On the other hand, certain other symptoms like constipation, indigestion and heartburn may persist. You will be able to accomplish a lot as you are feeling more energetic now. Stack up your refrigerator with healthy food, because soon your appetite will return, even as your food aversions fade off. This is nature’s way of letting you know that now your body and your growing baby will require more nourishment.
Remember, it is the quality and not quantity that counts. Junk food is not good for your baby; moreover it will make you gain pounds that will be difficult to shed in future.
Changes In Your Body:
Physiologically, though you have been through thunderstorm of changes in the past few weeks, it is still invisible. Your uterus has grown to fill in the pelvic region by now, and will be soon showing up as a bump, but you may have to wait for some time for the world to see it. For now you have to be satisfied with the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy that reassure you about your pregnancy.
You will soon be saying good bye to the early pregnancy signs and symptoms and welcoming more obvious to the world signs. Not all the discomfort of the pregnancy just disappears once you enter the second trimester. There are few things you may have to cope with until your delivery, and some may continue post pregnancy too. Let us discuss about them in later stages of your pregnancy.
a. Those Embarrassing Moments:
The friendly progesterone hormone which takes care of many of your newly cropped up needs of pregnancy and also attend to the developing baby may also cause you discomfort at times and embarrassment as well. You may burp or fart without being able to stop it.
Don’t fret about this as you are helpless to do anything when your gastrointestinal tract has been relaxed to delay digestion of the food you consume. Blame it on hormone again. But slowing down the digestion helps in absorption of nutrients into bloodstream so that they meet the nutritional needs of the baby in your womb. Knowing that every time you get red-faced is benefiting your baby in some way will ease your embarrassment and discomfort as well.
Another matter of concern is your inability to stop yourself from wetting a little whenever you cough, laugh out loud or sneeze. The symptom which is common during pregnancy is known as stress incontinence. The release of urine from your bladder is controlled by the sphincter muscles which are now weakened and relaxed due to new pregnancy hormones.
When the pressure around your bladder increases the bladder gets squeezed eliminating the urine inside it. Since your pelvic floor muscles are too weak to close off the bottom of your bladder and the sphincter muscles are too relaxed to catch a sudden escape of little pee. This is when accidents happen.
You may start feeling an ache persisting in your back which is pretty common occurrence during your pregnancy period. All through your pregnancy, the growing uterus will exert tremendous strain and pressure on muscles that support the lower back and pelvic region which may cause backaches. As your pregnancy progresses, you will tend to lean backward to maintain balance with your growing bump which again will add to the pain you are already feeling.
In normal conditions, your growing uterus and baby will be held back by your muscles which will not expand naturally. Hence, your body will release a hormone called relaxin, which as its name suggests allows the muscles to relax so that the pelvic region will allow your uterus to grow there freely.
Unfortunately, this will also relax the muscles supporting your back which is another cause for the backache you suffer. If you are one of those fitness freak who has continued to exercise, not minding the early pregnancy symptoms, you will be able to cope with backaches in a better way. Your posture and general health will make a lot of difference to the degree of backache you may experience.
c. Urinary Tract Infection:
Urinary tract infection is not a sign and symptom of pregnancy, as it can affect you anytime in your life. You are more vulnerable to UTI during pregnancy since your uterus is placed directly on top of your bladder. As the uterus grows, it will press against the bladder and the urethra, which will prevent the complete draining of the urine from your bladder. The urine that stays behind will lead to infections.
Another cause of higher risk of UTI during pregnancy is the pregnancy hormones secreted during this period which make changes in the urinary tract, making it more susceptible for infections. If UTIs do not get timely treatment, they may spread to infect your kidneys as well. UTIs are responsible for low birth weight and pre-mature birth in babies. If caught early while it is localized to the bladder and treated with a simple course of oral antibiotics, UTIs do not cause much harm to you or your baby.
The following are the signs and symptoms you need to watch out for UTIs during your pregnancy:
Frequent urination (which unfortunately is also a part of early pregnancy symptoms)
Burning sensation when urinating
Dull pain or cramps in lower back or abdomen
Difficulty in relieving yourself
Urine with unpleasant odor
Cloudy or smoky appearance of urine
It may help you to know that your uterus is rotated slightly to the right due to natural anatomical arrangement of your body. This condition is responsible for higher compression and dilation of the right ureter.
