From the time you are 10 weeks pregnant until term, most of your baby's changes will be targeted towards their growth and maturity. Essentially, they are a miniature version of how they will be at birth. All of their organs have formed now 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 important developments are still taking place constantly.
When you are 10 weeks pregnant, you can really see the end in sight of your 1st trimester. 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 reduced, and excitement starts to creep in.
Your physical changes this week
- When you are 10 weeks pregnant, your uterus is the size of a grapefruit.
- You can expect more thickening around your middle this week when 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 your little bun in the oven.
- No big news on the nausea; at least not as yet. Keep that ice-cream container handy for when your stomach isn't being too cooperative. Stick with bland, easy to digest foods and encourage your partner to cook if you can't face doing so yourself.
- You may need to excuse yourself from polite company around this time in your pregnancy. Wind or gas… whatever you like to call it, will creep up on you at the least convenient 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 which just add to the problem. Beans, green leafy vegetables, bran and high-fibre cereals can all be main offenders.
Your emotional changes this week
- 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 one means of filtering our overheated brain and getting rid of unnecessary information gathered throughout the day.
- You could start mentally organizing your work commitments from around week 10. Your entitlement 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.
- You might be feeling upset that you don’t look the way you did last year. Many women tend to feel unattractive during this time. You're still not obviously pregnant but are probably looking like you're carrying some extra weight. Don't deny yourself simple pleasures that make you feel good. A massage, hairdressing appointment, a shopping trip, can all rejuvenate and boost a flagging mood. And remember, you are carrying a life inside you and that is beautiful!
Your baby's changes this week
- Time for the usual size comparison with fruit; this week your baby is the size of a prune (dried plum).
- Your baby's fingers and toes are clearly formed by week 10 and they are developing fingers and toenails. Your baby can bend its limbs this week, at its 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 extra-uterine life.
- Your baby's kidneys are filtering their blood and producing urine this week. They are also secreting digestive juices in their stomach, getting ready for dealing with the amniotic fluid they'll be swallowing soon.
- If your baby is a boy, his testicles are producing testosterone, the 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 its 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. Their inner and outer ear, tooth buds and eyes are all fully developed.
Tips for the week
- Do some experimenting with herbal teas in place 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. Be mindful of avoiding infections this week. They 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.