Congratulations! You’re nearing the end of your first trimester. If you are waiting until you hit the second trimester to share your news, you may want to start thinking about how you’ll tell friends and family. That second trimester will be here before you know it.
You may find it hard to believe that you’ve been growing a human fetus inside of you for almost three months. Most first-time moms haven’t started to show by week 11. If you’ve had previous pregnancies, though, you may already be sporting a “baby bump.”
Even if your bump hasn’t surfaced, you probably feel very pregnant by this point. And that could be good or not so good. Count yourself among the lucky if you are experiencing glowing skin, fuller hair, and stronger nails. It’s equally common to be dealing with more blemishes and unwanted hair growth, such as on your face.
At 11 weeks, your baby is somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches long. Most of that length is in the head, which equates to about half of its entire length at this point.
Your baby’s genitalia is finishing up its development this week, though it won’t be visible on most ultrasounds until 16 to 20 weeks. If you just can’t wait to learn the gender, try looking up some old wives’ tales. For example, some say if you’re carrying high it means you’re having a girl. Cold feet may mean that you’re having a boy. While these may be popular sayings, there’s a reason they’re called “tales.” There’s little (if any) scientific evidence to back up any of them.
If you want to know if you’re having boys, girls, or both, you’ll be happy to learn that your babies’ genitals are beginning to form this week. Your babies are approximately 2 inches long, and they each weigh 1/3 ounce.
Morning sickness is probably the most recognized pregnancy symptom during the first trimester, but it is not the only symptom you may be experiencing. Other symptoms you may have by week 11 include:
- brighter skin
- fuller hair and stronger nails
- unwanted hair growth
- sore or enlarged breasts
- nausea and/or vomiting
If you’ve made it this far without experiencing morning sickness, chances are you might be dealing with heartburn instead. In one study, researchers found that 95 percent of women experienced nausea, vomiting, and/or heartburn during their pregnancy. They’re two of the most common pregnancy symptoms, but they’re also generally harmless to both mother and baby.
While the third trimester of pregnancy tends to be the worst for heartburn because of the size of your uterus, some women do experience this nagging symptom throughout their pregnancy. If that’s you, your best bet at treatment may be preventing it before it starts. Try to eat smaller meals instead of one large meal. Avoid plopping down on the couch or lying down right after you eat. Or ask your doctor about the safe use of antacids if your heartburn is preventing you from eating anything.
Sore or enlarged breasts
Some women may welcome this change (hello, C cup!), but others may find it to be an annoying inconvenience, especially when your bras no longer fit and the slightest touch can cause you to wince with pain. You can thank hormones for this change. If your bras are uncomfortably tight, consider investing in a couple of stretchy sports bras or a bra extender. Bra extenders can help you get a little more use out of your bra while you wait for your cup size to finish expanding.
If you decide to purchase a new bra, consider only buying one or two. Your breasts will most likely continue to grow. Look for a store that has sales associates trained in bra fittings. Maternity clothing stores are usually good at this, and the sales associates will be able to give you recommendations for how much larger your breasts are likely (but not guaranteed) to grow by the end of your pregnancy and even into nursing.
This can be a difficult time to think about what’s healthy, especially if you’re experiencing constant nausea. If you’ve been battling nausea or heartburn symptoms, you may be grabbing for whatever food doesn’t make you want to run to the bathroom. You may even have lost a few pounds by this point. If you have lost weight due to nausea or vomiting, speak with your healthcare provider. Some women require medication for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
If nausea is making it difficult to eat your fruits and vegetables, look for one or two you think you might be able to stomach. Start small. If you can only fit one or two into your diet at this point, that’s all right. Once the nausea goes away, you can focus on adding more nutritious foods to your diet.
Exercise may also be challenging if you are plagued with morning sickness, but it can help relieve fatigue and it’s good for you and baby. Look for easy activities you can fit into your schedule. For example, try taking a couple 15-minute walks during the day. If you’re feeling up to it, consider a home workout. That way, if nausea strikes, you can easily end your workout.
Vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage as well as fever, severe abdominal or headache pain, and blurred vision always warrant a call to your doctor. You may also want to check in with your OB/GYN if your nausea or heartburn is so severe that you’ve found it difficult to keep any fluids or food down for 12 hours or more.