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What to Expect in the 10th Week of Pregnancy

Updated on December 10, 2012

10 Weeks Pregnant

Pearly white teeth are forming beneath your baby's gums this week, though they won't be seen for months after birth! Baby is continuing to grow and develop vital organ systems: the baby's stomach begins to create acid to digest food, and the kidneys begin to produce urine. Urine excreted by the baby will form the amniotic fluid that he or she floats in for the next several months.

The big news? Your baby is no longer called an embryo, and is officially labeled a "fetus." The organ systems are all in place (though very immature and limited in function) and the baby has a more human-like appearance.

Some early pregnancy symptoms may begin to dissipate - or may stay for another few weeks. Women are often worried when the symptoms disappear, though this is normal as hormone levels plateau and the pregnancy nears the second trimester. Some women will continue to battle with morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy.

Fetal Development Timeline

After 10 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is no longer considered an embryo. The fetal development phase has begun.
After 10 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is no longer considered an embryo. The fetal development phase has begun. | Source

Your Body at 10 Weeks

Bloating is starting to give way to a slight "baby bump," particularly for mothers who are on their second (or third, or fourth) pregnancy. First time mothers may not develop a noticeably pregnant physique for several more weeks.

Maternity clothes are generally not needed at this stage, though regular pants may be uncomfortable. There are several products on the market to extend the use of regular (non-maternity) pants - some products will even convert regular jeans into maternity jeans. "Belly Bands" are a great product that allow pregnant women to wear their regular clothes throughout most of the pregnancy - the band fits over the top of a woman's regular pants, which are worn unbuttoned. A belly band is an extremely economical choice, as it may negate the need to buy an extensive maternity wardrobe!

Early pregnancy symptoms (from headaches and morning sickness to constipation and heartburn) are often still a significant source of discomfort for many women throughout the entire first trimester. Take heart: the second trimester is just around the corner!

Baby at 10 Weeks of Pregnancy

An embryo at six weeks of gestation is on the left, and a fetus at ten weeks of gestation is on the right. The baby develops quickly during the first trimester.
An embryo at six weeks of gestation is on the left, and a fetus at ten weeks of gestation is on the right. The baby develops quickly during the first trimester. | Source

The Baby at 10 Weeks

Baby's arms are able to bend and wave now, thanks to functional elbow joints. The legs lag in development, but the beginning stages of knees and ankles are visible on the little one's body. The baby measures about 1 ½ inches from head to rump, and a few sparse hairs are beginning to grow.

While the gender is not obvious via ultrasound yet, but the baby's genitalia continues to develop. Little boys now have testicles that produce testosterone. Baby's heart is beating away, and there is the possibility you will hear it by doppler if an exam is performed this week.

Baby's face continues to develop, as the upper lip forms completely. The eyelids are fused shut for a few more months, and will open sometime between weeks 25-27 of pregnancy.

Dental Care in Pregnancy

Dental Care in Pregnancy

Many women notice their gums bleed easily during early pregnancy. The hormonal changes make pregnant women more prone to gum disease and other dental health problems. Morning sickness may cause gagging or vomiting when brushing the teeth, and some women may stop brushing their teeth altogether. Stomach acid from repeated vomiting can erode tooth enamel and make pregnant women more susceptible to surface cavities.

With all of the dental problems that plague women in pregnancy, it is a wise idea to have regular checkups by a dentist. Pregnant women should:

  • Avoid dental X-rays throughout the pregnancy.
  • Avoid any dental procedures during the first and third trimesters.
  • Postpone elective dental procedures until the pregnancy is over.
  • Inform the dentist of all medications taken during pregnancy, including prenatal vitamins.

If breaking out the toothbrush causes gagging and vomiting, look for a low-foaming toothpaste with a bland flavor (some women prefer toothpaste flavors like "vanilla mint" as opposed to traditional peppermint flavoring).

Use mouthwash on a regular basis, as this will help to clear the mouth of debris and will kill bacteria. The mouth should be rinsed with water after vomiting. As always, sugary foods should be avoided and a healthy diet maintained.

Baby's teeth are also forming during pregnancy, and are susceptible to damage from certain drugs. Tetracycline, sometimes prescribed for dental infections, should not be taken by pregnant women. The antibiotic will damage the baby's developing teeth! Be sure to eat plenty of calcium, as baby's bones (including teeth) will need a sufficient supply to become healthy and strong.

Baby's First Teeth

Baby's first set of teeth are forming under the gums at 10 weeks of gestation. These teeth will appear between the ages of approximately 4 months - 2 years of age.
Baby's first set of teeth are forming under the gums at 10 weeks of gestation. These teeth will appear between the ages of approximately 4 months - 2 years of age. | Source

About Your Baby's Forming Teeth

The primary teeth are forming under baby's gums this week. Later, permanent teeth will form in the gums behind the primary teeth. Babies will grow 20 "baby" teeth, which will emerge from approximately 4 months of age to 2 years of age. There is wide variability for when those first chompers appear, though - some children cut their first tooth at three months, while others are a year of age!

The primary teeth will not last long - sometime between your child's 5th and 7th birthday, the baby teeth will begin to fall out. Even though these teeth are temporary, they require meticulous care. Damage to primary teeth can sometimes affect the permanent teeth behind them, or cause eating difficulty and pain.

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