With less than 2 weeks to go for you to be done with the first trimester, there is all the more reason to enjoy and cherish this week. In other news, your baby is continuing to grow rapidly into a more human-like form, with all the organs and tissues are developing faster than you could imagine. By week 10, you might want to give your birth plan a thought; where you would want to have your baby, whether you want a natural home birth or a hospital birth, whether you want to breastfeed or not. These thoughts might seem too early at this point, but when you look back after a year or so of having your baby, you will realize that nothing can prepare you for pregnancy and parenting. No amount is planning is ever enough and if you play your innings well by researching and mapping things out, you will be in a better position to deal with whatever comes your way.
Your Baby At 10 Weeks
Your baby measures a little over an inch now and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce. It is almost the size of a prune by now. Like the previous week in which the vital organs and body parts were still developing, the 10th week also witnesses similar kind of developmental milestones inside the womb. You would be amazed to know that your baby can now swallow the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. It is also kicking about quite a lot but there is still time before you can feel the movements.
His liver takes over the important role of producing red blood cells from the yolk sac. The rest of the organs like kidneys, brain and intestines are also pacing up developmentally, although they will continue to form all through the pregnancy.
Your baby’s webbed fingers and toes are now developing into proper human-like body parts with no webbing in between and tiny nails forming on the tips. Your baby gets its first batch of fuzzy hair in the 10th week and if you could see inside your womb, you would never want to look away from this tiny bundle of unimaginable joy.
Your baby’s skin is still forming and the major organs and body parts are visible from under the translucent skin. The outline of the spinal cord is clearly visible and so are the nerves that stretch out from the cord. Your baby’s head is temporarily bigger in size and measures almost half the length of its body. The developing brain bulges out from inside and is placed very high in the head for now. Its Crown Rump length is around 11/4 inches and you can expect your baby to double in size in the next few weeks.
Its legs will have small indentations in places where bones and cartilage are forming to take the shape of knees and ankles very soon. With both the elbows in place, the arms can now flex and are gradually gaining strength.
With your baby’s kidneys excreting more urine, its intestines producing more digestive juices and if it is a boy, its reproductive system producing more testosterone; the growth is surely accelerated by Week 10.
Your Body At Week 10
Your body is also pacing up in terms of growth and development as much as your baby is. Your uterus is almost the size of a grapefruit by now and that soft roundness that you notice while changing clothes is your uterus firming up inside to accommodate your baby. If you are hesitant to buy maternity clothes right away because it still seems too early, you could get yourself comfortable trousers with elasticised waistbands that will give your midriff more space to stretch out while sitting down or after meals. Low rise waistlines might also be a good idea rather than your usual mid-rise or high-rise pants.
Have you been getting constipated lately? Is your usual bowel system going haywire? Blame your pregnancy hormones yet again as they make your digestive system sluggish and you could find solace in drinking more water and including whole grains and leafy greens to your diet that will help with better digestion. What else is on the cards?
Blue Veins All Over Your Body
To add to all the symptoms that you might already be having, you now have a network of veins all over your body that are visibly busy carrying the extra oxygen produced by your body to nourish your fetus. When you are pregnant, your body produces 40 percent more blood than the usual and the veins need to keep pace with the transportation. This is why the veins not only become more visible but also seem to look larger and bulge out at certain points.
While it is normal to feel stressed out with what your body is undergoing at the moment, you should ideally be proud of how it is preparing itself to look after a fetus. If you are fair-skinned then these veins will look even more prominent.
Morning Sickness Might Wear Off A Little
By week 10, you might start feeling a little better as far as morning sickness is concerned because with pregnancy hormones settling down to an extent could keep your esophagus from flaring up every hour. However, it is recommended that you go easy on your diet and instead of binging on food that might trigger reflux, stick to small, frequent and lighter meals.
You Might Feel Like Exercising Again
Now the morning sickness and fatigue have started wearing off, you have every reason to get back on your feet and build endurance. Start slow and gradually increase your pace of exercise if you have been working out before conception. However, if you are new to exercises, always consider speaking to your doctor about it before starting. Rule out possibilities of a high-risk pregnancy in which case you might be asked to stay away from certain forms of exercises.
Yoga strengthens and builds endurance like none other. If you want to feel better along with looking better in your pregnancy, hiring a yoga instructor or attending classes could help your mind as well as your body. If you have balance issues, avoid the poses that involve professional levels of balancing and skills.
Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked
If you suspect that you might be deficient in Vitamin D, this is the time to get the levels checked because Week 10 is when your baby’s teeth are forming under the gums and you wouldn’t want to risk future cavities. Vitamin D plays a significant role in maintaining bone and teeth health and a maternal deficiency of this hormone majorly impacts fetal development. If you are deficient, you might either be put on supplements or food fortified with Vitamin D, depending on the level of your deficiency.
Like you haven’t had enough of these, the 10th week might not spare you the annoying mood swings you have been having. Coupled with the anxiety of the first trimester’s unpredictability and the pregnancy hormones playing hide and seek with your system, you have every reason to feel happy one minute and sad the very next.
Infections During Pregnancy
Your body’s immune system is not as active during pregnancy as otherwise and this is deliberate so that the growing fetus is not acted upon by your immunity. That makes you more prone to infections of all kinds. Listed below are some of the commonest infections that you must be aware of and let your doctor know right away if the symptoms are present:
1. Urinary Tract Infections
Considered as the most notorious and the commonest infection during pregnancy, a urinary tract infection is most likely to strike when you are least expecting it. Progesterone, the hormone that runs rampant during pregnancy, is responsible for relaxing the muscles of your urinary tract that leads to slow passage of urine. This in turn allows bacteria to have better access to the tract and cause an infection.
The problem with UTI is that it could occur without the general symptoms and is often misdiagnosed as thrush. Asymptomatic bacteriuria is a condition in which bacteria multiply in your urinary tract but you don’t manifest any of the symptoms. This is one of the reasons that at every prenatal visit, your urine sample is sent to the lab to get tested.
UTI is caused by bacteria travelling to your urethra and making its way up to your urinary tract where it multiplies. Your general symptoms will range from pain while passing urine, a burning sensation; urge to pee more often, pelvic pain or discomfort. Your urine will visibly look and smell different; the cloudy appearance and foul smell are enough to trigger an alert. In severe cases, you might also run high fever, have frequent bouts of vomiting and feel light-headed.
UTI left untreated could be potentially harmful for you as well as the baby because this could lead to a bladder infection or even a kidney infection that enhances your chances of preterm labor. After a routine and culture of your urine sample, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics as per the bacteria’s resistance to different strains. You will also be asked to drink more water to flush out the bacteria. You must remember to run the full course of antibiotics and always pee as soon as you need to. Holding urine worsens the situation.
2. Bacterial Vaginosis
This infection occurs in your genital tract and happens because of an overgrowth of bacteria. You may or may not have symptoms in this kind but the usual ones are a thin and milky discharge that has a foul or fishy smell, itching in and around the vulva and vagina and discomfort after sexual intercourse. While you may go months without realizing that you actually have bacterial vaginosis, your chances of having a preterm labor or for your amniotic membranes to rupture are amplified with each passing day.
If there is a history of the infection that runs in your family or if you have had it before, always let your doctors know so that he can send you for a test before things worsen.
3. Yeast Infections
A woman knows more about yeast infections more than a man knows about cars because it usually strikes every woman once in her lifetime. You can have it while pregnant as well as when you are not pregnant, but the side-effects are definitely amplified when you are pregnant. Yeast infections are caused by microscopic fungi of the Candida family. These fungi are normally present in all vaginas but when the growth of the yeast outperforms the growth of other microorganisms thriving in the vagina, an infection occurs.
As per doctors, a pregnant woman is more likely to have a yeast infection because her increased estrogen levels make a perfect environment in the vagina for the yeast to grow and multiply.
While a yeast infection will not hurt your developing baby, it might be uncomfortable for you in pregnancy because the symptoms range from mild to moderate itching that could get quite annoying.
Have You Thought Of Getting Rid Of Your Constipation?
Constipation will be the companion you will not like hanging out with, especially when you are expecting. Curing constipation becomes all the more important now because if you let it be, it might lead to painful fissures and hemorrhoids later. How can you help yourself? You will need to begin by revamping your diet and lifestyle. If you have been avoiding activity, it is time to start moving those limbs to get some exercise. Exercising regularly not only builds strength but also makes you feel better about your growing body in pregnancy. Swimming, brisk walking, aerobics, yoga and simple stretching exercises can help manage your bowel movement to a good extent.
