Your 11th week
Have you started shopping for maternity wear? Consider clothes of a few sizes larger, or empire waist dresses! In week 11 of pregnancy, your baby is set for a rapid phase of growth1. Help your baby’s bones lengthen and strengthen with a healthy intake of calcium2.
Your baby’s brain, lungs, liver and kidneys would have formed by 11 weeks, and its various body systems will continue to develop throughout pregnancy5. Although your baby has already been making tiny movements for some time5, you’re unlikely to feel any kicks until the 17th to 18th weeks. If this is your first pregnancy, you will usually feel the kicks much later6.
At week 11, your baby is about the size of a lychee! Measuring between 4cm and 5cm, your baby is growing and developing rapidly, with all of the bones of its face now in place. Your baby’s fingers and toes are separating from their webbed beginnings, and its ear buds are starting to shape up as well.
You might feel hungry more frequently due to increased nutritional needs but bear in mind that this does not mean you should eat twice as much! Consult your doctor to find out how much to eat. Dizziness may occur more frequently now as your body is overwhelmed with the extra amount of blood flowing in your body. Taking in fresh air on walks in parks should help alleviate the issue.
Make an appointment with your dentist. This is because nutrients that were previously kept as reserves for your teeth are now diverted to your baby. This will lead to an increased risk of the inflammation of the gums as they start to recede. Protect your teeth with some simple preventive measures like brushing your teeth after eating acidic foods and drinking extra calcium containing foods such as milk, dairy products or eating nuts such as hazelnuts.
Calcium: Building Strong Bones and Teeth for Life
Your family and friends are constantly reminding you to drink milk – and for good reason! Calcium contributes to the normal development of your baby’s bones, as well as the health of your own bones and teeth2.
Calcium is most easily absorbed from milk sources7, and has several other important roles8:
- It regulates muscle contractions, including your baby's heartbeat8
- It helps blood to clot normally8
- It contributes to the healthy functioning of muscle tissue and nerves8
Ensure a healthy calcium intake for you and your baby (especially if you are lactose intolerant) by including the following foods in your diet:
- Dairy products, including pasteurised milk, cheese and yogurt
- Some nuts and seeds, especially almonds and sesame seeds
- Beans and pulses
- Calcium-fortified breakfast cereals and white bread
- Calcium-fortified drinks such as some soya milks
1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx [Accessed June 2014]
2. European Union. Commission Regulation (EC) No 983/2009 of 21 October 2009 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on food and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 277 2009;3-12.
3. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.
4. Papaioannou GI et al. Normal ranges of embryonic length, embryonic heart rate, gestational sac diameter and yolk sac diameter at 6-10 weeks. Fetal diagnosis and therapy 2010;28(4):207-19.
5. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 34.
6. NHS UK. You and your baby at 17-20 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-17-18-19-20.aspx [Accessed July 2014]
7. Theobald, H. Dietary Calcium and Health. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin 2005;30:237-77.
8. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.
9. Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for calcium. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) 2015.
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