You’ve made it to week 10 and are now a quarter of the way through your pregnancy! Exciting things are happening with your baby, and most women have their first doctor’s appointment around week 10 pregnancy. Let’s talk about what to expect.
Week 10 Pregnancy: Baby’s Size & Development
Something incredible has happened by week 10. Though it’s been just 8 weeks since your baby was conceived, he or she is structurally complete! While they’re not fully developed, all organs are formed. Baby is 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 inches crown to rump, and weighs about 0.18 ounce. (1) Your little one has:
- a mouth with a tongue and lips, and even teeth buds in his or her gums
- arms, hands, fingers, and fingerprints
- legs with knees, ankles, and toes
- a developing brain that is beginning to send out impulses
- a strong heartbeat that can be seen easily during an ultrasound scan
If your baby is a boy, this is around the time that his body begins to produce testosterone, and physical characteristics begin to change. (2)
Week 10 Pregnancy: Pregnant Belly & Weight Gain
Your belly may not look pregnant yet, but by week 10 pregnancy, many women have some roundness or fullness compared to their pre-pregnancy bodies. Whether you’re feeling rounder or bloated, or still feel just like you did a month ago, your experience is normal. Baby is growing fast, and if you don’t see a difference yet, the coming weeks are likely to change that.
Weight gain varies from person to person, and there’s a wide range of normal. If you’ve gained weight and think you shouldn’t have when baby is so tiny, don’t worry — your body is making many changes. If you have lost weight and wonder if that’s harmful, again, don’t worry! It’s not uncommon to lose a little, usually due to nausea. Average weight gain at this point is a few pounds, and if you’re a few pounds up or down, you’re probably doing fine. If you’ve gained more than a few, try to become more aware of your intake and avoid indulging in non-nutritive foods. (Don’t worry about trying to take any weight back off, though. Dieting during pregnancy is never a good idea.) If you’ve lost more than a few pounds, talk it over with your doctor or midwife just to be safe.
Week 10 Pregnancy Symptoms – Nausea
We talked about morning sickness in week 6; you may want to hop over there and read about it if you haven’t done so. If you’re among the three-quarters of women who experience pregnancy-related nausea, this is likely the most intense symptom you’ve encountered. The good news is that you may be around the peak of the difficulty, and it may begin to improve. For many women, it subsides by around the third or fourth month, and many say that the worst of it is at around week 9 or 10. Continue to eat small frequent meals, drink plenty, and choose easy-to-digest foods. Also, try things like ginger and peppermint to soothe your stomach.
Week 10 Pregnancy Doctor’s Appointments
Around week 10 pregnancy is probably when you’ll have your first prenatal care visit. This first visit will probably be one of your longest, as they learn about your history, do an examination, and run tests. Let’s take a look at specifically what to expect. (3, 4)
Lots of Questions
Your provider will ask questions about your history and your health. Give as much detail as you can, and answer all questions honestly… remember, they’re not there to judge you, just to record as much as they can so they best know how to care for you and your baby. Expect them to ask:
- the date of your last menstrual period
- about your health history and any medical problems you may have
- if you’ve had any previous pregnancies
- birth control methods you have used
- what prescription or over-the-counter medications you take
- if you’ve ever had surgery
- about your family’s medical history
- about the baby’s father’s health history, and that of his family
Your provider will examine you physically. You should expect:
- check of height and weight
- blood pressure check
- breast exam
- pelvic exam and pap smear
- an ultrasound if there are any questions about how far along you are or if you’ve been having bleeding or cramping
Your provider will order many tests, some that will be done on your urine, and some that will be done on your blood. Don’t worry, they’ll only need a vial or two to run all of the tests. Tests they may run include:
- urinalysis and urine culture
- CBC (complete blood count) to check for infection and that your iron levels are good
- blood type test and Rh-factor test to determine what your blood type is and if you’re Rh-negative
- blood-sugar-level test to check for signs of diabetes
- rubella titer, which checks if you have immunity against rubella
- varicella test to see if you’ve had varicella (chicken pox) in the past
- hepatitis-B test to determine if you’ve been exposed
- screening for syphilis
- test for thrombophilia
- HIV/AIDS test
Feel free to ask any questions you may have or ask for clarification if anything your provider says is unclear. Some people find it hard to talk to doctors; they may feel rushed, feel embarrassed by their questions, or feel intimidated. It’s important to have a good rapport with your doctor or midwife. So push yourself outside of your comfort zone if necessary, and make sure you feel heard and that you understand everything your provider says. This person will be one of your partners in this journey, and there’s a long way to go from week 10 pregnancy to delivery. It’s important that you feel comfortable with him or her as part of your team.
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(1) Simkin, P. (2010). Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, 4th edition. Meadowbrook Press
(2) Ladewig, P.A., London, M.L., Davidson, M.R. (2006). Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.
(3) Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press
(4) The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th edition.