Inside your womb, your baby is floating in the amniotic sac, which protects the baby and maintains a constant temperature. Right now, there's plenty of room to move, and your baby is taking full advantage of the space to kick and stretch!
The baby is connected by the umbilical cord to the placenta, which is attached to the side of your womb. Oxygen, nourishment and protective antibodies pass through the placenta from you to the baby via the umbilical cord.
Have you thought about antenatal or parenting classes yet?
It might seem a bit early for this, but it's a good idea to sign up now if you're interested; many classes, such as those run by the National Childbirth Trust, get booked up months in advance. For more information, visit www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com or call 0300 330 0770. You can also find out about local classes by talking to your midwife, GP surgery or local library.
You might be feeling a little self-conscious about your expanding waistline these days, but remember that it's completely normal to be gaining weight right now – after all, you're growing another human being inside!
Eating a variety of healthy foods is your best bet, but remember that it's important not to diet during pregnancy, as this can be harmful to both you and your baby. It's normal to gain between 10 – 12 kg during pregnancy (22 – 28lb), and around a tenth of this will be in the first trimester.
Did you know? All pregnant women are entitled to free prescriptions and free dental treatment. The changes going on in your body during pregnancy mean your teeth may need extra care, so it's a great idea to book an appointment with your dentist.
What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 11
Now you’re in week 11, you’ll hopefully be feeling a lot better. You shouldn’t feel nauseous anymore, and the risk of a miscarriage is now down to a small residual risk, which will put your mind at ease. You might now start thinking about when and how to tell your family and friends the good news, if you haven’t already done so. There’s still no obvious sign of your baby bump, although if this is your second or third pregnancy, you may be able to make out the beginnings of a bump. In any case, you’ll have begun to put on weight as your body builds up its fat reserves. Don’t worry: after the birth, a small amount of sport or exercise and a healthy diet will get rid of the weight you’ve put on, and breastfeeding will also help you get back in shape as your body gets the energy it needs for it from the fat reserves it’s now building up.
Back and abdominal pain
The last weeks of pregnancy can be tough, so you should build up your strength in advance and stay as fit as you can. The pulling sensation in your abdomen may occur every now and again, caused by the growth in your uterus. You might also experience back pain when exercising or when sitting or lying on one side of your body, as your tendons are now more relaxed and flexible to cope with your increased weight. Gentle sports and activities are effective ways to help your body do its job, boost your strength and avoid sore muscles, and there are specific exercises that can relieve the pain of particular symptoms.
Giving birth will be hard work too – it’ll take all the strength, endurance and stamina you’ve got. So physical activity is important during pregnancy! Were you a sporty person before? Then keep it up! * If not, it’s a good idea to start, but don’t overdo it: go for walks, go swimming, do exercises, yoga, etc.
*Consult your gynaecologist or midwife about which sports are suitable and whether it’s a good idea to continue with competitive sport.
You'll continue to experience sore, painful breasts (and sensitive nipples) for the next few weeks. These symptoms will ease in the middle months of your pregnancy, as your mammary glands will have developed as much as possible by then. From that point on, your breasts will be ready to fulfil their role when the time comes to breastfeed your baby.
If you have allergies, ask your doctor or midwife about how you can replace the food you can’t eat. Some important nutrients can result in deformities if you don’t consume enough of them. Don’t worry – there’s a healthy alternative for almost all food, and your doctor can refer you to a dietician if necessary.