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Pregnancy

      10 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

      Read time: 4 minutes

       

      10 weeks pregnant is how many months?

      Month 3 (Trimester 1)

      Baby development at 10 weeks

      Your baby’s brain is in a rapid phase of development. 

      Weight gain

      Get the facts about pregnancy weight gain.

      Iron

      Learn about the importance of iron, and how to include enough in your diet. 

      Baby development at 10 weeks

       

      What does my baby look like? And, what size is my baby?

      By your 10th week of pregnancy, your baby measures between 3 and 4cm long1,2 and roughly the size of a fig. Although already baby-like in appearance, their head is still disproportionately large – a sign of all the brain development that has occurred even at this early stage3.

      Within your baby’s developing jawbone, tiny teeth buds are forming. Miniscule ear canals are also taking shape4, while throughout the rest of the body, bones and cartilage are beginning to grow2.

      Pregnancy at 10 weeks (first trimester)

      What’s happening in my body?

      At 10 weeks pregnant, you might start to see the beginnings of a pregnancy bump, although this isn’t true for everyone.

      Early pregnancy symptoms at 10 weeks5

      Early pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. At 10 weeks, you may experience any of the following signs of pregnancy, or no symptoms at all:

      Your breasts may become larger and feel sore. You may also find your nipples stick out more than usual and darken in colour as your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding. 

      During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted. 

      Morning sickness affects up to 80% of mums-to-be in the first trimester6. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.

      The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas7.

      Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy8,9. If the pain becomes severe (stronger than period cramps) or if bleeding becomes heavy, you should talk to your GP.

      Frequent trips to the bathroom are one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, as your growing uterus begins to put pressure on your bladder.

      Pregnancy hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, soar during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy10, affecting how you’re feeling emotionally. Get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling like yourself.

       

      Focus on Iron

      Iron is one of the key nutrients in a healthy diet during pregnancy. Your blood cells need it for carrying oxygen around your body and to your baby. And your baby needs it for normal cognitive development.

      Your iron levels will be checked at regular intervals during pregnancy. But if you start feeling particularly sluggish at any time, let your midwife or GP know. You may need to take iron supplements for a while. The recommended daily intake of iron for women is 14.8mg per day11.

      Boost your iron intake

      Iron-rich foods include red meat, oily fish, eggs, dried fruit, fortified breakfast cereals and wholegrain breads, as well as some green, leafy vegetables. These foods all contain a wide range of important nutrients in addition to iron.

      Other nutrients affect your body’s ability to absorb iron. Vitamin C, for example, aids the absorption of non-haem iron found in plant sources, such as beans and green, leafy vegetables11. Calcium, however, inhibits it11. It is also thought that the tannins found in tea and coffee can also have a negative effect on iron absorption11.

      To maximise the amount of iron your body absorbs when eating plant sources of iron, combine them with a vitamin C-rich fruit or glass of juice.

      Plan meals that contain the following iron-rich ingredients:

      • Lean meat (always make sure it’s well cooked) and oily fish, such as sardines
      • Dark green vegetables, including broccoli, watercress, spinach and kale
      • Nuts, especially cashew nuts
      • Beans and pulses, such as chickpeas and lentils
      • Wholegrains, including wholemeal bread and iron-fortified breakfast cereals
      • Dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and raisins
      • Eggs

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      An adequate intake of iron supports the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin in your blood, which carry oxygen around your body12. Having healthy red blood cells reduces your risk of developing anaemia. Sometimes called iron deficiency anaemia, this condition can leave you feeling tired, washed-out and breathless.

      How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
       

      Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and varies a great deal from mother to mother. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22–28lb) while pregnant, some of which is the weight of the growing baby16. Learn everything you need to know about weight gain in pregnancy.

      LEARN MORE

      If you haven’t been to see your GP yet, you should make an appointment so they can start planning your antenatal care, including your first ultrasound scan.

      1. Papaioannou GI et al. Normal ranges of embryonic length, embryonic heart rate, gestational sac diameter and yolk sac diameter at 6-10 weeks. Fetal Diagn Ther 2010;28(4):207-19.

      2. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.

      3. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 33.

      4. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx Page last reviewed: 17 July 2018. Next review due: 17 July 2021.

      5. NHS. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/ Page last reviewed: 6 October 2018. Next review due: 6 October 2021.

      6. Noel M. Lee, M.D., Gastroenterology Fellow and Sumona Saha, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. 2011. Pub 2013. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3676933/

      7. NHS Start 4 Life. 1st trimester, week 10 [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-ten/

      8. NHS. Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vaginal-bleeding-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 26 January 2018. Next review due: 26 January 2021.

      9. NHS. Stomach pain in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stomach-pain-abdominal-cramp-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 1 May 2018. Next review due: 1 May 2021.

      10. Claudio N. Soares and Brook Zitek. Reproductive hormone sensitivity and risk for depression across the female life cycle: A continuum of vulnerability? 2008. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440795/

      11. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: TSO, 1991.

      12. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

      13. NHS choices. How much weight will I put on during my pregnancy? [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2311.aspx?CategoryID=54 Page last reviewed: 18 October 2018. Next review due: 18 October 2021.

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