Fetal development in pregnancy week 11:
Your baby is about the size of a lipstick tube at this point; weighing in at about 9 grams and measuring around 2 inches long. With a dopler, a handheld sound wave stethoscope, you should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat at this point. All of the critical development is done at this point, now all that needs to happen is for your baby to grow.
Right now, your baby’s head is about half of it’s length. The forehead bulges and sits very high on the head. On an ultrasound you would be able to see the clear outline of the spine. Spinal nerves are stretching out from the spinal cord.
The reproductive organs develop very rapidly this week. The external genitals are developing into either a penis or a clitoris and labia majora. By the end of the week these external genitals are recognizable and it should be easier to see if parents are having a boy or a girl.
All of the vital organs are functioning by the end of the week. Kidneys are producing urine and the pancreas is producing insulin. At this point, only growing and becoming more efficient is left to do.
During pregnancy week 11 you should start noticing some relief from morning sickness and fatigue. If you haven’t yet hang in there, in the next few weeks you should start feeling a lot better. Many women start noticing their fingernails and hair start growing more rapidly during their pregnancy. While this happens immediately for some others won’t notice any change until the third trimester, when their baby is also undergoing a huge growth spurt.
In another couple of weeks you may start gaining weight more rapidly. As you enter your second trimester your caloric needs rise as your baby needs more fuel to grow and develop. Most women will gain roughly to 1 pound per week in the second trimester. This happens much more easily as morning sickness subsides and many women find their appetites returning.
Some women start noticing varicose veins even this early into their pregnancy. If you do notice this relax. Most get much better after giving birth, and if they don’t you can always visit a doctor for treatment. Varicose veins usually occur because of rapidly increasing blood volume I the body which forces more blood through the veins. The uterus also places much pressure on the veins in the lower body which can cause swelling and bulging.
If you haven’t already you might consider investing in a pair of support stockings. These help relieve much of the pressure on veins and help reduce swelling. Keeping your weight gain within recommended ranges will also help alleviate much of the discomfort associated with varicose veins. Contrary to belief you should actually promote circulation in your legs by walking and stretching as much as possible during pregnancy. This is particularly important if you have a job where you need to sit or stand for long periods of time. This can cause blood to pool in the legs, worsening the problem.
Did you go with her to her prenatal appointment? If you didn’t be sure to go to the next one, you’ll get to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Attending prenatal appointments is also a great way to be involved in the pregnancy. If one scheduled during the work day isn’t convenient, ask her practitioner if they can schedule one at the end of the day or on Saturday making it easier for you to attend.
Breastfeeding is difficult enough to master without having to worry about finding clothes that easily fit. Fortunately there are a variety of maternity outfits that help make breastfeeding much easier. Take a look at Destination Maternity nursing wear that are readily available to help make feeding your baby easier in the first few weeks of life and beyond. Many women start looking for breastfeeding maternity wear while still pregnant, particularly nursing or maternity bras. This is an exceptional idea, particularly if you find your breasts growing and in need of more support during your pregnancy. Your breastfeeding experience should be easy, feminine and above all else comfortable.
Think cotton is the best choice for your nursing bra? Think again. Over time cotton can stretch out or lose its shape. When looking for nursing bras to complement breastfeeding, consider a bra with a cotton/Lycra or spandex and nylon blend. When it comes to breastfeeding, you have a wealth of options available to you.
Pregnancy Health Tips
Varicose veins plague many women during pregnancy. Some women who have varicose veins prior to pregnancy find that it gets worse during pregnancy, while some women will develop varicose veins for the first time during their pregnancy. Varicose veins are generally the result of increasing levels of blood volume in the body, combined with the pressure your uterus places on veins in the lower half of your body. Pressure from your uterus can actually increase the blood pressure specifically in your legs, leading to swelling in the blood vessels and varicose or bulging veins.
Some pregnant women may also develop varicose veins in places other than their legs. The increased blood volume during pregnancy and the weight of the growing uterus can increase the pressure in the tiny veins in the vagina or vulva and around the rectum. When the blood vessels in the vulva dilate, they are called vulvar varicosities, and when the blood vessels around the rectum dilate, they are called hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are usually associated with pain, itching and bleeding. The dilated blood vessels associated with hemorrhoids can even stick out of the rectum causing significant discomfort. Fortunately, most over-the-counter creams and suppositories will make the discomfort from hemorrhoids more bearable. Tronolane Anesthetic Hemorrhoid Cream relieves pain and itching immediately.
