From the time you are 10 weeks pregnant, 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 – only much smaller of course.
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 ultra 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 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 reducing and excitement starts to creep in. Is it too early to start buying baby things? Should we tell other people now? Will the baby be ok? 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
- You don’t miss out on being compared again with a piece of fruit this week, or to be more exact, your uterus doesn’t. When you are 10 weeks pregnant your uterus is the size of a grapefruit.
- No big news on the nausea front I’m afraid, well not just yet. Keep that ice-cream container handy for when your stomach isn’t being too cooperative. Stick with easy to digest foods and encourage your partner to cook if you can’t face doing this yourself.
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 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. 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.
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 by week 10 and they are developing finger and toe nails. 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 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 is 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 Week 10
- 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.