Weighing in at less than a quarter of an ounce and marginally over an inch in height, the precious life in your womb is now ten weeks old. Congratulations!
Your pregnancy week 10 progress
You have just entered what is commonly referred to as the “fetal period“. Your baby is now swallowing fluid and becoming active with a noticeable amount of kicking. Tissues and organs in your baby’s body are going to begin developing at an accelerated rate. Kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver are now producing red blood cells, replacing the disappearing yolk sac, and are functioning although they still have a lot of growing to do throughout your pregnancy.
Tiny nails and defined fingers and toes are emerging where there was once webbing in between each digit. Also, soft hair like that of a peach is growing on your baby’s body at this point.
Here are a few other development facts:
- Limbs can now bend.
- The contour of the spine is visible through translucent skin.
- Spinal nerves are spreading away from the spinal cord.
- The forehead is in a temporary state of bulging facilitating the forming brain, which sits high on his head measuring half his body’s length.
- Within only a few more weeks your baby’s measurements will more than double.
Your changes to anticipate
Now that you have reached pregnancy week 10, at your next doctor visit you will likely be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Using a Doppler stethoscope (an ultrasound device), your doctor will place the device on your belly and make audible the rapid beating of your baby’s heart. Similar to the sound of a horse galloping, this special moment, is the first out-of-body moment you will share with your baby.
You will want to consider maternity wear near this point. Your uterus was the size of a small pear before you became pregnant and it is now the size of a grapefruit. Among slight weight gain, bloating, and tender breasts, maternity wear options are a case-by-case situation and what is most important is for you to be happy and comfortable, which will mean your baby is happy and comfortable.
Exercise at this point is not very restrictive but it is a good idea to ask your doctor about the right physical activities to participate in. Swimming and walking are most recommended throughout the pregnancy and these are the benefits you will receive for staying active. Exercise sharpens muscle tone, builds strength, and boosts endurance. These three positive attributes will contribute to dealing with having to carry the extra weight you gain, they will reduce the physical stress of labor, and they will ease the transition of getting back to the exercise routines you practiced prior to becoming pregnant.
Your pregnancy week 10 tips
Something to consider at this point is the possibility of infections throughout your pregnancy. Urinary tract infections are the most frequently recorded bacterial infections in pregnant women. Higher than usual levels of progesterone work against your body’s hormone balance by relaxing your urinary tract. This results in slow urine flow and allows bacteria more time to grow.
Intestinal bacteria moving from your rectum to your urethra travel up to your urinary tract and continue to grow. This can lead to a bladder infection called cystisis. Symptoms of this condition include discomfort, a burning sensation when urinating, the need to urinate more often, and lower abdominal pain.
Inform your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Not treating cystisis may lead to a kidney infection and other complications, which could potentially lead to preterm labor. Antibiotics will likely be prescribed and will begin relieving your symptoms within mere days. It is important to complete all of the prescribed antibiotics even if symptoms disappear before completion.
There is also a urinary tract condition called asymptomatic bacteriuria. This infection exhibits no symptoms in 50% of pregnant women. You are tested for this condition at your first doctor’s visit via a urine sample and it is also treated with antibiotics.
Two more conditions to be aware of are bacterial vaginosis and common yeast infections.
The genital tract infection bacterial vaginosis may also be symptom free. If you do have symptoms they will include a thin and light colored discharge with a foul smell and possible irritation near your vagina and vulva. This condition may also lead to preterm labor or even preterm rupture of the amniotic membranes surrounding your baby.
Yeast infections are common in pregnant women and are actually more likely to occur in pregnant women. Microscopic fungi in the Candida family are found in nearly one third of all women and increased estrogen levels attributed to pregnancy increase the fungal growth and yeast, which overwhelms competing microorganisms and leads to the infection. A yeast infection will not harm your developing baby and nor will it pose a serious threat on your baby if the infection is present during labor. Passing through the birth canal, your baby will likely contract a common infection referred to as thrush, which is identified by white patches in your baby’s mouth. This is a common, mild, and easily treated infection.
Featured photo credit: 9 weeks pregnant via americanpregnancy.org