Week 11

How big is your baby?

By the 11th week of gestation, your tiny embryo has almost transformed into a fully-formed foetus. At this stage, your baby measures approximately 4cm (2in) from head to bottom and is about the size of a strawberry. Her head is roughly half this size, but she is growing quickly and exciting changes are taking place as you near the end of your first trimester.

How big is your baby?

By the 11th week of gestation, your tiny embryo has almost transformed into a fully-formed foetus. At this stage, your baby measures approximately 4cm (2in) from head to bottom and is about the size of a strawberry. Her head is roughly half this size, but she is growing quickly and exciting changes are taking place as you near the end of your first trimester.

What does your baby look like?

Your baby’s head is disproportionate to the rest of her body at the moment, but her facial features are beginning to form as the last of the bone development process approaches. Her eyes are closed and will remain so for a good few weeks yet, but already her tiny fists have recognisable fingers and, although you won’t feel it yet, she is kicking and somersaulting inside you, exploring her world.

Changes in your body this week

For most women, week 11 will bring you very close to the start of a welcome new phase. You will probably have more energy and less nausea, if you’ve been suffering badly with morning sickness, and you may notice your zest for life returning! However the lovely hormones so essential to your pregnancy can also be held responsible for one or two more unpleasant changes. Hormones can slow your digestion rate down and cause constipation, as well as relaxing the gastro-oesophageal sphincter which allows acidic gastric juices to seep out of the stomach, causing heartburn. Treatments for both are available – but you should always seek advice from your GP or midwife to make sure you select pregnancy-friendly ones.

How your baby is developing

With each week that passes, your baby is beginning to take on a more recognisable form. Her ear buds are becoming fully-formed ears, her tiny fingers are no longer webbed and her back is straightening out of the early foetus shape.

Her complex system of arteries and veins is developing quickly now and they are visible through her thin skin.

How your baby is developing

With each week that passes, your baby is beginning to take on a more recognisable form. Her ear buds are becoming fully-formed ears, her tiny fingers are no longer webbed and her back is straightening out of the early foetus shape.

Her complex system of arteries and veins is developing quickly now and they are visible through her thin skin.

The bones of the palate are coming together in week 11, the mouth is nearly complete and tiny buds that will eventually be milk teeth are beginning to appear in the gums. Although her tiny eyes are still fused shut, your baby is not asleep! She is busy inside your uterus kicking and stretching her developing muscles.

Health concerns

Pregnancy puts a huge demand on your body and it’s not surprising that many women physically feel the strain of severe morning sickness. Some expectant mothers worry about whether they’re taking on enough calories to provide all the nutrients that the baby needs, or that they’re losing weight. The good news is that while you are suffering, your baby is taking what she needs from your body first, leaving you with whatever nourishment is left over. From the end of the first trimester, you should ideally be looking to gain just under a kilogramme per week (about 1 pound), but this is a general figure and can fluctuate. Eating as healthily as you can is important so that your body is given the chance to absorb a wide range of nutrients.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

During pregnancy it’s not uncommon for some women to suffer with the dreaded UTIs (urinary tract infections). This unpleasant condition causes pain and/or stinging while urinating, changes to the urine and urgency. Signs to look out for are the stinging sensation, a more urgent need to wee and changes to the urine itself – becoming cloudy or having an odd smell. If left, UTIs can develop and cause fever so it’s important to get checked out quickly if you suspect you might have one.

It’s also normal to experience some discomfort at this stage of pregnancy as your stomach muscles and ligaments are stretching and expanding to accommodate your baby. However any severe or persistent abdominal pain should always be checked out immediately by a qualified health care professional.

Safety first

One of the key things for pregnant women is staying safe and protected within your environment. Everybody has a different set of work and lifestyle demands and looking after yourself is a number one priority. Getting enough good quality sleep is crucial in making sure that you feel properly rested, however the unpleasant trio of pregnancy related nausea, heartburn and indigestion can all combine to give you a restless, not restful, nights sleep. Try a relaxing bath, a warm, milky drink before bed and set aside half an hour or so at the end of your day to properly unwind.

Important issues this week

It’s nearly that exciting time – your 12 week scan! For many pregnant women this is the first chance they have to catch a glimpse of their baby (or babies!). However, amongst other things, the scan is designed to check for problems with the pregnancy and the likelihood of certain abnormalities, so it’s worth thinking about the antenatal tests that you will be offered in the coming weeks. These will be in the form of scans for physical abnormalities, and blood tests for genetic abnormalities such as spina bifida, Downs and the trisomies.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

As your energy returns and you have the opportunity to spend more time out of the bathroom, you may find yourself looking to establish a healthy exercise pattern to keep you in good shape through your second and third trimesters. Staying in tip-top condition will help your body look after the tiny body it has inside. Swimming is a good form of exercise for pregnant women as it doesn’t strain any muscles and your weight is completely supported by the water; definitely a bonus as your baby bump expands. Many places will also offer special antenatal swimming classes so now is a great time to explore your local leisure centres and gyms to see what they have to offer you.

Looking forward; planning ahead

You’re almost at the end of your first trimester; your body has completed twelve of the most gruelling weeks of pregnancy. But now it’s time to look forward, focus on new experiences and decide what the rest of your pregnancy means to you. Are you having antenatal screening? Do you want to find out the sex of the baby? Are you hoping to have a 4D scan – a precious glance into the world of your unborn?
The risk of miscarriage is substantially reduced by now and it’s even possible that your clothes may start to feel a little tight. Your body has a way to go until gestation is complete – but it has also already come a long way from the day of conception.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
Please sign in to comment on this article.
Be the first to write a comment on this article.

Fitness and exercise

For a fun workout that will strengthen your heart and lungs, why not consi...

Read More

Mums perspective

I was feeling good as I neared the end of the first trimester, but a fall ...

Read More

Partners perspective

Some of the changes occurring to a pregnant woman's body may be a little s...

Read More

Week 11

Your pre-pregnancy BMI is important when considering how much weight gain ...

Read More