11th Week of Pregnancy

As you’re heading towards the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, your headaches and nausea should start disappearing. In the 11th week already you may feel more active and symptoms of tiredness should fade. You may also notice an increase in appetite, so you will put on more weight in the following months. Your baby is developing complex features and you already have a pretty face for the ultrasound pic on the fridge.

How your baby is developing

At just over one inch and a half in length, your baby can now kick and he or she can even stretch fingers and toes. The kicks will become more frequent over the next 6 months, as your baby grows stronger. By the 11th week, your baby has distinct features, with tooth buds, nail beds, hair follicles and ear flaps already present. Her sense of smell also began to develop and will become more complex until week 30. By then, everything you eat and inhale will be smelled by your baby as well.

In-between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy, the Nuchal Translucency baby scan can be carried out. This is an ultrasound scan that checks for certain issues, including Down syndrome, and reports initial measurements of your baby. Talk to your OB/GYN doctor about a recommended time for you to have this scan.

How your days are changing

As your morning sickness starts to wane, you may feel hungrier than usually. Stick to a healthy plan with nutritious food and pick fruits and crackers as snacks instead of junk food. Food cravings will also diminish in the next month, so it will be easier to have a balanced diet, with small and various meals. Include plenty of carbs in you plan and get as much protein as possible from nuts and dried fruits. Despite having the need to pee frequently (you have the hCG hormone to blame for that), you need to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeine, as caffeinated drinks increase the frequency of urination. Constipation is also a common symptom due to pregnancy hormones, so it’s perfectly normal, but you can try diets that help alleviate this symptom.

You will have more energy in the following weeks, so this is the perfect time to plan a romantic trip with your partner. Most pregnant women feel at the peak of their energetic levels in the first part of the second trimester. Just make sure you’ll have everything you need for a safe travel.

The 8th Week of Pregnancy

The baby bump may not be showing by the 8th week of pregnancy in most cases, yet a lot of changes are already going on with your body. Your breasts are becoming more sensitive and tender and you’ll probably need to change your bra to a bigger size by now for proper support. This is caused by the changes in hormonal levels and prepares your body for lactation. In most cases cups will grow by 2 sizes, so it’s practical to buy maternity support bra with two sizes bigger than your current one. You will notice that in this period the areolas around your nipples will begin to darken, also due to the change in hormones.

If you haven’t already followed a nutritional plan, start now. You will need plenty of vitamins and minerals to give your baby all the nutrients needed for a healthy development. Talk to your doctor or a specialist in nutrition about a recommended plan and any supplements you might need. Plan a custom exercise program as well. You will need to strengthen your muscle tone for carrying the weight to come in the next seven months.

Your baby, now at about the size of a raspberry, is growing fast. Although you cannot feel it yet, your baby has already started to move and shift its position. All of the organs have started developing and functioning, and muscles and nerves continue to form. Believe it or not, your baby’s lips begin to take shape around the 8th week of pregnancy, and in most cases fingers and toes are starting to appear. Your baby’s gonads begin to take shape into either ovaries or testicles, although it’s often impossible to see this on the scan that early into pregnancy. You can follow the progress of your growing baby through ultrasound scans now. Many parents find this experience to be magical, as you can actually see the miracle of life unfolding over the course of a few months.

There are genetic screening tests and other tests you can already take during this week. Discuss your family medical history with your doctor to see what tests are needed in your case. Many conditions, such as RH disease, are treatable during pregnancy, so take precautions to reduce all risks and have a safe pregnancy and birth.

Pregnancy tests

The pregnancy test is the most common and available method to confirm or deny pregnancy.

There are two types of pregnancy tests:

–         the pregnancy tests using urine samples: these tests, also referred as urine home pregnancy tests or dip tests, are commonly used because they may be easily purchased from the drugstores and used at home. Usually a first – morning sample is preferred because it is the most concentrated. The home pregnancy tests based on urine are around 98-99% accurate when done properly, following the instructions. The urine home pregnancy test shall be stored at the room temperature and shall not be opened before using it.

–         the pregnancy tests using blood samples imply a visit to the medical office or to a health clinic and the collection of a blood sample to be analyzed. The accuracy of these tests is over 99,9%, allowing thus a quick and reliable confirmation or denial of pregnancy.

Both pregnancy tests are based on checking and measurement of the HCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin), also called the pregnancy hormone, which is produced only during pregnancy. After the conception, the placenta produces this hormone which may be found in blood and urine. The presence of the HCG hormone is detected through a blood pregnancy test as early 11 days after conception, and through the urine pregnancy test, after 12 to 14 days following the conception.

Sometimes the results of the urine pregnancy tests are negative because they are taken too soon, before the term when the pregnancy may be detected. This situation is common especially in young women and adolescents where the ovulation occurs later.