10 Weeks Pregnant
Pregnancy Week 10 & Stage of Fetal Development

This is the beginning of pregnancy week 10. You will be a complete 10 weeks pregnant at the end of this week (see pregnancy chart).

This is an exciting week. The 10th week of pregnancy marks the end of the embryonic stage. At the end of 10 weeks, your baby will officially be a fetus (previously an embryo). Your baby's age -from fertilization/conception- is 8 weeks.

During the embryonic period, the embryo is most susceptible to things that could interfere with its development.

The risk of miscarriage is dramatically less once your baby reaches the fetal stage. And the risk of defects (malformations) also dramatically decreases. Most defects occur before the end of the 10th week of pregnancy.

You may have already had your first prenatal visit (checkup). If not, try to be seen soon. The earlier the better. There is no compensation for early prenatal care for the health of you and your baby.

What happens at 10 weeks pregnant

While other hormones may be on the rise, one, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), may be on the decline during pregnancy week 10. HCG reaches peak levels generally around week 9 or week 10, then start to taper off a bit.

HCG is the pregnancy hormone first secreted by your embryo during implantation. This hormone is what signals the corpus luteum to continue to produce progesterone and estrogen to sustain the pregnancy. Otherwise, the corpus luteum will degenerate causing a fall in progesterone levels which signals your uterus that implantation did not occur, then you get your period.

At ten weeks pregnant, the placenta is mature enough now to take over production of hormones to sustain the pregnancy (previously secreted from the corpus luteum).

Your breasts are most likely still enlarging. Nausea and/or vomiting can still be a problem through pregnancy week 10. You likely still feel fatigued. And still have mood swings. Most of these symptoms will decrease or stop altogether when you reach the second trimester.

Can you see a bump yet? Many women cannot at 10 weeks pregnant. Even though you may have gained a little weight, and many have even lost a little, it still may be a few more weeks before you see the belly bump. And the belly bulge you may be seeing now may be due to bowel distention rather than uterine growth.

Your uterus is still behind the pubic bone. You may or may not be able to feel it if you press lightly just above your pubic bone. It's ok if you can't; many woman still can't feel anything there yet.

You may also notice your hair getting thicker. This is one cliche about pregnancy that often (although not always) proves true. Your body is in a growth cycle, and so is your hair. As a result, you shed hair much more slowly than normal. You may even sprout new hairs where you never had them before (on your bulging belly, for instance).

What can you do at 10 weeks pregnant

Since the first ten weeks of pregnancy is the most critical, (the embryonic stage-when organs are forming) it's important to watch out for what we may put into our bodies.

Over-the-counter medications cross the placenta to your baby and can cause harm.

For example:

  • Aspirin should not be taken during pregnancy.
  • Some cough and cold medications contain alcohol which you should avoid while pregnant.
  • Diet pills may contain stimulants known to cause birth defects.

This, obviously, is not meant to be a complete list. Just wanted to show you that common over-the-counter medications that you may routinely take before getting pregnant may not be safe for your baby.

Always talk with your prenatal care practitioner before taking any over-the-counter drugs.

And never suddenly stop taking prescription drugs. (Many prescription medications need to be weaned slowly in order to prevent nasty side-affects that are not good for pregnancy, either) Tell your doctor that you are pregnant and decide together which medication need to be stopped and/or weaned and which are safe for pregnancy.

Fetal Development at 10 weeks pregnant
Fetal age: 8 weeks

By the end of this week, your little fetus will be about 1¾ inches (4.2cm) long from head to bottom.  He weighs about 0.18 ounce (5g).

All the organs will be present at the end of this week, though not all are functioning yet. From then on, your baby's growth will be in developing all these organs to maturity until birth.

You are now 10 weeks pregnant. Only 30 more weeks to go!!

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