Pregnancy by week

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks

In week 11 your baby has become quite an active little guy, kicking and swallowing away inside your womb.

By Today's Parent

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks

Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt:

What's going on in there: Fetal development at 11 weeks pregnant

At 11 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a Brussels sprout or lime now and weighs in at just seven grams (1/4 ounce)—about as much as a toonie. He has lost the webbing on his hands and feet and now has 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes. His head is still oversized, accounting for anywhere from one-third to one-half of his length. The bones in his little face have formed, and he has ear buds, nasal passages, hair follicles, nail beds and a tongue.

Thanks to his brand new diaphragm, he is breathing small amounts of amniotic fluid in and out and maybe even getting the hiccups. Though you probably won’t be able to feel any of this at 11 weeks, he is starting to stretch out, do somersaults and kick, practising those moves that will have you groaning closer to the end of your pregnancy.

Woman holding stomach Vincent Besnault / Getty Images

Eleven weeks pregnant symptoms

Good news: The hard work of the first trimester is almost over. In the next few weeks, you might start to feel more energetic and have less nausea (though for some women, morning sickness may last until around week 16). At the same time, your hormones will continue to ramp up, especially progesterone, which is responsible for relaxing your uterus and preventing contractions. Unfortunately, this hormone also calms the muscles in your intestines that help keep things moving, causing constipation, gas and burps, and it relaxes the valve at the top of your stomach, which makes it easier for gastric acid to get into your esophagus, causing heartburn. But most women find that these are minor inconveniences compared to the fatigue, queasiness and low appetite experienced during the first trimester, so hang in there!

young women with cramps urbazon / Getty Images

What’s with these breakouts?

Feel like your pregnancy glow is more like pregnancy acne? You’re not alone: Many women have acne during their first and second trimesters. Once again, you can thank progesterone, which increases your skin’s oil production. To prevent zits, wash your face regularly and eat healthy. Serious acne treatments, such as Accutane and retinoid products, are off limits because they can cause birth defects. If you’re considering taking any over-the-counter treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid, check with your doctor or pharmacist first. 

woman squeezing a pimple in the bathroom mirror gpointstudio / Getty Images

What's on your mind this week

Your first prenatal tests

At the end of your first trimester, you might begin the genetic testing process (if you choose to do genetic testing at all—not everyone does). Some women will do a blood test now and have the results given to them later, around week 16. Others will have a combination of blood tests and an ultrasound scan, often referred to as the nuchal translucency (NT) scan, which measures the fluid and tissue at the back of the baby’s neck and checks for chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome. (Ask your healthcare provider if you need to schedule the bloodwork and ultrasound scan for the same day—some require it.) Doctors can sometimes spot congenital heart problems at these scans, which normally happen between weeks 11 and 14.

Your doctor or midwife will combine the results of these two tests with your age to identify your risk of having a chromosomal abnormality. You’ll get a number back with your chances having a baby with a genetic difference. A high-risk number will be one in 150 or less; a low-risk number will be more like one in 1,500 or more. Together with your doctor or midwife, you can use this information to decide whether you’d like to pursue further testing, which will tell you whether your baby specifically has the difference. There are a few options to test for this difference. Older methods, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS), are both very accurate but involve the removal of cells from your uterus with a needle by your doctor, which comes with a small risk of miscarriage (less than one percent). A relatively newer option, called non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is becoming more popular. Conducted anytime after week nine, NIPT is a regular blood draw from your arm (did you know that fragments of your child’s DNA are already floating around in your bloodstream?), so it doesn’t carry a risk of miscarriage. (Bonus: You can also find out your baby’s gender via NIPT instead of having to wait for the 18- to 20-week anatomy scan.) NIPT sometimes comes back with false positive results, so doctors recommend that any positive results from NIPT be confirmed by amniocentesis or CVS.

Gynecologist doing sugar test of pregnant woman sitting by man at desk in medical clinic Maskot / Getty Images

Just for kicks

Take a belly shot: If you’re hoping to produce a keepsake series of photos during your pregnancy (or a time-lapse video, compiling them all—this bump to baby example is suuuuuper cute), 11 weeks pregnant is a good time to start because your bump might get a lot more visible soon. For bonus points, choose an outfit that you’ll be able to replicate easily throughout your pregnancy, such as jeans and a white tank top.

Partial view of pregnant woman touching belly while sitting on bed LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

Baby names

From Sample and Princess Beyoncé to Dill and Frank Jr. Jr. (any Friends fans out there?), here are 10 of the most unusual baby names born to characters on our favourite TV shows.

Pregnancy to-do list: 11 weeks pregnant

Consider buying a footstool: Sitting for a long time while pregnant can reduce blood flow, leading to swelling in your legs and feet and pain in your lower back, neck and shoulders. A low footstool can help prevent this, especially if you’re on the shorter side. It should be set so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, and it’s also helpful to use it to change positions, resting one foot and then the other on it.

