We are all aware that pregnancy leads to significant physical changes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy also cause changes in brain chemicals that regulate mood. During this period, you can go through a range of emotions, from happiness to sadness. By week 11, your baby is growing and stretching and rolling in your uterus. Discover how your baby is developing and what is causing all your pregnancy symptoms during week 11.
Pregnancy Week 11
By week 11, you are already into the third month of your pregnancy. Your belly is beginning to show, especially if you are pregnant with twins, or this is your second or third pregnancy. Your hormones are raging, and your pregnancy symptoms like nausea and fatigue may also be at their peak. Don’t worry. There are just a few weeks left for the first trimester to end. Your symptoms will ease out by the end of the first trimester.
1. Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting are common during this time. For some women, morning sickness lasts morning, noon, and night. Thankfully this symptom may be over for most women by week 12 to 14.
Your body is working hard to help your baby grow and develop. This process may leave you feeling exhausted. The good news for you is that your energy levels will return to normal at the end of the first trimester. Till then, get some extra rest.
The progesterone in the body causes the gastrointestinal tract to relax, which slows down digestion and lead to gas and bloating. Avoid foods that make you gassy like beans, cabbage, and fried foods. Eat food that is rich in fiber.
4. Frequent urination
Pregnancy hormone hCG increases the blood flow to the pelvic area and kidneys, making you head to the bathroom more often these days. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
5. Vaginal discharge
Increased discharge from the vagina is a common symptom during early pregnancy. This discharge is completely normal and prevents infection. However, if you have yellow, green, or foul-smelling discharge, talk to your doctor immediately.
6. Leg cramps
You may suffer from tight and painful muscles at night. Leg cramps can interfere with your sleep. Do mild exercise and stretch your legs during the day. Stays hydrated and make sure you get plenty of potassium and magnesium in your diet.
7. Linea nigra
You may notice a dark line on your skin down the center of your belly. The changes in the hormones cause this dark line called the linea nigra. Though this line is not permanent, it may stay for a few months while you are breastfeeding.
8. Stuffy nose
An increase in the levels of estrogen during pregnancy can make nasal passages swell, causing a stuffy nose.
Your body at week 11 of pregnancy
When you are 10 weeks pregnant, your lower abdomen is starting to protrude a bit. A protruding belly is more visible for women who are carrying twins or if it’s your second pregnancy. Your breasts have also changed. Your bras no longer fit, and it is time to invest in a stretchy sports bra or bra extenders.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause welcome changes in your hair. Your hair will grow faster and fall out less, giving you longer and thicker tresses. Some women also notice hair growth on your arms, chest, belly, and face. This hair growth is temporary, and things will get back to normal around six months after you deliver. You may also notice specific changes in your nails during pregnancy. For some women, hormonal changes make nails stronger; for others, these hormones make nails brittle.
Your baby at week 11 of pregnancy
Your baby is around 2.5 inches long. His head is almost the same size as his body at this stage, though this will change soon.
- Your baby’s hair follicles are beginning to form.
- His delicate skin is still translucent.
- Your baby’s fingers and toes have separated, and his fists are ready to open and close.
- Your baby’s tooth buds are forming under the gums.
- Ears have formed their shape and have taken their place on the side of the head.
- Nasal passages are open
- Tongue and palate have formed in the mouth
- Fingernails and toenail beds are developing this week
Tips to follow when 11 weeks pregnant
- Eat a healthy diet. Include fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins in your diet.
- Nuts are high in proteins and make a great snack during pregnancy. They are rich in vitamin E, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. They are also rich in omega-3 fats.
- Add foods that are rich in vitamin C to your diet. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, which is vital for the development of the baby’s bones, cartilage, muscles, and blood vessels. Fruits like oranges, mango, cantaloupe, and strawberries and vegetables like red pepper, broccoli, and collard greens are rich in vitamin C.
- Drink 8 to 12 glasses of fluids a day.
- Continue to take your prenatal vitamins.
- Avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, and hot weather workouts that could raise your body temperatures above 102 degrees.
- Moisturize your belly, hips, and thighs every day to prevent itchy and dry skin.
- Avoid using permanent hair color.
- If you haven’t visited the dentist already, visit your dentist now. Bleeding gums are common during pregnancy.
- Regular exercise is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is designed for expectant moms. It helps you stay fit, provides stress relief, improves sleep, and provides relief from back pain.
Your Week 11 pregnancy doctor’s visit
Throughout your pregnancy, you will have many doctor’s visits. At every visit, your healthcare provider will –
- Take your weight
- Take your blood pressure
- Take a urine sample to check for protein and sugar
- Check for swelling in hands, feet, and face
- Listen to your baby’s heartbeat on a Doppler
You may also undergo specific tests depending on your risk for some conditions. These tests include –
- Breast exam
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- Ultrasound and Doppler scan
- Blood tests (to check hCG levels and to screen for Rh factor and anemia)
- Glucose screening
- Nuchal translucency screening
- Group B strep
- Nonstress tests
- Biophysical profile
Based on your family history or other factors like age and ethnic background, your doctor may also suggest screening to check for chromosomal abnormalities that can cause Down syndrome. The combined first-trimester screening is done between 9 weeks and 13 weeks into the pregnancy and includes –
- A blood test – This test is done between 9 and 12 weeks to look for hormonal changes that can suggest that there is a problem with the baby’s chromosome.
- An ultrasound scan – This scan measures the thickness of fluid behind the baby’s neck, called the nuchal translucency. This thickness is more in babies with Down syndrome.
If the combined results show that the baby is at increased risk, you will be offered a diagnostic test.
Tips for the partner
Stay alert and engaged. Your partner may not be able to take on much of the physical work around the house. Pitch in as much as you can. Your partner’s body is changing. She may be insecure about it. Make sure you compliment her and let her know that she is beautiful.
You’re in the 11th week of your pregnancy and your baby bump is beginning to show. You may suffer from leg cramps at night. Nausea, bloating, vaginal discharge, stuffy nose, and fatigue will continue for a few more weeks. Your baby is growing and developing rapidly. His fingers and toes have separated, and nail beds are beginning to form. Eat well, continue to take your prenatal vitamins, and exercise regularly to stay fit and healthy.