10 weeks pregnant: What’s going on in there
Your baby is the size of a strawberry this week! Her bones and cartilage are now forming, and she is able to kick her tiny legs—though you won’t be able to feel it yet. At ten weeks pregnant, her organs are fully formed and beginning to function, too. She’s practising her swallowing, and her fingernails and hair are starting to grow.
At your next prenatal visit, you’ll probably be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with the use of a handheld Doppler device—you might want to bring your partner to this one. (However, if the technician or midwife can’t find a heartbeat, don’t freak out: Sometimes the baby is uncooperative or hanging out in a hard-to-locate position or the placenta is in the way. An ultrasound is a much more reliable method for hearing that rapid swoosh-swoosh-swoosh sound.)
10 weeks pregnant symptoms
If you’re bolting upright in bed because you’re sure that a huge bear was chasing you (or something much, much weirder), relax! It’s a common experience during pregnancy. Dreams commonly occur during REM sleep and, because you’re more likely to be waking up through the night (thanks to heartburn, restless legs syndrome and that pesky bladder), you’re more likely to experience REM sleep and remember your dreams. Add the anxiety and emotions that come with finding out that you’re having a baby and it makes sense that your dreams are helping your brain process everything.
Aches and pains
Mild stomach cramps are common around ten weeks pregnant (they usually feel milder than period cramps), and they’re often described as a slight tugging sensation in your abdomen. That’s your uterus beginning to stretch as it grows at an exponential rate. Lower back pain sometimes sets in around this time, too, due to the pressure of your changing uterus. Back pain usually happens earlier if it’s not your first baby because weaker abdominal muscles put more strain on your back. If your cramps feel worse than those of your period, touch base with your healthcare provider.
A warm beanbag or bath can help alleviate these aches (but watch the temperature, as it shouldn’t turn your skin red). It’s usually best to avoid most medications during your first 12 weeks of pregnancy, so talk to your healthcare provider before taking any pain medication. Generally, acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol) is considered OK in small amounts. (Don’t exceed more than 4,000 milligrams in a 24-hour period. The usual dose is 325 to 650 milligrams per pill.)
What’s on your mind when you’re 10 weeks pregnant
How to exercise when you're pregnant
Can I still exercise?
With all the nausea and fatigue you’re battling in the first trimester, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. But there are a lot of benefits to staying active during your pregnancy. Making fitness a priority can help regulate weight gain and prepare your body for all the changes that are coming, and it won’t hurt or “jostle” the baby. You can also think of it as training for the ultra-marathon otherwise known as childbirth.
If you’re already exercising regularly, be sure to let any instructors or trainers know that you’re expecting. Don’t forget to clear the clutter from your workout space because your changing balance and loose ligaments will make you clumsier than ever. Low-impact exercise, such as water aerobics, free weights and prenatal yoga or Pilates (avoiding certain exercises that require doing deep twists, lying on your tummy or staying on your back for long periods), with a certified instructor are good options for pregnancy, but make sure to check in with your healthcare provider before taking on any new routines.
Bonus: Exercise can help you sleep more soundly, which can mean really good things for balancing those mood swings.
Just for kicks
Are you gearing up to share your big news with the world in the next couple of weeks? If you feel ready, posting a cute pic to social media is extra-efficient. Or you can go old school with actual paper card announcements (throwback!). Here are 15 creative and hilarious ways that other expectant parents chose to spill the beans.
You know what they say: “go big or go home.” This Star Wars-crazed Texas family definitely decided to do the former. Making a movie poster using your favourite movie (either old or upcoming) is an easy way to create a punny pregnancy announcement.
A name doesn’t have to honour a beloved relative to be meaningful. There are other ways to make sure that your baby’s name signifies something special to you or holds sentimental value.
Pregnancy to-do list: 10 weeks pregnant
Depending on your age, risk factors and personal preferences, prenatal screenings will begin in the next week or two (see week 11 to find out more about the process). Prenatal screenings are not required, so it’s a good idea to discuss your options with your healthcare provider and your partner at your first prenatal visit. If you plan to go ahead with the testing, you’ll need to book appointments for bloodwork and an ultrasound (they usually need to happen on the same day).
Examine your household products
Now is a good time to take a closer look at what kinds of cleaning products you’re using around the house and consider swapping them out for options that are non-hazardous. Be sure to read all labels for warnings about pregnant women. Beware of greenwashing, though: Not everything labelled “natural” is actually any better or safer. But if you can afford it, switching to eco-friendly and organic options can’t hurt. They’re also less likely to have a chemical smell, which your newly sensitive nose will appreciate. In any case, wear gloves when cleaning and open windows for ventilation. (Or, better yet, make your partner take over your to-do list!)
One chore that you should definitely delegate to someone else right now is changing the litterbox if you’re a cat owner. Cat poop (in a litterbox, a sandbox or garden soil) can contain a parasite that causes a flu-like infection called toxoplasmosis. Wearing gloves, washing your hands with soap and water and making sure that the litterbox is changed daily can also reduce your risk. While toxoplasmosis sounds scary (an infection during pregnancy could cause birth defects), know that indoor cats are less likely to carry it than outdoor or stray cats and that some adults are already immune to toxoplasmosis because they’ve had it before (and never noticed symptoms). Your doctor can order a blood test to check.
Bonus: Exercising caution, babyproofing that litterbox and reading labels will give you a head start on how to make your home healthier and safer for your baby once she arrives.