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11 Weeks Pregnant

Bryan Jick, MD, FACOG

Reviewed by
Bryan Jick, MD, FACOG

During the eleventh week of pregnancy, many changes are occurring with Mom and baby. Mom has probably heard the baby’s heartbeat by this week, and some of her pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, are dissipating. Mom may even feel well enough to enjoy a night out on the town (without alcohol or cigarettes, of course).

Symptoms and Body Changes at 11 Weeks

You and others may be able to tell you are pregnant by the eleventh week, as there may have been changes in your physical appearance. You’re gaining weight, your breasts are becoming larger and may be quite tender, and your abdomen may appear distended.

The abdominal distention is mostly due to increased bowel contents caused by the slowing down of your intestines due to the increased production of progesterone. (Yes, constipation is also very common at this stage!) However, some women do not “show” this early. You can be as far along as 16–20 weeks before your pregnant belly is obvious to others besides you and your partner.

You may also notice changes in your hair, toenails, and fingernails, which are likely growing like crazy. This, like most everything else, is due to the increase in hormones in your system. Pregnancy affects every cell of your body in some way.

Most women think they can feel the baby move around at this stage, but this is a false feeling caused by gas in your digestive tract. It is also normal to feel hot flashes or to be warmer than usual; this is due to the increase in the amount of blood in your body. As the first trimester comes closer to its end, most women should gain approximately two to five pounds.

Baby’s Development

Your baby is an amazing 2 ½ inches long and weighs half an ounce by this week. The head makes up half of that size, and you might imagine from looking at it that your baby is going to be a genius! The fingers and toes are completely separated, and you can count all 20 of them by the end of the eleventh week. The baby’s bones are hardening, but the skin is still transparent. Your baby is very active, but unfortunately he or she is still too small for Mom or anyone else to feel this activity.

Surrounded by amniotic fluid, your baby has learned to swallow. The organs are continuing to grow and form, and some of them should already be functioning. Within the next three weeks, the baby will double in size. More blood vessels will appear in the placenta to provide your baby with the nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow so quickly. The ears will move to the correct position, from the neck to the side of the head.

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Pregnancy Week 11 Tips

If you were underweight or overweight before your pregnancy, your doctor may have wanted you to either gain more or less during the first trimester. It is important that you continue to eat properly and follow your doctor’s instructions in order to give your baby the nutrients it needs. If you have gained more than the two to five pounds, you may want to rethink your eating habits, as you really only need an extra 300 calories a day to ensure that your baby is healthy. A good pregnancy weight gain for someone of normal weight is thought to be about 25 pounds. Next is pregnancy at 12 weeks.

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Photo credit: Tara Smith twins at 11 weeks ultrasound

[Page updated August 2014]