Congratulations! You’ve almost made it through your first trimester. Hopefully some of the more unpleasant signs of early pregnancy are starting to ease as you approach the “happy trimester.”
Your uterus is continuing to expand, and your doctor or midwife will probably be able to feel it now in your lower abdomen. By week 11, the average uterus is about the size of a grapefruit. You might even have the beginnings of a “baby bump” (or you will very soon).
You’ll also be relieved to know that your uterus is nature’s way of protecting your baby. Some mums-to-be worry about using seatbelts or letting people touch their expanding stomach for fear of hurting the baby. Obviously, nobody should touch your stomach without your agreement, but in terms of harming your baby, he or she is perfectly cushioned and protected inside the thick, muscular uterus and the amniotic sac. A seatbelt is a critical safety device that can greatly reduce the risk of injury to you and your baby whilst in a car, and as long as you wear it properly (with the belt below your abdomen low on your hips) you baby is perfectly safe.
Around this time, you might notice your appetite increasing. This is different from the unusual cravings you might have been experiencing in the early weeks of pregnancy. Now that your baby is starting to grow quickly, your calorie needs are going to increase. If you have been experiencing morning sickness, you should find it is starting to ease off now. However, with the full repertoire of pregnancy hormones now circulating your body, you may find you experience various related symptoms, including excess saliva, breast tenderness, and fatigue.
At this stage, your baby’s foetal age is 9 weeks, and he or she is about the size of a large date at just over five cm long. Over the course of this week, your baby’s features will continue to become more defined. The ears are nearly fully formed now, and the first nasal passages are starting to open. The head is still much larger in proportion to the rest of the body, but your baby’s arms, legs, and torso are stretching out. With plenty of space in the uterus, your baby can still roll around and do somersaults without too much constriction.
Around this time, the sex organs are starting to form, both internally and externally. If he is a boy, the testes are developing; if she is a girl, the ovaries are beginning to form. It is still too early to see external sexual organs on an ultrasound scan.
“By the end of the day, you may appear much more pregnant than first thing in the morning.”
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