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10 weeks pregnant

Your baby at 10 weeks

Foetus at 10 weeks pregnant

By week 10 of pregnancy, your baby's face is broad, with her eyes still quite far apart and her ears set low, although the outer bit (the pinna) is growing.

She is developing the muscles in her face that will let her suck and teeth buds, which won't be useful for a while. She has nostrils and the beginning of lips.

  • It's thought that babies move in response to movements in the amniotic fluid that surrounds them - ripples in their own swimming pool - and also when they touch themselves, say if they brush their hand against their face or body.
  • Your baby's internal organs, such as her liver and pancreas, are coming along nicely. The intestines part of the gut gets too big for your baby's abdomen and is pushed into the umbilical cord. It soon comes back in. Her stomach is growing and becomes joined to her mouth, which already has a tiny tongue that is developing taste buds. 
  • Your baby's intestines are already a hollow tube, which starts moving by tightening up the muscle walls on the outside of the tube and then relaxing them. When your baby's born and starts drinking, she will use this movement to push fluid through her gut. She will start practising to swallow now. Soon she will swallow some good mouthfuls of the amniotic fluid (a clearish, lukewarm, yellow fluid made from the placenta, which cushions the baby as you move around) in the womb. The intestines have to cope with this, which they do very well, as 60-70% of the protein in amniotic fluid is digested every day.
  • Your baby's spinal cord - the long column of nerves that runs down the length of her back - can just about be seen now. The brain will be forming brain cells at a rate of 250,000 a minute. (Yes, a quarter of a million a minute.)
  • During this time your baby's diaphragm develops. This is a sheet of muscle shaped like a leaf, which separates the chest from the abdomen. In foetuses, the lungs start off right next to their stomachs but, as their lungs grow, this leaf-shaped muscle grows into the middle of the body and divides the body into a space for the lungs and a space for the stomach and bowels. Once this happens, your baby can get hiccups if her diaphragm is irritated in some way. You won't notice them now, but when your baby is bigger her hiccups will take over your life... or at least wake you up as soon as you drop off.
  • At 10 weeks her fingers and toes are starting to develop fingernails and fingerpads that will have their own unique set of prints.
  • The hair follicles are growing but she will not have hair for a while.

How your body is changing at 10 weeks

You will have missed your second period by now, so pregnancy may be becoming even more real. Women experience pregnancy in quite individual ways, but you may have some of the following:

  • Tiredness Your tiredness may be the worst it has been. It's an entire body-drooping fatigue that spreads from your feet up through your whole body and is almost pleasantly overwhelming. You can't fight it, so lie down and embrace it. Of course, if you have other children or a job then you probably won't be able to. Sorry. But if this is the case, get some help from friends or family. No one knows what causes this mind-numbing exhaustion but good guesses include progesterone (known to make you sleepy) and the increase in effort from having a raised blood volume and metabolic rate. Rarely, tiredness is due to medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid gland so mention it to your doctor. 
  • Headaches Headaches are common in pregnancy and if you get migraines, unfortunately they can get worse. If this happens see your doctor. More ordinary headaches can last until 12 weeks but can be helped by rest. If they're bad, tell your doctor.
  • Tender breasts Your breasts will still be tender and they will definitely be bigger. Don't try to cram them into your usual bra and, if you buy new ones, do bear in mind that the size your breasts are now will not be the same as their size at the end of the pregnancy. You'll need a nursing bra after your baby is born.
  • Skin Your skin may be drier and spottier because of the pregnancy levels of progesterone. You may also get red spidery marks called spider naevi, which are caused by oestrogens dilating the small blood vessels. They will fade when you have your baby.
  • Your eyes Your vision may be a little blurred because pregnancy makes the outer layer of your eye - the cornea - get thicker. This is largely due to retained fluid.

What to eat

Of course you know what's healthy eating during pregnancy - this is a reminder to start eating it. In pregnancy you don't eat for two, but you eat with your baby in mind. You can guess what's on this list but here it is anyway:

  • Pasta - good with roasted vegetables or pesto.
  • Not just any old fruit and vegetables but especially fibrous ones eg apples, plums, peaches, bananas, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts (OK, maybe just at Christmas).
  • Oily fish as they contain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are great for helping babies develop their central nervous systems. But oily fish can contain dioxins, chemicals which are not so good for babies. Limited to twice a week, a 140g portion of any oily fish such as salmon or tuna (canned) is fine.
  • Wholemeal bread (filling and satisfying and fibrous).
  • Yoghurt as long as it's pasteurised.
  • Chicken and other white meat.
  • Eggs, but cook them properly.
  • A juicy steak (sometimes in pregnancy you've just got to have one).
  • Salads, but stick with leafy ones.



Pregnancy Encyclopedia book coverIllustrations taken from The Pregnancy Encyclopedia, £25, published by DK.

Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.

Last updated: 4 months ago