Week 11: Your pregnancy
Your baby's growth: Fingernails appear
By the end of this week your baby will be about two inches from head to bottom and still weigh about half an ounce—but she'll double in size and weight over the next three weeks. Other changes you can expect this week:
- Ears. Your baby's ears will move toward their final position on the sides of her head.
- Genitalia. Your baby's external genitalia are beginning to develop, and in a few weeks an ultrasound exam may tell you whether you're having a boy or girl.
- Action! Your baby will begin to swallow and kick.
- Bones. They will begin to slowly solidify, although most of the skeleton is still made of flexible material.
- Brain. Nerve cells in the brain are busy connecting with each other, building pathways for future communication.
- All major organs will be fully developed.
- Spinal nerves. They will begin to stretch out from the spinal cord.
- Fingernails will begin to appear.
- Heartbeat. With a special handheld device, your doctor will be able to hear the fetus' rapid heartbeat.
What's happening with you
- Uterus expansion. As you approach the end of the first trimester, your uterus continues to expand, almost filling your pelvis as it supports your growing baby.
- Waist growth. Although you probably won't need to start wearing maternity clothes for a few more weeks, your waist is continuing to grow.
- Skin changes. Your changing hormones have triggered an increase in your skin's production of melanin, which results in the development of a dark vertical line of pigmentation on your abdomen, called the linea nigra. This line is a common sign of pregnancy and will fade, although it may not disappear completely , after pregnancy. The fairer-skinned you are, the less noticeable this line will be, during and after pregnancy.
- Hair and nail changes. Hormones also affect hair and nails. Many women discover that during pregnancy their nails grow faster and their hair stops shedding. As a result your hair will seem thicker and fuller than ever before.
A word of caution: Although it has never been proven that hair dyes or perming chemicals harm a developing fetus, it's a good idea to avoid these procedures until after your first trimester, or even better, until after your little one is born.