Pregnancy Week 10112 Comments
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The internal organs are continuing to grow and develop and most are functioning, while the liver, kidneys, brain and lungs are maturing.
The appearance of the baby is still a bit out of balance, as the head makes up half the length of the fetus. However, certain delicate, detailed features are becoming more fine-tuned like the hair, finger and toe nails are now visible. And the fingers are no longer webbed. While the eyes are tightly shut until late in the second trimester, eye color has already been determined.
The big developmental spurt is now over, with the focus now on gaining weight and maturation of those organs now present. The baby is now an official fetus, having left the embryonic stage behind.
New processes are taking place, too. The baby is actively swallowing the amniotic fluid, and producing urine and digestive juices. Baby boys' testes are functioning by producing testosterone. The placenta will start functioning fully over the next couple of weeks. The baby is now over 2" long, and weighs about a quarter of an ounce. This is roughly the size of a small lime.
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 10
Your appearance is changing these days. You might notice a roundness in your lower abdomen, depending on your build. That's because your uterus is now the size of a small grapefruit. That is much more expected than the road map lining your chest and abdomen. Those blue lines, which can be pretty vivid on light skinned women, are due to the substantial increase in blood production, which is in the neighborhood of a 40% increase. They are probably most noticeable on your breasts, but you might notice that veins in your hands and feet are also much more prominent. Relax, though, because you will return to normal after birth, or when breastfeeding ends.
About this point in the pregnancy, many expectant mothers will feel uncomfortable and rather irregular. Constipation is caused by those darned hormones (what isn't affected by the pregnancy hormones?) which make the muscles of the large bowel become downright lazy. To counteract the hormones' influence on your bowels, make sure you drink plenty of water (yes, you will need to run to the bathroom even more, but it's worth it), eat plenty of whole grains and vegetables, and get regular exercise. If you still are struggling to get things moving, talk to you doctor about safe over the counter remedies.
Another common pregnancy symptom that emerges in week ten is the onset of headaches. These can be troublesome, and you can ask your doctor is it is OK to take anything for them. Otherwise, you need to just take some extra care of yourself and do what you can to alleviate symptoms. Cool rags, low light, noise reduction, whatever works for you.
Visit With the Obstetrician
This week your doctor might talk to you about another test to screen for possible abnormalities in the baby. This test is called the NTS test, or Nuchal Translucency Screening. This test is normally done between weeks 11 and 14 and uses both ultrasound and blood test results. It screens for a variety of disorders, but most notably Down Syndrome. The ultrasound checks the thickness of the fetus' neck specifically. This test is not invasive, but does carry some risk of a false positive. Any expectant mom who gets a positive test result will want to discuss more detailed screening to follow up on the NTS results. However, when done at 11 weeks, the test picks up over 85% of Down Syndrome cases.
Preparing for Baby
It may seem early, but this is a good time to start considering options for what you'll do after baby arrives. Will you be working full time, go to part-time or stay home full time? If you're working, will you have a family member available to provide care, or will you need a daycare or nanny? You want to start considering your options early. Talk to other moms, visit places, and do some research. It's a big consideration and takes real time and thought to find the best solution for your growing family. So while it seems early, it's really something you do not want to be rushed to decide later, and the options are smaller the shorter the time involved. In other words, don't procrastinate!
The arrival of pregnancy headaches illuminates a need in every pregnant mom's life; stress reducers. Not to mention that after baby's arrival, the stress will not be dissipating any time soon either. Learn about yoga, breathing techniques for lowering stress, aromatherapy, meditation methods, and relaxation tapes and music. Replace harsh lighting in some special corner of your home. Perhaps have some music that you find relaxing playing in the background, gather some extra soft and comfy pillows and blankets, and have a fragrance like lavender that is known to calm wafting through the air. Read a book, or just lie down and let yourself unwind for a bit every day. Taking a little time to focus on relaxation will be a valuable investment, and a skill that you'll be glad you've perfected later, when dealing with a cranky baby or spouse.
Pregnancy Week 10 Comfort Meter
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