Pregnancy week eleven is a big week for any mother-to-be. Last week, you may have heard your baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. You also started seriously thinking about investing in some maternity clothes as your old pants aren’t fitting quite like they used to. Some of the pregnancy symptoms you’ve gotten used to are starting to taper off. Unfortunately, other pregnancy symptoms are starting to appear. The changes this week aren’t just with you though. There are big things happening with Baby as well. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from pregnancy week eleven.
What’s Happening with Your Baby
First, the question a lot of expectant mothers are going to have this week. Although your baby is kicking and dancing around in your belly like a little ballerina, it is still only about one and a half inches long – roughly the size of a small lime – so you’re not going to be able to feel those movements just yet. While you’re probably quite excited to feel that first kick, you still have a short time to wait for that to happen.
So what is your baby doing this week other than dancing around and getting those little limbs moving? Lots! Your baby’s diaphragm is now forming which means your baby is also now going to be experiencing something we all know well – hiccups! That’s right, Moms! Your little lime sized baby is going to start getting the hiccups. Of course you aren’t going to be able to feel this just yet but just knowing that it could be happening really drives the point home for many mothers-to-be. This isn’t a hypothetical baby. It is growing and developing and before you know it, you’ll be holding your baby in your arms – hiccups and all.
Hiccups aside, life is now especially exciting for your baby because it has now developed the ability to feel things with palms of its tiny hands. It is now exploring its face with its hands which is actually pretty beneficial in a few different ways. First, by touching its face with its hands, your baby is helping itself develop coordination in their limbs. They still have a long way to go, of course, but this first little step is an important one. The second benefit of your baby’s newly developed curiosity is that these small explorative gestures help to develop the nerves in its hands. Both of these things are great building blocks for your baby’s future development.
Aside from developing their touch sense, babies are also starting to develop their sense of taste and smell around pregnancy week eleven. While your baby started swallowing last week, this week your baby is beginning to be able to taste things and smell things. This is really exciting stuff. In terms of its actual physical development, your baby is almost completely formed by this time in your pregnancy. There is still a lot of growing and developing in your baby’s future before it’s ready to meet the world but the basics are all there waiting to be built upon.
So your baby is still far too tiny for you to notice his or her movements but for how much longer? Well, Baby is now entering its rapid grown phase. While your baby weighs around 8 ounces at this point and is only an inch and a half long from crown to rump, you can expect that to change and change very quickly. Over the coming weeks your baby will triple in size and will still have much more growing to do. It will still be too early to tell whether you’re going to have a little boy or a little girl but even that time isn’t far off. Things are moving quickly and that isn’t going to change. You’re going to be a mother and the next few months are going to go much faster than you think.
How You’re Feeling
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the pregnancy symptoms you can expect to encounter during pregnancy week eleven. Let’s start with the good news. For many women, the fatigue they’ve been feeling since the beginning of their pregnancy is more or less gone and they’re feeling at least a little more energetic. There is also good news with morning sickness. It is around this point in the pregnancy that most women stop experiencing morning sickness or at least stop experiencing it as badly. Of course, it’s important to remember that every woman is different and some women will continue to experience fatigue and morning sickness from the very start to the very end of their pregnancy. The majority of expectant mothers, however, will experience a significant reduction or the complete elimination of both of these symptoms around pregnancy week eleven.
Now, I did mention some bad news, so let’s talk about that. Constipation and heart burn are big pregnancy problems at this point in your pregnancy. While it’s likely of little comfort, both heart burn and constipation are perfectly normal pregnancy symptoms. Most pregnant women experience them at least to some extent. These symptoms typically start around the eleventh week of pregnancy although again, every woman is different. Some women will start experiencing these symptoms sooner. Other women will experience them later. Some pregnant women won’t experience them at all. The important thing to remember is that neither of these symptoms means something is wrong with your pregnancy. At the same time, not getting these symptoms doesn’t indicate an unhealthy pregnancy either. You just might be one of the lucky women who doesn’t get constipated or suffer heartburn pregnancy. Try not to gloat.
If you’ve been having a hard time keeping food down or having a hard time working up an appetite, pregnancy week eleven will probably be the start of some positive changes for you. You’ll probably find the nausea that makes it difficult to find an appetite starting to wane making it much, much easier for you to eat. You may also start experiencing very specific food cravings. While you want to make sure your baby is getting the nutrients it needs, it won’t hurt to indulge your cravings, as long as the food you’re craving is pregnancy safe.
What You Should Be Focusing On
At this point in your pregnancy, it’s a good idea to start developing and strengthening your support system. If you’re able to, talk to your mother about the best and worst things about her pregnancy. You probably won’t experience the exact same things your mother did, but there will probably be some similarities. If you find out what she went through, you may be able to prepare yourself for things you may potentially go through. This will also give you a chance to share your happy moments and your concerns with someone who has actually experienced pregnancy first hand.
Sharing your pregnancy experiences with someone like your mother or your friends who have had children can be beneficial for many reasons but it’s also important to share and not compare. Don’t create a mental checklist of what you feel you should be experiencing based on the stories you hear from your friends and family members.
With the return of your appetite, you also need to start paying closer attention to pregnancy safe foods. There are a lot of things you should avoid eating or drinking while you’re pregnant but there are other things to watch for as well. We’ll talk about what you should avoid eating and drinking in a moment, but for now, let’s talk about how you prepare your food and what you need to look out for.
You need to be very careful about how your handle your food. If you’re cooking dinner and are using raw meat, make sure you wash your hands with hot, soapy water after you’ve handled the meat before you touch any other food. It’s also important to make sure you thoroughly clean any surface the raw meat has touched before you put cooked meat or any vegetables you plan on preparing on the same surface. Any surface that has been touched by raw meat should be considered contaminated and should be cleaned to avoid cross-contamination.
Leftovers can safely be eating as long as they are reheated until they’re steaming before you eat them. This is extremely important. Deli meats are also safe but the same rules should be followed. If you’re making a sandwich with deli meat, make it a hot sandwich. If your deli meat is not steaming hot, you should not be eating it. Deli meats and leftover food may contain all sorts of things that aren’t good for your baby and may also contain things which could give you food poisoning. You definitely don’t want that.
Now, lets talk about foods and beverages you should be avoiding. I don’t think I need to get too detailed here, so let’s keep it to a bullet list. Ready? You should avoid:
- Alcohol (obviously)
- Caffeine (including chocolate, I’m afraid)
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Unpasteurized juice
- Cold deli meats or uncooked meats
- Pickled fish
- Any food that contains raw eggs
- King mackerel
- White snapper
Caffeine is okay in small doses. By small doses, we’re talking less than three eight ounce cups of coffee. You can also have tuna despite popular belief but you have to limit the amount of tuna you eat. Stick to no more than six ounces of canned light tuna per week.