10 weeks pregnant
At 10 weeks pregnant your baby is about three centimetres long. You might have noticed a very slight rounding of your abdomen, more visible veins on your breasts and stomach, and feel very, very tired. Despite the exhaustion, you should be beginning to feel a bit more ‘together’ yourself as you get used to being pregnant and you approach the end of the first trimester, even if you’re not quite over the morning sickness and other early pregnancy symptoms just yet.
Pregnancy symptoms in week 10
The pregnancy hormones are still raging and the weird and wonderful symptoms of pregnancy continue apace in week 10:
Higher-than-normal levels of progesterone can make your skin both drier and spottier than usual. You may also notice red spidery marks called ‘spider naevi’, which are caused by oestrogens dilating the small blood vessels. Don't worry – they will fade when you have your baby, though the bad news is you’ll probably have some lovely stretch marks to take their place by then.
Compare notes with other mums-to-be at your stage on the pregnancy Talk forums.
You may find your vision is a little blurred because pregnancy makes the outer layer of your eye – the cornea – get thicker. This is largely due to the extra fluid you’re retaining. If this persists or you feel dizzy or otherwise ‘not right’ do see your doctor, as occasionally blurred vision can be a sign of something more sinister.
You may notice more vaginal discharge than usual around this time. It should be clear and odourless, and due largely to the increase in blood flow, coupled with an increase in oestrogen.
You can thank your changing hormones, including increases in progesterone and oestrogen, for these. Such fun. They are, however, completely normal, so don't worry about the ups and downs too much, just hold on as you ride that rollercoaster – the second trimester is usually a smoother ride.
Round ligament stretching
As your belly grows to accommodate your baby, you might experience a little discomfort in your lower pelvis, a bit like muscle cramping. This is because the ligaments around your uterus are stretching. It's totally normal, and not all women experience this, but if you feel any intense pain, do see your doctor.
What size is the baby at 10 weeks?
At 10 weeks your baby is 3.1cm, about the size of a prune, and weighs around 4g.
How is your body changing at 10 weeks pregnant?
You will have missed your second period by now, so the whole pregnancy lark seems that bit more real. Your womb is about the size of a grapefruit and you may even be able to feel it just behind your pubic bone.
Have a close look in the mirror and you may already notice that your belly is rounding out, though you probably couldn’t call it a ‘bump’ just yet. You might also notice that the veins on your boobs and tummy are more visible now, due to the extra blood flow they’re carrying.
You may well be feeling pretty rubbish at this stage. Tiredness can be at its worst at 10 weeks. It's an entire body-drooping fatigue that spreads from your feet up through your whole body and is almost pleasantly overwhelming. (We did say ‘almost’.) You can't fight it, so lie down, embrace it, and perhaps get the baby names book out while you're still awake.
Obviously, if you have other children or a job then you probably won't be able to give in to it quite as much as you’d like. Sorry. But don’t be afraid to ask for 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 can be due to medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid so mention it to your doctor if you feel it really isn’t improving in a few weeks or is so debilitating you’re not coping.
Headaches are common in pregnancy and if you’ve previously suffered migraines, unfortunately, they can get worse when you’re pregnant. If this happens see your doctor for advice about ways to relieve them.
More ordinary headaches are common until around 12 weeks but can be helped by drinking plenty of water to ensure you’re properly hydrated and getting plenty of rest – like you need any more reasons to have a sneaky kip.
Your baby at 10 weeks
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 (known as the ‘pinna’) is growing fast.
She still has a large head with a big bulge at the front where the brain is growing but is developing in many more ways this week:
- Muscles are taking shape in her face that will later allow her to suck, and tiny teeth are already forming in the gums, though they probably won't come through until she’s about six months old. She already has nostrils and the beginning of lips, too.
- Your baby is starting to move in response to touch and movement, say if the amniotic fluid that surrounds her ripples across her skin, or if she brushes her hand against her face or body.
- Your baby's internal organs, such as her liver and pancreas, are coming along nicely.
- Her heart is fully formed by week 10, too, and beating at a rate of 180 beats per minute.
- All things ‘digestive’ are making big changes this week. Her stomach is growing and becomes joined to her mouth, which already has a tiny tongue with primitive taste buds.
