10 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Update

Even though your baby still easily fits in the palm of your hand, he underwent a huge growth spurt last week!

Now, the teensy features of his face—nose, eyes, lips and jaw—are becoming more defined. Soft peach fuzz hair is starting to sprout all over his body. His major internal organs are starting to chug along, too! Inside his belly, his digestive tract is waking up: the pancreas is starting to make insulin (to handle all the nutrition coming from your body) and his liver is starting to rope out little bits of bile (used to digest fats). The magical yolk sac—that’s been supporting him since conception—is now all used up…but, just in time your mighty placenta will take over the important work of “cooking and cleaning” for your little house guest over the next 6-7 months!

10 Weeks Pregnant: About Your Body

Maybe you've heard that while you're pregnant, your immune system has to turn off, so it doesn’t reject your baby as a foreign intruder. However, according to a new study, the story is much more…interesting! A woman's immune response is heightened (not weakened!) during the first weeks of pregnancy—inflammation helps create a good strong attachment of the embryo to the inner wall of the womb.

The immune system goes into sleep mode for the next several months (when moms with auto-immune diseases, like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, often experience a welcome reduction of pain). But then, as the 3rd trimester progresses, the immune system revs back up.  (It continues to be strong during the months after birth, although it can be weakened by chronic exhaustion.)

While the science of all this is still being sorted out, one thing's for sure: Getting sick while you're pregnant is miserable! Prevention is definitely your best friend.

Here Are a Few Easy Ways to Boost Your Immunity While Pregnant:

  • Rest! Your body is building a new person. That’s a big deal! It’s no wonder you crave a bunch more shut eye. Listen to your body.

  • Reduce stress! Sleep helps this, too. (Sleep is a potent anti-inflammation treat for your body.) And, so does taking a daily dose of turmeric and ginger and reducing simple carbs (sugars and starches). Finally, consider adding stress-relieving practices such as mindfulness/meditation, yoga, and/or acupuncture into your routine.

  • Scrub! Wash your hands well, often…and vigorously. (It’s the 10 seconds of strong scrubbing that does the trick.) And, for when you are someplace where you can’t lather up, keep a little bottle of hand-sanitizer at the ready.

  • Graze! Eat a varied, healthy diet with good portions of proteins, veggies, healthy whole grains, beans and fresh fruits. A stomach settling food you can try if you’re struggling with morning sickness is bone broth. It can help calm the queasy and has lots of micro-minerals to help nourish both you and your baby.

  • Supplement? Always check with your care provider before starting any supplements such as vitamin C, Zinc, etc.

A To-Do List for Your 10th Week of Pregnancy

  • Decide what to tell work: Disclosing your pregnancy at work can be a bit nerve-wracking. Will people treat you differently? Before you have the talk, figure out when you'll need to go on leave and investigate your company’s maternity policy. Also, it is a good idea to take a peek at the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and The Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

  • Get greener: Sure, your uterus is growing, but did you know that your largest organ is actually…your skin? And, the skin literally absorbs the chemicals you butter it up with. According to the Environmental Working Group, the average woman applies 168 chemicals to her face and body every day!

    As crazy as it sounds, cosmetic companies don’t need to prove safety before being sold!! What can you do? Read the labels…in general, the more ingredients, the worse the product is for you and your baby. And, get EWG’s brilliant Skin Deep app! With one click you’ll see which care products are green, and which are, errr...black.

  • Know when to call your OB or midwife: From here on out, every week will probably bring new symptoms. Do you know the difference between OK, weird, and seriously wrong? Reach out immediately if you experience any of the following: vaginal bleeding, dripping and/or spotting, vomiting (more than 1-2 times, or any that is green), contractions or abdominal pain, vision changes (dim, blurry or spots), persistent or severe headache, flu symptoms, fever over 100 degrees, sudden swelling, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, dizziness and fainting, or if you fall and hurt your stomach. 

    If you need to think about calling…you should! Never hesitate to reach out for help and advice!

  • Don’t forget the SPF: Around 70% of pregnant women develop the dark patches of melasma on the face, the so called “mask of pregnancy.” Your hormones beef up your body's production of melanin, which leads to all sorts of new pigmentation. Your nipples will darken and you may develop linea nigra, a dark line running up the center of your belly (from your pubic bone to the bottom of your ribs). You may be able to reduce hyperpigmentation with a daily smear of SPF on your face, neck and sun-exposed skin.

Pregnancy Fun Fact: What Causes Twins?

Identical twins form when a single embryo (created by one egg and one sperm) splits into two embryos. Each baby is completely identical, from hair color to sex. Fraternal twins happen when you ovulate two eggs—instead of one—and each one meets its own sperm…at the same time. These twins are literally two different kids—unexpected roomies! Like any roommates, they may differ in every way (hair texture, eye color, gender, confidence, sense of humor, etc.).

About one in 400 women have twins. Having fraternal twins runs in some families and the chance of twinning goes up with maternal age (older women are more likely to release two eggs when they ovulate). Over the past 20 years, the rate of fraternal twins has gone up over 75% (in large part, due to later pregnancies and IVF), but the rate of identical twins is unchanged.

View more posts tagged Pregnancy, Week By Week