10 Weeks Pregnant

What’s happening this week

Your baby…

  • measures about 30 mm
  • weighs about 4 grams
  • is now entering the fetal period as the vital organs are formed and starting to work
  • assumes a more human shape
  • external ears and upper lip is formed
  • tooth buds form inside the mouth
  • tail has now disappeared
  • blood and bone cells form
  • if a boy, his testes will begin producing testosterone.

You…

  • your waistline may be slowly disappearing
  • might notice sickness starting to fade.

Your body is gradually growing and changing as your baby develops, but many of these changes will be invisible to everyone but you. Some women have health issues which need special attention during pregnancy.

Asthma

Pregnancy does not make asthma worse or lead to more frequent attacks. Take your inhaler as prescribed. If asthma is poorly controlled because you don’t use your medication properly, there is a risk of your baby not growing well. Your doctor or LMC may want to check the severity of your asthma by carrying out a ‘peak flow’ assessment. Your baby’s development may be checked with an ultrasound.

Epilepsy

Researchers aren’t sure whether pregnancy affects the frequency of epileptic fits. Any anti-convulsant drugs you’re taking may need adjusting while you’re pregnant. All anti-convulsants are risky for your unborn baby, but the risk of not taking the drugs is at least as great and may be greater. Generally, as long as pregnancy does not bring on an increase in the number of fits, most doctors leave the pre-pregnancy medication alone. You may be more likely to have pregnancy complications, and problems with your developing baby, so you should be offered a detailed anomaly scan (see Week 17) and be under the care of an obstetrician and a consultant specialising in epilepsy. The anomaly scan is generally done from 18 weeks.

Diabetes

If you already had insulin-dependent diabetes before this pregnancy, it’s very important to control your blood sugar levels well now. You’ll receive advice on your insulin regime, diet and exercise. Monitor your blood glucose levels carefully; it may be necessary to increase the number of insulin injections. Your pregnancy and your baby are at higher risk, so your care will be shared between your diabetes specialist and your antenatal care team.

High blood pressure

Your blood pressure will be monitored carefully to check that pregnancy doesn’t cause it to rise even more; putting you and the baby at risk.

Antihypertensive drugs being taken before pregnancy may need to be monitored and the dose adjusted. Your baby’s growth may be monitored carefully by regular ultrasound scans. There are specialist support groups, which can give advice and information if you need special care.

5 ways to eat well

  1. eat at least five portions of vegetables and fruit every day; fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juice all count. This will give you vitamins, minerals, fibre and water in handy packages.
  2. eat foods such as apples, pears, prunes and pulses and drink plenty of fluids. Try to drink about two litres, or eight glasses of water, juice, fruit tea, sugar-free drinks or well-diluted cordial, every day. This will help prevent constipation and piles (haemorrhoids). Tea, coffee and fizzy drinks don’t count.
  3. keep an eye on how much fat you eat. While some fat is essential, eating a lot of saturated fat is not good for you. Choose a mixture of low-fat and full-fat dairy products and try using olive oil, rich in mono-saturated fats, in salad dressings and cooking.
  4. say no to salt. We get all we need from bread, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Savour the true flavour of foods by cutting down gradually on salt.
  5. enjoy a variety of foods. This is a good way to make sure you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need.

Food safety

It’s wise to avoid certain foods during pregnancy.  Some could harm your baby, while others may make you feel unwell, which can be hard to cope with when you are pregnant.  More.

Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave has extended from 18 weeks to 22 weeks for babies expected or born on or after 1 July 2018.  This is available for primary carers who take total responsibility for the care and wellbeing of the baby eg. a grandparent who will be raising the child.

Parental leave payments are available to employees who have worked any 26 weeks out of 52 weeks before the baby is born, for at least 10 hours per week.  People with more than one employer or have recently changed jobs are also entitled to paid parental leave if they have worked at least 26 weeks in the last 52.

If you need to stay connected with your workplace while on paid parental leave, then you can use Keeping in Touch hours.  This has increased from 40 hours to 52 hours.  These allow you (if your employer agrees) to perform work from time to time, for example, to attend a team day, without losing your entitlement to paid parental leave payments.  This work is paid and must not exceed the 52 hour limit over the paid parental leave period and must not happen within the first 28 days after your child is born.