Week 11 brings exciting changes for you and your baby. The good news for your baby is that the danger zone of the pregnancy is now passed, lessening the likelihood of miscarriage. You may notice some minor physical changes in week 11, but even more exciting is the realisation that the end of morning sickness is in sight!
Your Baby This Week
At week 11, your baby has now grown to about the size of a lime and measures close to 4 cm (1.6 inches) in length. Weight gain has again almost doubled since last week. Now your baby weighs about 7 grams (1/4 oz). From this point on, your baby’s growth will be rapid. In fact, over the next three weeks, your baby will double in size.
The notable milestone for week 11 is that now your baby has more than likely passed the critical zone when most congenital complications occur and miscarriage is now less likely to happen. Other significant developments for week 11 include the emergence of your baby’s genitals from inside the body, hair follicles on the skin starting to form, fingernails becoming visible, the eyes’ irises developing, and the teeth buds forming into teeth inside the gums. Your baby’s ears have now moved up to the side of the head and soon, your baby will be able to hear you talking!
All of the internal organs are now larger and functioning much more efficiently than they did last week. The placenta is now fully developed and is providing your baby with all the nutrients and oxygen that is needed. And, your baby can now swallow amniotic fluid and then urinate it out into the amniotic sac. Don’t be concerned by this thought. The amniotic fluid is constantly filtered and replaced by your body to remove toxins. Your baby’s diaphragm is also developing now, which means that your baby could even have the hiccups! You probably won’t feel them yet, but it is very common for a baby’s mum to feel the baby’s hiccups as the pregnancy progresses.
Your Body This Week
In week 11 you will start to see some slight physical changes taking place. There still may not be much weight gain, but you may start to notice the bump in your abdomen. Your uterus is now large enough to fill the space in your pelvis and is beginning to protrude over the pelvic bone. Many women say that they can feel the baby’s movements at this time, but it’s unlikely for most. Given the changes going on in your abdomen, gas and other intestinal movements will feel different than they normally do (they can almost feel like a fluttering which many women mistake for baby’s movements). However, don’t worry! It won’t be long until you can feel every movement your baby makes.
Your skin may be noticeably different now; either dry and itchy, or more oily than usual. There might also notice that your hair, fingernails, and toenails have changed in texture and growth. These changes are normal and are due to the added hormones in your body. Additionally, you may notice that you feel warmer than usual. This happens because your body now has so much extra blood pumping through it.
You may also notice that a dark vertical line has started forming on your abdomen. This is called the Linea Nigra and happens in about 75% of all pregnancies. The line travels from your pelvic bone up your abdomen and can go all the way to your belly button. It’s believed that this line is caused by the increased production of estrogen, which causes an increase in the production of pigment melanin. This increase in pigment is also the cause of skin discolorations during pregnancy.
As for morning sickness, if you have experienced it up till now, you will be happy to know that most women start to feel better around the 11th or 12th week of their pregnancies. In fact, many of the early symptoms of pregnancy start to calm down around this time.