Week 11 of Your Pregnancy

A look at your body, your baby, and more

Pregnancy Week 11

Welcome to week 11 of your pregnancy. You’re now about two months and two weeks pregnant. If this is your second (or third, or more) pregnancy, you might already be showing. Same goes for those carrying multiples. If this is your first, however, you likely have a little longer to wait.

 

Your Trimester: First trimester

Weeks to Go: 29

You This Week

Your baby-to-be is rapidly growing by week 11—and so might be your hair.

“During pregnancy, estrogen and androgen hormones change the normal pattern of hair growth by shifting more hairs into the growth phase and out of the shedding phase,” says Allison Hill, M.D., an OB-GYN and author of Your Pregnancy, Your Way and co-author of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. Translation: Your hair will likely grow faster and fall out less, leaving you with thicker, longer tresses. Sometimes, hair texture changes, too, causing hair to become either drier or oilier than before.

And these hormonal hair changes aren’t reserved for the top of your head alone. Some pregnant women also experience unwanted hair growth on their face, belly, chest, and arms. “If you choose to remove this unwanted hair, know that it’s totally safe to shave, wax, or use laser hair removal.” Also: It’s a good bet that everything will return to normal within six months after you deliver your baby.

Your nails might also experience some changes right about now. For some, pregnancy hormones spur faster-growing, stronger nails. Meanwhile, others find that their nails split and break more easily during pregnancy. If you’re among the latter, keep your nails trimmed and avoid chemical-laden nail polish and removers, which can further weaken nails.

Alas, just like hair changes, these should revert back to the same old same-old before your baby is even six months old.

Your Baby This Week

Your baby-to-be is going through a major growth spurt. Right now, he or she measures about 2½ inches and will clock about six more from now until week 20. To support this surge, blood vessels in the placenta are growing in size and number.

By week 11, baby’s ears are now migrating toward their proper position on either side of his or her oversized head. (Baby’s head will account for half its length for a few more weeks.) Baby’s early delicate skin is still quite translucent, but inside, bones are continuing to harden; fingernails are forming; nasal passages are taking shape; and the wide, flat muscle that separates baby’s chest and abdominal cavity—called the diaphragm—is progressing nicely.

At Your Doctor’s Office

If you had your first prenatal visit at week 8, your second visit is coming up next week. However, this is the first week that your healthcare provider can perform nuchal fold testing for Down syndrome and trisomy 18, an extra chromosome that causes birth defects and mental retardation. While this test can be done between week 11 and week 14, not all women choose to have this screening.

(In addition, some practices only offer the blood screening portion of the test.)

Here, your healthcare provider looks for specific proteins present in a blood sample. He or she then compares those results to those of an ultrasound used to detect the possible presence of extra fluid behind the neural tube. (Some healthcare providers use the combined results of these tests as the first stage of an integrated screening, where a second blood sample is taken between week 15 and week 16, but no later than week 21.)

Upcoming Doctor’s Visits

Like many women, you might be back at your OB or midwife’s office next week for your second prenatal appointment.

This visit will be shorter than the first. If your healthcare provider has yet to discuss a chromosome abnormalities screening, it will happen next week.

Taking Care

If you work and are feeling nervous about informing your supervisor about your pregnancy, you may want to talk to a trusted colleague who has already been through the process at your workplace. Take the opportunity to find out about how your boss (or their manager) reacted to the pregnancy; if there’s a comfortable area to pump; and more. At the same time, consult your employee handbook to learn more about your company’s maternity leave.

You should also check out the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act to learn about your legal rights in the workplace. For example, this act prohibits your employer from firing or demoting you during your pregnancy; you could, however, be fired for job performance issues. Legal Momentum’s review of state-by-state laws can tell you more about other protections you may benefit from.

For Partners

This is a good time to start talking with your partner about how much time one or both of you would like to take off from work once the baby arrives. Nothing has to be decided right now, but it’s smart to allow yourselves plenty of time to discuss what you can afford; whether you’ll both keep your current work hours after maternity/paternity leave; whether one of you would like to return to work or stay home; what childcare options you’d like to research; and more.

Verywell Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.

  • Continue drinking about eight to 12 glasses of water a day.

  • Write down any questions you have for next week’s prenatal visit.

  • Read the maternity leave section of your employee handbook, if you work outside the home.

  • Start discussing after-baby leave options with your partner.

Last Week: Week 10
Coming Up: Week 12

Sources:

Allison Hill, M.D. Email communication. October, November 2017.

American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy Week 11. http://americanpregnancy.org/week-by-week/11-weeks-pregnant

Legal Momentum. The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. State-by-State Map—Pregnancy Discrimination Laws, Breastfeeding and Leave Rights. https://www.legalmomentum.org/state-state-map-pregnancy-discrimination-laws-breastfeeding-and-leave-rights

The Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth.org. 10 Things That Might Surprise You About Being Pregnant. http://m.kidshealth.org/en/parents/pregnancy.html

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/pregnancy.cfm