What to Expect When 11 Weeks Pregnant

Being 11 weeks pregnant marks the start of an exciting time. As you near the end of your first trimester, your baby is rapidly developing and your body is going through many changes. This article will give you a comprehensive overview of what to expect when you are 11 weeks pregnant.

Key Takeaways

  • Your baby is about the size of a fig at 11 weeks and their organs, limbs, and facial features are forming.
  • Common pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and breast tenderness may start improving around this time.
  • The placenta has taken over providing nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby.
  • Your healthcare provider will do blood tests and may recommend genetic screening and an ultrasound scan.
  • Focus on getting plenty of rest, eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, and doing light exercise.

Your Baby’s Development at 11 Weeks

At 11 weeks pregnant, your baby is going through a growth spurt and rapidly developing. Here’s an overview of what’s happening with your baby this week:

  • Size: Your baby is about 1.6 inches long from crown to rump, about the size of a fig. Their head is nearly half their entire size.
  • Appearance: Your baby’s facial features are becoming more defined as their eyes, ears, mouth, and nose take shape on their head. The eyes are set apart now. Their limbs are longer and more defined with visible elbows, knees, fingers, and toes.
  • Organs: All of your baby’s vital organs like their heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys are fully formed and beginning to function. Their heart is beating at nearly twice the normal adult rate. The liver is making red blood cells and their kidneys produce urine.
  • Movement: Your baby can now open and close their fingers and toes. They are moving their arms and legs frequently, though you won’t be able to feel the movement yet.
  • Sex organs: External sex organs are beginning to develop, but it is still too early to detect your baby’s sex via ultrasound.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms at 11 Weeks

As you near the end of the first trimester, some of the unpleasant early pregnancy symptoms may start improving while new symptoms pop up. Here are some common symptoms you may experience at 11 weeks pregnant:

  • Fatigue: Feeling very tired is still common. Rest as much as you can.
  • Nausea: Morning sickness may begin decreasing but can still strike at any time of day. Eat small, frequent meals and avoid triggers.
  • Headaches and dizziness: Changing hormone levels, fatigue and dehydration can trigger headaches. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Increased urination: Your growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder causing more frequent pee breaks.
  • Bloating and gas: Hormones slow digestion leading to bloating and gas pain. Eat slowly and avoid gas-causing foods.
  • Food cravings and aversions: Your food preferences are changing due to pregnancy. Give in to cravings for healthy foods when possible.
  • Breast changes: Your breasts are getting larger and may be tender or tingly as the milk ducts grow. Wear a supportive bra.
  • Heartburn: Hormones relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus cause acid reflux. Avoid spicy and acidic foods.
  • Constipation: Progesterone makes your intestines sluggish leading to hard, infrequent stools. Drink lots of water and eat high-fiber foods.
  • Cramping: Some mild uterine cramping is normal as your uterus expands. Call your doctor about severe cramps.
  • Vaginal discharge: Seeing more vaginal discharge is common due to changing hormones and increased blood flow. Wear panty liners.
  • Mood changes: Your shifting hormones may make you more emotional and moody. Get plenty of rest and take time for self-care.
  • Skin changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause skin issues like acne, dark spots, and melasma. Use oil-free skin care products.

Always check with your doctor if any symptoms seem abnormal or severe. Managing discomfort is all about listening to your body, adjusting your diet, getting rest, and finding relief through gentle exercise, hydration, and relaxation techniques.

Your Body at 11 Weeks Pregnant

The changes your body is undergoing to nurture your growing baby ramp up significantly around 11 weeks pregnant. Here are some key bodily changes happening now:

  • Your uterus is expanding higher up in your abdomen and may be 5 inches from pubic bone to the top of the uterus now. You still likely aren’t showing obviously.
  • The placenta is fully formed and producing hormones like progesterone and estrogen. It takes over providing oxygen and nutrients to your baby.
  • Your blood volume has increased up to 50% more than normal levels. This increased circulation nourishes the placenta and your baby.
  • Your metabolism is faster which can contribute to feelings like nausea and fatigue. Your body is working hard to provide for your baby.
  • Your cervix is changing to prepare for holding your growing uterus and baby. The mucus plug that seals the cervix also thickens.
  • Your breasts are enlarging and the hormonal changes make the areolas and nipples grow bigger and darker in color.
  • Many women begin showing early pregnancy signs around the face like chloasma (mask of pregnancy), reddened gums, and a flushed “pregnancy glow.”

