultrasound is one of your most important prenatal appointments. As your first trimester wraps up, this may be the last time you see your little one until your 20-week ultrasound. When you see your baby, you’ll notice they are starting to look more like a baby and less like a tadpole.

“Your 12-week ultrasound is one of your most important prenatal appointments.”

At 12 weeks, your baby has organs and tissue that are starting to grow rapidly. They can also open and close their fingers. Their brain is also getting larger and more developed by the day. You can expect to see your baby moving at this ultrasound, which is exciting.

What you’ll see

Your doctor will be looking for a heartbeat and will be monitoring your baby’s growth and development. Growth won’t be as critical as in later ultrasounds, but the 12-week appointment is essential to kick off your pregnancy officially.

“Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to find out if your baby is a boy or a girl at this ultrasound.”

At this appointment, if you haven’t done so already, your doctor may ask you if you’d like genetic testing done. Depending on your other pregnancies, your health history, and any risk factors you may have, you may have to have this done, or it may have even been done sooner.

During genetic testing, you may be able to find out the gender of your baby before your 20-week ultrasound if you wish.

What’s next for you and your little one

After a healthy check-up and 12-week ultrasound, this is also the time many parents decide to share the news with friends and family that they are expecting.

After this appointment, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you will typically schedule your 16-week prenatal visit at this time. Be sure to ask any questions you may be having and ask your doctor what you can expect in the coming weeks.

Hopefully, your first trimester symptoms are fading, and you can go into your second trimester feeling a little better. As you go into your second trimester, your baby and your belly are growing quickly. Embrace this exciting time, and make sure to get some baby bump photos.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101: