11 weeks pregnant

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You have now completed eleven weeks of pregnancy.

Your baby at this stage (11 weeks)

At this stage, your baby is now almost completely formed. He measures approximately the size of your thumb. His toes as well his fingers have now separated and few of his bones are now starting to harden.
For the next six months the main changes in your baby will be that he will grow bigger and more strong, in order to prepare for life outside your womb.

Your symptoms at this stage (11 weeks)

In pregnancy, a women experiences a number of new physical sensations, however some of them can be quite annoying. Try not to worry if you feel that you leak a bit of pee if you sneeze or laugh too hard. However annoying, this is common during pregnancy and it is called stress incontinence.

When you get pregnant, the pregnancy hormones lead to stretching of pelvic floor tissues and muscle. This is likely to lead to some weakness in the sphincter muscles. These are the muscles that regulate the release of pee from your bladder.

Laughing, coughing, sneezing or running could lead to an increase in the pressure inside your belly and around your bladder. This pressure compresses your bladder. Now generally, your pelvic floor muscles help regulate closing and opening of your bladder, however in pregnancy the muscles are weak and hence are not able to regulate this.

However, doing pelvic floor exercises regularly is likely to strengthen these muscles that help regulate your bladder and hence prevent the leaks. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is also likely to help prepare your body for labour and child birth, hence it is recommended.

Your life at this stage

You may find the idea of having a water birth appealing. You could discuss with your doctor if your hospital has water birth facility. He will also be able to guide you regarding the pros and cons of water birth and whether it is right for you.

There is a fairly new concept of having a Doula at the time of birth. A doula is basically a birth companion, hired to support the mother during labour and birth. However keep in mind that you would have a doula in addition to your doctor during childbirth, not instead of one. If you are worried and scared with the idea of going into labour you might want to explore this option.

Important things to keep in mind

  • You can discuss with your doctor if you want to stop taking folic acid supplements by the end of this week, as the baby’s neural tube is likely to be fully formed.
  • Even if you are taking someantenatal supplements, you must keep in mind that it is important to eat a health and well balanced diet too.
  • Sadly, for some women, pregnancy could be astressful time. If you are experiencing and depression of major mood swings, you could discuss this with your doctor, many women experience this and there is no shame in asking for help. You could also discuss this with fellow parents on the forums to get some tips and tricks to deal with this.