Pregnancy week by week: Week 11

Pregnancy week by week: Week 11

This week of your pregnancy, your baby’s tiny heart is beating fast and strong. You might start getting mood swings and lots of thoughts about the pregnancy and life with a baby.

The heart beats fast.

This week of your pregnancy, your baby takes a real growth spurt. The small heart is beating fast and strong at about 140/150 beats per minute, working hard to supply the little body with all the strength and nutrients it needs to grow. In comparison, a normal adult should have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

By the end of week 11 of your pregnancy, your baby will measure approximately 5.5 cm and weigh 14 grams.

Mood swings

Have you been overwhelmed with happiness at seeing a dog and then felt a deep heartache because it belonged to someone else, and you couldn’t bring it home? Or have you broken down in tears in the middle of the supermarket because the exact brand of chips or ice cream, or pickles you were craving was sold out? Don’t worry; you are not alone.

By far, most women experience mood swings during their pregnancy; a large part is due to the hormones raging through your body – specifically estrogen and progesterone – as well as the general factors of pregnancy. Estrogen is associated with the “happy” hormone serotonin, while progesterone is associated with relaxation. But too much of each can either lead to extreme bursts of happiness and nervous and irritable energy or relaxation bordering on fatigue and sadness.

And on top of that, if you’re still feeling tired, nauseous, bloated and just all-around uncomfortable, no wonder you’re struggling with your mood.

Thoughts about parenthood

Pregnancy is a life-altering period in your life; you’re probably dealing with so many thoughts, worries and plans for your future. Worrying about losing parts of yourself and your previous life once the baby is born is normal. Not to mention the more down-to-earth and practical worries about pregnancy, the baby and the birth (trust us, worrying about the birth is very normal).

Our best advice is:

  • Listen to your body and what it needs. Does your brain need to research and stay calm? Do that.
  • Do you need to stay active to keep your mind off the worries? Take a walk and get some fresh air.
  • Do you need to take a nap on the couch every evening for four days? Your body and your brain probably needs the rest.
  • Talk, talk, talk. Talk to your partner about your thoughts and worries; they are probably going through the same thoughts as you.
  • Reach out to family members and friends with children for advice and reassurance; chances are, whatever you’re thinking, so were they.
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