Way to go! You’re at the tail-end of the first trimester at week ten of pregnancy. If you’ve been following us week-by-week, we hope our week nine article addressed questions and concerns about your pregnancy experience so far.
Your baby embryo changes into a fetus within days. Also happening this week: some organs are functioning, with the heart being the most formed. Another exciting development is that your bump is slowly taking shape. Take a moment to observe your abdomen closely – you might notice some rounding as your pregnant belly begins to take shape.
Though so much has happened and you’ve experienced a lot, the most profound changes have yet to come.
Join us for in-depth weekly updates on your baby’s development and progress. We’re talking about pregnancy symptoms, body changes, baby development and everything you need to navigate this new chapter.
Here’s what to expect this week.
At a Glance: Week Ten of Pregnancy
- Your baby boy or girl is the size of a strawberry, measuring approximately 3 to 4 centimetres.
- Your teeny baby bump might have arrived, but don’t worry if it hasn’t – people show at different times for various reasons.
- Are you feeling slightly better? Pregnancy symptoms might start to decrease, thanks to waning levels of hormones in the body. But it’s normal to still feel poor- relief varies.
- The vital organs, the heart, kidneys, and liver, are getting to work.
- You could have an ultrasound by week ten (if not, tick-tock) or feel the afterglow of seeing your unborn child on an ultrasound in the past week.
- If you’re an older mother (over 35), have a family history of genetic disorders or present risk factors, a nuchal translucency screening, an optional antenatal test, might be suggested by your doctor.
- This week might be the time to make small changes to your wardrobe, get more into fitness, and buy bigger bras.
Week Ten Pregnancy Overview
Week ten brings good news for you and your baby.
Your baby is no longer an embryo but a fetus with somewhat functional parts. So what are the differences between an embryo and a fetus?
Your baby starts as an embryo, a short stage of life where rapidly growing cells differentiate and begin forming organs, tissue and body systems. With most parts developing by week ten, your baby develops into a fetus. They continue growing to survive life outside the womb.
As for the mum-to-be, life might not be sunshine and roses yet, but it could be a turning point after a rough week nine.
This week, you might get some reprieve and feel better as pregnancy hormones, which previously reached sky-high levels, gradually reduce.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Ten Pregnancy
Your baby gets bigger and stronger as the weeks pass. Now the size of a strawberry and roughly three to four centimetres long, there’s no stopping your baby! Another growth explosion is coming. Soon, you won’t just feel pregnant but, finally, look it too.
Here’s the latest on your baby’s developing body.
- Last week’s embryo is this week’s fetus – your baby has achieved another developmental milestone! We explained the difference between embryos and fetuses in our week nine article.
- This promotion coincides with some organs assuming their intended roles – the liver starts developing red blood cells, the kidneys will soon produce urine, the tiny stomach is churning out digestive fluids, and the heart, beating twice as fast as the average adult, is working hard and pumping out oxygen-rich blood.
- Your baby’s brain is fast-developing, with the head still looking disproportionately large.
- That said, your baby’s grown into its face. More human-like than ever, they have defined and delicate facial features – upper lip, nose, jaw, developing ears, and other parts. All the seeing parts of the eye are ready to detect light. While the eyelids finish forming by the end of this week, your baby’s eyes will be shut until week 27.
- Becoming increasingly more active, your baby is constantly moving, wriggling and shifting around, clenching their fist, and curling their toes. You won’t feel these movements, though – they’re too small to be consequential.
- All tadpole features are gone, with your baby’s tail disappearing by week nine. This week, its tiny hands and feet, now featuring ten fingers and ten toes, have lost their webbed look.
- Ossification, the process of turning cartilage into bone, starts from week ten and continues for many weeks.
- Your baby now has unique fingerprints and nails covering their tiny fingers.
- If you were to have a clear view of your baby, its spine and growing nerve cells would be visible through translucent skin.
Because every pregnancy is unique, the above description generalises early embryonic development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes for Week Ten of Pregnancy
As you reach the home stretch of the first trimester, there’s some good news – you can expect fewer, less potent pregnancy ailments. That said, however, it’s common for symptoms to stick around until the end of the first trimester.
