Week-by-week guide to pregnancy
Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is full of essential information. From early pregnancy symptoms to how your baby is growing and developing, you'll find it all here. Happy reading!
Week 10 – your first trimester
Welcome to week 10. Pregnancy is divided into three chunks of time, called trimesters. You're nearing the end of your first trimester, which can feel like a slog, but hang on in there. By the second trimester you will probably have lots more energy and all those annoying signs of early pregnancy will hopefully fade away. Admittedly, they might be replaced by a few more niggles, but we'll deal with that later!
Around now, many women will have their first 'booking appointment' with a midwife. You'll be asked lots of questions about your health and medical history – and can ask lots of questions in return, too.
What's happening in my body?
You may be struggling to do up your jeans. Your uterus is around the size of a large orange, while your baby is more like the size of an apricot.
You may be feeling a bit bloated, and burping or passing wind – you can blame your hormones for that! (see 'Beating bloating'). The female hormone progesterone is just doing its job, and relaxing the muscles in your womb so that it can expand along with your growing baby. However, in the process, the muscles in your digestive tract also become looser and this can lead to all kinds of symptoms including heartburn. This is particularly likely to strike if you're expecting twins.
You can beat digestive problems ranging from bloating to burping by changing what you eat. Try making yourself six small meals a day, don't eat late at night, eat slowly, sip fluids and avoid smoking and alcohol. It could help to take a short stroll after meals. Some women find that their symptoms crop up after drinking coffee or eating rich, spicy and fatty foods. Try and work out what your triggers are – and then stay well clear! There are more tips here
Early pregnancy symptoms (at 10 weeks)
The countdown has begun until lucky week 13. That's the start of the second trimester, when most of your first trimester symptoms will start to ease off.
Right now, your signs of pregnancy could include:
- extreme tiredness
- nausea – find out about morning sickness remedies
- mood swings
- a metallic taste in your mouth
- sore breasts
- indigestion and heartburn
- new likes and dislikes for food and drink – anyone fancy porridge with pickles? You can read our advice on weird pregnancy cravings here.
- a heightened sense of smell
- a white milky pregnancy discharge from your vagina
- light spotting (see your doctor if you get bleeding in pregnancy)
- cramping, a bit like period pains
- darkened skin on your face or brown patches - this is known as chloasma or the 'mask of pregnancy'.
- greasier, spotty skin
- thicker and shinier hair
- bloating and the feeling of being bloated
There's more too! Tommy's, the baby charity, has a list of 10 common pregnancy complaints with advice on how to manage them.
If any symptoms are worrying you, then talk to your midwife or doctor – they are there to support you.
What does my baby look like?
Your baby, or foetus, is now around 30mm long from head to bottom, which is about the size of a small apricot. The baby will be making jerky movements that can be seen on a scan.
Your baby is going through another huge growth spurt. The head is still much too big for the body, but the face is coming along beautifully. The little eyes are half closed but can react to light. The ears are starting to form, the simple mouth now has a delicate upper lip, and the tiny nose has two little nostrils. The jaw bone is shaping up too, and amazingly contains teeny versions of all the baby's milk teeth. The heart is beating extremely quickly at 180bpm – that's about three times your heart rate.
It's week 10 and time is marching on! You might start thinking about where you'd like to have your baby. Would you prefer a hospital or a midwife-led birthing centre? Start doing some research into your local options.
This week you could also…
Share the news with your GP or ask for an appointment with a midwife at your doctors' surgery. Alternatively you can refer yourself to your local hospital – look for contact details on their website.
You'll need to arrange a 'booking appointment'. This usually takes place between weeks eight and 12 and takes around an hour. You can talk about the options for your pregnancy and the birth. Plus you'll be offered screening tests for infectious diseases, and conditions such as Down's syndrome. You could ask about the Maternity Transformation Programme and how it could benefit you.
You will be offered your first dating scan at eight to 14 weeks. This is a highlight for many women.
In total, most first time mums will have around 10 appointments and two scans. Ask if it's possible to see the same carer for your entire pregnancy, to give you continuity.
Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.
It's early days, but ask your partner if they would like to take part in the antenatal classes. These classes will give you the chance to meet other people and prepare you for parenthood. The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.
Take prenatal vitamins. You're advised to take 400 micrograms of folic acid, every day, until at least week 12. This helps your baby's nervous system to form and offers some protection from conditions such as spina bifida.
We can usually get enough vitamin D from sunlight, but as we are at home a lot more at the moment, you may not be getting enough. If you're pregnant, or breastfeeding, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement. It's worth checking if you're entitled to free vitamins.
Get moving! It's recommended that pregnant women do 150 minutes of exercise throughout the week. You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise - perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section). Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
Don't eat for two! That's a big myth. If you pile on the pounds, you could put you and your baby at risk of health problems such as high blood pressure. Eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.
If you have a long term health condition, then let your specialist or GP know that you're pregnant as soon as possible. Don't stop taking any regular medication without discussing it first with your doctor.
How are you today? If you're feeling anxious or low, then talk to your midwife or doctor who can point you in the right direction to get all the support that you need. You could also discuss your worries with your partner, friends and family. You may be worried about your relationship, or money, or having somewhere permanent to live. Don't bottle it up – you're important, so ask for help if you need it!
This week's treat
Treat your breasts to a better bra. You'll need a bit more support as they expand and prepare to produce milk. There are lots of pretty bras that provide support and could boost your confidence as well as your breasts!
Want to know when the baby's due?