Hence the risk of you developing kidney infection on the right side is higher. Do not ignore the pain which persists on your right lower back or right side of your abdomen.
Changes In Your Baby:
Your baby is having a gala of time in your womb, drinking on the amniotic fluid and kicking around in it. These exercises have helped her grow and she is getting finely tuned now. The nails are taking shape and growing on her fingers which are clearly discernable and separate digits by 11th week and so is some fuzzy hair growing on the big head.
The tooth buds are developing as well. Her soft bones are beginning to harden as she moves her body around. Seeing that her body has been fully formed by now she is looking so much like a human in 11th week pregnancy. All she has to do is grow and mature in next few months.
The bulge on her forehead has decreased. The eyes which were positioned at the side of her head are now moving towards the middle of her face. The ears that appeared as though they will end up on her neck have shifted up and are positioned at the side of her head. If you are carrying a baby girl, this will be the time when her ovaries develop with eggs and all. She will be born with all the eggs she will need during her lifetime. They will only begin to mature and release once she reaches her puberty.
There is tiny outline of her external genitals which are taking shape now. The tiny dots visible on her chest are the nipples taking shape.
So far she was curved like a new moon, but now her back is straightening up a bit.
Size Of Your Baby In 11th Week Pregnancy:
Your baby is measuring somewhere around 4 .0 – 4.3 centimetres or 1.55 – 1.75 inches in length. She may weigh 10.25 ounce or 7 grams. She is the size of a lime or your own thumb at this stage. She has shed her earlier reptilian/alien looks and appears more like a miniature human baby, with a big head. Her head makes up nearly half of her body length and weight.
Care and Tips:
Strong pelvic floor muscles will help you a lot during your pregnancy and also when you go into labor. Pelvic floor muscles support your urethra, uterus, bladder and rectum, hence strengthening them will bring down your risk of embarrassing moments we discussed above.
Arnold Kegel, a gynaecologist came up with simple exercises, commonly known as Kegels which help you build strong pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are helpful not just during your pregnancy; they are generally good for you anytime in your life. Kegels are known to increase sexual pleasure for women since it improves the muscles of the vagina as well. They help in prevention of haemorrhoids and anal incontinence in addition. After childbirth they speed up the healing of tear known as episiotomy which is common occurrence.
The exercises are easy to do even on your lousiest days. You don’t even have to lift your finger for the Kegels. The only hiccup in the whole procedure you may face is locating those exact muscles you have to work on. Remember how you squeeze and lift the muscles of your pelvis floor and rectum when you want to prevent either air or urine passing out? Well, when doing Kegel, you do the same taking care not to squeeze your legs together, pull in your tummy, and hold your breath or tightening your buttocks.
You have to do the whole action by using only your pelvic muscles. If you have tough time locating those muscles, just keep trying and you will be there soon enough. Place a hand on your belly to see if remains relaxed. Start by holding the contraction of Kegel for a few seconds before releasing it. You can go on increasing the duration as you get used to them. Next time you are scared of a leak, try to hold it back with a Kegel and see the difference it makes.
Maintain a good posture, especially if you have a desk job- it may help reduce your back pain. Stretch yourself occasionally, and add some stretching exercises to your routine. Use pillows to make yourself comfortable when you sleep on sit on a chair. Though a little amount of backache is inevitable during your pregnancy, it can be prevented to a great extent with proper care.
Tips for Dad to Be:
This is the right time for you to flex your muscles. Lend your partner hand in household work, especially if it requires physical strength. Take care to see that you are in charge of lifting, pushing or carrying all the heavy stuff around your home.
Give her back massage to soothe the aching muscles.
Work on your communication and learn what you have to say to her. This is good for your relationship not just during her pregnancy, but forever. If you say she is not looking exhausted, she may feel that you don’t understand what she is going through; on the other hand if you say she is looking exhausted, that would sound wrong as well. You may have to learn skills of telling her exactly what she wants to hear.
Don’t ever make fun of her condition, especially if you have anyone around. Many scars have been left on relationships when what began as a funny jibe soon turned into a full blown fight between couples. This is not the right time for having fight with your partner.
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