Week-by-week guide to pregnancy

happy couple looking at pregnancy test results
When you're pregnant, you have lots of questions. Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is packed with lots of useful information. From what's happening inside your body, to how your baby is developing, and tips and advice on having a healthy pregnancy – this is your one-stop pregnancy guide!

1st trimester

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.

Week 10 – your 1st trimester

Welcome to week 10. Pregnancy is divided into 3 chunks, called "trimesters". You are nearly at the end of your 1st trimester. By the 2nd trimester you will probably have lots more energy and all those signs of early pregnancy will gradually fade away.

Around now, you may have a booking appointment with a midwife. You'll be asked lots of questions about your health and medical history. You can ask lots of questions too.

What's happening in my body?

You may be struggling to do up your jeans. Your uterus (womb) is around the size of a large orange, while your baby is more like the size of an apricot.

You may be feeling bloated and you might find yourself burping or passing wind – this is due to your hormones. The female hormone progesterone is just doing its job – 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 symptoms such as heartburn.

How to beat the bloating

You can help digestive problems such as bloating and burping by changing what you eat. Try making yourself 6 small meals a day and avoid eating late at night.

Eat slowly, sip fluids and avoid smoking and alcohol. A short stroll after meals may help. Some people find their symptoms happen after drinking coffee or eating rich, spicy and fatty foods.

Read NHS advice on dealing with indigestion and heartburn in pregnancy.

Early pregnancy symptoms (at 10 weeks)

Your pregnancy symptoms may include:

  • extreme tiredness
  • nausea
  • mood swings
  • a metallic taste in your mouth
  • sore breasts
  • indigestion and heartburn
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • new likes and dislikes for food and drink
  • 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 (read ways of dealing with bloating on week 10's page

Read Tommy's guide to common pregnancy symptoms.

If any symptoms are worrying you, talk to your midwife or doctor.

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 and baby's movement can be seen on a scan.

Your baby is going through another huge growth spurt. The head is still too big for the body, but the face is more recognisably in proportion. The eyes are half closed but can react to light. The ears are starting to form, the mouth now has a delicate upper lip and the nose has 2 little nostrils. The jaw bone is shaping up too, and contains tiny versions of your baby's milk teeth. The heart is beating extremely quickly at 180bpm – that's about 3 times your heart rate.

Action stations

You might have started 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 8 to 14 weeks.

If it's your first pregnancy, you will probably have around 10 appointments and 2 scans in total. 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.

Antenatal 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.

Do your best to stop smoking, give up alcohol and go easy on the tea, coffee and anything else with caffeine. Ask your midwife or GP for support if you need it.

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.

To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D. From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.

Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website. You just need 10 micrograms (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.

Do you think you or your partner could have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)

It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant. 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.

There's no need to eat for 2. 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 keep it to yourself. It's important to ask for help if you need it.

Want to know when the baby's due?

Use the NHS's pregnancy due date calculator. You'll get a more accurate date from your doctor or midwife when you have a dating scan (usually at 8 to 14 weeks).

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