- The intestines part of the gut gets too big for your baby's abdomen this week and is pushed into the umbilical cord, but it soon comes back in. The intestines are 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, she will use this movement to push fluid through her gut.
- She’s already practising swallowing and soon she will start to swallow some good mouthfuls of the amniotic fluid (a clearish, lukewarm, yellow fluid made by the placenta, which cushions the baby as you move around).
- The spinal cord – the long column of nerves that runs down the length of her back – can just about be seen now and her brain is creating brain cells at a rate of 250,000 a minute. Yes, a quarter of a million a minute. How thick do you feel right now?
- This week your baby's diaphragm develops. This is a sheet of muscle shaped like a leaf, which separates the chest from the abdomen. The baby’s lungs start off growing next to their stomachs but, as their lungs grow, this diaphragm divides the body into a space for the lungs and a space for the stomach and bowels. Once this happens, if her diaphragm is irritated in some way, she’ll be able to get hiccups. You won't notice them now, but when she’s bigger you’ll see your bump jerking as she hiccups. They can even be violent enough to wake you up at night.
- At 10 weeks her fingers and toes are starting to develop fingernails and she will even have her own unique set of fingerprints.
- The hair follicles on her head are growing but she won’t have any proper hair for a while.
Things to think about during week 10 of pregnancy
Things are hotting up now. If you haven’t already had your booking in appointment, that will definitely be happening soon and you could be having your 12-week ultrasound scan any time from this week, so there’s plenty to think about.
Food for thought
Now that a bit less nausea and vomiting is hopefully on the horizon, it’s time to think about ensuring your diet is the best it can be. Of course, you know what's healthy eating during pregnancy – this is just a reminder to start eating those things and also to brush up on foods to avoid as well as the rest of the pregnancy dos and don’ts.
You can probably guess what's on the 'eat more of these' list but here it is anyway:
- Wholewheat pasta – full of carbs to keep your energy up and good with roasted vegetables or pesto.
- Not just any old fruit and vegetables but particularly fibrous ones such as apples, plums, peaches, bananas, avocados, blueberries, artichokes, peas, broccoli, cabbage and sprouts, all of which will help you avoid the dreaded constipation.
- For omega 3s, which are great for helping babies develop their central nervous systems, eat walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds or use rapeseed oil in your cooking. You can also eat oily fish, though it's best to limit this to twice a week, as some fish can contain chemicals you don't want to eat too much of – a 140g portion of any oily fish such as salmon or tuna (canned) is fine.
- Wholemeal bread (filling, satisfying and fibrous).
- Yoghurt, as long as it's pasteurised.
- Chicken and other lean white meat.
- Eggs, which are high in protein. Check they are stamped with the lion mark and you can then even eat them runny!
- A juicy steak. Sometimes in pregnancy, you've just got to have one, but do make sure it’s well cooked as undercooked meats can harbour toxoplasmosis.
- Salads made from leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, rocket and chard. Opt for romaine lettuce over iceberg (which has little nutritional value), and ensure bagged salads are washed really thoroughly and take care with anything pre-mixed in a mayonnaise-type dressing, particularly if it's been sitting out for a while.
Get a new bra
Your breasts may still be tender at week 10 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. It's worth getting measured every six to eight weeks – there's some pretty amazing engineering going on there so decent ‘scaffolding’ is worth investing in.
Women used to be told not to wear underwiring in pregnancy but as long as nothing is digging in you'll be fine. Don't forget you'll need a nursing bra after your baby is born, too, so it's worth having a browse of those while you're in the shop.
I've had awful nausea but am managing as best I can by eating little and often, and am getting better at knowing what to eat. I'm also on the sofa at every opportunity!
Twinges (period-type cramps, sharp pains, and odd tugging sensations) are all normal.
Have been sleeping most evenings when I get in from work and having to get up at least once in the night for a wee.
I'm 10 weeks and don't have many symptoms yet. Bloating in the evening and more tired than usual, that's all.
It's only natural to feel crap and frustrated at feeling so rough all the time and at not being able to do stuff. Crying is probably a result of this and complete hormone overload (sad films are a complete no-go here). I think the best thing to do is just let it go and take care of yourself. Housework can wait.