3 months pregnant: signs, symptoms and baby development

by Maria Martin |
Updated on

At 3 months pregnant, your little one has fully formed, meaning that all your baby's organs, muscles, limbs and bones are in place. The sex organs have also developed but won't show on a scan until you are around 20 weeks pregnant.

You are now entering your second trimester and while some of your early pregnancy symptoms might have subsided, we're here to guide you through what else might be occurring this month.

Common symptoms at 3 months pregnant

From a little belly emerging to forgetting everything, here are common symptoms you may be experiencing at 3 months pregnant:

Your hair may look thicker and shinier than usual: You may now begin to experience some of the nicer symptoms of pregnancy at three months. The increasing rush of hormones in your body can have a gorgeous effect on your locks and you may notice that your hair is thicker and glossier than it once was. Enjoy this stage while it lasts!

Skin breakouts are normal during pregnancy: There’s a good chance you might be sporting the odd pimple or three this month as your skin starts to react to the surge of hormones that have taken over. Everyone says you’re ‘glowing’ but frankly, you know they’re a bunch of lying toads - you feel more like a pregnant Kevin the teenager. Although you may feel the urge to wash your face more, only wash it once ot twice a day to avoid your skin drying out. Opt for a cleanser and toner that is mild and nourishing rather than one that is strong and chemical. Don't use prescription medication to treat your acne as this can affect your baby's development. Your skin changes quite a lot during pregnancy, it is said pregnant women are more likely to tan easier, so pack on the extra UV protection when out and about. Also, as your hormones are changing so rapidly the pigmentation in your skin is likely to change, meaning your skin may look a bit darker or patchy in places.

Increased vaginal discharge: It's common to have more vaginal discharge than normal during pregnancy. As long as it's clear or milky-white and doesn't smell, it shouldn't be anything to worry about. Always ask your doctor or midwife if you're concerned it's unusual. If your urine changes colour, looks green or yellow, you're itchy or it hurts when you pee, you may have a vaginal infection. Again, your doctor or midwife can consult with you on how to treat what might be going on. Make sure to always check before using any topical creams or medications before using incase these are not pregnancy safe.

Baby brain: By the end of month three you might well have done some of the daftest things you’ve ever done in your life. There’s nothing like pregnancy to make you wonder if you’re actually on the road to early-onset dementia. You can be given all the pregnancy tips there are, but the most important one is to leave a set of keys in a good hiding place because when you forget where you put yours for the zillionth time you’ll be glad of those spares buried in the backyard or wherever. Baby brain is a thing, OK?

Nausea: Although morning sickness will have calmed down a lot, you may still be experiencing a bit of nausea at three months. The good news is that it should calm down by month four of pregnancy. If the sickness seems to be continuing and you're beginning to feel quite dizzy and you're unable to keep any fluids down for 24 hours, you should contact your doctor or midwife. There are a number of remedies you can use to ease your morning sickness. From ginger to Acupressure bracelets, there are manymorning sickness remedies that may help.

Changes in your breasts: At the three-month mark, many women's breasts start to change in size and shape. This is partly because your milk ducts are developing, ready for baby to feed from. As a result, your breasts will probably feel heavier and your nipples are likely to feel quite sensitive around this period. As your breasts change, it may be a good idea to go bra shopping for one that fits you comfortably so you can trade your underwired bra in for one without wire.

Belly size at 3 months pregnant

Your baby bump may begin to appear during month three of pregnancy, though it's important to note that women show at different times. As your womb moves upwards, you will find it stops pressing on your bladder, AKA a lot fewer toilet trips!

How big is my baby at 3 months pregnant?

As we mentioned, your baby is now fully formed, which means at your first scan you will see a baby shape on the sonographer's screen, which can be very exciting. Your first scan is usually between 8 weeks pregnant and 14 weeks pregnant.

Your baby at 12 weeks pregnant, is the size of a lemon.

Your baby's development at three months pregnant

At three months old, your baby is fully formed. There's still lots of growing to be done but all of the baby has taken full shape now and he or she will just be growing bigger with organ functions developing further during the upcoming months. Check out our gallery for more about your baby's development.


