By the 10th week of pregnancy, you are almost at the end of your first trimester. Your baby is now around 3 centimetres tall from head to bottom, weighs 6 grams and is only about the size of a small apricot.
Your baby at 10 weeks
They are very active and you should be able to see them make jumpy movements on the ultrasound. The arm joints are well developed and the bones and cartilages are forming. There’ll also be some hair on their head and tiny fingernails on all fingers and toes.
Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly at this point. Their forehead will have a temporary bulge, which will sit very high on their head. The head will also measure about half the total length of his body. If you’ve decided to have some first-trimester genetic testing, then this is a perfect time. Genetic testing is an optional procedure and you will need the help of a genetic counsellor to help you decide what to test for based on your family history and risk factors.
Your body at 10 weeks
By this time, you likely still don’t look pregnant, but you might have gained a few kilograms already. If you are pregnant with twins, you will have to gain about 0.5 kilograms every week throughout the first trimester. By the time you are 10 weeks pregnant, you should have gained an extra 4.5 kilograms.
Here are some of the symptoms you can expect this week:
- Heartburn and bloating: When you are pregnant, your digestive system slows down significantly. This will make you feel gassy often or have indigestion and heartburn. You shouldn’t worry too much about it, though, as this is all very normal.
- Morning sickness: Your morning sickness will likely still be present by the 10th week.
- Fatigue: Your body is working overtime to provide everything the baby needs to grow. This means you will have very little energy to spare.
- Visible veins: You will notice these all over your body, especially on your arms and legs, as blue streaks. They are an indication that lots of extra blood is circulating in your body to aid in the growth of your baby.
- Mood swings: Your body’s hormones are still on overdrive, so don’t expect your mood swings to go away any time soon.
- Larger breasts: The hormone progesterone is kicking your milk ducts into high gear and this will make your breasts tender and your bras tight. Expect this to ease up a bit in the second trimester, before picking up again right before birth.
- Increased vaginal discharge: You may notice more vaginal discharge than before. This is caused by higher hormonal levels and increased blood supply in your system. This discharge is called leucorrhea. It is clear to milky-coloured, and is usually almost odourless. It will appear whitish or slightly yellowish on your underwear or liners.
- Cravings and aversions: At 10 weeks, it is normal to badly want a certain type of food or even to strongly dislike a particular food. These cravings and aversions might stick with you throughout the pregnancy or go away on their own.
- Cramps: The cramps will feel a lot like period pains as the foetus settles in into the walls of the uterus. Spotting may also occur. However, if you notice any excess bleeding, see your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.
- Excess saliva: You may also produce more saliva than usual. This usually goes hand in hand with nausea. Chewing sugar-free gum will help you deal with this as it gives you a way to swallow the excess saliva without the gross factor that would otherwise come with it.
Taking care of yourself during this time
Booking a date of delivery usually happens between weeks eight and 12. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common during pregnancy and you become more prone to them as the pregnancy progresses. Let your doctor know if you have pain when urinating or if you have a constant urge to pee, lower abdominal pain, or cloudy and foul-smelling urine.
If you feel like you have been focusing too much on the pregnancy, or it has been stressing you or getting you too excited, you might want to turn your attention towards things you can control. For example, 10 weeks can be a fun time to start taking those belly pics, or start planning a maternity photo shoot. It will be fun to look back on these photos to see how things change week by week.
Also, it’s never too early to invest in a good maternity or nursing bra. Although your boobs will stop feeling sore by the second trimester, you’ll be grateful for extra support as they continue to grow along with your belly.