Understanding your pregnancy: Week 11

Understanding your pregnancy: Week 11

A quick snapshot

The end of your first trimester is well and truly in sight. There's no going back now and 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.

What’s changing in your body

  • 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 from what they usually do. These changes are due to the effects of pregnancy hormones.
  • If you've been experiencing an outbreak of pimples, your skin might be clearing up. Use a gentle face wash, drink plenty of water and ensure you have an adequate intake of fresh fruit and vegetables – 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 light.

How your emotions are affected

  • You could be feeling less flat 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.
  • You are actually able to focus on something other than how you feel, so your baby may not come into your thoughts for some hours at a time. It's not yet reminding you of its presence with movements and you are feeling more normal. Don’t feel guilty if the baby isn't uppermost in your thoughts all the time.

 How your baby is growing

First Trimester: Week 1114

  • This week your baby measures just over 5cm or the size of a rather large lime. They are almost an exact, miniature version of themself at birth.
  • Your baby's forehead is less bulging and their eyes positioned more in the middle of its face. 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, her ovaries will start to develop. Your baby's external genitals are also forming, minute as they are.
  • Your baby's body is less curled up and is straightening out. Their body is less curled, except for their legs which remain flexed at the hip.
  • It will be possible to see nipples on your baby's chest. 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.

Tips for the week

  • If you haven't already made your first prenatal appointment, it's time to do so. Pick a time when your partner can attend and try to take a few hours off work afterwards so you can chat about it. You're likely to be very excited by the sound of your baby's heartbeat which can be clearly heard by a Doppler now.
  • Oral hygiene is important at any time but especially so 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 give up work. This is especially important if the unforeseen happens and you need to leave work earlier than you planned.