What are the kinds of food that you should stay away from? Bread, cereals, pasta, rice etc belong to the category of refined food that can wreak havoc on your system. You should ideally stay away from these as much as possible although a cheat day is allowed once a week if your cravings get the better of you.
What are the kinds of food that you should have? Always include food high in fiber. Whole grains, dried fruits, leafy greens and lightly cooked vegetables are perfect solutions to your constipation issues.
If after proper exercises and dietary changes, your constipation refuses to go, it is essential that you speak to your doctor about it. He or she might recommend laxatives that are safe to be taken in pregnancy. It is advisable that you do not take over the counter medication for any health condition in pregnancy because you can never be sure of the ingredients.
Bring Your Plans Together At 10 Weeks
If you haven’t thought of a birth plan, now is the time. However early it might sound the one thing constant about pregnancy and parenting is how you can never be prepared enough to deal with what comes your way. Having a plan in place is always advisable. You could start thinking about your birthing options; whether you would want a home birth or a natural birth in the hospital, whether you want a doctor to attend you or are you looking at hiring a midwife.
Along with these questions, consider the cost of everything while planning at 10 weeks of pregnancy. However, if these plans tend to jeopardize your peace of mind, you can postpone them for a few weeks till your first trimester is over and you have got rid of all the annoying symptoms like morning sickness, food aversions etc.
You and your partner can start listing out your priorities before the baby is born, for example, the financials to begin with. You should ideally have a budget in place for everything, ranging from the hospital expenses, the crib, the cot mobile, baby gear, baby clothes, formula if you need and baby monitors if you do not plan to co-sleep. Whenever you plan about these things, always remember to be practical. Newborn clothes in the store can look utterly cute but buying a dozen does not make sense because babies outgrow clothes faster than you can imagine. Invest in things that will probably last longer, like the crib. If you are planning to use cloth diapers, you could start checking out websites that sell them and start stocking as and when you come across likeable prints and designs because the good ones tend to be sold out pretty soon.
If you stay in an area that might not be child-friendly, you could consider relocation. While it sounds doable, there is a lot involved in a decision like that. If you can bag a job elsewhere, there is still the consideration of a house and the amenities. If relocation is on your mind with due respect to schooling, childcare provisions etc, it’s best to start right away.
What Else Could Be On Your Mind This Week?
As your clothes start getting more uncomfortable, you might want to switch to maternity clothes or bigger sized clothes at least. To begin with, your growing breasts will need more support and there is nothing like a maternity bra to give it to you. Gone are the days when maternity bra would mean boring and monotonous wear. With young and educated mums realizing the importance of looking good to feel happy while pregnant, there is a whole new market that has opened up catering to women who want to invest in stylish maternity wear. The branded stores have sales associates who can help you in matters of sizing. Like baby clothes, do not buy more than a couple at a time because your breasts will continue to grow in pregnancy and you might need an upgrade in a couple of months.
How Can You Help Your Spouse In The 10th Week Of Pregnancy?
When your spouse is 10 weeks pregnant, the best thing that you could possibly gift her is good sleep. By ensuring that there is pin-drop silence when she is napping, you are not only keeping her happy but also helping the pregnancy. You could put a note on the door to request people not to ring the doorbell and if you have older kids, you could take them out while she gets a well-deserved sleep.
Always accompany her to a doctor’s appointment unless she specifically asks you not to. Not only will this make her feel more secure but will also help you feel closer to this pregnancy. Nothing quite like watching a tiny human inside the womb kicking about or hearing heartbeats while skipping your own, is there?
Learn to identify her mood swings. She is already dealing with them and the only you could help her here is to identify and adjust. If sex has been on your mind lately and she is not willing to indulge, communicate with her to clear the doubts. She could be conscious of how her body might appear to you and if that is the reason, now is the time to make her feel loved like never before.
If she has been missing the drunken date-nights, you could get her a bottle of club-soda instead of alcohol and let her make the best of it with her girlfriends.
The 10th week of pregnancy might make you a little apprehensive of what the future holds because you are almost at the brink of finishing the first trimester. Always ask your doctor the red flags for every week so that you know ahead in time what all to expect and what not to expect. You can start planning your maternity leave in advance, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy and if the doctor feels that you might need to take it sooner than you had planned. Like every other week, remembering to take your prenatal vitamins, eating well and bonding with your baby by speaking to him or her will see you through the 10th week of pregnancy.