Understanding your pregnancy: Week 10

Understanding your pregnancy: Week 10

A quick snapshot

From the time you are 10 weeks pregnant until term, most of your baby's changes will be targeted towards their growth and maturity. They are a miniature version of how they will be at birth and all of their organs have formed now. The chances of your baby developing a physical deformity after week 10 of pregnancy are reduced. But it is still important to be 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.

What’s changing in your body

  • When you are 10 weeks pregnant your uterus is the size of a grapefruit and there’s more thickening around your middle.
  • 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 this yourself.
  • You may need to excuse yourself from polite company as flatus, wind, gas or whatever you like to call it, will creep up on you at the most inconvenient times. Having more wind is a common but little discussed symptom of pregnancy. It isn't helped by some foods though, so avoid beans, green leafy vegetables, bran and high fibre cereals as they can add to the problem.

How your emotions are affected

  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • You may be feeling a bit drab and unattractive around now. You're still not obviously pregnant but are probably looking like you're carrying some extra weight. Simple pleasures such as a massage, hairdressing appointment or shopping trip can boost a flagging mood.

How your baby is growing

First Trimester: Week 10Week -10

  • This week your baby is the size of a prune or a kumquat.
  • Your baby's fingers and toes are clearly formed by week 10 and they are developing finger and toe nails. Your baby can bend their limbs at their elbows and flex their wrists.
  • All of your baby's vital organs are where they should be. For the remainder of the pregnancy, they will continue to mature and develop.
  • Your baby's kidneys are filtering blood and producing urine. 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 all-important male sex hormone.
  • Your baby's head is still large in proportion to the rest of their body but from 10 weeks they have a neck and all of the bones in their 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.
  • Keep a supply of snacks on hand for those moments when you're feeling dizzy. Due to the challenges of 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.