Pregnancy Tracker: Week 11

Pregnancy Tracker: Week 11




Mums-to-be often prefer to wait until the end of the first trimester before announcing their pregnancy as the risk of miscarriage drops significantly after 12 weeks. By this time you have also received test results and perhaps had your first ultrasound.

So as you approach the end of your first trimester, if you haven’t already shared your exciting news, you can now start thinking about ways of letting family and friends know that you are pregnant. There are many ways of doing this, from a simple phone call, a social media notification or a fun ‘reveal’ theme party. Discuss with your partner how you would like the news to be imparted, as next week marks the end of the first trimester.

Baby’s Development at 11 Weeks Pregnant

Baby is now about as big as a lime and is growing rapidly in size and development, increasing in length to about 20cm when measured from the crown of the head to the rump.

The little body is covered in see-through skin, the major organs are in place and beginning to function – kidneys producing urine, pancreas insulin and liver making red blood cells. The four-chambered heart continues to grow and function well by circulating blood around the body.

The little toes and fingers are no longer webbed, and nail beds are beginning to develop. Elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles are formed and can flex and move.

The baby’s bones are starting to harden. The facial bones are formed, the features much more defined and the eyelids are fused closed. The ears continue to develop and to look more like ears and less like buds.

The placenta, which will be fully formed by next week, is rapidly developing a healthy network of vessels in order to cope with the demands of the growing baby.

The reproductive organs are also growing although the external sex organs look the same at this stage so the gender cannot be determined for a few more weeks.

You and Your Changing Body at 11 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy hormones are still raging through your system and causing havoc with your daily life, despite your best intentions to remain calm and in control of your emotions.

Don’t try to fight it! Reading up, researching, and learning more about what is happening goes a long way to helping you understand and accept the changes and conditions you are experiencing.


Hormones may be causing unpleasant heartburn at this stage, as well as bloating and burping, which can be blamed on progesterone as it relaxes the smooth muscle tissue in the gastrointestinal tract. Although this is an unpleasant side effect, it is nature’s way of slowing down digestion to allow sufficient time for nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream and thereby passed on to the growing foetus. Try to reduce the bloating by eating smaller meals at a time and avoid gassy foods like beans and fried food.


Feeling faint or dizzy can surface towards the end of the first trimester, and is due to various factors, the more common being:

  • Your body is not yet producing enough blood
  • Your blood sugar can drop if you become dehydrated
  • Blood flow is increased due to your body producing and pumping more blood through your veins. Sometimes the blood flow to the brain is not rapid enough, causing dizziness.
  • Overheating

Be cautious when feeling faint or dizzy. If possible, lie down with your feet elevated, or sit with your head between your knees; sip water; get some fresh air; wear layers of clothing that can be easily removed, and refrain from driving. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if it is needed.


About 30%-50% of mums-to-be report getting leg cramps, usually at night. Not much is known about the cause, but experts seem to think that it could be due to the effects of pregnancy on metabolism, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and/or vitamin deficiencies. Ensuring that you are getting enough potassium and magnesium in your diet could help. Gentle, regular exercises is also thought to reduce the likeliness of this condition.

Mostly leg cramps are nothing to worry about, but if you notice symptoms that could indicate a blood clot (DVT), it is advisable to immediately contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • Continual throbbing in one leg or the other
  • Swelling in the leg
  • Redness
  • If your leg is warm to the touch


This is another niggly symptom that may be noticed towards the end of the first trimester. This manifests as a dark line down the centre of the belly. Strange as it may seem, it is absolutely harmless and common even though not every mum-to-be will experience it. It is believed to be caused by the surge in hormones, especially oestrogen and progesterone, and while there is no way to avoid or ‘cure’ it, it simply goes away soon after birth.


Pregnancy is a time of great change, physically and emotionally, and can sometimes trigger feelings of depression.  ‘Normal’ depression is common and should be fleeting, and could include signs like:

  • Sadness
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of sudden anger
  • Only interested only in yourself and not the world around you
  • No interest in eating
  • Negative thoughts, particularly about caring for your baby
  • Concentration problems

These all fall withing the norm for a pregnant mum, and there are certain strategies to help yourself get over the blues that include: chatting to a friend, family member or healthcare provider; doing regular; gentle exercise; eating a healthy diet. Many women find that antenatal classes, with a mixture of exercise and discussion groups, is invaluable at this time, and often many friendships are forged that stay with you for life. If you find that these tactics do not help to lift your spirits, don’t leave it but ask for professional help!

Your body is undergoing so many changes and battling with a plethora of symptoms, as well as general aches and pains. One good aspect you may notice now is how healthy your nails and hair are!

Continue listening to your body and following your instincts on what is best for you, and above all, ensure that you rest when necessary!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.