Can you believe you are nearing the end of your first trimester..?
11 weeks pregnant – soon you will be able to safely and officially announce your pregnancy. This article will discuss what you can expect at being 11 weeks pregnant.
Your baby at 11 weeks pregnant
Your baby is about 2 inches long, about the size of a lime and weighs about a third of an ounce.
The head is bigger than the body, but the body will catch up in just a few short weeks. Genitals are starting to form although they will not be distinguishable for a few more weeks.
Your baby is now able to sigh and suck its thumb at eleven weeks pregnant.
You should be able to pick up the sound of your baby’s heartbeat at this point. Your baby is getting its nutrition from you via the umbilical cord, which spirals as two arteries and a vein twist to fit into a protective covering to protect them. The blood vessels in the placenta are growing rapidly now as it is preparing for the accelerated growth of your baby in the coming weeks.
Your body at eleven weeks pregnant
You might notice that your appetite is finally returning as your morning sickness starts to subside. You may also discover that you are thirstier than ever as your body is now producing more blood, sweat, oil and amniotic fluid. You should carry bottled water at all times to keep yourself hydrated. You will need to start to wear looser fit clothes and may need to invest in maternity bras at this point for comfort as your breasts need more support.
Other symptoms you may experience at eleven weeks pregnant include food cravings and/or aversions, bloating, gas, heartburn and constipation, breast tenderness, dizziness, and excessive saliva.
Around this time you may start to experience that “pregnancy glow” that you may have heard about. This is due to the increase in blood volume which makes your skin look more flushed and full. Also the pregnancy hormones are causing your skin to be a bit more oily than usual. You might consider switching to oil free products as your skin is more sensitive and prone to breakouts during this time.
You might start to experience some discomfort sleeping now as your belly is starting to protrude a little. It is recommended that you sleep on your side as much as possible now as it will help increase the blood flow to the baby. You can purchase a body pillow to make this more comfortable.
As during early pregnancy you should continue with light to moderate exercise such as swimming, walking, water aerobics, yoga and pilates as these will help prepare your body for childbirth, and help you stay fit after the baby is born. It is also recommended that you start to add Kegel exercises around this time to strengthen your pelvis. Simply squeeze the muscles between the anus and vagina together every for ten seconds ten to twenty times three times a day. This will strengthen the muscles for delivery.
You must avoid any time of extreme or heavy exercises such as extreme sports and contact sports. Discuss your exercise routine with your physician. Twenty to thirty minutes of light to moderate exercise a day is recommended during this time.
At 11 weeks pregnant you want to continue to eat healthy throughout your pregnancy. You want to make sure you are getting enough folic acid so your doctor will prescribe an additional supplement but you can also get folic acid from foods such as leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals and breads and pastas. Eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole grains, beans, nuts and dairy are also essential.
Avoid fatty, under cooked and processed meats and fish with a high mercury count as well as unpasteurized foods and soft cheeses. Alcohol, caffeine, smoking and recreational drug use should be avoided at all costs during your entire pregnancy as this can cause miscarriages and other serious pregnancy complications and serious birth defects. Discuss all over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements you are taking with your doctor.
You will want to avoid sugary snacks as they could lead to gestational diabetes. The placenta produces hormones during pregnancy that decrease the amount of insulin in your body so the need for insulin during pregnancy is an average of three times higher than normal. If your body does not produce enough insulin, you can develop gestational diabetes.
If there is a history of diabetes in your family you are at higher risk as well. Symptoms are difficult to detect as they often mimic pregnancy symptoms and can include excessive thirst, frequent urination, exhaustion and yeast infections. Your doctor can test your glucose levels, but you should definitely let him know if there is a family history of diabetes or if you are at risk.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include the following:
- family history of type 2 diabetes
- pregnancy over the age of 40
- excessive body fat
- glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia and hypertension
- history of gestational diabetes
- history of polycystic ovarian syndrome
- malnutrition during pregnancy
By 11 weeks pregnant you should have definitely had your first prenatal visit, or you should be having it very shortly. Your doctor will want a detailed medical history from both you and your partner. He or she will conduct a thorough medical examination including a full blood panel, urine test, pelvic exam and ultrasound. You will discuss any issues or concerns you may have. Your doctor will then discuss any further testing that may be necessary at this point.
Listen to your body
Pay attention to your body. When you are tired, make sure you get enough rest. Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. If you are feeling anxious or depressed talk to someone. If you start to experience any severe symptoms or complications such as blurred vision, severe cramping, intense headaches, heavy spotting or bleeding, fainting or excessive vomiting, contact your physician immediately and seek medical help. Your health and your baby’s health are your top priority!