Week 11 pregnant
By now, the foetus’ genitals have clearly formed, but it is still too early to tell whether you will be having a boy or a girl. Tooth buds are also starting to grow and the eyes are fully developed. Fine hair covers your baby’s tiny body and its facial features are more clearly recognisable.
The end of your first trimester is well and truly in sight. At 11 weeks pregnant, you are almost a third of your way through your entire pregnancy. If this is your first time it will all be new and exciting. But even if you’ve had other children, each pregnancy is a little different and brings its own challenges.
It is normal for mothers of consecutive children to compare their current pregnancies with past ones and to use their symptoms as a basis for guessing the sex of their unborn baby. Unless you choose to find out your baby’s sex with an ultrasound, you will just have to wait to find out if your suspicions were right. Your partner will have determined the sex of your baby, not you, and this was done way back in your 3rd week already.
How much love can I feel?
You may be wondering how you could possibly love another child as much as your first one, but try not to worry. Nature has designed babies to help their parents fall in love with them and they are remarkably effective at doing just that. Mothers especially can really agonise about having enough love to share between each of their children. Give yourself time to build a relationship with your new baby when it is born, and have a little faith in yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Your physical changes this week
Your hair, which normally goes through a growing and shedding phase, may be progressing into a dormant period right now. This is one of the reasons why pregnant women often say their hair is thicker and more luxurious than usual. It’s just staying on your head, rather than ending up on your brush or going down the shower drain.
You may also notice differences in your fingernails because they are growing at a different rate to what they usually do. These changes are due to the effects of pregnancy hormones.
If you’ve been experiencing a second adolescence with an outbreak of pimples, this may be the week when you notice your skin is finally clearing up. Use a gentle face wash, drink plenty of water and ensure you have an adequate intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Remember the rule: 2 pieces of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day.
Your weight may start creeping up slowly from now on. You may have actually lost weight if you’ve been unable to eat much or have been vomiting. But from week 11, you may start looking at food in a new way. Somehow, it’s not the same enemy to your stomach that it was a week or so ago.
Your emotional changes this week
You could be feeling less flat when you are 11 weeks pregnant and your usual energy levels are making a welcome return. There seems to be an end in sight with the nausea, tiredness and general washed-out feeling so common in the first trimester.
Because you are actually able to focus on something other than how you feel, the baby may not come into your thoughts for some hours at a time. It’s not yet reminding you yet of its presence with movements and you are feeling more normal. Avoid feeling guilty if the baby isn’t uppermost in your thoughts all the time.
Your baby’s changes this week
This week your baby measures just over 5 cm long. It is almost an exact, but miniature version of itself at birth. Your baby looks less like a little alien or marsupial this week and is clearly human.
Your baby is the size of a rather large lime in week 11, which is why you may be more conscious of a full feeling in your pelvis. At the end of the day, when you have a full bladder, or after you’ve eaten a large meal you are more likely to be aware of this sensation.
Your baby’s forehead is less bulging and the eyes positioned more in the middle of the face. Its fingers and toes, which until recently were just little connected paddles, have now separated into clearly discernable and separate digits.
If your baby is a girl, this is the week when her ovaries will start to develop. At birth, she will have as many eggs as she will ever have throughout her lifetime. Your baby’s external genitals are also forming, small as they are.
Your baby’s body is less curled up and is straightening out. Until recently, its shape was more of a curved C, but now its body is less curled, except for its legs which remain flexed at the hip.
It will be possible to see nipples on your baby’s chest from week 11. Your baby’s ears, which have been positioned low down on their neck are now almost where they should be, on either side of their head.
In the next 3 weeks your baby will double its current length. It is no wonder you have been feeling tired. Even when you’re sleeping, your body works overtime in growing your little baby.
Hints for the week
If you haven’t already made your 1st antenatal appointment, it’s time to do so now. Pick a time when your partner can attend as well and try to take a few hours off work afterwards so you can chat about how it went. You’re likely to be very excited by the sound of your baby’s heartbeat, which can be clearly heard by a Doppler ultrasound by now.
Don’t forget to brush! Oral hygiene is so important at any time, but especially during pregnancy. Floss daily, get to your dentist at least once over the course of your pregnancy and take the time to look after your teeth. Bleeding gums are not uncommon. But they can be a sign of needing to brush and floss more frequently, rather than going easy.
Start putting some money aside for when you leave work to have the baby. Saving towards a nest egg, making financial goals and sticking with them can really help to ease the anxiety of having to go on maternity leave or give up work. This is especially important if the unforeseen happens and you need to leave work earlier than you planned. It is important to understand your company’s maternity leave and payment policy, so chat to your boss or HR department.
Marching on towards week 12.