Just 10 weeks in but you’ve already come so far!
Your baby has now graduated from an embryo (the earliest stage of a baby’s development) to become an official fetus! The face looks more baby-like than ever, with everything in place. The head is still very large, much bigger than the rest of the body, but it can now be turned slightly.
Lots of muscles have formed and your baby can wave the arms and legs, but still unconsciously.
In the abdomen, the over-sized liver is starting to form red blood cells, which will help satisfy your baby’s oxygen needs.
In the brain, the nerve cells continue multiplying exponentially, establishing the different neural circuits responsible for proper brain functioning. And we’re not exaggerating when we say exponentially – there’ll be about 12 to 14 billion nerve cells by the 18th week! That number, however, will come down when the brain reaches full maturity around the time your child turns 18.
You were jumping for joy over the pregnancy half an hour ago, and now you’re pacing ‘round the room worried sick? Yup, that’s your mood swings at work. And they can get pretty impressive during the first trimester, due to the hormonal imbalance of estrogen and progesterone inside pregnant women’s bodies.
If your mood swings have been particularly bad or you haven’t been feeling well, the good news is that it’s likely to be over real soon. In the second trimester, which is just about to start, hormone levels stabilize to become more balanced again. That’s when most pregnant women experience a feeling of calmer wellbeing.
This week, let’s turn the focus on protein foods. Does your diet have enough of them each day?
Protein is essential for both you and your growing baby. It helps carry nutrients throughout the body, helps build strong bones, and supports the healthy development and maintenance of body tissues.
Protein-rich foods don’t just include meats, but some veggies, too. However, while animal proteins contain all the amino acids our bodies need but cannot produce, when it comes to plant-based foods, only soybeans can provide all of the amino acids essential to our health. That’s why vegetarian diets must find its sources of protein from soybeans and other legumes and nuts, as well as through dairy and egg proteins when possible.
Make sure you let your gynecologist know if you are vegetarian or vegan. Always consult your nutrition choices with a doctor who knows your needs best.
“Do pregnant women who are older than 35 need extra precaution?”
It really depends on how healthy the individual is, so it’s best to discuss your particular case with your gynecologist.
There is usually little to be concerned about, but pregnant women over 35 years of age who have a slightly higher risk of a chromosome problem with their child may consider a prenatal screening – a kind of test that will help check the health of the embryo.
The decision to have this test or not is difficult and lies with the mother alone. However, it is often helpful to talk to other people about it and share personal experiences. That, plus consulting closely with your gynecologist, can help you feel relaxed about your choice.
All set for week 11? Click here to know what happens then.