Congratulations! You are now 11 weeks pregnant, which means you are in the final weeks of the first trimester. Your growing fetus is now approximately 1.5 inches long (the size of a fig) and weighs .75 ounces. At this stage your little one resembles a tadpole. Your “little tadpole” is now almost completely developed. Your little one’s hands and feet are completely developed, fingers and toes are now separated, tiny bones are beginning to harden, intestines are developing and teeth buds are forming. Do not be surprised if your precious “little tadpole” begins to hiccup.
Yes, that is right–hiccup. His or her diaphragm is developing so he or she may be swallowing fluid, which then leads to hiccups. Furthermore, your little one is learning to how to use his or her limbs by flexing and stretching. In addition, your placenta completely takes over and circulates nutrients and blood to your growing fetus. Your symptoms may vary during this stage in your pregnancy, but common symptoms during your 11th week may include: fatigue, heartburn, constipation, nausea, vomiting, swollen and tender breasts and/or linea nigra.
I can’t keep my eyes open. Why am I still so tired?
Severe fatigue is extremely common during the first trimester. Do not be alarmed if you feel more tired than normal or you find it hard to get out of bed. Your body is not only going through a plethora of changes, it also working hard to provide your growing fetus with the nutrients, space, oxygen and blood it needs to develop properly. If you feel that you lack energy, it may be beneficial for you to take a mid-day nap or go to bed early. You may also benefit from short walks or light exercise.
It is also important that you maintain an adequate amount of protein and iron. You will need these nutrients throughout your pregnancy to provide you with energy. The good news is that at 11 weeks you will probably notice a slight increase in your energy and strength levels. Your energy level should increase each week so that you are up and about in no time at all.
Heartburn & Constipation
I experience pain and discomfort every time I eat something. What is causing my heartburn and constipation?
During your 11th week of pregnancy you may notice that you are have heartburn more frequently and intensely then you did during he earlier weeks of your pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can relax the valve that connects your esophagus to your stomach, causing heartburn. Consuming a bland diet, sitting up for approximately an hour after eating and/or supplementing with Tums may soothe heartburn symptoms.
During this stage of your pregnancy, you may find it hard to use the bathroom. Constipation is also very common during the first trimester, but it also noted in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters as well. Increasing pregnancy hormones can slow digestion and cause constipation. The best way to combat pregnancy-related constipation is to increase your fiber intake. Lots of water and a high-fiber diet consisting of apples, figs, pears, oatmeal, almonds, peas, beans and prunes can help keep your bowel movements regular throughout your pregnancy.
Nausea & Vomiting
I constantly feel sick to my stomach and I can’t keep any food and/or liquids down. What is causing this?
At 11 weeks you may be suffering from the dreaded “morning sickness.” Mommies-to-be with morning sickness may experience nausea and vomiting throughout the day. “Morning sickness” occurs when your body produces excess estrogen, which slows digestion. You may become queasy when you come in contract with certain scents or odors such as popcorn, coffee, perfumes, fired chicken, fish and/or gasoline.
If you experience constant and/or extreme nausea and vomiting it is important that you contact your physician immediately. Chronic and/or severe nausea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, which will not only hurt you, but also your growing fetus. The good news is that the majority of mommies-to-be gain some relief once they pass their first trimester so hopefully your nausea and vomiting will end in the next two weeks.
Swollen and Tender Breasts
Ouch!! My breasts appear to have grown a cup size and they hurt when I touch them. What is happening to my breasts?
During your 11th week of pregnancy, you may experience swollen and tender breasts. Your breast discomfort may be similar or more severe than the pain you experience shortly before or during your period. You may also notice that your breasts appear to have suddenly increased in size. In addition, you may notice that your areola (the area around your nipples) has widened and darkened. Blue-green veins may appear on your breast tissues as well. This is common during the first trimester and may persist throughout your pregnancy. Purchasing a support bra may help reduce the swelling and ease your breast pain.
There is a dark line that runs from the top of my abdomen to the bottom of my abdomen. What is this?
During your 11th week of pregnancy you may notice a dark vertical line in the center of your abdomen. This line is called the linea nigra. The dark pigmentation is very common during pregnancy and will go away after you give birth. It is believed that a short linea nigra suggests that you are having a girl and a long one suggests that you are having a boy, but there is no scientific evidence that supports this theory.
Hathaway, S., Eisenberg, A., Murkoff , H., & Mazel, S. (2008). What to expect when you’re expecting. (4th ed.). New York, NY: Workman Publishing Company.
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