Your baby's development at three months pregnant

pea pod1 of 5

1) Length of a pea pod

Wondering how big your baby is at this stage? Your baby is now the size of a pea pod! They will weigh around 23g.

organs2 of 5

2) They're all in place

All your baby's organs and muscles are in place now. But they all have some development to do before birth.

child smiling3 of 5

3) Facial muscles are working a lot

Your baby will be practising their squinting as their facial muscles are working a lot.

baby in bodysuit4 of 5

4) Fine coat of hair

To keep warm in the womb, your baby will now have a fine coat of hair at this point! But this will be shed off before birth.

drawing of a brain5 of 5

5) Memory and problem solving

 As well as their heart being fully formed, the memory and problem-solving parts of their brain are developing quickly too.

Announcing your pregnancy: The big baby bump reveal

There’s a good chance you’ve already let it slip to your nearest and dearest but how about everyone else you know? Poor old Colin in accounts is never going to ask ‘Are you pregnant?’ no matter how much you stand there rubbing your bump. So, how will you spill the beans?

Pregnancy announcements are a big deal these days and coming up with an original idea is akin to getting a question right on University Challenge. Will you post a picture of your 12-week scan on Facebook or is that a big fat no in your book? A not so cryptic ‘and then there were 3’ status update maybe? Or what about a pic of your new ‘family’ car? Whatever it is and even if you don’t ‘do’ social media, don’t pretend you haven’t daydreamed for weeks about finally telling the world (you’ve definitely told at least one random stranger on the train).

Your checklist at 3 months pregnant

You'll be offered an ultrasound between 8 and 11 weeks pregnant: this is to officially calculate your estimated due date and is known as your 12-week-scan. It can be very exciting because at this point, you've probably seen the doctor once and then the midwife to collect your pregnancy folder. This first scan really cements the reality that you're pregnant.

Look into your maternity rights: Now is a good time to ask your employer for information on your maternity rights including your maternity pay. Your partner should do the same thing with their employer to find out what paternity leave they are entitled to.

Start bonding with your little one: It won't be long until your baby can hear your voice and what is happening around you so it's a great time to start getting use to talking to your baby and playing them music in preparation for them listening to you.

Look after your mental health: Although pregnancy is a very happy experience, it can also be a very stressful time and it's important to prioritise your mental health throughout the pregnancy. If you ever find yourself feeling a little anxious, worried or sad, it's important to talk to your partner and those around you in order to start feeling more positive.

• Reconsider your exercise regime: While there are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy, there are some general rules mums should follow to look after their baby when exercising. As your baby begins to grow and you start to change shape and put on weight, your exercise regime should change accordingly and the three-month mark is a good time to start reviewing how you exercise in order to do what's safe for both you and your baby.

• Incorporate pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine: Start preparing your body for labour and delivery by doing pelvic floor exercises daily. They're easy to do and can easily fit into your routine when you're sitting at your work desk or even on your commute.

Midwife Jane answers the commonly asked questions about 3 months pregnant

Midwife Jane Mason from the Natural Birthing Company has shared some of the most frequently asked questions she's received from expectant mums at the three-month mark.

I know that caffeine should be limited in pregnancy but roughly how many cups of tea or coffee is ok? Are there any alternatives to try when wanting a hot drink?

Yes that’s right the recommended daily limit is 200mg and you’re looking at 75mg in a mug of tea and anywhere from 100-140mg in a mug of coffee. But it’s not just a tea and coffee thing either because there’s around 40mg in a can of cola, 80mg in a can of energy drink and 50mg in a bar of plain chocolate! So it can all soon add up! There are always decaf versions of tea and coffee and fruity or herbal teas to try as alternatives.

With exercise being a good way to combat stress, is it a good idea to take up exercise that you have not been used to doing?

It depends on what you’re thinking of doing really because you will be more prone to sprains and strains due to the changes in your body so it’s not the time to suddenly decide to hit the gym and go crazy at the High-Intensity classes! But don’t worry there are lots of other more gentle options like swimming, walking and yoga or pilates.

I have lost a stone recently, does losing a lot of weight in the beginning of pregnancy affect my baby and is it something I should be worried about?

It’s completely understandable if you haven’t felt like eating because of the stress you’ve been under recently; it’s bound to have an effect on your weight. Babies have a habit of drawing everything they need from you and your body which can leave you feeling a bit run down or experiencing weight loss if you’re not putting the nutrients back in your body. Women who experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can find themselves in a similar situation.

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