Your baby this week
11 weeks pregnant

Ideas & advice

Many hospitals offer free or low-cost classes or lectures about various aspects of pregnancy and childbirth -- including birth preparation classes. Contact the women's health department of your local hospital to find out what is available in your area.

maternity clothes

Ask the expert

Kari asks: "From what I have heard from other people at my job, my boss looks down on pregnant women. So I'm wondering: what can I wear to keep my pregnancy hidden for as long as possible until I'm ready to share the news?"

Our expert answers: "What's great about the options available for the pregnant woman today is that there is no need to change your current fashion style. There are so many maternity selections available that are sure to make your transition to pregnancy seamless -- or, if you desire, hidden (or, at least, not very obvious) for as long as possible. Options range from the very basic tee shirt and jeans to the more trendy bootleg pants, wild print tops and, yes, even spaghetti strap dresses and tops!"

To read more about trying not to show too soon, click here!

In the know

The mucus plug is the thick mucus that seals off the cervix (the opening to the uterus). You will "lose your plug" near or during labor. It will probably look like heavy mucus mixed with red blood, and suggests a softening of the cervix.

Want to know more (and more) pregnancy definitions? Come across a word you're not familiar with? Click here to visit our Pregnancy Dictionary.

From the boards

Jen wonders about pregnancy symptoms:

"What symptoms are you having? Not a ton here. My first clue was breaking out. I break out terribly in early pregnancy. Was nauseous in the afternoons for a few days... that's my normal morning sickness time, too. Starting to get sore boobs, only when touched, though. I started to get some wicked lower back pain earlier today. I googled it and read that it's a normal thing -- something about a spike in progesterone causes the disks in the back to soften. Here's hoping these are all good signs!"

In the know

What should your hCG levels be for the different stages of early pregnancy? The levels of beta-hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) vary widely at different stages of pregnancy. This hormone prolongs the lifespan of the corpus luteum as well as stimulates production of progesterone. This is also the hormone pregnancy tests (blood and urine) detect.

Want to know more? Click here to read what Obstetrician/Gynecologist David Barrere has to say on the subject.

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