By week 11 of pregnancy, your baby has developed distinct human characteristics, including fingers and toes!
Some moms-to-be find that their morning sickness starts to ease up as they approach the end of the first trimester, though it's also common to still be experiencing nausea, food aversions and bloating around this time.
Your Baby at Week 11
Ladies and gentleman, mommies and daddies…in this corner, weighing in at a whopping third of an ounce and standing — or rather, laying — two inches long is…your baby! She’s caterpillar-size right now, though not quite as fuzzy… and certainly more human in appearance.
Sure, her forehead is still high, and her head is still disproportionately larger than her body, but her facial bones are completely formed, she has an obvious jawline, and most of her soon-to-be-adorable facial features are well defined. The ears are now sculpted into their seashell shape, hair follicles are sprouting head to toe, nipples on the chest are visible, fingernail and toenail beds are developing, her skin is beginning to thicken, and those diminutive digits are no longer webbed like a froglet’s. And behind those little lips, your baby is trying out her new tongue and palate — yawning, swallowing, chewing — prepping for hours of eating and chatting in years to come.
Your little one’s ticker is ticking faster each week — clocking in at about 120 to 160 beats per minute. And while you probably don’t feel anything yet, there’s plenty of nimble action going on in your uterus. Your tiny athlete is practicing somersaults, stretches, and spins…a big workout for one so wee. Lucky for her, your uterine gym is open 24 hours a day.
At a Glance
11 weeks pregnant is how many months?
If you're 11 weeks pregnant, you're in month 3 of your pregnancy. Only 6 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
How big is my baby at 11 weeks?
Slightly more than 1½ inches long now and weighing about a quarter of an ounce, your baby has been pretty busy growing this week.
Baby's got fingers, toes and other new features
Hair follicles are forming not just on the crown, but on the rest of the body. And those tiny hands and feet have individual fingers and toes — meaning goodbye to those frog-like webbed hands and feet.
Meanwhile, fingernail and toenail beds begin to develop this week; in the next few weeks, the nails themselves will start to grow, so don't forget to add a baby nail clipper to your to-buy list.
While you can't tell what baby's sex will be yet, ovaries are developing if it's a girl.
And by week 11 of pregnancy, baby has other distinct human characteristics: hands and feet in front of his body, ears nearly in their final shape, open nasal passages on the tip of his tiny nose, a tongue and palate in the mouth, and visible nipples.
Baby's position is changing
Your baby's body is straightening and his torso is lengthening — sounds like a yoga pose, doesn't it? Other poses your baby can assume now: stretches, somersaults and forward rolls.
Your Body at Week 11
You might be feeling a bit hungrier these days — and that's good. It’s a sign your morning sickness is easing and your appetite is gearing up to help you nourish your body … and your baby.
But don't go overboard just because you're eating for two. Try to gain weight efficiently by choosing the most nutritious foods during pregnancy and minimizing the junk.
At 11 weeks pregnant, your lower abdomen is probably just starting to protrude a bit too — though people may not guess that you're expecting yet.
Bloating and burping
Even if it your tummy is still flat as a board — all women start to show at different times and, as you'll find out, all show differently — you're probably finding your jeans aren't buttoning without a struggle.
Blame the pregnancy hormone progesterone for that tight squeeze. Though progesterone does a bang-up job in maintaining a healthy pregnancy, some of the less than flattering by-products of all the good it does are bloating, burping and passing gas.
That's because progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue in your body — including the gastrointestinal tract — slowing down digestion to allow more time for the nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream and passed to your baby.
But what's good for baby isn't always good for Mom. The uncomfortable fullness you feel in your abdomen, especially after eating, will only get worse for some women. As your uterus grows, it'll crowd the stomach and intestines, putting more pressure on the digestive tract and causing you to feel even more bloated.
Here's some consolation: Your baby won't feel your pain. In fact, your baby is oblivious to all your intestinal distress — and may even be soothed by the gurgling of your gastric symphony. Minimize bloating and gas by grazing instead of gorging and steering clear of notorious gas producers, such as beans, fried foods, soda and sweets.
Reducing fatigue during pregnancy
Pregnancy fatigue is par for the course when you're pregnant, especially in the first and third trimesters. After all, your body is growing another human being in the form of your little baby, which is a heck of a lot of work around the clock!
In the meantime, fight fatigue by eating energy-boosting snacks like nuts, dried fruit, cheese and crackers and other healthy foods that can give you a kick. You should also indulge in cat naps whenever possible, take breaks when you're wiped out, and engage in pregnancy-safe exercises like walking, which can help combat the sleepies.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 11
Tips for You This Week
Prenatal yoga is the perfect pregnancy exercise.
Not only can a yoga routine help you feel more relaxed and prepared for birth, but a once-a-week prenatal yoga session, when done for at least two months, is enough to reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. That, in turn, can lower the risk of premature birth and postpartum blues.
When you’re expecting, your immune system runs at a lower speed than usual — which is actually a good thing, since it keeps your growing baby protected and stops your body from fighting the fetus off as a foreign entity.
The downside: Your body can't ward off colds as well as it normally does, making you more vulnerable to the stuffy nose, cough and sore throat that accompany them.
If soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
You may have to wait until after you deliver your million-dollar baby to debut a new million-dollar smile. While there are no proven risks to tooth whitening, it's a procedure that definitely falls into the better-safe-than-sorry category and is best avoided while you’re pregnant.
Be sure to keep your teeth clean and well flossed, though. Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, is common in pregnant women, so keep your teeth healthy in between cleanings by chewing sugarless gum, which can help reduce plaque build-up, and snacking on nuts or cheese, which contain calcium and other nutrients.
Your super-sensitive gums will thank you for the attention, plus you'll increase your chances of having a healthier pregnancy. Believe it or not, poor dental care has been linked to premature birth. And isn't having a healthy mouth more important than having whiter pearly whites?
Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, which bolsters your baby's cartilage, muscles, blood vessels and bones. It also gives a baby's body the ability to repair wounded tissue.
And if that's not enough, adequate doses of vitamin C have been linked to a healthy birth weight and a decreased risk of premature rupture of the membranes. Since vitamin C can't be stored, you'll need to make sure you get enough servings daily.
You can get your C with the old standard — orange juice and oranges — as well as from a wide variety of delicious fruits, like mangoes, cantaloupe and strawberries, and veggies like red peppers, broccoli, collard greens and vegetable juice.
Dry skin? Taking too many baths can strip your skin of its moisture.
Stick to short showers — good training for actual motherhood — in warm, not hot, water, and use a mild cleanser. For very dry skin, try a moisturizer or put a warm-mist humidifier in your room.
What's the deal with your sex drive? Hormones hit every woman differently, turning up the heat for some and throwing ice water on others.
Pregnancy symptoms can also stand between you and a good time — after all, it's hard to feel sexy when you're busy gagging on dinner.
Rest assured, whatever's normal for you is normal. Remember that many women who've lost that lovin' feeling in the first trimester get it back in the second, in spades…so don't be surprised if a very warm front moves into the bedroom soon.
The nuchal translucency screening — also called the NT screening — is a specialized ultrasound performed between weeks 11 and 13 that screens for chromosomal conditions like Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13 by measuring the level of fluid at the base of the fetus' neck.
Because the NT screening only looks at the statistical likelihood of a chromosomal disorder and can't tell you anything definitive about your baby, it is usually done in conjunction with the quad screen or noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to provide more comprehensive results.
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