There is actually a new anti-inflammatory anesthetic available via prescription that may help alleviate much of the hemorrhoid pain you experience during pregnancy. It is from Kenwood therapeutics and is called AnaMantle HC. Many women have found that it provides immediate relief of their pain. One of the reasons for this is it contains Lidocaine which numbs the hemorrhoids on contact. Because this medication is prescription only, you should consult with your physician to see if it might be indicated in your particular situation. Your physician might recommend this or a similar product to provide you with relief from the pain and swelling associated with hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy usually will become more bothersome as your pregnancy progresses. With straining during delivery, the hemorrhoids may enlarge and cause significant discomfort. After delivery, sitz baths, tucks pads, Anusol suppositories, and Lidocaine topical anesthetic may offer great relief. The good news is that most hemorrhoids will regress and go away shortly after your baby is born.
Vulvar varicosities can be quite painful as the labial lips become swollen and stretched from the engorged blood vessels. The labial tissue may actually swell to the size of a softball. Don’t fret, after delivery with the reduced pressure in the pelvis, a good old fashion ice pack will help the swelling and the pain subside.
Most women will realize an improvement in their symptoms a short time after they deliver. There are a number of factors that will influence your susceptibility to varicose veins, including your family history and the amount of weight you gain during pregnancy.
Can you do anything to stop varicose veins from forming? While there are no guarantees, there are several things you can do to minimize the effects of varicose veins and minimize your discomfort. One thing you should consider is investing in a pair of maternity pantyhose support stockings. Medical grade support stockings are a superb method for maintaining adequate circulation in the legs and helping to prevent varicose veins. You may find they also minimize pain associated with pre-existing varicosities, and prevent your condition from worsening. Support hose should be put on first thing in the morning, before you get up out of bed. This will also help prevent excessive edema or swelling in your legs during the day.
Exercise is also critical during pregnancy to help prevent varicose veins. The longer you stand still for periods of time, the more likely blood is to pool in your legs causing problems. If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand a lot, be sure to go for short walks during your breaks to help promote circulation. Try to get some form of exercise each and every day, even if you are sitting at your desk doing stretches. Pumping your toes and calf muscles can help improve your circulation and minimize blood pooling in the legs. You’ll also find that exercise boosts your spirits, and for that reason alone, it is invaluable during pregnancy.
Another thing you can do to help minimize varicosities is elevate your legs whenever you are sitting or laying. If you are home, prop your feet up. You should also avoid crossing your legs, which can help blood pool in the legs. When sitting at your desk, be sure to find something to prop your legs up on. Don’t forget to get up and walk around periodically to keep the blood circulating in your system.
Most of the time varicose veins during pregnancy are nothing to worry about. Most women simply don’t like the appearance of them. However, there are a small number of people who are at risk for developing blood clots in the veins. Signs of a clot may include a hard, painful or red lump near the surface of your skin, or a swollen leg or calf. If the blood clot is superficial, meaning it is close to the surface of the leg, it is not dangerous. Your physician may just ask you to use support stockings, warm compresses and rest with your feet elevated. If there is suspicion of a blood clot in the large deep veins of the leg your physician will order an ultrasound Doppler study of the leg. If a blood clot is found in the deep veins of your leg, it is called a DVT or deep venous thrombosis.
A blood clot in the deep veins of the leg can become a very serious and life threatening condition. If it breaks away from the vein and travels to the lungs, it is a condition referred to as a pulmonary embolism. This condition is very rare, so don’t be overly concerned about this, but talk with your doctor to discuss whether or not you may have any risk factors for this condition. Chances are they will be able to put your mind at ease and offer you practical suggestions to overcome any fear or discomfort you are experiencing.
If you find that the varicose veins in your legs do not fade after pregnancy, fortunately there are a number of new varicose vein treatments available to treat them. Some of them are more invasive than others. Less invasive procedures include scleropathy, which may help improve the appearance of small varicosities and spider veins in the leg. The scleropathy procedure involves the injection of a chemical solution into the unwanted blood vessel which causes irritation and sticking together of the vessels walls. This leads to fibrosis of the vessel, making it unable to carry blood and no longer visible in the skin. For larger veins your healthcare provider might recommend a mini-stripping or some form of laser therapy. Be sure you consult with a physician if you have varicose veins that continue to be painful or uncomfortable several weeks after giving birth.
Look for a local twin club to help you through your pregnancy and new parenting. Even if you’ve had children before having twins is a whole new ball game. You can look to the twin club for emotional and informational support. Some clubs even have huge sales and you can grab some double bargains