Week 12

What’s happening this week


  • are approaching the end of the first trimester
  • may see a slight bump, although some women don’t have one till four or five months
  • could find yourself craving certain foods
  • may go off other foods
  • may have a ‘dating’ ultrasound scan around now, although this varies in different parts of the country.

Your baby...

  • now measures about the length of your thumb
  • now looks like a baby although the head is still large compared to the rest of the body
  • has fully formed fingers and toes and all internal organs are developed
  • is kicking and stretching.

  • You may have your 'booking-in' visit this week. Your LMC will wnat you to have blood tests if they have not already been done. Take someone with you if you have a problem with giving blood or with needles. It's a good time to start thinking aheadabout how you'll be cared for throughout your pregnancy.

    Who will be your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC)?

    When you are having a baby you have the right to choose who looks after you during your pregnancy, birth, and after the baby is born.You may have your ‘booking-in’ visit stethascope_1.jpgthis week. The LMC will want to take some blood for testing, so take someone with you if you have a problem with giving blood or with needles. It’s a good time to start thinking ahead about how you’ll be cared for throughout your pregnancy.

    Your GP (general practitioner) is your family doctor. Midwives provide care during pregnancy, labour and after delivery. They are expert at recognising problems when they occur and will refer you on to a consultant or other health care staff, when appropriate. An obstetrician is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth; usually based in hospitals, obstetricians get involved in pregnancies or labours which need special care.

    General Practitioner Care

    You may choose your family doctor to care for you throughout your pregnancy, labour and after your baby is born.

    Hospital-Based Pregnancy Care

    The hospital team of midwives, specialist obstetricians, and doctors work together to look after you throughout :

    • your pregnancy
    • your labour and birth at the hospital
    • your stay in hospital

    • Hospital Continuity of Care

      This care is provided by a group of hospital midwives for women who are expected to require normal care. The midwives will provide the care through pregnancy, birth and afterwards, both in hospital and at home. The team has access to specialist obstetricians should consultation be required.

      Specialist Obstetric Care

      You may choose to have private specialist care throughout your pregnancy, birth and afterwards. Private obstetricians, anesthetists and paediatricians may charge a fee for their care.

      Some women may not have all the caregiver options available to them, often due to past medical problems or problems with this pregnancy. Your caregiver will discuss this with you, so you fully understand the reason for these limitations.


      A midwife of your choice can assist you throughout your pregnancy, providing

      • total care antenatally
      • total care during your labour, birth and postnatally
      • birth at home or in hospital

      Some questions you can ask to help you choose a midwife:

      • What birthing services does the midwife offer and how does she provide care? e.g. does she provide full continuity of care for her client?
      • Does she provide care for women choosing home birth, hospital birth and water birth?
      • Which hospital does she have access to?
      • Does she work by herself, in partnership with another midwife or as part of a group practice?
      • Are her beliefs about pregnancy and childbirth etc compatible with yours?
      • What is her midwifery experience and background?
      • How many women does she book a month?
      • How many weeks does she visit after you give birth?
      • Does she have plans to go on holiday during the months you will be needing her services?
      • Is she a member of the New Zealand College of Midwives and does she participate in the yearly review of practice offered by this College?

      You should choose a midwife who you feel will act at all times in partnership with you and respect the decisions you make.

      Routine visits

      You are likely to be asked to visit your caregiver every four weeks until the 28th week of pregnancy, then every two weeks until 36th week, and finally every week until you go into labour. At each visit, your blood pressure and urine are checked for any early signs of diabetes, kidney problems or preeclampsia. Clinical checks include external examination of your abdomen to monitor your baby’s progress, a check for oedema (excess fluid in tissues) in your hands and ankles, and perhaps a weight check. Unless there is some reason for an additional check you are not likely to have an internal pelvic examination. Between visits, make a note of any minor problems arising during the interval, and discuss these with your doctor or midwife.

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