What's happening in week 11 of your pregnancy
At 11 weeks, your baby is starting to look like a real little person and you might even have the tiniest hint of a bump!
At a glance
- Your baby's tiny fists are opening and closing
- Fully formed feet are no bigger than your fingernail
- You're probably eagerly awaiting your appointment for your dating scan
How big is my baby at 11 weeks?
It won't be long before your baby is fully formed even at only 4cm long, and will then spend the rest of the pregnancy growing (as will you!). They already have little fingernails in place and their hands will soon start to open and close. Though it’s still too soon to tell the gender by ultrasound, your tiny baby will be starting to form testes or ovaries.
At 11 weeks your baby’s head is already quite well developed and all the bones in their face are now present. Around this time the ears will have migrated closer to their final location, the tongue and palate will be present in the mouth and there will be open nasal passages at the tip of their nose. Meanwhile the hair follicles are beginning to form on their crown of their head.
Facts to know about your baby in Week 11
Your baby's head is already quite well developed and the bones in their face are now present.
Your baby is steadily breathing fluid and will continue to until birth.
Your baby's eye lids remain fused shut.
Their body is starting to straighten out and become more proportionate, although their head still makes up one third of their overall length. Although you can't feel it yet, your baby is doing a whole lot of wriggling and is now able to stretch and somersault inside your womb! Your baby may also have a case of the hiccups right now, as their diaphragm forms.
You at 11 weeks pregnant
Now that your body is undergoing so many changes, you might find you have to adapt your existing beauty and skincare routine a bit. Your skin could go either way – mega dry or mega oily! This can either give your skin that lovely pregnancy 'glow' or make it blotchy and dry. One skin problem that worries many women in pregnancy is the blight of the dreaded stretch mark!
Hormonal changes and weight gain can cause the usually elastic middle layer of your skin (the dermis) to breaks in places, allowing the deeper layers to show through. This is what causes the thin red or purple narrow streaks or lines that define stretch marks. However, once you’ve had your baby and everything begins to settle down you’ll soon find that these marks fade to a silvery white colour and are less noticeable.
Unfortunately, you are either going to be pre-disposed to getting stretch marks or not, but you can help keep your skin soft and flexible by using one of the many anti-stretch mark products in the chemists – or some women swear by cheap and cheerful cocoa butter or coconut oil! Applying regularly during pregnancy and after you've given birth could help the marks fade faster.
Whilst itchy skin is common in pregnancy as the skin stretches. If you start to feel an intense itchiness all over your body, including your hands and feet tell your midwife or GP. It can be a symptom of a rare liver condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), also known as obstetric cholestasis (OC) and you may need treatment or extra monitoring.
Facts to know about you in week 11
- Your feet can grow one full size during pregnancy.
- You can crave strange smells as well as foods.
- You may benefit from some light exercise, which should give you more energy.
What to think about in week 11
By week 11 you probably have an appointment lined up for your dating scan – the most exciting part of the first trimester – seeing your baby on the screen for the first time and getting your due date (our pregnancy due date calculator on Bounty.com will give you a good indication in the meantime). You ordinarily have two scans during your pregnancy where you’ll be excited to see your growing baby.
You might be thinking about breaking the news to work colleagues and your wider family and friends around now. Make sure you know all the rules and regs for pregnant women in the workplace by reading up on our maternity rights page, and ensure your employer carries out a risk assessment once you have informed them of your pregnancy, so you and your baby are not put at risk while you carry out your work.
Your first ultrasound scan could also identify if you are carrying more than one baby. The “is it twins?” thought crosses the mind of every expectant parent and for one in every 65 couples the thought becomes a reality at the first scan. But earlier signs may also raise your suspicions that there may be twins growing in there. Signs such as a faster growing bump in the early weeks and experiencing extreme tiredness or virtual exhaustion can also be a sure fire sign there are two babies zapping your energy.
Those not so pleasant varicose veins could also be an indicator of twins, as carrying twins also requires more blood than one baby, therefore more blood flows through the veins in your circulatory system, leading to increased pressure which can develop varicose veins.
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Signs and symptoms at 11 weeks pregnant
Often striking in the night and painfully waking you from your sleep, leg cramps are another common pregnancy symptom you may start experiencing. While the cause of leg cramps in pregnancy isn’t clear, it’s thought that you might experience leg cramps in pregnancy if your body has a shortage of nutrients and salts in your bloodstream. Your baby will be taking more of the nutrients from your blood which can leave you a little short on what you need yourself. Foods containing potassium and magnesium could help. White potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas and tinned salmon are good for potassium, whole wheats, pumpkin seeds, almonds and spinach which are all good for magnesium. Having a warm bath before bed may also help to open up blood vessels and improve circulation to your legs.
Sickness and nausea
It’s the pregnancy hormone Beta hCG that’s to blame. ‘Morning’ sickness affects more than 70% of pregnant women and it can see many of these women having bouts of nausea on and off all day. The good news is that morning sickness means that your hormone levels are high. On the other hand not having morning sickness isn’t a bad sign. It typically lasts until the end of the first trimester, but for some unlucky women it carries on past 12 weeks. This type of severe morning sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
Watch our videos below:
Video 1: What happens at a scan and what will they tell me? (From the NHS)
Video 2: Pregnancy mobility exercises (From Nuffield Health)
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