Pregnancy Articles

Week 11: Strengthen Those Bones

Your Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy

Your Baby This Week

Your baby is now between 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) long and weighs 8 grams (0.3 ounces)! He or she is almost the size of large lime--but much sweeter!

This is a rapid growth stage, and your baby's length and weight will likely double in the next three weeks. At this point, the head is almost half the size of the body, but that will change in the weeks to come. Your baby's head also begins to "uncurl" as the chin lifts and the head rolls backwards towards the spine, allowing the neck to better develop and grow. Now there are fingernails! The genitalia are also developing during this time frame, though the sex of your baby is still a secret.

Your Body This Week

Your uterus is really growing now! It's almost large enough to fill your entire pelvic cavity. As such, you may begin to feel a sense of fullness in your lower abdomen. You can't feel your baby's movements just yet. (If you think you do, it's probably gas!) You may also begin to see some changes in your own hair and nails. Most women develop thicker, stronger and longer hair and nails. This is due to a combination of hormonal activity and increased circulation.

The Bare Bones of Development

The right time to build and strengthen your bones is right now, for both you and your baby. To help your baby's bones and teeth develop as well as prepare your body for the rigors of being an active mother, a healthy dose of both calcium and phosphorous are necessary. During pregnancy, the daily recommendation for calcium is 1,000mg, and for phosphorous is 700 mg, which is usually easy with a balanced diet. Remember also to get plenty of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorous properly. Here are some ideas for adding calcium to your diet.

Strength Training: Good for Muscles, Great for Bones

When you think of bone thinning, you might think it's an issue for the AARP set, certainly not you--not YET! Most of us figure we have plenty of time before it's a problem. But it's never too early to start reinforcing strong bones with some strength training. Before back problems and brittleness become issues, a couple of weight sessions per week can boost your bones along with your energy levels. Besides, later on when you're carting around a 15-pound smiling ball of cuteness, a little upper body strength will come in extremely handy. Check out our strength training tips and strategies.
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