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11 Weeks Pregnant

With all the major organs in place, your baby is now set to gain weight and grow in size. Some women choose to spread the good news among their family and close friends by this time while others decide it is still too early for such joy. Whatever you do, make sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle and listen to your doctor, both for your baby’s sake and yours.

Baby development in pregnancy week 11

Sensory organ development

The growing skin forms a protective layer over your baby’s body; but, it is still quite transparent and will remain this way until the later part of the third trimester [1]. The nasal passages are growing at the top of the tiny nose [2]. The tongue and palate also continue their growth from the last week while the tooth buds begin to form [3].

Limb development

The fingers and toes continue to grow out of their webbed appearance and are almost fully developed by now [4].

Facial development

The ears are almost in their final position while your baby also has a broad forehead [4]. The head is still disproportionately large, but the growing body will soon balance the difference in size [5].

Fetal Development at Pregnancy Week 11

Fetal Development at Pregnancy Week 11

Keratinous structure development

This is also the week when the nail beds start forming while the hair follicles continue growing [3].

Internal organ development

The fetus begins to inhale and exhale amniotic fluid (as if breathing underwater) as the lung development starts [6]. The intestines gradually move into the baby’s stomach from the umbilical cord where it grows [4]. The cord still carries necessary nutrition to your baby and assists the amniotic fluid to keep him safe [7]. The lengthening neck allows your baby to move around within the amniotic sac. This is the week when testosterone production begins in a male fetus [8].

11 weeks pregnancy baby size

Your baby is around 1.6 inches (4 cm) long from crown to rump, about the size of a lime [3], weighing approximately 0.25 oz (7 gm).

Body changes during 11th week of pregnancy

The uterus is now large enough to fill your entire pelvis while you may even be able to feel it in the lower abdomen area, just above the pubic bone [10]. Your hair may seem thicker and shinier while you may notice your nails growing at a faster pace than usual. These are some of the positive effects of the rising pregnancy hormone (progesterone) levels [11]. The hormones also increase the number of facial oil glands, which may lead to oily skin.

What does 11 weeks pregnant look like?

You may already have started to show a little, especially if this is not your first pregnancy. Women tend to start showing a bit earlier in their second pregnancies due to the already relaxed abdominal muscles [12]. However, it is generally too early for first time moms to start showing enough for others to notice that they are carrying [4]. Expecting twins may make you start showing early [13].

11 weeks pregnant ultrasound

The blood vessels are easily visible through the translucent skin [1] along with tiny ribs [8]. An ultrasound image will show your baby kicking and moving those tiny hands and legs, but it is still too early for you to feel them [5].

11 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Image

11 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Image

You can also hear your baby’s fluttering heartbeat on a Doppler ultrasound device [11]. The genital organs have almost completed their development, but it will take a few more weeks for your doctor to determine the gender through an ultrasound [14].

11 weeks pregnant signs and symptoms

Many women find that the early pregnancy symptoms of morning sickness, fatigue, frequent urination and the heightened sense of smell begin to subside from this week [4]. The acne outbreak you have been dealing with for the last few weeks may also begin to clear up gradually [9]. However, there is nothing to worry about if you continue to experience unpleasant symptoms like nausea, tiredness, constipation, heartburn and indigestion along with other normal week 11 signs including:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping (often due to gas and bloating)
  • Abdominal tenderness (due to the growing uterus and stretching muscles)
  • Gas and bloating [15]
  • Food cravings/aversions
  • Breast tenderness
  • Excessive saliva [2]
  • Occasional dizziness
  • Feeling out of breath [16]
  • Nosebleeds
  • Difficulty sleeping [17]
  • Emotional changes or mood swings
  • Headache (migraine) [12]
  • Leg cramps
  • Appearance of a dark line on your belly (linea nigra) [3]
  • A little weight gain (women with severe morning sickness may actually notice some weight loss) [9]
  • Round ligament pain [12]
  • Itchiness (with or without rash) especially around the belly and breasts [18]
  • Stress incontinence or leaking urine when you laugh or sneeze (because of the pregnancy hormones weakening the sphincter muscles controlling urine release and the uterus putting pressure on your bladder) [19]

Most of these symptoms get better once you enter your second trimester while your appetite also increases, making it easier for you to get all the nutrition you and your baby need [20].

When to call the doctor?

  • Severe abdominal cramping along with mild to moderate bleeding or spotting (might indicate an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage) [12]
  • Fever and chills accompanied by fatigue, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat and sneezing (might indicate flu) [21]
  • Severe persistent headache with blurred vision, sudden swelling (of hands, feet and face), chest pain and vomiting (might indicate high blood pressure or preeclampsia) [22]
  • Severe diarrhea or vomiting over 3-4 times a day (increases the risks of dehydration and weight loss) [23]
  • Abnormal smelling brown, yellowish, pinkish, green, clear or cloudy vaginal discharge (might indicate a urinary tract or bladder infection)
  • Gush of clear or straw colored thin, odorless discharge (might indicate leaking amniotic fluid)
  • Intense abdominal or lower back pain (especially on the right side) [24]
  • Pain or burning while urinating (might indicate a bacterial infection)
  • Severe back pain along with leaking urine and UTI (might indicate a tilted uterus) [25]
  • Extreme tiredness along with blurred vision, excessive thirst, sudden weight loss and vomiting (might indicate gestational diabetes) [26]

Tips for a healthy pregnancy and baby

  • Avoiding seafood, undercooked fish or meat and foods containing raw eggs such as cookie batter and Caesar salad dressing as they are likely to contain harmful bacteria (pregnancy increases the risk of food poisoning) [20]
  • Talking to other moms for suggestions and comfort as they are the only ones to understand what you are going through
  • Following a healthy diet containing fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in nutrients like protein, folic acid, iron and calcium [10]
  • Washing your hands properly with soap and warm water after handling raw meat, poultry products, raw unwashed fruits and vegetables to prevent any bacterial contamination [20]
  • Doing regular exercise for strengthening the pelvic muscles (you can join a prenatal yoga class or talk to your doctor regarding the safe exercises to do at home)
  • Doing light leg and foot exercises like stretching your legs or pumping the calf muscles and toes while sitting down to help prevent conditions like varicose veins [12] and restless leg syndrome
  • Avoiding crossing your legs and trying to keep your legs elevated whenever sitting or lying
  • Thinking happy thoughts and listening to relaxing music as your baby is now matured enough for sensing your mood and reacting to it [27]
  • Avoiding drinking alcohol and taking any over-the-counter medication (e.g. Tylenol) without consulting your doctor
  • Going for your prenatal and dental checkups

Published on April 4th 2014 by .
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.

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