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11 Weeks pregnant - What to expect ?

You are almost a third of your way through your entire pregnancy and close to the end of your first trimester. If this is your first time being pregnant, it will all be new and exciting. But even if you've had other children, each pregnancy is a little different and brings its own challenges.

It is normal for mothers of consecutive children to compare their current pregnancies with past ones and to use their symptoms as a basis for guessing the sex of their unborn baby. Remember that as long as your little bun is healthy and happy, the gender does not matter! If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you may be wondering how one could possibly love another child as much as the first one, but try not to worry. Nature has designed babies to help their parents fall in love with them and they are remarkably effective at doing just that. Give yourself time to build a relationship with your new baby when it is born, and have a little faith in yourself!

Your physical changes this week

  • Your hair which normally goes through a growing and shedding phase, may be progressing into a dormant period right now. This is one of the reasons why pregnant women often say their hair is thicker and more luscious than usual. Hair fall is minimised to a great extent during this phase.
  • You may also notice a difference in your fingernails because they are growing at a different rate to what they usually do. These changes are due to the effects of pregnancy hormones.
  • If you've been experiencing a second adolescence with an outbreak of pimples, this may be the week when you notice your skin is finally clearing up. Use a gentle face wash, drink plenty of water and ensure you have an adequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember the rule; 2 pieces of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day.
  • Your weight may start creeping up slowly from now on. You may have actually lost weight if you've been unable to eat much or have been vomiting. But from week 11, you may start looking at food in a new light. Somehow, it's not the same enemy to your stomach that it was a week or so ago.

 Your emotional changes this week

  • You could be feeling less flat when you are 11 weeks pregnant and your usual energy levels are making a welcome return. There seems to be an end in sight with the nausea, tiredness and general washed out feeling that is pretty common in the first trimester.
  • This is the time when you actually are able to focus on something other than how you feel and the baby may not come into your thoughts as often. It's not yet reminding you of its presence with movements and you are feeling more normal than in the recent past. Try not to feel guilty in this phase if the baby isn't the top most priority on your mind. Life goes on and things require your attention.

Your baby's changes this week

  • This week your baby measures just over 5 cms or 2 inches in the old scale. It is almost an exact, but miniature version of itself at birth. Your baby looks less like a little marsupial this week and is clearly human.
  • Your baby is the size of a rather large lime in week 11, which is why you may be more conscious of a full-feeling in your pelvis. At the end of the day, when you have a full bladder, or after you've eaten a large meal you are more likely to be aware of this sensation.
  • Your baby's forehead is less bulging and its eyes positioned more in the middle of its face. Its fingers and toes, which until recently were just little connected paddles, have now separated into clearly discernible and separate digits.
  • If your baby is a girl, this is the week when her ovaries will start to develop. At birth, she will have as many eggs as she will ever have throughout her lifetime. Your baby's external genitals are also forming, minute as they are.
  • Your baby's body is less curled up and is straightening out. Until recently, its shape was more of a curved C, but now its body is less curled, except for its legs which remain flexed at the hip.
  • In the next 3 weeks, your baby will double its current length. It is no wonder you have been feeling tired. Even when you've been sleeping, your body has been working overtime in growing your little baby.

 Tips for the week   

  • If you haven't already made your 1th ante-natal appointment, it's time to do so. Pick a time when your partner can attend as well and try to take a few hours off work afterwards, so you can discuss it some more. After all, you're likely to be very excited by the sound of your baby's heartbeat which can be clearly heard by a Doppler now.
  • Don't forget to brush! Oral hygiene is so important at any time, but especially during pregnancy. Floss daily, get to your dentist at least once over the course of your pregnancy and take the time to look after your teeth. Bleeding gums are not uncommon. But they can be a sign of needing to brush and floss more frequently, rather than going easy.
  • Start putting some money aside for when you leave work to have the baby. Saving towards a nest egg, making financial goals and sticking with them can really help to ease the anxiety of having to give up work. This is especially important if the unforeseen happens and you need to leave work earlier than you planned.

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