Your Pregnancy: Week 10
By this week, your uterus has expanded from the size of a small pear to that of a grapefruit. This paired with bloating (and maybe some slight weight gain) may leave you in between your regular jeans and the maternity section. Did you know there are easy ways to expand your pre-pregnancy clothes? Otherwise, it’s time to break out the sweats or wear some forgiving skirts and dresses.
Also, as the nausea begins to subside and your energy level starts to regain some normalcy, you might want to start exercising again (depending on your previous level of fitness). Moderate exercise can help build muscle tone and strength. This may help ease pregnancy pains and could even help you endure labor – plus it’s beneficial for your developing baby. This is also a good time to sign up for prenatal yoga, especially if you’re interested in learning techniques to safely improve fitness, ease stress, and cope with natural labor.
You may still be wearing regular clothes if it’s your first pregnancy, but those with previous pregnancies may start to show earlier. Start browsing in the maternity section whenever you feel ready.
Buy a body pillow. Before you know it, you won’t be able to sleep without one.
Avoid the urge to renovate a new room for the baby – don’t start tearing down walls and painting. The fumes and chemicals could be damaging to the fetus in these early developmental weeks.
Increase your fluid intake (especially in the warmer months) to prevent dehydration and constipation.
If your skin isn’t quite glowing and you’re considering getting a facial to clear your pores of a hormone-related oil surplus, talk with your practitioner and esthetician first. While most facials are safe, you’ll probably need a gentler regiment for your extra sensitive skin, meaning nix the microdermabrasion or glycolic peels.
The end of week 10 is the end of the embryonic stage – congratulations, you’re past the point where your baby is most susceptible to developmental dangers! At this time, the fetal period begins, characterized by rapid growth. Few malformations occur during the fetal period, but drugs and other harmful exposures (including stress and radiation from X-rays) can destroy fetal cells at any time during pregnancy. Continue to avoid them.
Your baby is beginning to take on human features and look more like a miniature person. But the head is much larger than the rest of the body, which will catch up in the coming weeks. The baby’s neural tube in the spine will close this week – meaning all 100+ bones have formed. Make sure you’re eating foods rich in folic acid, like orange juice, as this nutrient is said to prevent spinal cord defects.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
Patients come to me and ask exactly – and I mean exactly – what is safe to include in their pregnancy regimen. Is it okay to lift ten pounds of weights at the gym? How about eleven? They look at me intently, waiting for answers, and I know that what I say matters to them deeply. [But] correct amounts of exercise are very difficult to establish. I can’t dictate exactly how much weight these women should lift, or how many repetitions are safe. Still, I can offer a few rules of thumb:
- Swimming is perfect for pregnant women. It’s not weight-bearing, it’s good aerobic exercise without stress, and it keeps you cool.
- Avoid excessive heat, like saunas, Jacuzzis [and] hot baths. In the first trimester, the embryo is at a critical stage of development, and high temperatures can cause maldevelopment. Sweating is our mechanism of controlling the level of body heat, and you have to remember that, unlike us, a fetus can’t cool down by sweating.
- Make sure that you are able to carry on a conversation throughout your work out.
- Keep your heart rate under 140.
- Always exercise in a well-ventilated area.
- Don’t change – modify. If you were physically active before you got pregnant, you can keep being physically active now – but bear in mind that your joints have become lax due to the increasing production of the hormone relaxin, which has the effect of relaxing ligaments throughout your body.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: The Girl in the Pregnancy Bubble
A pregnant woman is in a unique category: both powerful and vulnerable, somewhere between holding a bomb trailing a sparkling fuse and a velvet box holding a precious, fragile prize. She’s got the whole world in her uterus – or the future, anyway. This magical, venerable position can really inspire people to pull out the kid gloves. A pregnant woman may find herself treated/subject to chivalry like never before. This can make a person feel valuable or make her feel weak and handicapped. It can vary a lot depending on your mood and who’s doing the gentle handling.
The special treatment can also be isolating. Feelings of disconnect are common in pregnancy. You’re not yet a mother, but you’re no longer exactly childless. This limbo can make it hard to relate to people on either side of the fence. Even your partner may feel far away, as the process of growing a baby inside you can seem intimate enough to preclude any other intimate connection. Meanwhile, your partner may be feeling alienated, too. While you’re consumed with your own physiological drama, your partner’s probably hanging out in the lonely outskirts, wondering if he’ll ever be allowed back in.
Pregnancy is often a time when men and women tend to become more aware of their differences than their similarities. But the fact is, for all the differences in your biology, you have something very big in common: as you move forward, you’ll be sharing incredible moments, mind-boggling worries, endless tasks and quite likely your bed. If you’re feeling the divide, focus on doing things you both enjoy, the kinds of things that got you into this state in the first place.