Each week of your pregnancy brings in new surprises, both good and not-so-good as well. Your 10th week of pregnancy will mark the beginning of the third month of your pregnancy as well as the last month of the first trimester. Your baby moves into the fetal stage of development and will no longer be referred to as an embryo. This article will highlight the changes you and your baby will undergo during the 10th week of your pregnancy.
Changes your baby goes through in the 10th week of pregnancy
Your baby will be about 3 cm long during this phase of pregnancy. Two of the most significant changes that occur in your baby during the 10th week of your pregnancy are bone formation and the development of teeth within the gums.
At this phase, your baby will be the size of a strawberry or prune and the features and outline of your baby will be more evident due to bone and cartilage formation. An ultrasound will be able to show prominent knees and elbows. Tissue formation will also be more evident at this stage. Fingers and toes can also be seen on ultrasound.
An interesting fact is that several organs will start functioning internally too. This includes the kidneys, digestive system in addition to the heart which has been beating since the end of the first month of your pregnancy.
What are the changes that your body will go through in the 10th week of pregnancy?
Between the 8 – 10th week of pregnancy, your baby bump will become more prominent. Based on your structure, the size of your bump will differ from other moms-to-be at a similar stage in pregnancy. Your bump will become pronounced in your lower abdomen and will increase upwards from there as your pregnancy progresses.
It is also important to keep in mind, that for some women, their baby bump may not be visible even at 10 weeks of pregnancy, and this too is completely normal.
Some of the common symptoms and signs that can be associated with your pregnancy thus far include:
- Abdominal and pelvic pain: With your growing abdomen experiencing pain in your pelvic region is relatively common. This is due to the ligaments that are attached to your uterus are stretching which is resulting in the lower abdominal and back pain.
- Bowel changes: As soon as you received your positive pregnancy test you might have experienced changes in your bowel movements. The most common one would be “morning sickness.” This occurs due to the action of progesterone on your bowel. This causes the digestive system to be sluggish resulting in nausea and constipation. As a result of the slowing of the bowel movement, women can also experience bloating and general discomfort.
- Mood changes: The constant surge of hormones during your pregnancy can result in fluctuations in your mood. It is possible to observe yourself crying for no apparent reason. In contrast, during the other days, you might experience happiness and general feelings of elation.
- Network of visible veins: There is a surge in the blood flowing around your body. This causes a general increase in the size of the veins, including the superficial ones, that is carrying this blood. This increased blood that is coursing through your body, can be seen on the surface of your skin. These subside following pregnancy.
- Changes in breast size: Your breasts will steadily increase in size during your pregnancy. You may also experience tenderness and slight pain in your breasts.
- Vaginal discharge: While common during regular menstrual cycles, experiencing increased vaginal discharge is commonplace during pregnancy. This is due to the increase in blood flow to the vagina, which results in an increase in fluid secretion within the vagina.
What can I do to experience some relief from my pregnancy symptoms?
Your body is working at a heightened pace during your pregnancy. This means your metabolism and nutritional requirements are all increased during pregnancy. Some simple ways to tackle pregnancy symptoms would be:
- Drink plenty of water. This curbs dehydration and helps with constipation.
- Stock up on fiber, in the form of fruits, veggies, and cereals. These also help with bowel movements.
- Attempt light activity on a daily basis. Previously active women can continue with their exercise regime throughout pregnancy. This helps to reduce joint aches, makes joints more flexible and also helps with bowel movements.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep every day.
- Consume small meals. With nausea, it is often difficult to eat anything at all. Go to the foods that make you feel good. Avoid large meals that can sit in your tummy for extended periods of time. Snack on fruit, crackers or nuts, whatever helps with your nausea.
- Increase your daily dose of vitamin D. Getting some sunlight daily is a simple way to do this. This helps with the bone and teeth development your baby is going through at this phase.
What are the specific tests that I will have to do during the 10th week of my pregnancy?
You will go in for a routine ultrasound test during this time. During this ultrasound, your doctor will check for the nuchal translucency (NT) in your baby. This checks the folds of skin in your baby’s neck. It is a preliminary test to identify chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome.
Following this, a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), which analyzes fetal DNA in the maternal blood also helps to assess chromosomal abnormalities that are underlying causes for conditions such as Down Syndrome. These tests can be followed up by more invasive and confirmatory tests such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis during the subsequent weeks of pregnancy.
What is the risk of a miscarriage during the 10th week of pregnancy?
Most, about 80% of pregnancies miscarry during the first trimester. Most of these occur in the 5th week of pregnancy. Which, in most cases, is even before a woman receives a positive pregnancy test. The rate steadily drops as you progress through your pregnancy. Around the 10th week of pregnancy, the risk of miscarrying is about 2 – 5%.
Also Read: Miscarriage: Things You Need to Know
Each woman’s pregnancy journey is different from the other. Some do not have many evident signs and symptoms, while other women may experience a few bumps along the road during their pregnancy. The key is to be in tune with your body and attempt to figure out the changes that your body is undergoing and the requirements to make your journey more comfortable.
Follow up with your gynecologist on a regular basis. Take your prenatal vitamins and well as additional supplements recommended by your doctor. If anything is unbearable and cannot be treated with simple home remedies, visit your gynecologist immediately. Keep a record of any new symptoms and feel free to ask any number of questions that you have relating to your pregnancy.