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Baby development at 10 weeks
Your baby’s brain is in a rapid phase of development.
Get the facts about pregnancy weight gain.
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 long 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 stage.
Within your baby’s developing jawbone, tiny teeth buds are forming. Miniscule ear canals are also taking shape, while throughout the rest of the body, bones and cartilage are beginning to grow.
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 weeks
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.
Tiredness and fatigue
During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted.
Nausea and vomiting
Morning sickness affects up to 80% of mums-to-be in the first trimester. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.
Bloating and gas
The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas.
Cramping or bleeding
Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy. 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.
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 allowance of iron for women is 15mg per day.
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 vegetables. Calcium, however, inhibits it. It is also thought that the tannins found in tea and coffee can also have a negative effect on iron absorption.
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
An adequate intake of iron supports the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin in your blood, which carry oxygen around your body. 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.
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 baby. Learn everything you need to know about weight gain in pregnancy.
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.