11 Weeks Pregnant

What’s happening this week

Your baby…

  • now measures about the length of your thumb, approximately 4 cm
  • weighs about 7 grams
  • head is about 1/2 size of your baby!
  • fingernails appear
  • pancreas is producing insulin and the kidneys are producing urine
  • maybe able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at an antenatal visit.

You…

  • may notice an increase in perspiration
  • placental blood vessels increasing in size and number to provide more nutrients
  • may have bleeding gums.

As your body adapts to pregnancy, not all of the changes are welcome – your skin and hair may shine… or they may lose their lustre. But there are ways you can stay looking good.

Looking good

  • As soon as you become pregnant, your skin starts to get extra blood flow. This can give you that lovely pregnancy ‘glow’ – or your skin may get very blotchy and dry. Try a good   moisturiser and use bath oil for extra softness.

Your hair may become greasy, dry, shining or dull – there’s no rhyme or reason! Perms and colourings may affect it differently, so tell your hairdresser you’re pregnant before starting on a complete change of look.

It’s not unusual to develop an allergy to beauty products as your skin is more sensitive than usual. Many women find they need to switch to gentle or hypoallergenic brands of make-up, and deodorants.

Mood swings

You may be overjoyed at the thought of having a baby one day, and the next you’re regretting your decision, even when your baby is very much wanted. Blame it on the hormones! But some of your moodiness is simply due to the fact that pregnancy is a time of tremendous change. Just knowing this may make you feel better. You’ll feel better, too, as you sort things out and as your body adapts. If you get really down, tell your LMC – there are ways to feel better.

Get up and go

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to recover your lost energy is to take some regular exercise. It can also strengthen your muscles to help you carry the extra weight, improve your joints, and make it easier for you to deliver your baby.

If you’ve been keeping fit, then you can continue doing the exercise you usually do as long as you’re comfortable. Don’t suddenly start vigorous activities if you weren’t doing any before – and now is not the time to take up rugby! If you go to a class, tell the teacher you’re pregnant.

Swimming, yoga and walking are all good pregnancy exercises. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day.

Stay safe exercise checklist

  • Warm up slowly and cool down gradually.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and supportive shoes.
  • Watch your back – the levels of a hormone called relaxin increase during pregnancy. Relaxin loosens your joints, so it’s easier than usual to hurt yourself.
  • Avoid exercising while flat on your back after the first three months as it cuts down the blood flow to the baby.
  • Drink plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • Stop if you feel uncomfortable, or if muscles are hurting.
  • Avoid using a Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna.
  • Stay cool and don’t overdo it!

Relax with yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to keep yourself fit and to relax. One of the first things you learn in a yoga class is how to breathe fully and evenly. This can help you reduce stress throughout pregnancy and also gives you a technique for coping with labour. In some areas there are yoga classes especially for pregnant women, so you can make new friends while you make yourself calm!