Now that most of my early development is complete, it’s time for some rapid growth. At this point, interesting little features have begun to appear, like fingernails and a soft peach fuzz of hair growing on my skin. Many of my vital organs are not only in place, they’re actually functioning. I’ve even started producing my own red blood cells. My arms and legs now have distinct hands and toes, and my limbs can actually bend and flex a bit – I’m actually testing things out by kicking this week, although don’t expect to feel any little punts against your tummy just yet. I’m also swallowing fluid to help me grow big and strong. Despite all this, I’m still just the size of a prune. The coolest thing right now? You should be able to hear my heartbeat using a Doppler stethoscope at your next prenatal visit. It’ll be super fast and super light, but I can’t wait for you to hear it and know that I’m doing well.
At this stage your pregnancy may begin to ‘show’, possibly just a bit. At the very least, chances are your clothes are starting to strain, especially your bra. Many women have noted that week 10 is when they begin straddling a line between maternity wear and their regular clothing. Some of this is due to your expanding belly, but it can also be related to bloating and constipation – both common side effects of being pregnant. Combat them both by drinking plenty of water, avoiding high-sodium foods and choosing healthy fruits and vegetables. The good news is, lots of women report their energy is starting to perk back up around this point, and your morning sickness might be starting to level off.
If you’re looking at your wardrobe and wondering whether it’s time to spring for some maternity jeans, there are a few ways to extend your clothes in the early stages of pregnancy. If you’ve got elastic-banded pants or skirts, haul those out for a more forgiving fit around your waistline. Dresses and tops with an empire or natural waist are a good way to disguise a growing midsection, or you can wear leggings and tunics for a trendy-yet-comfortable look. There are also products out there that can insert into your favorite jeans to give you a bit of extra breathing (and growing) room without tipping off the masses that you’re preggers.
Still thinking about hearing my heartbeat? It’s just the first of many milestones you’ll get to experience outside the womb. “A mother’s joy begins when new life is stirring inside, when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.” – Unknown