Week 11 of pregnancy
You are now in the penultimate week of your first trimester – it’s either flown by for you, or it’s felt like the longest 3 months of your life!
By the end of this week – if not sooner, you’ll be having your dating/combined screening scan and finding out if your estimated due date is the same or has changed, as well as getting back your blood results from your first midwife appointment.
However, before then, there is still crucial development that happens and lots of changes in the next week ahead.
How big is my baby?
Your strawberry has grown to the size of a fig – measuring about 40mm from top to bottom.
What happens in week 11 of pregnancy?
Your precious fig-baby is looking more and more like you would expect a baby to – except still being tiny. Baby’s head is still much bigger than the body – at the moment the head is just over a third of baby’s size, but that will change in the weeks ahead.
Your baby’s face is now almost fully formed – ear, nose, mouth is all there, and the eyelids are now fully formed and cover baby’s eyes. They will stay closed now until about week 26.
To accommodate all this change and growth, the placenta has been developing and growing alongside your baby. By the end of week 11, it is completely formed and takes over the role of the yolk sac in becoming your baby’s source of nourishment. Your baby’s kidneys are now fully functioning too, producing urine as is their stomach which is producing gastric juice – helping the placenta get rid of baby’s waste.
Week 11 pregnancy symptoms
As you are near the end of the first trimester, you’ll find that your body is starting to change more and more. Apart from the snug waistline, you may find that your hair and skin are affected too – due to pregnancy hormones and also how affected you are by pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness. Other symptoms that you may experience:
Hot and bothered
Feeling hot and bothered, even on cold wintery days in early pregnancy isn’t that uncommon. At this stage in your pregnancy, you have around 50% extra blood circulating through your body – which leads to you feeling like you are carrying your own personal central heating system around in you.
Wear light layers, drink plenty of water and turn down the heating if needed – especially at night, so you can get some sleep.
I feel dizzy…
Another common symptom in early pregnancy – but leave you feeling worried. Feeling dizzy or faint is mainly due to – you’ve guessed it – hormonal changes. They have a lot to answer for!
Dizziness in early pregnancy happens mainly due to your body is working hard to meet the needs of you and your baby. This is because at this stage in pregnancy your body is working hard to produce blood to fill a rapidly expanding circulatory system.
Similarly, the increased levels of the hormone progesterone can also make your blood vessels relax and widen. This is so blood flow increases and passes to your baby but has the effect of slowing down the flow of blood to you — resulting in lowering your blood pressure.
When your blood pressure is low, blood flow to your brain is affected, which can then lead to feeling lightheaded and dizzy.
Try not to worry – there is lots you can do to get rid of the head spinning feeling:
- Slow down – try to get up slowly and gently from a sitting or lying down position.
- Make sure you are eating enough – low blood sugar levels can lead to you feeling faint, so carry snacks with you to prevent this.
- Drink plenty of fluids and water – dizziness and fainting can be caused by dehydration which is another common pregnancy symptom. Carry a bottle with you and take sips regularly.
Week 11 pregnancy tips
You have lots to look forward to in this week and the next – your scan, meeting your midwife again and starting the next trimester.
Take some time out for self-care and preparing for the big events ahead:
- Get some fresh air – if you’ve been particularly affected by pregnancy symptoms, or just exhausted, you may have become a homebody. This is completely understandable – who doesn’t need their bed when they are feeling rubbish!
But getting some fresh air will really help – take it easy – no need for a hike or mammoth walking session, even a gentle stroll will help with feeling less stuffy and help you cool down.
- Have you started a baby book or journal yet? – It can be a lovely way of connecting with your pregnancy and having a place to store all the special information and scan photo’s. There are lots of online versions too – so have a look around to see if there is one that takes your fancy.
Written by: Amina Hatia.