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when does a pregnancy start to show

A baby bump is one of the most obvious outward signs of pregnancy, but when will it start to show? Read on to find out! 

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non-invasive prenatal testing

 

NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) is a screening test that aims to determine whether an unborn baby has chromosomal abnormalities that are likely to result in genetic conditions like Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome or Patau's syndrome. The results are determined by looking at the baby’s DNA in the mother’s blood, which is taken via a simple, non-invasive blood draw.

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pregnancy craving belly

Food cravings are something that almost every pregnant woman will experience. From takeaways to sweets to dairy products, there will always be something that they need to satisfy a sudden urge.

There are many questions about this topic, such as what causes pregnancy cravings, how can you control them, and when do pregnancy cravings start? All of which will be revealed right here, so if you’re experiencing any pregnancy food cravings or know someone who is and wants to get the low-down, carry on reading!

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For many women, the ultrasound scan is a stand-out moment of pregnancy, providing the mother with the very first glimpses of their new addition in the making.

It’s an exciting time for mothers-to-be but can also be a daunting prospect for those experiencing first-time pregnancies.

To help put your mind at ease and prepare you for what to expect, here’s a handy overview of a typical baby scan schedule during pregnancy.

8 to 14-week scan

Also known as a dating scan, the first scan of your baby is carried out between week 8 and week 14 of the pregnancy.

This will typically take place at your local hospital in the ultrasound department, performed by a trained sonographer. The scan itself usually lasts around 30 minutes or less.

During the scan process, a number of key facts are identified, including the due date and confirmation of twins, triplets, etc.

If your dating scan takes place between weeks 11 and 13, the sonographer will also commonly perform the first part of the combined test to screen for Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s syndromes.

This is called the nuchal translucent scan (NT scan) and involves largely the same processes as the standard dating scan.

18 to 20-week scan

Despite being commonly referred to as a “20-week scan”, the second scan can actually take place anywhere between 18 and 20 weeks.

It’s also known as a mid-pregnancy scan due to the fact that it takes place right in the middle of the average length of pregnancy (40 weeks).

Another name for the 20-week scan is an anomaly scan, as the primary purpose of this screening is to ensure your baby is developing as it should be.

32-week scan

Sometimes, the positioning of the placenta at 20 weeks can make it difficult for the sonographer to take accurate measurements of your baby’s development. This is typically due to the placenta overlapping the cervix.

If this is the case, you’ll be booked in for a follow-up scan at 32 weeks. By this time the placenta should have naturally moved out of the way, allowing for an unobstructed scan to take place.

42-week scan

By the time you reach the 42-week mark, you will have likely reached the end of your pregnancy and, hopefully, have a healthy new-born baby on your hands.

However, in the event that you haven’t gone in to labour by this point and have opted against induction, you will be offered regular monitoring.

This will involve additional ultrasound scans to check everything is okay within the womb and ensure no issues have developed.

Baby scans with First Encounters

Outside of the standard baby scan schedule routinely carried out by the NHS, First Encounters offers expecting parents the ultimate peace of mind with our own specialist scans over the course of your pregnancy.

Providing advanced details, reassuring facts and general progress updates of your baby’s development through pregnancy, these scans can be scheduled at any point throughout the pregnancy, from 8 weeks all the way up to full-term.

Reassurance Scans

Offering additional information for those looking to put their mind at rest, our Reassurance Scans are specifically designed to provide you with real-time facts and details about your baby prior to and outside of NHS appointments. 

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Gender Scans

For the ultimate gender reveal experience, First Encounters provides you with everything you need for your gender revelation plans, including a comprehensive scan as well as gender reveal props, should you wish to find out the sex at a later date in private. This gender identification service is available as early as 16 weeks.

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4D Bonding & Reassurance Scans

Available as early as 18 weeks, our 4D scans offer a truly awe-inspiring glimpse at your growing baby using state of the art technology, providing 3D imagery, video footage and real-life audio of your baby in the womb.

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When to Scan with First Encounters?

Naturally, if you opted for every scan available, your baby scan schedule would likely take up the majority of your pregnancy, not to mention the fact you would also be re-covering old ground unnecessarily.

As such, wisely choosing your First Encounters scans to complement your NHS appointments can be a sensible and enjoyable way to safely monitor your baby’s progression and experience your pregnancy to its fullest.

You may want to opt for an earlyAssure scan to put your mind at rest in the early stages of pregnancy and then return to First Encounters later on for a 4D scan to commemorate the occasion.

Meanwhile, you may wish to opt for the secretGender package to set up your own gender reveal party with friends and family on your own time.