11 Week Pregnancy Doctor Appointments and Tests

Your healthcare provider will want to see you regularly throughout your pregnancy for checkups to ensure you and your baby are healthy. Here are some things that may happen at your 11 week pregnancy visit:

  • Physical exam: Your doctor will check your weight, blood pressure, breast and abdomen for any issues. Tell them about any symptoms you’re having.
  • Pelvic exam: This can determine if your uterus and cervix look normal. Your doctor may do a pap smear.
  • Urine test: A urinalysis checks for protein, sugar, and signs of infection like UTIs. Infections can be dangerous in pregnancy.
  • Blood tests: Blood work around this time typically includes tests for anemia, your blood type, immunity to rubella, and certain genetic disorders.
  • Genetic screening: Your doctor may offer genetic screening tests like the First Trimester Screen to assess risk of chromosomal conditions like Down syndrome.
  • Ultrasound: Many doctors do an ultrasound around 11-14 weeks. You may be able to see your baby move and find out the gender at this early ultrasound.
  • Prescriptions: Your provider may prescribe prenatal vitamins with iron and folate if you aren’t already taking them to support your baby’s development.
  • Lifestyle recommendations: Your doctor will emphasize eating well, exercising moderately, taking supplements, managing stress, avoiding toxins, and getting enough rest.

Always ask your healthcare provider for clarification if you have any questions or concerns about tests and next steps. Voice any symptoms you want addressed and follow your provider’s guidance closely.

Healthy Pregnancy Tips for 11 Weeks

Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your growing baby at 11 weeks pregnant. Here are some important tips:

  • Rest up: Fatigue is common so take naps, go to bed early, and sit down to rest when needed. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Eat nutritious foods: Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats in your diet. Take your prenatal vitamin.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink the recommended minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Dehydration makes pregnancy discomforts worse.
  • Exercise: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise like brisk walking each week. Check with your doctor before intensifying routines.
  • Take care of your mental health: Destress with relaxing activities like prenatal yoga, reading, baths, and spending time with supportive loved ones.
  • Avoid toxins: Stay away from alcohol, smoking/vaping, secondhand smoke, and anything your doctor advises against. Don’t clean the litter box.
  • Limit caffeine: Caffeine is not advised to exceed 200mg daily during pregnancy. That’s about 12 ounces of coffee.
  • Be intimate: Unless your doctor has advised against it for medical reasons, intimacy and orgasms are fine and can help you feel closer to your partner.

This routine helps minimize unpleasant pregnancy symptoms so you have the energy to care for your baby-to-be and enjoy this special time in your life. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from loved ones as needed.

11 Weeks Pregnant FAQs

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about being 11 weeks pregnant:

Can I find out my baby’s sex at 11 weeks?

It may be too early for your doctor to detect your baby’s sex at 11 weeks. Genital development is still in very early stages during the first trimester. Ultrasounds done around 18-20 weeks are more reliable for identifying gender. There’s only about a 60% chance your doctor can correctly guess the sex at 11-14 weeks. Don’t go overboard shopping for gendered items yet!

What preparations should I be making this week?

At 11 weeks, you can start preparing in small ways but don’t go overboard yet. Have an initial discussion of your birth preferences like location and pain relief options. Research childcare options if needed. Look at your finances and insurance to ensure you’re covered. Hold off on nursery decoration until after the first trimester when risk of miscarriage drops. Staying healthy, working with your doctor, and resting up are the priorities right now.

When will I start showing with this pregnancy?

Most women don’t start obviously “showing” until 16-20 weeks or after in their first pregnancy. Every woman is different though – some may show a little sooner while others barely show until the third trimester! At 11 weeks your uterus is still quite small and protected behind your pelvic bone. Any visible bump is bloating, not the baby. Don’t worry if you aren’t showing yet, your baby is still tiny.

How big is my baby at 11 weeks?

At 11 weeks, your baby is approximately 1.6 inches long from crown to rump. This is about the size of a fig or lime. Their head is nearly half of their entire body size right now. Babies grow rapidly during these early weeks – they will be nearly triple this length by 20 weeks! It’s incredible to think your baby will grow from poppyseed to pineapple in just a few months.

When to Call Your Doctor

While most women have healthy, low-risk pregnancies, issues can sometimes arise. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience:

  • Severe abdominal cramping and/or bleeding
  • Signs of miscarriage like disappearing pregnancy symptoms or passing tissue
  • Regular contractions or pelvic pressure before 37 weeks
  • Severe nausea and vomiting preventing food/liquid intake
  • Persistent headache, vision issues, or upper abdominal pain
  • Extreme swelling in face/hands
  • Fever over 100.4F (38C)
  • Burning urination, foul-smelling discharge or other UTI symptoms
  • Sudden and unexplained fluid leakage from vagina
  • Belly trauma from falls, accidents, or abuse

Listen to your body and don’t hesitate to call if anything concerns you. Some warning signs require prompt medical care. Your doctor wants to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

The Takeaway

When you are 11 weeks pregnant, you can feel confident that your baby is developing rapidly during this exciting time. Keep up healthy habits and work closely with your doctor. The second trimester is right around the corner with the start of increased energy and fewer discomforts. Before you know it, you’ll be holding your beautiful baby. Stay positive and take it one week at a time!