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11 weeks pregnant

11 weeks pregnant + calcium Ready to grow

SUMMARY

In week 11 your baby is set for a rapid phase of growth1. A healthy intake of calcium will support their bones2 as they lengthen and strengthen. Learn how this pregnancy essential aids development in other ways, and which foods to eat for a reliable supply.

Preparing to grow

Measuring between 4 and 5cm3,4 by the time you’re 11 weeks pregnant, your baby is still very small. However, they’re growing and developing rapidly, with all of the bones of the face now in place, fingers and toes separating from their webbed beginnings and ear buds starting to take on a more familiar ear shape1.

Internally, their brain, lungs, liver and kidneys have formed by 11 weeks, but the various body systems will continue to develop throughout pregnancy5.

"Your baby’s development at 11 weeks"

Although your baby has already been making jerky movements for some time5, you’re unlikely to feel any kicks until around 17–18 weeks, or later if this is your first pregnancy6.

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Calcium: Building strong bones and teeth for life

Calcium is essential for the normal development of your baby’s bones: it supports the health of your own bones and teeth too2.

Most easily absorbed from milk sources7, calcium has several other important roles8:

  • It regulates muscle contractions, including your baby's heartbeat
  • It helps blood clot normally
  • It contributes to the healthy functioning of muscle tissue and nerves

The recommended daily amount during pregnancy is 700mg per day, all of which should be obtainable from a normal, balanced diet.

"Your calcium requirements don’t change during pregnancy, but it’s more important that you meet your RDA.”

Next Steps

Ensure a healthy calcium intake by including the following foods in your diet:

  • Dairy products, including pasteurised milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Some nuts and seeds, especially almonds and sesame seeds
  • Beans and pulses
  • Figs
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Calcium-fortified breakfast cereals and white bread
  • Calcium-fortified drinks such as some soya milks

View references

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1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx [Accessed June 2014]

2. European Union. Commission Regulation (EC) No 983/2009 of 21 October 2009 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on food and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 277 2009;3-12.

3. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.

4. Papaioannou GI et al. Normal ranges of embryonic length, embryonic heart rate, gestational sac diameter and yolk sac diameter at 6-10 weeks. Fetal diagnosis and therapy 2010;28(4):207-19.

5. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 34.

6. NHS UK. You and your baby at 17-20 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-17-18-19-20.aspx [Accessed July 2014]

7. Theobald, H. Dietary Calcium and Health. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin 2005;30:237-77.

8. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

Last reviewed: 7th July 2016
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