The 11th obstetric week of pregnancy is the most exciting part of the first trimester. The embryonic stage has come to an end and an active period of fetal growth begins.
The future mom will see her unborn baby on the ultrasound for the first time, find out the due date and undergo the first screenings and analyses.
Mom’s well-being is gradually improving. The most favorable period – the second trimester -is rapidly approaching. Now you can start to enjoy life!
The size and development of the fetus at 11 weeks of gestation
The eleventh week of pregnancy is a time of active preparationof the baby for its future full-fledged life. During this period, the fetus receives an increasing amount of oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord.
The height, weight and appearance of the fetusMeasured from the top of the head to the sacrum the fetus size is 3.8-4.3 cm, length of its femur about 7 mm, and the size of the head is 18 mm. Its weight is about 7-8 g, and the size can be compared to a small lemon.
Despite the tiny size, its appearance is almost that of a formed little human being, though somewhat reminiscent of an alien.
The fetus owes its unusual appearance to the fact that his head is enlarged relative to the body. This larger size of the head is due to the necessity of intensive formation of nerve endings in the brain. Due to the development and strengthening of the neck, its chin is separated from the chest, and the baby can already lift its head.
A second interesting feature of the fetus is that the arms are longer than the legs. At the 11th week the fingers and toes are fully formed and separated from each other. There are nails already visible on the little fingers. Baby’s hands are actively developing and his first grasping reflexes appear. The legs and arms continue to grow, but during this period baby can already actively move and bend its limbs.
Formation of the organs and bodyThe skin of the baby is still transparent, so that all blood vessels are visible. The circulatory system is entering the stage of final formation. During this period, in addition to erythrocytes in the blood, leukocytes are also forming, thus beginning to build the immune system of the fetus.
The baby’s heart works he same as it does in an adult, beating 130-160 times per minute. The photo shows that the body of the embryo on the 11th week of pregnancy is already very similar to to a child.
The skeletal system continues to evolve; the internal organs are actively growing; the umbilical cord and intestines are temporarily connected to each other. Although fetal nutrition still takes place via the umbilical cord, the intestine begins to contract, and the kidneys excrete waste products.
At this time all of the organs begin to carry out their functions: the liver and thyroid are working, and stomach muscles are contracting. Baby teeth are formed inside the gums, irises are being formed, there are hair follicles appearing and the endocrine system is formed. The baby is making its first sucking and swallowing motions.[attention type=yellow]Starting this week, the distinctive features of the fetus‘s gender begin to show, although no ultrasound is able to reliably determine the sex due to the small size.[/attention]
The behavior of the baby
A strengthened skeletal system contributes to a greater activity of the fetus. By now the baby, touching the edges of the placenta, may use its limbs to push into the uterine walls. However, the expectant mother does not feel these movements, because the fetus is still too small.
During this period, the little person is already responding to external stimuli. For example, it may feel a cough or sudden movements of the mother.
What happens to the mom in the 11th week of pregnancy
The growth of the fetus is accompanied by changes in the expectant mother. The changes are unique, although there are common characteristics.
Mom’s belly growth
The uterus, adapting to the size of the fetus, expands to fill the space of the pelvic region. A gynecologist can already determine the size of the uterus by palpating the peritoneum.
Tummy growth is not necessarily noticeable in this period – some women have rounded tummies prior to this term, others later on. This is due to body’s individual features and attachment of the placenta. A tall woman with a deep pelvis hardly notices a change in her figure, while women of small stature with a narrow pelvis will rejoice in a rounded tummy. Above you can see photos of moms’ tummies in the 11th week of pregnancy.
Weight gain in the mother
Active formation of organs and systems of the fetus increases the mother’s metabolism by 25%. Such enhanced metabolic processes lead to rapidly burning calories and increasing appetite.
The average weight gain at the end of the first trimester (13 weeks) is 1-2 kg. Some women say the increase is in the breasts and buttocks, others – in the abdomen and thighs. While calories are actively burned, do not overeat and avoid excessive weight gain.
Sensations, toxemia, pain in the 11th week of pregnancy
During this period, the majority of women will be relieved, because many of the negative symptoms of pregnancy will disappear:
- breasts lose their excessive sensitivity and tenderness;
- worrying dizziness, weakness, fatigue will stop;
- toxemia and excessive salivation are gone.
Instead of the above-mentioned signs of pregnancy, new ones may be felt, such as:
- sweating and thirst;
- lack of calcium;
- secretion of colostrum from the breast;
- leg cramps;
- heartburn and consipation;
- increased bleeding gums;
- increased sleepiness and distraction;
- skin problems.
Discharge in the 11th week of pregnancy
The entire duration of pregnancy is accompanied by vaginal discharge. At the end of the first trimester the volume of secretions increases. The norm is light-colored thick discharge with a slightly sour smell. Read more about it here.
If the discharge is bloody, or purulent and lumpy with a foul odor, you must immediately consult a doctor.
Emotional instability, similar to mood swings during the premenstrual period is characteristic for the first trimester of pregnancy. Because of hormonal changes, a woman’s mood changes rapidly from irritability to irrational joy. Change of emotions occurs suddenly. Anxiety, worry and tearfulness are frequent guests in the home of a pregnant woman.
Help and support of the family plays an important role in the emotional state of the expectant mother.
Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 11th week of pregnancy
Upon the registration of every pregnant woman, the obstetrician-gynecologist, in addition to examining the general parameters (height, weight, blood pressure, body temperature, blood count and urinalysis, coagulation, cytology smears), prescribes additional tests. These include:
Double test (prenatal screening and biochemical screening). This test aims to identify possible pathologies in the development of the child. Analysis of the blood from a vein is necessary for this test. Levels of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), and human chorionic gonadotropin (b-HCG) in the blood are the pathological markers.
This analysis can detect the possibility of a congenital chromosomal abnormality – Down syndrome, but the final diagnosis is confirmed by additional testing.
Ultrasound examination of the fetus. Exactly in the 11th week, a specialist can obtain the necessary information about the course of pregnancy, fetal development, and eliminate the possiblity uterine nypertonus, as well as clarify the gestational age (on the photo above you can see a fetal ultrasound in the 11th week).
The essential parameters of the examination are:
- fetal movement;
- place of attachment of fetus;
- location of the placenta;
- proper development of organs;
- quantity and quality of amniotic fluid;
- size of the fetus;
- condition of the uterus.
Through an ultrasound in the early stages a doctor can diagnose abnormalities or fetal pathology. Watch a video of a fetal ultrasound in the 11th week of pregnancy.
The 11th week is an important stage of pregnancy – all moms are worried about the results of the “double test.” Someone’s toxemia disappears and is replaced by problems with the gastrointestinal tract. Others are constantly sleepy and crying at the slightest provocation.[attention type=yellow]And how you have coped with or are still coping with this period? Did you vomit this week? Were you worried before having an ultrasound and a blood test? Share your experience, it is very useful for moms who have yet to go through it.[/attention]