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Pregnancy At Week 11

Pregnancy At Week 11

The first trimester is full of excitement, anticipation and most likely, research. Simply knowing more about the natural processes at work can make the whole experience a lot less stressful. Below is a detailed description of what to expect during week 11 of your pregnancy.

What’s happening with your baby?

During week 11 of pregnancy your baby is about 1 1/2 inch long – about the size of a lime! Your baby is almost fully formed now, and definitely has the distinct look of a human. What might have looked like a little jelly bean or tad pole, now stretches, kicks and rolls around like an synchronized swimmer.

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Her hands will open soon and there are distinct individual fingers and toes present on your little one’s appendages. No more webbed frog feet! There are little teeth buds forming underneath her gums and her nail beds are beginning to develop. It’s too early at this point to determine whether your child is a boy or a girl, but in week 11 testes will be forming for boys and ovaries for girls.

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    What’s happening with you?

    By pregnancy week 11 many women experience a slight reprieve from the tough early weeks of pregnancy. You might have some more energy as nausea may subside. Though just as the nausea wears off, it’s common to begin experiencing issues on the other end of things. Constipation is a normal symptom of pregnancy with all of the hormonal shifts that your body is undergoing. You also might be enduring heartburn. Again, this is a side effect of hormonal shifts in your body that are causing different areas of your body to relax and sometimes that can get uncomfortable.

    During pregnancy at week 11 you may be able to see the beginnings of your slight baby bump. For some women the bump is clear, other women just look like they’re waddling out of a successful Sunday buffet experience and still other women are rocking washboard flat abs. Everyone shows differently and at different times.

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    Most women have gained between 2-5 pounds by this point in the pregnancy, but don’t stress if your numbers aren’t exactly within that range. Trying to eat food that is nutrient dense is all you should really be focused on. Don’t go crazy and “eat for two” because you’re body honestly only needs about 300 more calories a day than you did when you weren’t pregnant. That can be as much as a small snack. I’m talking an apple with peanut butter. I used my pregnancy as an excuse to eat two bagels with cream cheese and call it a snack. I would not advise this approach. It’s really not the best thing for you or the baby.

    What to do this week!

    Pregnancy is long, but it goes faster than you might think. This week should be a week to slow down and enjoy where you are in your pregnancy. It can be tempting to want to fast forward until you’re holding that sweet little baby, but it’s important to use the time you have to prepare yourself for all the changes ahead. This week take some time for yourself and reflect.

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    If you haven’t already, begin a pregnancy journal. You can simply use a blank journal where you record your thoughts, feeling, goals, and hopes. This can also be a good place to compile the never ending To-Do list that will begin forming in your mind. There are also plenty of prepared fill-in-the-blank pregnancy journals that will provide a more guided reflection time, if you are more interested in that.

    There are countless changes in your life during pregnancy. Your body becomes a mysterious roller coaster ride that pretty much calls all the shots without any consideration of your routine or plans. Your hormones are shifting like the tides and one day you might feel on top of the world, and the next day it will seem like your life is in shambles. Plus, there are all of the physical things to prepare. A registry to compile, a nursery to decorate and endless articles and books to read about parenting, breast-feeding, labor and birth. It can be overwhelming to say the least.

    So use pregnancy at week 11 to begin a practice of reflection and processing. Developing a practice of reflection every week will help you stay ahead of all the crazy changes. Without stopping to process the changes of your past week or to think about your plans for the next week, pregnancy can barrel over you and take control of your mind and emotions. So start this week, and begin a practice that will transform your pregnancy into a beautiful and transformative season of life.

    Featured photo credit: Vanessa Porter via flickr.com

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    Emily Myrin

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    Published on January 30, 2019

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

    The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

    According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

    This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

    Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

    This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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    The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

    Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

    What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

    Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

    1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

    Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

    Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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    As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

    2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

    However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

    Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

    When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

    3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

    This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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    I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

    Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

    4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

    No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

    Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

    5. Don’t keep score or track time.

    At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

    In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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    The Bottom Line

    To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

    The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

    But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

    On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

    Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

    Reference

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