You’re 11 weeks pregnant and getting closer to the first ultrasound, your baby is developing fast and you are starting to feel slightly less nauseous (if a little bigger)! And that’s not all you can expect from the 11th week of pregnancy…
Your baby’s development
This week your baby is the size of a… passionfruit.
Your growing baby is now starting to straighten out from his original curled-up, prawn-like position, and all of his vital organs have formed. With these now functioning, the risk of your baby developing defects decreases somewhat.
The vital organs aren’t the only thing that have now formed – ovaries and testes are now present in your baby’s body (although you won’t be able to tell the gender just yet), and your little one also has tooth buds and fingernails. Looking far more like a baby now, it’s easier to imagine what’s going on inside your uterus!
Your physical pregnancy changes
Hurrah! The time has come when any morning sickness or nausea you have been experiencing should start to wane. That doesn’t mean it’ll disappear instantly, but you should definitely notice it’s getting better and that you’re getting your appetite back.
Pomegranates are one of the best antioxidant-rich fruits available, making them a perfect choice for you and your growing bump. Want to know more about them and the best way to eat them? Read on…
Although originally and mainly cultivated in Middle Eastern countries, pomegranates are now grown in NSW, Vic and SA, which is great news because they have nutritional benefits for the whole family. The best time to buy this tropical, apple-sized fruit is from April to August, and it’s important to know the seeds are the only edible part. If you’re pregnant, pop some on your shopping list and reap the benefits.
5 reasons pomegranates are good for your pregnancy:
1. Pomegranates contain a number of phytochemical compounds, which have been proven to be good for your heart. They particularly help lower blood pressure, which is great news if you’re in the later stages of pregnancy or suffering from pre-eclampsia when your blood pressure is likely to be elevated.
2. Rich in vitamin C, pomegranates are excellent for the immune system and when your body is busy growing your baby, it needs all the extra immunity it can get.
3. Studies have shown that eating pomegranate has a positive effect on bone health and density – perfect for giving your developing baby a boost.
4. Pomegranates contain more antioxidants than cranberries and green tea, making them ideal for all-round health and nutrition.
5. Many skincare products contain pomegranate juice. Its oils penetrate deeply into the skin so it helps to combat dryness, breakouts and promote healthy cell regeneration.
3 ways to add pomegranate to your pregnancy diet:
Slice the fruit in half and, holding one half over a bowl, release the seeds and juice by squeezing it then tapping it firmly with a wooden spoon.
1. Sprinkle the seeds across a salad or dessert to give it that little bit of extra pizzazz.
2. Pomegranate goes perfectly in a smoothie, either blended in (although the seeds can make it quite bitty) or by adding the seeds as a garnish.
3. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and juice, along with fresh mint, over a slow-baked shoulder of lamb to serve a perfect and nutritious winter warmer.
Fresh fact: The ancient Egyptians used the pomegranate as the symbol of fertility and also used it to treat infections.
The appearance of your stomach may be changing, too with a dark pigment line (the linea nigra) appearing on your abdomen around week 11. Formed by an increase in a melanin-producing hormone made in your placenta, around 75 per cent of pregnant women develop this (although it may initially appear as a near-invisible white line).
You should notice your skin, hair and nails are now becoming healthier and their rate of growth may change. These things are part of the ‘pregnancy glow’ everyone talks about, and you have all those pregnancy hormones rushing about your body to thank for it.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy
With sickness subsiding and your appetite returning, you’re probably feeling far more active and normal. Take it slow and don’t push yourself. Make sure you’ve eaten before doing any
exercise – your blood sugars will still be quite low and doing too much too soon may leave you feeling dizzy and nauseous once more.
As you regain your appetite and start to put some weight on you’ll probably be craving certain foodsagain. It may be hard but try not to go overboard. Remember that everything you eat is fuelling your body and going into the creation of your baby. Feel free to treat yourself, but try to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
Be aware, though, pregnant women are more susceptible to
food poisoning so it’s best to stay away from any foods with raw ingredients such as sushi, pates and cold meats. The NSW Food Authority has a handy wallet-sized guide to help outline what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy.
Your week 11 pregnancy checklist
· Play a game of guess-the-gender. You’ll have to wait a while for the results though!
· Get totally lost in the thought that your tiny foetus has actual fingernails.
· Visit a hair salon to make the most of those shiny hormone-fuelled locks.
· Enjoy the prospect of morning sickness disappearing and plan a meal with friends.
· Watch your kitchen hygiene – keep hands, surfaces and utensils extra clean.
· If you’re feeling energetic, it’s time to undertake your pregnancy-safe exercise programme.