11th week of pregnancy

How your baby’s growing

Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.

She’s already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won’t feel your baby’s acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

At 11 weeks, the baby's head is as big as the rest of the body

All of your baby’s vital organs are now formed and functioning, so the risk of defects decreases this week as your baby becomes less susceptible to outside influences. Phew! Other exciting developments include:

Baby’s ears are assuming their proper place this week and the fingernail and toenail beds are beginning to form. Your little “pumpkin head” really lives up to his nickname as his head is nearly as big as the rest of his body.

While testes or ovaries are completely formed now, don’t start decorating the nursery. You won’t be able to see your baby’s gender for a few more weeks yet.

Your baby is really on the move now. In an ultrasound you might be able to see your little acrobat flailing his or her arms and legs and doing somersaults worthy of Cirque du Soleil. You still won’t be able to feel any movement, so if you feel something “kick” in there, it’s probably gas.

In the next nine weeks, your baby will increase 30 times in weight and almost triple in length. You might feel like you’re increasing 30 times in weight at this point, too, but we can assure you’re not—because, honey, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

How your life’s changing

Body changes during pregnancy

If you’re like most women, you’re feeling a bit more energetic now and your nausea may be starting to wane. Unfortunately, you may also be suffering from constipation (caused by hormonal changes, which can slow digestion) and heartburn (hormones again, relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus). Just remember, all this discomfort is for a good cause.

Don’t worry if nausea has made it impossible for you to eat a wide variety of healthy foods or if you haven’t put on much weight yet (most women gain just 2 to 5 pounds during the first trimester). Your appetite will likely return soon, and you’ll start to gain about a pound a week.

Your focus should be on nutrition rather than weight. You are not eating for two, but you should make everything you eat count. You will only need 300-500 calories extra a day while you are pregnant, less in the 1st trimester.

While acetaminophen (like Tylenol) is considered safe during pregnancy, other pain relievers like ibuprofen should be avoided. If you want to avoid taking any medication, there are a few alternative headache remedies, like cold compresses and exercise, that can help.

Unfortunately, women who have a tendency to get migraines tend to get more of them during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble coping.

Size of an 11 week baby in the mother's womb

You might also be noticing changes in your hair, fingernails, or skin around this time. Some women notice an increase in hair growth and nail growth during pregnancy and others lose small amounts of hair. The amount of blood being pumped around your body will increase and you might feel warmer than usual.

Dad/Partner

Did you go with her to her prenatal appointment? If you didn’t be sure to go to the next one, you’ll get to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Attending prenatal appointments is also a great way to be involved in the pregnancy. If one scheduled during the work day isn’t convenient, ask her practitioner if they can schedule one at the end of the day or on Saturday making it easier for you to attend.

Twin Tips

Look for a local twin club to help you through your pregnancy and new parenting. Even if you’ve had children before having twins is a whole new ball game. You can look to the twin club for emotional and informational support. Some clubs even have huge sales and you can grab some double bargains.

Your Life

When your future son or daughter brings home the love of his or her life, you’ll be so glad you bought a digital camcorder to record every embarrassing thing he or she ever did.

Plan before you plunk down your money. It’s a big buy, and you’ll want this one to last for years. Scan online reviews of cameras you’re considering, to see what others think.

Once you make a purchase, try out the new goods by recording a great day spent in the city or a mini-vacation that you and your partner are going to take.

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