Pregnancy Week Eleven
By the time you've reached the 11th week of pregnancy, you are well on the way to completing the first trimester. Now are you are right in the middle of your third month. Even at this stage you still may not look pregnant to other people, especially if this is your first baby. It won't be long though until your pregnancy belly starts giving you away, because your baby is growing rapidly. In fact, your baby may even double in size from the beginning of this week to the end.
What Your Baby Looks Like
By the end of week 11, your baby is probably about the size of a plum. If you could hold him, he'd fit snugly into the palm of your hand. His eyes, ears and nose are all developing, as are his fingers and toes. In fact, by the 11th week of pregnancy, the skin connecting his fingers and toes, giving them a "webbed" appearance, will probably have disappeared, and your baby is beginning to look more and more human. One big difference between your baby and babies in the outside world (other than your developing baby's tiny size) is his skin. In week 11, your baby's skin is still see-through. In fact, his skin will remain like that until much later in the pregnancy. Your baby's major organs, including his brain and spinal cord, and important internal systems, are developing too. Your baby is able to kick and swim around in your uterus at this stage. He even has little buds from which his baby teeth will sprout when he is around five to seven months old. At around week 11, blood begins passing between your baby and your uterus and the placenta kicks into action, supplying your baby with the nutrients he needs to continue growing.
Your Pregnancy Body
Even though you still may not look pregnant, you are probably feeling it by this stage. Check out our page on pregnancy week nine for a list of normal pregnancy symptoms for the first trimester. The symptom most pregnant women complain about in the first trimester is morning sickness. If you're lucky, you may find that your morning sickness is already starting to fade away as you approach the second trimester. Although the experiences of pregnant women vary greatly, many find that their feelings of nausea dissipate in the second trimester.
By the end of the first trimester (approximately weeks 12 to 13 of the pregnancy) there are certain tests which you should have had done (perhaps several times already) to monitor your own health. For example, having your weight and blood pressure measured, or legs checked for varicose veins. There are also "prenatal" tests available which will tell you more about the (future) health of your baby. One such test is for Down's syndrome. Testing for this condition can produce reliable results already in the 11th week of pregnancy. In our section on pregnancy week 12, we have more information about this type of testing. You should discuss all testing options with your obstetrician and remember that you are not obliged to carry out any prenatal tests on your baby. Some pregnant women prefer not to test, depending on their personal beliefs and values.