You’re 11 weeks pregnant, and your baby has hit his or her first graduation… from embryo to fetus! There’s a big switch from forming body systems to growth and development. Let’s take a look at what’s happening inside your body and with your baby in week 11 pregnancy!
Week 11 Pregnancy: Fruit! (or how big is baby?)
Pregnancy guides always seem to compare babies to fruit, to give a fun way to visualize how big your baby is. It’s hard to find a good comparison really early on, but by week 11 pregnancy — nine weeks since conception — your sweet little fruit is about the size of a lime! Baby’s crown-to-rump length is 1 1/2 inches to 2 1/2 inches, and he or she weighs 0.3 ounce. (1) What else is going on?
- Bones are starting to harden, and muscles begin to develop
- Skin is still thin and transparent
- Baby’s chin is no longer tucked to the chest – his head moves back toward the spine and his neck lengthens
- Fingernails appear (1, 2)
Week 11 Pregnancy: Baby Bump
One of the most exciting ways to watch pregnancy progress is through the growth of your baby bump. It’s a way to watch your baby growth and for many, it helps the pregnancy to feel more real. Your uterus started at about the size of a small pear and is now grapefruit-sized, almost big enough to fill your pelvis. (2) It may be felt above the middle of your pubic bone, in your lower abdomen. (1) You likely have a bit of a swollen-looking abdomen by week 11 pregnancy, and it may be changing from looking just bloated to an actual little bump. (Remember, not all women notice a bump this early, especially in first pregnancies, and that’s okay, too!)
Dressing the Bump
You may be in the in-between phase where your clothes are starting to not fit, but maternity clothes still seem like tents. You can probably shop in your own closet for things that will accommodate your bump a while longer. Think about things you own that have an oversized fit, or dresses or tops with a high waist that will drape over your little bump. You can switch out jeans and tees for leggings and tunics. If you’re ready to start shopping, you may be surprised to find some maternity clothes to be more versatile than (and not as tent-like as) you’d guess. It might be fun to start picking up some pieces that are comfortable now but have plenty of room to accommodate your ever-changing shape.
Week 11 Pregnancy: Symptoms
During pregnancy, it’s common for vaginal discharge to increase because of changes in the vagina and cervix. Sticky, clear, or white discharge is normal. You can wear panty liners to stay comfortable if the amount of discharge is bothersome. You should call your doctor or midwife if you have discharge that has changed color, has a bad odor, or comes with pain, soreness, or itching. These can be signs of a bacterial infection or yeast infection. Don’t try to treat yourself with over-the-counter medications, and you should not douche while pregnant. (2)
Spotting or Bleeding
Spotting is light vaginal bleeding, and it occurs in about 20% of women in the first trimester. It does not necessarily signal a problem for mom or baby, so don’t panic if you’re experiencing spotting. But do call your provider so they can tell you how to proceed. There are many things that can cause spotting — blood supply to your pelvis has increased, your cervix is tender, new vascular connections are being made as your uterus grows and the placenta forms. Things like sex and strenuous exercise can cause spotting, but sometimes, no cause can be identified. For about half of women, it stops on its own and there are no further complications. If you’ve had a little spotting over a short period of time, your provider will likely tell you to rest, avoid sex for now, and don’t exercise strenuously.
Bleeding is typically considered vaginal bleeding that is as heavy as, or heavier than, a menstrual period. If you have heavy bleeding or bleeding with cramps or abdominal pain, your provider might order an ultrasound or blood tests to determine what’s going on. (3)
Throughout pregnancy, your breasts grow in size and weight. The number of milk glands increases in preparation for making milk and fat builds up in the breasts. You may notice that your nipples get darker and stick out more, and the areolas (the pink or brown skin around your nipples) get darker and larger. You also may have grown as much as a full cup size, and your breasts may be tender, sensitive, or sore. (2)
A good, supportive bra can help, and you might want to look for a maternity bra. They’re often made with wide straps, more coverage in the cups, and extra rows of hooks so that you can adjust the band size more as your body changes. You may also need a sleep bra for nighttime support, as many women experience the most pain when their breasts move, as when you roll over or go from lying to sitting.
If you have your first appointment with your doctor or midwife this week, you may want to check out last week’s post where we discussed what to expect at that first appointment.
Kopa Birth’s online childbirth classes allow you to prepare for a natural childbirth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class to learn more about preparing for a natural hospital birth.
(1) Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press
(2) The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th edition.
(3) Simkin, P. (2010). Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, 4th edition. Meadowbrook Press