Week 10 pregnant
The foetal heart is dividing into four chambers and can now be heard with a Doppler ultrasound. All of your baby’s organs have developed. Baby’s brain is large and the digestive system is developing.
From the time you are 10 weeks pregnant until term, most of your baby’s changes will be targeted towards growth and maturity. Essentially, they are now a miniature version of how they will be at birth. All of their organs have formed and are being primed to support independent life when they are born close to 40 weeks. The chances of your baby developing a physical deformity after week 10 of pregnancy are reduced. But, it is still important to be very careful throughout the rest of your pregnancy. Other, equally important aspects of their development will still continue to progress throughout the remainder of their gestation.
Why so many questions?
When you are 10 weeks pregnant, you can really see the end of your first trimester in sight. This is thought by many women to be the hardest of the 3 trimesters, simply because the symptoms of early pregnancy can be so draining. Some women feel they can relax a little from week 10, the likelihood of miscarrying is reducing and excitement starts to creep in and you find yourself asking many questions. Is it too early to start buying baby things? Should we tell other people now? Will the baby be okay? How can I possibly become someone’s mother? These and a million other questions will flood your mind from now on and they are completely normal.
Your physical changes this week
When you are 10 weeks pregnant your womb is the size of a grapefruit.
Your waist is thickening a bit more this week and those elasticised pants and skirts are still getting a workout. This is the time when you may be getting a “muffin top” but, instead of it being due to overeating, it’s because of a little muffin on the inside.
No big change on the nausea front - well not just yet. Stick to bland, easy-to-digest foods and encourage your partner to cook if you can’t face doing this yourself.
What was that noise?
You may need to excuse yourself from polite company around this time in your pregnancy. Flatulence, wind, gas - whatever you like to call it, will creep up on you at the least convenient of times. Don’t think there’s anything wrong with you. Having more wind is a common but little discussed symptom of pregnancy. It isn’t helped by some foods though, so avoid those that just add to the problem. Beans, green leafy vegetables, bran and high fibre cereals can all be big offenders.
Your emotional changes this week
You might find yourself becoming more superstitious than usual. Try to balance reality and science with a bit of healthy fun. Most people have their own favourite stories when it comes to sharing their pregnancy and childbirth experiences. Learn to filter what you don’t want to hear.
Dream on. Pregnancy is a time when dreams take on a whole new dimension. They can be very strange, quite frightening and make no sense whatsoever. Avoid analysing them for possible meanings or hidden messages. Dreams are just a means of filtering your subconscious thoughts and getting rid of unnecessary information gathered throughout the day.
You could start mentally organising your work commitments from around week 10. Your entitlements to maternity leave, how long you want to have off work and the practicalities of coping on one wage will occupy some of your thinking time and require some planning.
You may be feeling a bit drab and unattractive around now. You’re still not obviously pregnant but you probably look like you’re carrying some extra weight. Don’t deny yourself simple pleasures which make you feel good. A massage, hairdressing appointment, or a shopping expedition, can all rejuvenate and boost a flagging mood.
Your baby’s changes this week
Time for the usual size comparison with fruit: this week your baby is the size of a prune or a cumquat.
Your baby’s fingers and toes are clearly formed and they are developing finger-and toenails. Your baby can bend its arms at the elbows and is able to flex its wrists.
All of your baby’s vital organs are where they should be by now. For the remainder of the pregnancy, they will continue to mature and develop in preparation for life outside the womb.
Your baby’s kidneys are filtering blood and producing urine. They are also secreting digestive juices in the stomach, getting ready for dealing with the amniotic fluid they’ll be swallowing soon.
If your baby is a boy, his testicles are already doing their thing and producing testosterone, the all-important male sex hormone.
Your baby’s head is still large in proportion to the rest of its body, but from 10 weeks it has a neck and all of the bones in the face are formed. This means that you would be able to see their features much more clearly with an ultrasound at this stage.
A layer of fine hair known as lanugo is now covering your baby’s body. The inner and outer ear, tooth buds and eyes are all fully developed.
Hints for the week
Do some experimenting with herbal teas instead of your usual caffeinated tea and coffee. They are generally better for you and are a pleasant alternative if you are feeling turned off by your usual hot drinks.
Try to increase your milk and calcium intake this week. Your baby’s tooth buds are forming now, so any foods high in this important nutrient will have a positive effect on your baby’s teeth. Try to avoid any infections this week, which may increase your temperature and the risk of problems with your baby’s tooth development.
Keep a supply of snacks on hand for those moments when you’re feeling dizzy. Because of the challenges in eating properly now, your blood sugar could be low at times. Try not to stand up too quickly if you’ve been sitting down for a while. Give your body time to adjust your blood pressure as you stand up.
Week 11 next.