Your Pregnancy Week 11
Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Your BabyDuring pregnancy at 11 weeks your baby continues to grow, and is now just large enough to rest happily in the palm of your hand (if this were a possibility!). Your baby is roughly 1 and 2 inches long and may weigh just over an ounce. Your baby is roughly the size of a very large fig.
Changes in Your Growing BabyYour baby's skin is quite transparent. During this time your baby's skin is forming a protective barrier, but will remain very thin throughout much of your pregnancy until you are quite close to term. The baby's blood vessels are visible through this paper think skin. If you could peer into your belly you would see your baby opening and closing his fists. By now your baby is already growing tiny buds where his teeth will one day sprout!
The baby's toes and fingers start to separate, losing their web like appearance. Your little one will continue swimming about your uterus however taking advantage of all the space available until he or she starts packing on some pounds. As you continue your pregnancy, in the next few weeks, your baby will start growing very rapidly.
Your Body's DevelopmentYou may start noticing your stomach protruding just a little bit. For those who have given birth before you may find your pants (even your larger pants) are starting to get uncomfortable. Most onlookers will probably not be able to tell that you are pregnant however yet (unless of course you tell them).
Changes in Your BodyYou should start noticing some relief from morning sickness and fatigue. If you haven't yet hang in there, in the next few weeks you should start feeling a lot better. Many women start noticing their fingernails and hair start growing more rapidly during their pregnancy. While this happens immediately for some others won't notice any change until the third trimester, when their baby is also undergoing a huge growth spurt.
In another couple of weeks you may start gaining weight more rapidly. As you enter your second trimester your caloric needs rise as your baby needs more fuel to grow and develop. Most women will gain roughly half to one pound per week in the second trimester. This happens much more easily as morning sickness subsides and many women find their appetites returning.
Some women start noticing varicose veins as early as 11 weeks pregnant. If you do notice this relax. Most get much better after giving birth, and if they don't you can always visit a doctor for treatment. Varicose veins usually occur because of rapidly increasing blood volume I the body which forces more blood through the veins. The uterus also places much pressure on the veins in the lower body which can cause swelling and bulging.
If you haven't already you might consider investing in a pair of support stockings. These help relieve much of the pressure on veins and help reduce swelling. Keeping your weight gain within recommended ranges will also help alleviate much of the discomfort associated with varicose veins. Contrary to belief you should actually promote circulation in your legs by walking and stretching as much as possible during pregnancy. This is particularly important if you have a job where you need to sit or stand for long periods of time. This can cause blood to pool in the legs, worsening the problem.
Drinking CaffeineYou are probably still battling fatigue and being tired a majority of the time. While you will get renewed energy in the second trimester, which is roughly 3 weeks away, you may want a pick me up in the morning. This is especially true if you must work.
In general, pregnant women should avoid drinking huge quantities of caffeine. Studies have indicated that expectant mothers who drank 200 mg (or more) had twice the risk of miscarriage, compared to women who consumed zero caffeine during pregnancy.
In addition to the miscarriage risk, caffeine can cause your blood vessels to constrict, which in turns lowers the blood flow to the placenta and your developing baby. Caffeine also crosses the placenta and can affect your unborn baby. Heavy caffeine consumption has also been linked to a lower birth weight, undescended testes in male babies, and even stillbirths.
To err on the side of caution, you should limit your caffeine consumption to under 200 mg (which is roughly a 12-ounce cup of coffee). Cutting out caffeine from your diet completely is definitely your best bet.
Video: What to Expect from the 11th Week of Pregnancy
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