Pregnancy week 10
(Sparx Media)
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The foetus at ten weeks: the size of an orange

  • Your baby weighs about 4g and is between 3 - 3.5cm long from crown to rump (top of head to bottom), your uterus is about the size of an orange and your baby the size of a loquat.
  • By now, the ears are completely formed.
  • Genitals are more clearly defined.
  • Your baby's fingers and toes start to appear.
  • Your baby also has her own unique set of fingerprints at this stage.
  • Your baby's head is an odd shape and almost half the size of the foetus. Don't panic at the thought of labour yet - by the time she's born it will be more proportionate.
  • Your baby is moving a lot more, but you will not be able to feel the movement yet.

What's with my body: Bigger tummy, less nausea

You may still have morning sickness but the good news is that it should be getting less intense.

Your stomach grows bigger as your bowels become distended.

Breast veins have become more noticeable because the blood supply to the breast increases. 

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Go back to the complete list of Pregnancy week-by-week updates.
 

This is such an exciting time because your doctor will probably first do the first ultrasound scan (between eight and 10 weeks) and you should get to see your baby's heart beating. Make sure your partner is there to experience it as it's a truly special moment.

Your baby

The foetus is now about 3cm long from crown to rump. At this stage your baby's arms and hands are developing faster than her legs and feet. The foetus can turn somersaults, stretch and hiccup, and fingernails and toenails begin to form. Even soft, downy hair is appearing on the skin to protect your baby's skin from the watery world it lives in.

During this period, your baby's heart is also working incredibly hard, approximately twice the rate of your own.

How you may be feeling:

Right now, your hormones may be producing emotional effects, that is, making you feel crazy, angry, sad, euphoric, and irritable, sometimes all in the same 10 minutes.

Your regular prenatal visits should include weight, blood pressure and urine tests. You might also have an external abdominal examination to determine the size and position of your uterus and, if your doctor has a bedside ultrasound you should hear baby's heartbeat. A Doppler handheld device can usually detect a foetal heartbeat by this point. Once the heartbeat is detectable, your chances of miscarrying in the first trimester are immediately lower: between five and 10 per cent.

Tip of the week: midwives

Many new mums swear they don't know where they'd be without their midwife.

Going the midwife-route:

  • Choose a midwife registered with the South African Nursing Council.
  • Organise an ob-gynae who will provide backup support, if necessary.
  • Insist on having two midwives at birth, if at all possible.
  • Go through a practice run to the nearest hospital if you're thinking of a home birth.
  • Check out clinics or private practices in your area.

For more info, visit www.birthoptions.co.za or www.childbirth.co.za

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