Your Pregnancy: Week 11
While big changes are occurring with your baby, changes are probably happening more slowly with you. As soon as the first trimester is over, things will start to speed up. Your uterus has been growing (along with your baby of course), and it’s now almost big enough to fill your pelvis.
You might feel your appetite coming back as this trimester comes to a close, which is a sign that morning sickness may be behind you. Don’t stress if you’re still not up to eating healthy food or you’re not gaining weight – that will come. Better feeling days are around the corner. The same goes for fatigue, by the way, which will start to ease in the next couple of weeks if it hasn’t already. Remember, if you need a break – take one. No one will benefit from you overexerting yourself.
- If your doctor thinks you need to be tested for chromosomal abnormalities (such as Down Syndrome), now is the time to do so. Possible tests include a nuchal translucency screening to determine risk, and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to diagnose. Talk to your doctor about the rare risks associated with these tests, such as miscarriage or infection.
- Ask your doctor if you can hear the baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler – and then mark the date in your memory book.
- Make a list of books to read, movies to see and places to go before the baby’s born. You won’t have much leisure time once the baby arrives, so take advantage of it now.
- Stay away from anything that raises your body temperature above 102 degrees – meaning hot tubs, extremely hot and long baths, intense workouts in hot weather, electric blankets, and saunas or steam rooms. Not only is it dangerous for the developing fetus, but you’re at a greater risk for dehydration, dizziness and lower blood pressure.
Additionally, this could be a milestone week if your doctor or midwife lets you hear your baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler (which is basically a sonogram without the visual).
Your baby – now 2 inches long, the size of a fig – is getting hormones, blood and antibodies through the placenta. The human characteristics keep coming, with tiny fingernails, nipples, hair follicles and completed ears all in place. If your baby is a girl, she now has ovaries.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
Once I confirm the presence of a fetal heartbeat by sonogram, I am relatively optimistic about the health of a pregnancy. (If a sonogram isn’t available to you at this stage, that’s all right; it’s helpful, but not an absolute medical necessity.) I wish I could say there is a zero risk of miscarriage at this point, but that’s not so. The statistics are more like this: Before we find a heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage is close to 40 percent, believe it or not. After we find a heartbeat, though, the chance of miscarriage drops to a 5 percent risk.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: Chemical Warfare: Coping with Environmental Anxiety
Having a baby in the modern world can be one long tiptoe through the no-no’s. More and more of the things we eat, drink, absorb, and inhale have become suspicious. Things are considered guilty until proven innocent, and since testing on pregnant women is rare (and risky), things are not often proven innocent.
Today’s hypercautiousness is a backlash against yesterday’s ignorance, when people thought the placenta was impervious and no harmful substances could pass through. It’s taken a lot of tragedies for people to accept that that’s not even close to the case. Now that we know, it seems like everything everywhere is a potential risk. Danger lurks at the dinner table, in the litter box, even in the air we breathe if we’re at the wrong place at the wrong time. If you take the warnings at face value, it can be hard to walk down the street without feeling like you’re dodging dangers with every step. Filtering the information can start to feel almost as problematic as filtering the toxins, but ignorance is only blissful if everything turns out fine. We need to find a way to balance caution with confidence. This may mean taking the warnings with a grain of salt, or it may mean diving headfirst into the data and radically changing your life to lessen every suspected risk. Most of us probably settle somewhere between running for the hills and burying our heads in the sand.
All these prohibitions do carry an important message, though: As much as we want to protect our babies, ultimately, total protection is an impossibility. While our babies grow inside us, we all do the best we can and bet on the overwhelmingly good odds that they’ll be okay – just as we will after they’re born.
- Learn more about Week 11 at BabyZone’s Pregnancy Guide!
- New Research on Flame Retardants (PBDEs) and Pregnancy
- The Six Biggest Pregnancy Myths
- Toxins in the Womb
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.