If you have chosen not to have NIPT, you may have Nuchal Translucency scan (12 week scan) this week. This scan tests for Down's syndrome and other conditions, although it is less accurate than NIPT
Ultrasound image of fetus at 11 weeks gestation.
With just one week before your second trimester you may already be considering a room for your baby or buying clothes and accessories. If you haven’t told your family and friends yet you don’t have much longer to wait.
At the eleventh week of pregnancy, your baby measures between 4.4cm and 5.7cm from crown to rump and weighs around 8.5g. With all critical body parts and organs in place, the rest of your pregnancy is focused on the growth and strengthening of the parts already formed. The umbilical cord will complete its formation during this time and will be fully functional, carrying nutrients to the fetus and carrying waste products away from the fetus. The blood vessels of the placenta are also increasing in size to accommodate the increasing demands of your rapidly growing baby. In addition to this, your baby’s eyes are complete while the nasal passages are open. If your baby is a girl, she will already have formed ovaries and both sexes have fully formed nipples.
The fingers and toes are now completely separated and have finger and toe nails. Your baby will enjoy a lot more movement now and although you may not feel this until 16 weeks you you’re your baby stretching and moving on a scan.
If you have been suffering from feelings of nausea and fatigue, the end may be in sight. Although they often continue until week 13 (and sometimes throughout the whole pregnancy), you may notice the feelings subside a little over the coming weeks. It is important to maintain a healthy diet, even if you are struggling with food aversions and feelings of nausea. Although ‘snacking’ can help to alleviate nausea, try to eat healthy snacks. Dried foods, especially apricots, are also iron-rich and nuts provide the protein you need along with many B vitamins. You may experience digestive problems, such as flatulence and constipation, these are caused by high levels of progesterone slowing down the digestive system.
As you approach the end of your first trimester, you may notice the linea negra appear on your stomach, this is a vertical band of dark pigmentation in your skin. This is perfectly normal and not all women experience it.
Vaginal bleeding is not uncommon. If it is not associated with cramping or pain, it can be harmless. It’s always best to check any bleeding with your doctor or midwife. Bleeding of this type may continue for some days but generally changes from bright red to dark red to brown before it disappears. In some cases a bruise is seen on the placenta on ultrasound scan: this is called a subchorionic haematoma. The dark red bleeding is likely to be persistent if this is present. The risk of an ectopic pregnancy has generally passed at this stage except in rare cases.
If you have bleeding in early pregnancy and you have associated severe abdominal pain you are at a high risk of miscarriage. In about 40% of cases there is shown to be a fetal abnormality incompatible with life. Unfortunately if a miscarriage has begun, there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Around this stage of pregnancy, you will probably be offered an ultrasound scan. For many women this is the first scan they will have, although earlier scans are possible. During this scan your due date will be confirmed or adjusted. It will also be possible to tell if you are carrying twins. It may be a good time to think about booking antenatal classes.
You can have a similar consultation to that in the NHS if you wish with an experienced private midwife or a consultant obstetrician. In addition you will be offered an ultrasound scan. Women like this because they can see the fetus and hear the heartbeat. This scan is generally performed through the tummy (a transabdominal scan). At this stage you can also have the blood test to check that the fetus does not have a chromosomal abnormality. This is a Non Invasive Prenatal Test, marketed in UK as Harmony or Panorama. This is particularly important if you are more than 35 years old or have previously been pregnant with a baby with chromosomal abnormalities.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street