Fetal development in pregnancy week 10:
Your baby is now about 1 ½ inches long and weighs about 5 grams, it resembles the shape and size of a peapod. Hormones may be raging for you at this point, and you may feel sad and tearful one moment and happy the next. This emotional roller coaster is normal and it will even out some over the next few weeks.
Even though it is very difficult to discern the sex of your baby by ultrasound at this point, the genitals are forming. Your baby’s brain is forming 250,000 neurons every minute. Brain development is very rapid at this time.
The head is upright and your baby can turn their head, open their mouth, smile and practice breathing. The outer ear is completely formed and the inner ear is nearly complete. The intestines begin moving from the umbilical cord to the abdomen and all the vital organs are formed and starting to work together. The lungs are continuing to develop.
The arms and legs are well formed and fingers and toes are not webbed any longer. All of your baby’s joints are formed, so they can bend their fingers and make a fist. The can kick and curl up their toes.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make a decision about CVS testing.
Hang in there, now that you are 10 weeks pregnant, just a couple more weeks and you should start noticing some significant relief from morning sickness!
By 10 weeks pregnant, you are probably starting to feel more and more positive about your pregnancy. You have probably had the opportunity to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time at your doctor’s office. The sound of your baby’s heartbeat will probably send you and your partner to the moon and back.
If you haven’t invited your partner to accompany you to your prenatal visits by now, you might consider doing so. Though many are ‘run of the mill’ checks, your partner will feel more a part of your pregnancy, more helpful and supportive if they are invited to your prenatal visits. During your visits, your partner and you will also have the opportunity to discuss any questions and concerns you may be having about your pregnancy. Your partner may even think of a few questions you may have missed!
Is the reality of pregnancy setting in yet? Do you start worrying about things like how you’ll afford groceries if she takes maternity leave? These are normal dad worries and legitimate. Make sure you sit down and rationalize your feelings prior to having the discussions with her. There are plenty of answers to your questions. Finding out now about both of your maternity/paternity leave policies will be helpful in determining what your family can handle.
Want to know one thing all pregnant moms have in common? They are hot… No, we aren’t referring to the fact that moms look good (even though all pregnant women are masterpieces!). We are referring to the fact that most moms feel very hot while pregnant because their body temperature is higher than normal. If this feels like you then check out the amazing selection of maternity shorts vendors have to offer this year. If you are expecting, there is no reason you can’t wear maternity shorts from Destination Maternity all year round, particularly if that is what it takes to keep you cool and comfortable. So what are you waiting for?
Pregnancy Health Tips
Many women are concerned with genetic testing during pregnancy. There are some tests that are common to most women during pregnancy, while others are performed only under special circumstances. Women who are of advanced maternal age, over 35 years of age, may opt to undergo a test referred to as chorionic villus sampling or CVS, which can help detect genetic abnormalities that might lead to Down syndrome and other disorders.
This test is typically conducted between the 9th and 11th weeks of pregnancy. There is a small risk of miscarriage associated with the procedure (about 1 percent), thus you should discuss the risks with your healthcare practitioner prior to deciding to undergo this test. CVS is considered one of the more invasive tests that can be performed during pregnancy, and it is usually only performed in high risk pregnancies, such as a woman with a family history of genetic hereditary disease or one who is older than 35 years of age.
The triple screen test is a common and safe test performed during pregnancy. It is a non-invasive blood test taken between the beginning of the 15th week and the 17th week. This test measures levels of three proteins in the blood, AFP, HCG and UE3. The levels of these proteins are compared with the mother’s age and ethnicity of the parents and can determine the probability of a potential genetic problem in the baby. Some of the more common problems the test can help identify include:
- Downs syndrome
- Neural tube defects (defect of the lower spine)
- Babies at risk for low birth weight and premature delivery
- Ventral wall abnormalities (defects of the umbilical cord and bowel)
It is important that you remember that no genetic test is 100% accurate. The triple test is a screening instrument and not a diagnosis. That means that while the test may indicate your fetus is at risk for Downs Syndrome, it doesn’t mean that your baby will be born with this or any other disorder. In fact, many women can receive false positive tests. A false positive test is usually a result from your calculated due date being incorrect.
If your test results from a triple screen come back positive, your physician may recommend an amniocentesis, which is another invasive procedure that examines fluid from the amniotic sac. Amniocentesis requires that a needle be inserted through your abdomen and into the uterus. Your healthcare provider will then extract amniotic fluid for testing. The healthcare provider will use an ultrasound to ensure that they do not harm the baby with the needle. There is a risk of damage or infection in the baby when this procedure is chosen, thus it is typically only recommended during high-risk pregnancies, including those that have a positive triple screening test or advanced maternal age.
The CVS test is actually considered more risky than an amniocentesis. Whether or not you decide to opt for genetic testing is completely your decision. You may be pre-disposed to certain conditions. Many parents want to know the possibility of a potential problem ahead of time, so they can prepare themselves mentally for what is to come in the weeks to follow. It is important that you go into any testing situation fully informed and aware of the potential benefits and risks.
Remember that testing is not without its associated errors and false positive results. Many babies that have positive test results are born perfectly healthy. Be sure you discuss your situation with your doctor in detail before deciding on any procedures that may be suggested for you. Some women will opt to forgo any genetic screenings even if a triple marker test indicates the potential for a birth defect or genetic abnormality. Have confidence that you can make the decision that is best for you and your baby, and be sure to lean on your family and friends for support when necessary.
Try to find a time to rest each day, it’s a great start on alleviating stress and lack of sleep. Even if it’s 20 minutes, it’s good for you and the babies! Try a body pillow as your belly grows, this can help you make the most of your down time.