• Early Pregnancy Finding an LMC Planning your Pregnancy Care How to Plan Labour and Birth After Baby is Born Contact Twins Guide

Your baby has now graduated from being called an “embryo” to being called a “fetus”(young one) and is beginning to look like a miniature human being. Your “fetus” has formed all his internal organs, his heart has already divided into four chambers. Rudimentary versions of most external physical structures are also present e.g. hands, fingers, feet and toes, mouth, nose and nostrils eyes and earlobes. Your body has been very busy supporting all this growth and development.

Your body is pumping out pregnancy hormones that can cause you to feel nauseas, headachy, dizzy and exhausted. You may also have tender or tingly breasts and nipples, need to go to the toilet frequently and be finding it difficult to sleep (and when you are sleeping having vivid dreams). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you can expect them to last for a few more weeks yet before your body gets used to its new hormone picture.

Blood Tests: By the end of week 10 you will have taken the referral forms that the LMC you visited gave you and gone to your local Medical Laboratory to give blood for any tests you’ve agreed to have. This will include the blood test for the Combined Screening for Down Syndrome etc if you have decided to have your baby screened for this.

Although you can have your early pregnancy blood tests earlier than this, if you are planning to take the First Trimester Combined Screening test it is probably a good idea to wait and have all the blood samples taken at once.

Chorionic Villus Sampling is a procedure that checks for chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in the fetus and can be performed between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage from this procedure is higher than for amniocentesis (1-2% cf 0.5-1%) but this risk is offset for some mothers/parents by the fact that the procedure can be performed earlier in pregnancy making first trimester termination a possibility if abnormalities are found.

Announcing your pregnancy: Because the risk of miscarriage reduces from 20 per 100 pregnancies to 2 per 100 pregnancies by the end of week 10, this may be a good time to tell family and close friends (even colleagues if you are suffering from all day nausea and/or vomiting) that you are pregnant. Sharing the news will mean that you don’t have to pretend to feel great and if you are feeling rotten, you’ll likely get some sympathy and be given some leaway around work etc.

Food: Continue to eat unprocessed food & sugar-free drinks regularly (every 2 hours if you’re nauseas but do not eat and drink at the same time) and well. Even if the thought of eating makes you feel nauseas it’s important that you eat regularly. Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly sometimes helps relieve nausea and vomiting. If you’re vomiting regularly remember to rinse your mouth with water afterwards to protect your teeth from the acid contents of your stomach.

Exercise: Continue with your pre-pregnancy exercise programme if you’re feeling up to it, but remember to drink water before, during and after exercising. Generally, your heart rate should not exceed 140bpm during pregnancy but if you train regularly or are an athlete, a slightly higher rate may be okay. Check with your LMC midwife or doctor if you’re unsure.

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