Baby: now the embryo is called a foetus
The fetus starts to look more and more human and is about 40 millimeters long from head to tail! Now the body and head are the same size (!), but as a newborn, the length of the head will be about a quarter of the body length.
This week there is an intense development of the neurons. Most of the fetal organs are actually formed by this week, but continue to grow and develop their functions all the way to birth.
The intestines that were previously in the umbilical cord are now starting to move into the fetal stomach. The rapid growth of the intestines means that they have not previously been able to fit their full size into the fetus's stomach, but have been partially accommodated in the inner part of the umbilical cord. The intestines are now gradually moving inwards and will then be placed inside the attachment of the umbilical cord. An incredible process!
The eyes begin to take their place and the two buds that made up the outer ear until now have grown together to form the shape of the outer ear. On the legs of the fetus, tiny little knees and ankles begin to form.
Nails and tiny hairs start to develop and the fetus can now yawn, swallow and suck! This is something the fetus does during the times of the day when it is awake. In general, fetuses have short periods of wakefulness, although this varies from one fetus to another. They may be awake for 20-60 minutes and then alternate with sleep or rest. It is difficult to know exactly what the mini-baby is doing in there, or how long it is sleeping or awake. However, it can be seen that the sleep/wake interval is relatively short and varies between individuals.
In weeks 11-12, the focus is on organ and uterine development. Can you feel the top of the uterus at the level of your pubic bone now? Some pregnant women can already feel it!
Mom: 11 weeks pregnant
Is your possible nausea starting to subside? If not, hang in there! For most people, it passes around week 12.
Blood group and Rh factor
Depending on your blood group and Rhesus factor (Rh factor), it may be necessary to analyze the baby's Rh factor. This is done by taking a so-called blood grouping of the pregnant woman. This is done via a blood test, often in combination with the KUB test if this is relevant for you. It takes place after 10 full weeks. In Sweden, there are different procedures for different regions, which means that this can be handled in different ways depending on where in the country you live. However, if the pregnant woman has a negative Rh factor, the child's Rh factor is also analyzed. This is done to determine whether there is any likelihood that the pregnant woman can develop antibodies.
Remember that the healthcare journey during pregnancy differs from region to region. Talk to your midwife about what applies where you live.
Hormones and dental hygiene
The hormones in your body make the lining of your mouth more swollen and fragile than before. This usually results in the gums bleeding more easily when brushing your teeth, something you may have already noticed. As a pregnant woman, you are also more likely to get cavities and the properties of saliva can change during this period. It is therefore particularly important to pay attention to oral hygiene during pregnancy! In addition to changes in the oral mucosa and saliva, snacking can also contribute to poor dental hygiene. So take care of your mouth as much as you can!
Blood volume during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by about 40 %. Many people can see their blood vessels on their body a little more prominent now, along with new lines on their skin. This is a side effect of the increased blood supply in the body to give the fetus the nutrition it needs. However, there is nothing to worry about as most of the blood vessels will return to their normal appearance after delivery.
The body right now
Around this week, many pregnant women experience a more visible belly and larger breasts (but not all, as body changes are individual, which is important to keep in mind!) Since the fetus is still less than 4 cm long, swollen intestines are usually the cause of the rumbling belly. The muscular wall of the intestines moves more slowly and the activity in the intestines is slower. There is also a widening of the intestines during pregnancy, which causes swelling over the stomach. There may also be more gas in the gut, which increases the feeling of swelling. This feeling may diminish slightly in a week or two, and then return later, but this is because the uterus has grown and is taking up more space.
You can read about week 10 here.
You can read about week 12 here.