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Week 11 of pregnancy

At week 11 of pregnancy, the baby has distinctive human characteristics such as hands and feet, ears and feet finally start to take shape. There is a possibility of getting a baby bump and also you would notice your nails and hair get longer. Your baby is starting to grow and also moving like an acrobat. He is stretching itself and moving inside the uterus. You are now heading toward the end of the first trimester.

By the end of the first trimester, you would find that the intensity of the symptoms are reducing and getting a lot better. Now you can focus on maintaining the suggested body weight gain every semester.

What does week 7 of pregnancy look like?

You might start noticing that your morning sickness is slowly starting to improve, while some may not be as lucky. But as the record holds, most of the moms-to-be experience a decline in the intensity of the pregnancy. 

The baby bump may surface or may not in week 11. You would feel very pregnant at this point. You can get lucky with glowing skin, fuller hairs, and stronger hair. But along with these perks, you might also have to deal with blemishes and unwanted facial hair.

Fetal development at week 11

The baby is approximately 1.5 to 2 inches in length and weighing about a quarter ounce. You are in month 3 of your pregnancy. The baby has now completely developed itself from embryo to fetus.

Some of the rapid fetal development underway during week 11 include-

  • The fingers and toes are a lot less webbed and more human-like. 
  • Hands and feet are developed and in front of the body 
  • Ears have now finally developed and are well structured
  • Nasal passages on the tiny sprouted nose
  • Visible nipples over the chest
  • Finger and toes nails beds begin to develop this week 
  • Hair follicles form over the head and other parts of the body.
  • Bones are getting stronger and developing
  • The baby’s genitalia is finally getting fully developed this week, but it won’t be visible through ultrasound until 16 to 20 weeks.
  • The baby torso should be lengthening by now and the body is straightening itself.
  • The baby starts producing its own thyroid hormone.

What are the symptoms?

At week 11, you might experience a lot of symptoms and complications. You might notice some changes physically and hormones having a toll over your mental wellbeing-

Your Belly

If it is your first pregnancy, you might have to wait a little longer for the bump to get visible. But if it is your second pregnancy, you are most likely to get a baby bump sooner than in your first pregnancy. Whether you notice the bump or not, most of the women “feel pregnant“ this week. 

Change in the nails and hairs

You may get lucky with having fuller hairs, leaving you with thicker and longer locks. The texture of the hair changes as well, either becoming oilier or drier than before.

Some of the women notice that their nails are becoming stronger and well-structured, while others may find them splitting and breaking during pregnancy. The symptoms are completely variable from woman to woman. The splitting or breaking of nails may be due to a decrease of hemoglobin, a condition called anemia. It is very important that you take your iron pills despite all the nausea and vomiting, as the baby needs the blood to grow properly.

Faintness and dizziness 

Usually, pregnant women feel dizzy and faint. This is mostly due to the pregnancy hormones fluctuating your bp. Get rid of feeling lightheaded by laying down and elevating the feet which allows adequate blood flow to the head. Also have plenty of fluids to compensate for all the fluid loss due to morning sickness.

Heartburn

The increase in pregnancy hormones eases the muscle that holds up the food in the stomach relaxes, making the acid rise up to the food pipe, and causes a burning sensation in the chest, typically called ‘Heartburn’.

Sore and enlarged breasts 

Some women find it annoying and inconvenient to have sore and larger breasts, it can cause wince and pain. It is suggested not to binge shop bras as your breasts would continue to grow. Maternity clothing stores are a good place to find clothes as per your requirements. 

Week 11 of pregnancy

Self-care tips

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

During this week, your body goes through a lot. Be sure to maintain a healthy diet and exercising to avoid complications and submise the symptoms emerging. Avoid toxic substances such as drugs ,alcohol or smoking during this whole pregnancy. Reduce your consumption of fatty foods and include healthy snacks to your diet. Don’t forget the intake of prenatal vitamins for you and your baby

Avoiding allergens

Pregnancy is a state of increase in most of the things in the mother’s body, including her White Blood Cells (WBCs), so that her immunity is strengthened and she can supply some to the growing baby.

As good as it sounds, this increase in WBCs can flare up your allergies which may cause you a frequent runny nose or sneezes. Make sure you identify your allergens and avoid them, as it is the best method than taking unnecessary medicines. Wash your hands regularly.

Hair removal

In order to remove body hair, trimming is the safest option. However, waxing and shaving can also be done. It is not recommended to get laser treatment as it has side effects.

Week 11 of pregnancy

Visit the doctor

It is important to make sure to talk to your healthcare provider regarding the tests that you are most likely to take up and what is right for you. 

  • Between the week 11 to 14, an ultrasound might be obtained to observe the baby’s nuchal translucency, which is the amount of fluid behind the baby’s neck. It is required to check if there is any possibility of a common genetic abnormality called Trisomy 21 aka Down’s Syndrome. triple and quad screening are done in the second trimester.
  • Triple and quad screening are done in the second trimester.
  • Combined tests can help identify 88 percent of cases with Down‘s syndrome.
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is done for women who screen positive. It has minimal chances of Limb Reduction Deformity in the fetus. It is ideally done at 10 – 13 weeks.
  • Doing screening tests are superior in the first trimester because it helps to do the diagnostic tests earlier.
  • Total tests in first trimester screening are:
  1. Nuchal Translucency
  2. Nasal Bone
  3. Pregnancy associated Plasma Protein – A
  4. Free bHCG

Related articles: Week 3 of pregnancy

Tests

Other prenatal tests to expect are:

  • Blood work to test hormones level
  • Blood test to know the blood type, white and red blood cells counts
  • Identifying certain STDs or complication
  • Pap smear test to check abnormalities, birth defects 
  • A uterine test to check over UTIs and the protein level
  • Chorionic villus sampling ( CVS ) to test cells in placenta to avoid chromosomal disorder, mostly done between week 10-13 
  • Diagnostic test for women above 35, women with genetic disorder and women who show certain complications in the screening test.

Special considerations and complications

Hormones

You are most likely to experience fluctuation in hormones during this time. At the beginning of pregnancy, the body secretes a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, which confirms pregnancy.

This hormone further produces progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone is responsible for increase in uterine blood flow. It plays a vital role in fetal development

The human placental lactogen is first detected at 6 weeks. It is produced by the placenta. Its main role is to ensure adequate nutrition is supplied to the growing fetus.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone is not only responsible for determining the period of pregnancy but also the fetus’ growth and development.

Estrogen is responsible for uterus development and mammary gland growth. Due to variations in the level of progesterone and estrogen, you might experience some mood fluctuations.

Important checklist for week 11 pregnancy

  • Take the required prenatal vitamins 
  • Get your daily fluids
  • Maintain the pregnancy journal
  • Taking necessary tests for you

Bottomline

A little life is developing and looking more and more human-like every day. The uterus is growing with your baby and sooner you will find your bump visible. 

Next week you may see your doctor for prenatal visit and might get lucky to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. 

Reference:

What do you think?

Written by Neetu Verma

I am a certified Nurse in General Nursing - Midwifery. I am currently fighting coronavirus in a government hospital in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India as a nurse on special duty. I have a special love for writing and write as and when time allows me to do so.

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