But we can’t make guarantees. Each woman experiences pregnancy uniquely, and relief could vary.
And while some symptoms might fade from your life altogether, others will come back around again later. Meanwhile, your body is undergoing observable changes, including a thicker waist to fuller boobs.
From body changes to the most common and unique pregnancy symptoms, here’s everything you might expect this week.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
1. Rounder Abdomen
If you’ve already started recording weekly “bump-dates”, you might notice a change to the shape of your lower belly – now slightly rounder than previously.
Normally, your pelvis contains your womb, but as the womb grows bigger and bigger, it fills the pelvis and extends upwards into the lower abdomen. This happens soon.
Can’t see anything but a bloated stomach in the mirror? That’s OK – people show at different times of their pregnancy depending on their body type, whether this is a first pregnancy or not, and other factors.
2. Bigger Uterus
Before becoming pregnant, your uterus was the size of a pear; now, it’s undergone significant growth and will continue to enlarge to accommodate your baby over pregnancy.
3. Bigger, Sore Boobs
Are you struggling to fit your boobs into your bra? Your breasts will increase in size as pregnancy hormones start activating milk production and extra blood flows to your breasts. They might also feel sore, achy and super-sensitive – fortunately, breast pain recedes during the second trimester, so you’ll experience some reprieve soon.
4. Prominent Veins in the Chest, Belly, Hands and Legs
The body experiences an increased blood volume during pregnancy while the number of veins stays the same. The network of blue veins across the chest, belly, hands, and legs work hard – often enlarging and twisting – to keep up with the blood flow.
You might think they’re an ugly sight – but remember the important role these veins play. They deliver nutrients and oxygen to your child! They should fade after you’ve stopped breastfeeding.
5. Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is usually exclusive to the first trimester, although this pregnancy symptom might drag on for longer than expected.
However, some people experience hyperemesis gravidarum, a rare form of debilitating morning sickness that may last throughout pregnancy.
6. Growing Aches and Pains
You may notice some lower abdominal soreness as your belly grows larger and heavier. This discomfort is caused by your abdominal ligaments stretching, becoming thinner, and being pressed down on by your burgeoning bump. These aches and pain may increase over time.
You might be all too familiar with fatigue, having felt it for weeks. The end, for now at least, is near. You’ll regain some energy soon. Unfortunately, you might battle fatigue again as the physical load you’re carrying gets heavier.
8. Sleep Problems and Weird Dreams
Insomnia could affect your sleep even if you feel fatigued. Hormonal changes like rising progesterone levels could be why you’re counting sheep and evading sleep. That, and your active bladder, means you might not get enough rest. Other reasons could be that you’re anxious, stressed and having racing thoughts about the pregnancy.
The above reasons might also contribute to having unusual dreams.
8. Constipation And Heartburn
Feeling blocked up is standard with pregnancy, which you can attribute to progesterone. It slows digestion and can wreak havoc on your bathroom routines.
Pregnancy hormones can also cause heartburn. The lower oesophagal sphincter, a band of muscles that typically open and close, allows food in and keeps stomach juices from flowing out. However, during pregnancy, they might not close properly because of progesterone. With nothing to contain the stomach acid, it can escape and travel upwards.
8. Mood Swings
Moods are still running high, but you’ll soon regain some emotional balance as time goes by.
Week Ten of Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
Some pregnancy symptoms might be clearing, so you can soon stop worrying when the next nausea spell or fatigue might hit.
Here are our top tidbits for week ten of pregnancy if you feel more yourself, along with reminders to continue taking it easy even if you’re better than ever.
Whether you’re struggling to function or feeling well – we’ve included recommendations for everyone.
1. Adjust Your Wardrobe
Not convinced you’re ready for stretchy pregnancy jeans or lower back support belt yet? Our week seven article discussed the best time for maternity wear.
Unfortunately, your regular clothes might not fit well. If that’s the case, it could be time to alter your current wardrobe. Look for clothes that envelop your changing body while offering functionality, comfort, style and support.
Pregnancy wear doesn’t have to be unflattering – there may be countless in-vogue maternity brands.
In addition, you might want to wear looser clothing now if your pregnancy’s a secret. It won’t be long until you have a bump that curious people might talk about.
