Pregnancy - 12-16 weeks
What is happening to mother
It is during this fourth month that you may notice your body beginning to change shape, your belly starting to gently swell, your breasts feeling fuller.
If you have been suffering with nausea and vomiting, this usually begins to ease by the end of this period although for some women, it can continue well on into the rest of their pregnancy.
What is happening to baby
Your baby's head is still the largest part of her body. Blood starts to form in her bone marrow, her eyes become well formed and her genitalia are now distinctive. By the 16th week of gestation, all her vital organs are formed, soft fine hair known as lanugo starts to cover her skin, she measures around 10cms and weighs around 120g.
Things to think about
The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test to screen your baby for Spina Bifida and Downe's Syndrome is offered to all women at 15-16 weeks of pregnancy. You will be offered counselling by your midwife beforehand regarding the implications of the results, particularly should they prove to indicate that your pregnancy falls within the high-risk category. It is important that you (and your partner) have all the information you need to make an informed choice before accepting this test, if you feel you still have some unanswered questions, you can ask your midwife to explain the procedure and its implications again.
Your midwife may also discuss any benefits and/or tax credits you might be entitled to, as well as the availability of local antenatal classes.