Skip to main content Help with accessibility

12 weeks pregnant

12 weeks pregnant + omega 3 + 6 Brain waves

SUMMARY

In your 12th week of pregnancy, your uterus grows over the top of your pubic bone and you may notice the first signs of a bump. At 12 weeks, your baby’s brain is continuing its development too. LCPs especially DHA is an essential ingredient for healthy grey matter. Learn what to eat to provide your baby with the beneficial fats they need.

Are you showing?

At 12 weeks pregnant, your baby is around 6cm in length, having doubled in size in the last 3 weeks alone1. Amazingly, your baby is now fully formed, with vital organs, bones and muscles in place, all ready to grow and mature over the coming months2.

Your baby’s head is still large compared to their body, but they now have very definite facial features and their eyelids are now visible, although they will remain closed for some time3. In their mouth, 20 small buds sit inside the gums, which will eventually emerge as baby teeth4.

"Your baby’s development at 12 weeks"

You are likely to have your first ultrasound scan when you’re around 12 weeks pregnant. Also known as the dating scan, it allows your midwife to get a more accurate idea of your baby’s due date. It’s often at this time that mums choose to share their news with family, friends and colleagues.

Omegas 3 and 6: Fats with benefits

Omegas 3 and 6 are two types of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, collectively called LCPs.

One of the Omega 3 LCPs, known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA for short, contributes to your baby’s brain development5. It also supports the normal development of your baby’s eyes and is associated with development post-birth, specifically normal visual development throughout the first year.

the gift banner pregnancy
 the gift  of future health Learn more

A daily serving of healthy fats

To support your baby’s brain development, try to include an extra 200mg of DHA each day. Oily fish are an excellent source and eating 1-2 portions of oily fish per week will provide sufficient DHA for you and your baby. However, it’s recommended that you eat no more than two portions per week due to the toxins they may contain. For a healthy intake of other Omega 3 fats on the days you don’t eat oily fish, snack on a handful of nuts or start your day with a bowl of wholegrain cereal.

Next Steps

Try these Omega 3-rich snacks and small meals6:

  • Mackerel on a slice of wholegrain toast
  • Grilled salmon with steamed leafy vegetables
  • Salmon fishcakes
  • A handful of nuts and seeds
  • A bowl of wholegrain cereal

View references

Hide references

drop down arrow

1. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.

2. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx [Accessed June 2014]

3. Stoppard, M. New Pregnancy and birth book. The classic Guide for parents to be. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009. p. 83.

4. Medline Plus. Fetal development [Online]. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm [Accessed June 2014]

5. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 440/2011 of 6 May 2011 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on foods and referring to children’s development and health. OJ L 119 2011;4-9.

6. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. p. 759.

Last reviewed: 7th July 2016
Calcium bump milk header

Pregnancy nutrients: Calcium

Had your daily calcium today? Learn which foods sources of this pregnancy essential and why it’s so important for your baby.

Learn more
Careliners

For tips on easing morning sickness, to advice about foods to avoid

Our expert team of midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are here to answer your questions. Just get in touch.
Call us on 0800 996 1000

Foods to avoid in pregnancy bump header

Join Aptaclub baby club and help shape your baby’s future

Register today to help us tailor our early life nutrition advice to every stage of your baby’s journey.

Over 2039 mums-to-be have signed up this week

Fluids water header

Fluids in pregnancy

Water is vital for the human body and has an even bigger role to play during pregnancy. Learn how much to aim for each day and how to get it.

Learn more
Foods that are safe to eat during pregnancy mussels header

Foods to eat when pregnant

From salami to smoked salmon and sushi, find out which foods mums-to-be often seek advice on.

Learn more
Essential fats for pregnancy oil header

Pregnancy nutrition: Essential fats

 Fats – they’re not all bad. Learn which ones to include in your pregnancy diet to support your baby’s growth and brain development.

Learn more
Does folic acid help you get pregnant leaves spinach header

Folic acid in pregnancy

Folic acid plays a key role in your baby’s earliest development. Learn how much you need to take to protect your baby’s future health.

Learn more
Why is salt important in pregnancy? header

Why is salt important in pregnancy?

Love salt? Although a small amount is necessary for maintaining body fluid levels during pregnancy, too much can be harmful.

Learn more
Prenatal vitamins & supplements supplements header

Vitamins & supplements for pregnancy

Is your supplement pregnancy-safe? Learn what to look for in prenatal vitamins and why food should be your main source of most nutrients.

Learn more

WhatsApp Welcome to Careline via WhatsApp

Our experts are available to chat Monday to Friday, 8am–8pm.

Enter the mobile number you use for your WhatsApp account, click start, and we'll answer your questions. 

A message from our careline team is on its way to your WhatsApp account. Please allow 2 minutes for this to arrive.

Our experts are available to chat Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 8:00pm.

Your mobile number

UK mobile numbers only.

Loading