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10 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect
What’s it like?
Week 10 marks a milestone in your baby’s development. Though she’s barely the size of a kumquat and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. All the baby’s cells are in place, and the major organs and brain are growing rapidly. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.
For you, the same pregnancy signs – headaches, fatigue, morning sickness, bloating, constipation and gas will probably continue this week. Not to worry – most will ease up as you enter the beginning of your second trimester.
Your baby’s growth
- Body size
The fetus, which means “the little one”, reaches about 1.20 inches (30 millimeters) or more this week, and growing rapidly – almost double of last week.
- Head characteristics
As the spinal cord straightens, your baby’s head starts to distinguish itself from the chest. The ears, upper lip and nose begin to take recognizable shape. The nerve cells from the brain branch out, connecting with each other, and your baby’s head begins to bulge with her expanding brain. Also, the brain grows rapidly this week: about 250 thousand neurons are produced every minute.
- Body appearance
Your baby has started to look less of an alien, and more baby-like! Your baby’s toes and fingers are still webbed, although they continue to lengthen. The fists, elbows and ankles are already visible, and he or she is able to bend them. Your baby can cross their arms, and their feet may be long enough to touch in front of their body.
- Internal organs
Your baby’s vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver— are in place and starting to function, though they’ll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy. The genitals continue to develop, although they are still not defined enough for the obstetrician to reveal your baby’s sex. This week, your baby starts producing sex hormones: testosterone for boys, and estrogen for girls.
What happens inside your body?
You may be overly familiar with the typical trimester pregnancy symptoms – morning sickness, headaches, fatigue, bloating, constipation, and gas, but around this time, some women experience two more: abdominal cramps and back pain. Both result from your fast expanding uterus, which is pressing on your spine and nearby organs.
Abdominal cramps are perfectly normal during this stage of the pregnancy. To ease the pain or discomfort, you can try a warm hot water bottle or warm baths, (not hot, which can harm to baby), or a prenatal massage. If they are frequent, extremely painful and accompanied by bleeding, seek immediate medical help.
As your muscles adjust to your new and changing center of gravity you might feel back pain, or sharp pain shooting down your thighs. The latter is from pressure on the sciatic nerve. Again, if the pain or discomfort is unusually disturbing, seek medical assistance.
How different will you look?
Your uterus is the size of a grapefruit now, so you may want to opt for some stretchy leggings or move a size up. Low waist lines and flexible waist bands are forgiving as they can expand with your growing belly. You may want to invest in new undies and new bras – treat yourself for that extra support. If you notice more visible veins on your breasts or legs – from the increased blood flow – don’t worry, these will disappear after the birth. Your facial skin tends to get dry this week, so stay hydrated and moisturize.
Tips for fathers- How can you care for both of your loved ones?
It’s important to make time to go to the ultrasound with your partner. While you may have read all about the pregnancy and the time after birth, the physical reality of seeing your baby for the first time is completely. It’s special, some say even magical. Having the ultrasound image in your head every time your partner goes through another pregnancy difficulty will likely change your understanding of the pregnancy and help you through any rough patches.
Many technicians give a photo of the ultrasound, but if yours doesn’t, it can’t hurt to ask. Of all mementos, parents say that the one of the first ultrasound is one of the most meaningful.
Tips for mothers- To help you go through trimester
- Use Vitamin E creams: The thin red or brownish (depending on your skin tone) lines of stretch marks on your abdomen, breasts and thighs are a common sign of pregnancy. Although some don’t get them, about 90 % pregnant women do. They tend to lighten after pregnancy until they form white lines. To avoid or lessen them, avoid putting on weight too quickly (although with twins this might be unavoidable), continue doing exercising throughout your pregnancy and use Vitamin E creams on them throughout your pregnancy.
- Listen to your baby’s heartbeat: At your next obstetrician visit, you may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with the help of a Doppler stethoscope, a handheld ultrasound device that your practitioner places on your belly. Their heartbeat is beating at 120-150 beats per minute, and sounds like galloping horses. Some specialized devices can hear it as early as 8 weeks, although 12 weeks is the normal time frame.
You are two weeks away from the beginning your second trimester, a time when your hormones will settle down, and many of the most challenging symptoms of pregnancy will ease. Congratulations! He or she is starting to look more baby like, and you may be able to hear her tiny heart beat. This is worth listening to if you have the chance – it sounds like galloping horses, and many mothers say it’s memorable and moving.
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