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Pregnancy

      11 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

      Read time: 6 minutes

      11 weeks pregnant is how many months?

      Month 3 (Trimester 1)

      Baby development at 11 weeks

      Many major organs are now in place

      Morning sickness

      Symptoms like morning sickness should start to ease.

      Calcium

      Learn all about the importance of calcium in your diet.

      Baby development at 11 weeks

      How big is my baby? And what does my baby look like?

      At 11 weeks pregnant, your baby is about to begin a rapid phase of growth. They’re still only 4-5cm in length, making them the size of a lime. However, they’re growing and developing rapidly: all of the facial bones are now in place, fingers and toes are separating from their webbed beginnings and ear buds take on a more familiar shape1.

      Internally, your baby's brain, lungs, liver and kidneys are formed by 11 weeks, but the various body systems will continue to develop throughout your pregnancy2.

      Although your baby has already been making jerky movements for some time2, you’re unlikely to feel any kicks until around 17 to 18 weeks, or later if this is your first pregnancy1.

      Pregnancy at 11 weeks (first trimester)

      Body changes

      As your waist begins to thicken you may begin to notice the beginnings of your pregnancy bump. Don’t fret if there’s nothing to see yet, it probably won’t take long before you’re showing.

      Pregnancy symptoms at 11 weeks3

      Early pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. At 11 weeks, you may experience symptoms including:

      Your breasts may become larger and feel sore. You may also find your nipples stick out more than usual and darken in colour as your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding. 

      During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted. 

      Morning sickness affects the majority of mums-to-be4 in the first trimester. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.

      The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas5.

      Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy6,7. If the pain becomes severe (stronger than period cramps) or if bleeding becomes heavy, you should talk to your GP.

      Pregnancy hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, soar during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy8, affecting how you’re feeling emotionally. Get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling like yourself.

      Good news about morning sickness

      Pregnancy sickness is usually limited to the first trimester. For most women, symptoms peak around weeks 9 to 11 and improve markedly between weeks 12 and 149. For some, pregnancy sickness goes on longer, until around 20 weeks, and acid reflux from the second trimester onwards can also cause nausea and vomiting. Find out more about morning sickness, and how to treat it.

      Your first ultrasound

      Between 8-14 weeks, you’ll have your first ultrasound. Ultrasound scans use harmless sound waves to show a detailed picture of your baby inside your womb. Neither you or the baby will feel a thing - except a little elation on your part at seeing your child for the first time.

      Focus on calcium

      Calcium is essential for the development of bones and teeth so your baby will need quite a bit of it10. Milk is a rich source of calcium, which has several important roles10.

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

      Your calcium requirements don’t change during pregnancy, but it’s more important that you meet your Recommended Daily Allowance.

      Sources of calcium

      • Dairy products, including pasteurised milk, cheese and yoghurt
      • 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
      Learn more about calcium

      THE
      SCIENCE
      BEHIND

      CALCIUM

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      Widely recognised for its importance in the development of healthy bones and teeth, calcium is an essential nutrient for your baby throughout pregnancy12. Thankfully, it’s easily obtainable from a wide variety of sources.

      But calcium supports more than just bones and teeth. It’s used by every single cell and is present in tissues and body fluids. It also has other roles, including helping muscles and nerves function, aiding digestion and enabling blood to clot13. According to one study, a good supply of calcium in pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth14.

      Foods to avoid while pregnant

      There's nothing specific to avoid during individual weeks, but throughout your pregnancy, it's wise to give the following a miss:

      Raw and undercooked meat

      Unpasteurised milk and dairy products

      Liver, and excessive consumption of foods high in vitamin A

      Read a full list of foods to avoid

      How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

       

      Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and varies a great deal from mother to mother. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22–28lb) while pregnant, some of which is the weight of the growing baby15.

      LEARN MORE

      If you haven’t been to see your GP yet, you should make an appointment so they can start planning your antenatal care, including your first ultrasound scan.

      1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx Page last reviewed: 17 July 2018. Next review due: 17 July 2021.
      2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 34.
      3. NHS. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptomspregnancy/ Page last reviewed: 6 October 2018. Next review due: 6 October 2021.
      4. Noel M. Lee, M.D., Gastroenterology Fellow and Sumona Saha, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. 2011. Pub 2013. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3676933/
      5. NHS Start 4 Life. 1st trimester, week 10 [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-ten/
      6. NHS. Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vaginal-bleeding-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 26 January 2018. Next review due: 26 January 2021. 7.
      7. NHS. Stomach pain in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stomach-pain-abdominal-cramp-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 1 May 2018. Next review due: 1 May 2021.
      8. Claudio N. Soares and Brook Zitek. Reproductive hormone sensitivity and risk for depression across the female life cycle: A continuum of vulnerability? 2008. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440795/
      9. NHS. Vomiting and morning sickness in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs. uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/morning-sickness-nausea/ Page last reviewed: 5 March 2018. Next review due: 5 March 2021.
      10. 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.
      11. NHS. Vitamins and minerals, Calcium [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/calcium/ Page last reviewed: 3 March 2017. Next review due: 3 March 2020.
      12. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.
      13. British Nutrition Foundation. Dietary calcium and health [Online]. Available at: http://nutrition.org.uk/attachments/205_Dietary %20calcium%20and%20health%20summary.pdf [Accessed October 2019]
      14. Cochrane. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for preventing blood pressure disorders and related problems. 2018 [Online]. Available at: https://www.cochrane.org/CD001059/PREG_calcium-supplementation-during-pregnancy-preventing-blood-pressure-disorders-and-related-problems [Accessed October 2019].
      15. NHS choices. How much weight will I put on during my pregnancy? [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2311.aspx?CategoryID=54 Page last reviewed: 18 October 2018. Next review due: 18 October 2021.

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