2. Buy Bigger Bras
Another undeniable truth is about your boobs. They are getting bigger. It could be time to trade your regular bras for a maternity or sports bra. If you’re envisaging plain or milked-stained bras, think again. There is so much variety out there to suit your style, make you feel good about your bountiful cleavage and help you with confidence.
3. Include Exercise In Your Daily Routine
Exercise is crucial for all stages of pregnancy. Moving your body during the very early stages can help relieve pregnancy symptoms that have become part of your daily life.
Working out remains all-important as your pregnancy progresses, but choose safe and moderate exercise over high-intensity workouts!
4. Listen To Your Body
So you’re reading all the baby books, exercising, working flat out at work, and performing household chores. It’s important that you relax and take a step back for self-care.
Making and growing a baby is an all-consuming exercise. Your body doesn’t stop working, even when you’re resting.
While you might want to do everything before the baby comes – see friends, exercise, work extra hard – you need to listen to your body, put your feet up or nap and take the offered support.
Take a look at our Pamper Hamper if you know, or are, a mum to be in need of self-care!
5. Be Wary Of UTIS
UTIS (Urinary Tract Infections) are commonplace during pregnancy.
These are the signs:
- Burning sensation during urination
- The frequent need to urinate but only passing a small amount.
- Cloudy urine.
- Pain or pressure in the lower back and abdomen.
UTIS require prompt treatment and antibiotics. We advise you to get to your doctor ASAP. An untreated UTI can be harmful or life-threatening for the mother and child. They can result in kidney problems for the mother, and low birth weight and pre-term delivery for the child. Sepsis may also affect the mother and the baby.
6. Book A Genetic Screening
Genetic screenings are optional tests performed during pregnancy. While any pregnant person may opt for these tests, doctors may likely recommend them to women presenting risk factors, i.e. anyone over 35 and those with a family history of specific disorders.
The nuchal translucency test, for one, provides a risk assessment for genetic disorders like Down syndrome in a non-invasive fashion. These are usually performed before the first trimester ends.
The Multiple Marker Screen (MMS) is another non-invasive procedure that tests for chromosomal and neural tube defects between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.
If the results of the non-invasive tests indicate a high risk of a particular condition, your doctor might suggest further, more invasive procedures like amniocentesis. An amniocentesis involves sticking a needle through the mother’s abdomen. We discuss these tests more in week 15.
Do I Need An Ultrasound For Week Ten of Pregnancy?
Pregnant women usually have their first ultrasound between weeks eight and 13 of pregnancy, so now’s a prime time to have one.
Here’s a summary of what the appointment could entail:
- ) A series of health tests.
- ) A detailed exploration of your medical background, family history and lifestyle.
- ) A Q&A session where parents-to-be raise questions.
- ) The baby’s size measurement to determine the gestational age and due date.
- ) Confirmation that the baby’s developing appropriately for its approximate age.
- ) The ability to see baby movements and hear their heartbeat on the monitor.
- ) Scheduling for a follow-up in approximately four weeks.
Fun Facts and Myths for Pregnancy Week Ten
- Have you heard the turn of phrase “eating for two”? It’s complete rubbish! While you can indulge your pregnancy cravings sometimes, aiming to double the amount of food you consume for the baby harms your health. As an expectant mother, your body only needs 340 calories extra in trimester one and 450 calories in the third trimester. It’s more accurate to say that you should eat twice as healthily.
- Avoiding sexy time because you’re afraid to hurt the baby? Sex won’t harm the baby and might be exactly what you need to relax. But you may want to explore new positions as your bump gets bigger.
- Did you know? A Doppler is a handheld device used for an ultrasound to monitor your baby’s heart rate. You can buy one online, but be aware that their effectiveness requires further study. Perhaps try this one!
Week Ten of Pregnancy Checklist
- It could be ultrasound week. Have pregnancy questions? Now’s the time to ask them.
- Consider booking a genetic screening if you and your doctor have concerns.
- Still have ongoing symptoms? Hang in there!
- Our pregnancy tidbits include changing your wardrobe, getting new bras, and getting serious about fitness (but don’t overdo it).
- Ready for week eleven? Watch this space!