Whichever option you choose, you won’t be disappointed. First Encounters offers a service unlike any other, combining specialist monitoring and professional service for unrivalled peace of mind and pregnancy commemoration.

For more information on our services or expert advice on which option is best for you, call today on 02920 732671 or get in touch online using the enquiry below.

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Pregnancy Symptoms

If you've recently become pregnant, you're probably wondering what's in store for you over the next 9 months!

To make sure you have all the details you'll need throughout your pregnancy, we've made a week-by-week list of all the most common pregnancy symptoms. Please note that every pregnancy is different, and some people may experience certain symptoms earlier or later than others (if at all), so please don't worry if your own pregnancy doesn't perfectly match the list below.

 

5 Weeks Pregnant

This is a very common time for women to find out that they are pregnant. This is a very early stage, so don't be surprised if you aren't experiencing any pregnancy symptoms just yet.

However, you may experience:

  • Fatigue - Your body is embarking on a journey that requires a lot of energy, so even at 5 weeks, you may develop a sudden fondness for naps.

  • Frequent Urination - At 5 weeks, your kidneys are beginning to expand, so you might find yourself making more trips to the loo than usual!

 

7 Weeks Pregnant

You're almost two months in, and it's probably starting to feel a little more real. That being said, it's not unusual to have few (if any) symptoms at 7 weeks - remember, it's still relatively early in your pregnancy.

Some people experience the following symptoms around the 7-week mark:

  • Acne - Your hormones are all over the place right now, so breakouts are completely normal. Just make sure you check with your doctor before using any skin treatments to combat your spots.

  • Cravings - Are you craving foods that you wouldn't normally eat? Or perhaps an old favourite seems strangely unappealing all of a sudden? This is a normal pregnancy symptom, which usually comes paired with morning sickness. Speaking of which...

  • Nausea - The dreaded morning sickness! In spite of its common name, the feeling of nausea can sadly strike at any time of day. You may experience just a touch of nausea, or you may actually vomit - in either case, this is a common side effect of pregnancy at around 7 weeks and probably isn't anything to worry about.

 

9 Weeks Pregnant

After nine or ten weeks, you'll probably have experienced most of the pregnancy symptoms that tend to strike during the first trimester. In addition to the symptoms listed above, you may now notice:

  • Headaches - Your hormones are still surging, and this can lead to headaches (which can also be brought on by hunger, dehydration and exhaustion - so make sure you're getting plenty of food, water and rest).

  • Nasal Congestion - This is perhaps one of pregnancy's lesser-known side effects. By this stage, you may well notice an increase in your body's mucus production.

  • Breast Tenderness - Your body is prepping for breast feeding and blood flow to this area is increasing, often leading to breast tenderness.

 

12 Weeks Pregnant

Week twelve is the final week of your first trimester. Your baby has now grown from a tiny cluster of cells into a foetus, and your uterus will be starting to expand beyond your pelvic bones. In addition to all of the symptoms we've already discussed, you may now be experiencing:

  • Dizzy Spells - Those pesky hormones - particularly when coupled with changes in blood pressure - may cause you to feel dizzy. Make sure you sit down or rest during dizzy spells, and always eat/drink regularly to keep your energy up!

  • Pelvic Pain - As your uterus expands, you may experience some aches and pains. It is best to avoid any heavy exercise and be thoughtful about how you position yourself - you don't want to put any unnecessary stress on sensitive regions.

 

From Here on Out...

As you head into your second trimester, your pregnancy symptoms should become less erratic. Now you can look forward to your bump getting bigger and the baby starting to kick. You will probably continue to experience some aches and pains, and you should continue to go for regular check-ups to make sure that you and your baby-to-be are both healthy.

Here are a few milestone moments to look out for later in your pregnancy journey:

  • 13-15 Weeks Pregnant: This is generally the point at which you'll need to purchase maternity clothes. Of course, you may want to buy it earlier just for the comfort it provides!

  • 20-25 Weeks Pregnant: It's around this time that you'll start to feel your baby kicking. Again, every pregnancy is different, so don't worry too much if you have to wait a bit longer.

  • Approaching Due Date: Few women actually give birth on their exact due date. Nonetheless, it's an important date, and its passing signifies that your new baby will be with you very soon!

 

If you're 8-13 weeks pregnant, why not book an earlyAssure™ scan with First Encounters? We also offer 3D/4D scans for when you're a little further along and you're ready to see what your little one looks like!

Our clinics are located in Bristol and Cardiff.

Image from pixabay.com