Week 11 of Your Pregnancy

week 11 pregnancy highlights

Verywell

At 11 weeks pregnant, your baby has reached an exciting developmental milestone. The embryo stage is complete, and your baby is now a fetus! But, it isn't just your baby growing this week. You may notice your hair and nails getting longer, and possibly the beginnings of a baby bump.

11 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months? 2 months and 3 weeks

Which Trimester? First trimester

How Many Weeks to Go? 29 weeks

Your Baby's Development at 11 Weeks

At 11 weeks, baby is approximately 2 inches in length (5 centimeters).

All your baby's organs form during the embryo stage. Now, in the fetal stage, your baby's organ systems will grow and mature until birth.

Head and Face

  • Your baby's head is still very large; it accounts for about half the length of their body.
  • Baby's eyelids close and fuse together this week. They will separate and begin to take their final shape after week 24.
  • Taste buds are developing.
  • The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears continue to take shape as baby's face looks more human.

Physical Changes

  • Baby's body is getting longer and straighter.
  • The fingers and toes are longer and without webbing.
  • The reproductive organs are beginning to take shape, but it's still a little too early to determine baby's sex on ultrasound.

Movement

  • The first signs of breathing movements can be picked up on an ultrasound.
  • Little arms and legs are moving inside the womb, but you cannot feel it yet.

Explore a few of your baby's week 11 milestones in this interactive experience.

Your Common Symptoms This Week

Your baby-to-be is growing rapidly, and so are some of your body parts. This week you may notice changes in your hair, nails, and belly.

Your Belly

If this is your second (or third, or more) pregnancy or you're carrying multiples, you might notice the beginnings of a baby bump. However, if this is your first pregnancy, you likely have a little longer to wait before you'll start "showing."

Your Hair

Your hair may 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.

What Experts Say

“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.”

—Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

These hormonal hair changes don't just affect the top of your head. Some pregnant women also experience new hair growth on their face, belly, chest, and arms.

Your Nails

You may notice changes in your nails, too. For some, pregnancy hormones spur faster-growing, stronger nails. Meanwhile, others find that their nails split and break more easily during pregnancy.

Self-Care Tips

If your hair is getting long and thick, and your nails are growing strong and healthy, enjoy it. But, if you're dealing with extra, unwanted body hair or weak nails, you may be wondering if there's anything you can do.

Hair Removal

If you choose to remove new body hair growth, it’s considered safe to shave, wax, or use topical hair removers. However, permanent hair removal treatments are not recommended during pregnancy. But, don't worry about it too much. It’s a good bet that everything will return to normal within six months after you deliver your baby.

Nail Care

If your nails are brittle, keep them trimmed and avoid chemical-laden nail polish and removers, which can further weaken nails. Like hair changes, your nails should revert back to their pre-pregnancy status by the time your baby is about six months old.

Your Week 11 Checklist

Advice for Partners

It's 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.

You don't have to decide anything right now, but it’s smart to allow yourselves plenty of time to discuss options such as:

At Your Doctor’s Office

Prenatal genetic screening may continue this week with a nuchal translucency test. The nuchal translucency screening is an ultrasound that measures the fluid-filled space behind the baby's neck. When the measurement is greater than expected, there is a chance the baby could have a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome.

However, it is just a screening test. Out of range results do not mean your child has a chromosomal issue, but they do mean that your doctor will likely recommend more testing. Plus, the timing of this test is very important. A false positive could result if the dating of the pregnancy is not correct. The best time for this ultrasound is between 11 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days.

This test is typically part of the first trimester screening, which also includes a blood test. Together, the tests provide more information. However, not all women have both parts of the screening. You may have the blood work, the ultrasound, or both.

Upcoming Doctor Visits

Your second routine monthly prenatal visit with your OB or midwife might be next week. This visit will be shorter than the first. If your healthcare provider has yet to discuss a chromosome abnormalities screening, it may happen next week.

Special Considerations

It's not uncommon to have some concerns about telling your boss that you're expecting. You may also be wondering or fielding questions from family and friends about your diet.

Pregnancy and Work

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. It's a good opportunity to find out how your boss (or their manager), reacted to the news.

You can 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 because of your pregnancy.

Now is also an excellent time to begin researching:

Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you (or more likely others), may have concerns about your health and the health of your growing baby. Rest assured, you can certainly have a healthy pregnancy on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Plant-based diets are often very nutritious. However, when vegetarian and vegan diets are not balanced, they could cause nutrient deficiencies. So, it's important to understand the nutrients you need and how to get them.

When you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you want to be sure you're getting enough protein, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, DHA, and iron. If you have questions or concerns about your diet, talk to your doctor and a nutritionist for helpful dietary information.

A Word From Verywell

This week, your baby took the big step from embryo to fetus. The little life is developing and looking more and more like a tiny human each day. Meanwhile, your uterus is growing along with your baby, and it won't be long before your bump is visible.

Next week, you may see your doctor for your monthly prenatal visit. At that appointment, you might get to hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Napolitano R, Dhami J, Ohuma EO, et al. Pregnancy dating by fetal crown-rump length: A systematic review of chartsBJOG. 2014;121(5):556-65. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.12478

  2. MedlinePlus. Fetal Development. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Updated April 9, 2020.

  3. Tawfik HA, Abdulhafez MH, Fouad YA, Dutton JJ. Embryologic and fetal development of the human eyelidOphthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016;32(6):407-414. doi:10.1097/IOP.0000000000000702

  4. Ventura AK, Worobey J. Early influences on the development of food preferences. Curr Biol. 2013;23(9):R401-8. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.02.037

  5. Blaschko SD, Cunha GR, Baskin LS. Molecular mechanisms of external genitalia development. Differentiation. 2012;84(3):261-8. doi:10.1016/j.diff.2012.06.003

  6. Gustafson KM, Allen JJ, Yeh HW, May LE. Characterization of the fetal diaphragmatic magnetomyogram and the effect of breathing movements on cardiac metrics of rate and variability. Early Hum Dev. 2011;87(7):467-75. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.03.012

  7. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Skin Conditions During Pregnancy. 2018.

  8. Erpolat S, Eser A, Kaygusuz I, Balci H, Kosus A, Kosus N. Nail alterations during pregnancy: A clinical study. Int J Dermatol. 2016;55(10):1172-5. doi:10.1111/ijd.13316

  9. Trivedi MK, Kroumpouzos G, Murase JE. A review of the safety of cosmetic procedures during pregnancy and lactation. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2017;3(1):6-10. doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.01.005

  10. Dinani N, George S. Nail cosmetics: A dermatological perspective. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2019;44(6):599-605. doi:10.1111/ced.13929

  11. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Prenatal Genetic Screening Tests. 2019.

  12. Nicolaides KH. Screening for fetal aneuploidies at 11 to 13 weeks. Prenat Diagn. 2011;31(1):7-15. doi:10.1002/pd.2637

  13. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Pregnancy Discrimination.

  14. Sebastiani G, Herranz Barbero A, Borrás-Novell C, et al. The effects of vegetarian and vegan diet during pregnancy on the health of mothers and offspring. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):557. doi:10.3390/nu11030557

Additional Reading
  • Allison Hill, MD. Email communication. October, November 2017.