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Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 11 (part 1) - Pregnancy May Reveal Future Problems

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1. How Big Is Your Baby?

Crown-to-rump length of your baby is 1½ to 2½ inches (4.4 to 6cm). Fetal weight is about 0.3 ounce (8g). Your baby is about the size of a large lime.

2. How Big Are You?

You’re near the end of the first trimester! Your uterus is almost big enough to fill your pelvis and may be felt in your lower abdomen, above the middle of your pubic bone.

3. How Your Baby Is Growing and Developing

Fetal growth is rapid now. The head is almost half the baby’s entire length. As the head moves backward toward the spine, the chin rises from the chest, and the neck develops and lengthens. Fingernails appear.

External genitalia are beginning to show distinguishing features. Development into a male or female is complete in another 3 weeks. All embryos begin life looking the same, as far as outward appearances go. Whether the embryo develops into a boy or girl is determined by the genetic information contained within the embryo.

By this time, the small intestine begins to contract and relax, which pushes substances through it. The small intestine is capable of passing sugar from inside itself into the baby’s body.

4. Changes in You

Some women notice changes in their hair, fingernails or toenails during pregnancy. Some lucky pregnant women see an increase in hair and nail growth. Others find they lose some hair during this time, or their nails break more easily. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but if it happens to you, don’t worry about it.

Some experts believe these changes happen because of increased circulation in your body. Others credit the hormone changes in you. In any event, these changes are rarely permanent.

5. Pregnancy May Reveal Future Problems

Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, which begin almost at the time of conception. They allow your body to accept and to tolerate the genetically “different” fetus. Changes also help your body adapt to nourish and to support the fetus and to prepare you for delivery.

Most healthy women don’t have problems with changes; however, in some women, these changes result in pregnancy problems. Pregnancy can reveal a woman’s likelihood for getting a disease. It can give a woman a hint of what long-term health problems might lie ahead. It may help you take steps now to help prevent serious problems later.

Dad Tip

Remember that despite morning sickness, headaches and a changing waistline, pregnancy is a miracle! Pregnancy and childbirth happen only a few times in your life. Enjoy this special time together. You’ll look back fondly at the challenge of becoming parents and probably even say, “That wasn’t so bad.” We know that because couples get pregnant again and have more kids!

One example is gestational diabetes. Women who have pregnancy-induced diabetes are more likely to have diabetes later in life. Another example is women who have pre-eclampsia; they are at greater risk for stroke in later life.

Talk to your healthcare provider about any changes you experience during your pregnancy. Discuss steps you can take now and after pregnancy to help reduce your risk of problems in later life.

Image

By week 11 of gestation (fetal age—9 weeks),
fingernails are beginning to appear.

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