Put fish on the menu: Fish is packed with omega-3s, vitamin D and iron, and eating enough is good for your baby’s brain and eye development. That’s why pregnant women should eat at least two servings of fish each week. Choose canned salmon over canned tuna, and steer clear of raw fish. Two to three servings a week is ideal, but make sure that it’s low in mercury (salmon, herring and rainbow trout are safer options). New a few fresh recipes? Oh, we've got you covered. 

woman reading with footstool Westend61 / Getty Images

Roasted Fish with Creamy Dill Sauce

A one-pan dinner is the best kind of dinner as far as we’re concerned. Mild white fish (try tilapia, halibut or snapper) get roasted in the company of lemon and salt and taste perfect with a dollop of creamy dill sauce on the side. Get the recipe: Roasted Fish with Creamy Dill Sauce

tray of roasted fish Photo: Roberto Caruso

Easy Fish Stew with Tomatoes and Fennel

A hearty bowl of fish stew is no sweat with this simple recipe. It comes together in just over 30 minutes and is a great way to introduce little ones to fennel. Get the recipe: Easy Fish Stew with Tomatoes and Fennel

bowl of fish stew with crackers Photo: Roberto Caruso

Classic Fish and Chips

Here’s the deal: You gotta make these taste-like-fried-but-are-actually-baked fish sticks. White fish fillets are smothered in a mixture of yogurt, mustard and chopped garlic before taking a dip in the panko. Get the recipe: Classic Fish and Chips

plate of breaded fish sticks and wedge fries

The New Tuna Casserole

This is perfect for a fast (and easy) meal that’s packed with protein. Just use some of that canned tuna in your pantry, rigatoni, and sneak in some peas for a yummy dinner. Old-school meals are the best meals. Get the recipe: The New Tuna Casserole

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks Photo: Roberto Caruso

Roasted Trout with Fennel and Herb Salsa

Trout is a harmless little freshwater fish. It’s mild in flavour and has a light and flakey texture. This dish looks fancy, but you’re whipping it up in just 30 minutes, OK? Get the recipe: Roasted Trout with Fennel and Herb Salsa

platter with roasted fish covered in fennel and rosemary

Tuna Melt Calzones

Store-bought pizza dough plays host to the best kinds of fillings (tuna, melty cheese and baby spinach) turning into the perfect little parcel for small hands to grab and gobble. Get the recipe: Tuna Melt Calzones

calzones and carrot slaw Photo: Andrew Grinton

Tuna Puttanesca

This pasta can do no wrong. It’s got layers of briney goodness thanks to tuna, capers and black olives. The best part? You made dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. Somehow, this pasta tastes even better the next day. Get the recipe: Tuna Puttanesca 

plate of pasta with tuna, basil, capers and tomatoes Photo: Roberto Caruso

Poached Salmon with Fennel and Orange

Show your kids the finer things in life like a swanky dish of poached salmon. This one is made right in the slow cooker and has a yummy orange sauce. Get the recipe: Poached Salmon with Fennel and Orange

plate with quinoa, salmon coated in a glaze, steamed broccoli Photo: Andrew Grinton

Mini Grilled Trout Tacos

These colourful trout tacos use honey, mangos and crunchy tortilla bits to create a sweet and delicious dinner. But if you’re feeling lazy, cook up some fish sticks to be the stand-in for rainbow trout. We ain’t judging. Get the recipe: Mini Grilled Fish Tacos

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks Photo: Roberto Caruso

Warm Salad of Salmon, Baby Spinach, Orzo and Crispy Capers

This fully-loaded salad has all of the ingredients of a perfectly balanced meal. OK, so maybe your kid will pick out the capers, but they’ll be into the cute orzo pasta. Get the recipe: Warm Salad of Salmon, Baby Spinach, Orzo and Crispy Capers

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks Photo: Maya Visnyei

Crispy Oven-Baked Trout

As far as your kid’s concerned, this is just one giant fish stick. Slather these trout filets with mayo then drench with panko and Parmesan. There’s no way this can ever taste bad. Get the recipe: Crispy Oven-Baked Trout

plate of crispy fish Photo: Maya Visnyei

Hoisin-glazed Salmon with Crunchy Apple Salad

Flakey salmon is topped with a sweet hoisin marinade and served on a bed of apples and cucumber that have been tossed in a creamy dressing. Get the recipe: Hoisin-glazed Salmon with Crunchy Apple Salad

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks Photo: John Cullen

Read more: Are you a good candidate for home birth? The ethics of prenatal testing The more you know: The ethics of prenatal testing Next up: Week 12

Your pregnancy: 11 weeks

This article was originally published on Jul 02, 2019

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