10 weeks pregnant: ultrasound, symptoms and development

Woman at ten weeks pregnant ultrasound

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

Medically reviewed by Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Ayanthi Gunasekera

You are now 10 weeks pregnant and might be starting to notice signs of a baby bump. You've hopefully had your first midwife appointment too, to discuss everything about your pregnancy journey with your midwife. While you might not have told many people yet, at 10 weeks pregnant you're almost three months pregnant, so already a third of the way along! Here’s what’s happening to you and your baby and what to look out for when you're 10 weeks pregnant; ultrasound, bump size, symptoms and more.

Your baby at 10 weeks pregnant

"Your baby is about 30 mm long. That is about the size of a small apricot," says Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Ayanthi Gunasekera. They can also now officially be referred to as a foetus! 

What is my baby doing at ten weeks pregnant?

This week, you’ll notice your baby is starting to look more and more like a human. "By the 10th week of pregnancy, or eight weeks after conception, your baby's head has become rounder," says Ayanthi, although they will still have a huge bulge on their forehead as their brain develops.

Bones and cartilage are forming and your baby is starting to get knees and ankles (cute!). "Your baby can now bend his or her elbows." They are still so small you wouldn’t feel any little punches just yet!

week-10

Although your little one won’t get pearly whites till they're nearly six months old, this week the teeth will start to form under the gums. Toes and fingers lose their webbing and become longer and the eyelids and external ears continue to develop.

If you’ve got a little boy in there, he’ll already be producing testosterone!

Baby's heart is now fully formed and "the heart is beating extremely quickly at 180bpm – that's about 3 times your heart rate," Ayanthi adds. "The baby will be making jerky movements and baby's movement can be seen on a scan."

10 weeks pregnant ultrasound

You'll be offered two NHS ultrasounds during the duration of your pregnancy. The 12-week scan will be the first time you see your little love and then the 20-week anomaly scan where you may choose to find out your baby's gender.

If you just can't wait, you may choose to book a private scan to get an early peek. If you were to take some ten weeks pregnant scan pictures, you could expect to see the development of your baby's features - they're only around 3cms but their limbs have formed and you may be able to spot the outline of their ears. They're also on the move so you might spot those little limbs kicking (though not hard enough to feel just yet). In fact, your 10 weeks pregnant ultrasound may look something like this photo:

What is my body doing at 10 weeks pregnant?

At 10 weeks pregnant symptoms caused by a surge of pregnancy hormones will be starting to affect your body – the muscles in your bowel have relaxed and this can often cause constipation during pregnancy. Eating lots of fibre, drinking lots of water and keeping up exercise can help.

It's time to take a look in the mirror as you might notice the first signs of that growing baby bump this week! "Your uterus is expanding to accommodate the growing fetus. This may lead to a noticeable rounding or fullness in your lower abdomen. You may be struggling to do up your jeans" explains Ayanthi.

That said, while you certainly can have a bump at 10 weeks pregnant, this totally varies from person to person, so don’t worry if you’re not seeing signs yet – you will do very soon. You can also expect a higher frequency of urination due to the pressure the growing uterus exerts on your bladder.

"Your breasts may continue to undergo changes, becoming more tender and increasing in size. The areolas may darken further," says Ayanthi.

The next physical change you might be noticing is your veins looking more prominent than they were before. These will be more obvious if you have fair skin but can appear on the breasts and abdomen. Again, this is normal and nothing to worry about – it’s your body’s way of getting all that extra blood to your growing foetus.

Other physical changes to look out for are spidery red lines (medically referred to as spider naevi) in your upper arm and chest. These are caused by the pregnancy hormone oestrogen which is working to dilate your blood vessels. They usually disappear post-pregnancy, so try not to worry about them just now. Whilst we’re talking about pregnancy hormones, it’s very common for higher levels of progesterone to cause dry skin or pregnancy acne and spots, so look out for this too.

husband-wife-belly

Ten weeks pregnant symptoms

Morning sickness

"While some women experience relief from morning sickness around this time, others may still be dealing with nausea and vomiting," says Ayanthi. "Morning sickness can persist into the second trimester."

Headaches

If you're suffering from week 10 pregnancy headaches, you're probably not alone. This is a fairly common side effect of early pregnancy and could be due to an increase in oestrogen, blood production, or even cutting down on caffeine. If the headaches are severe or are accompanied by problems with vision, pain below your ribs, vomiting, or swelling of the face, hands or feet, call your maternity unit or GP as this can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia.

Constipation

This unpleasant side effect is a common one during the first trimester. Steer clear of foods that will make it worse like bread, rice and pasta and focus on packing your diet full of whole grains and fruit.

Cramps

10 week pregnancy cramps can feel a little like period pain or stitch and can come and go or stick around all day - they're all part of your hormonal changes but speak to your doctor if you also have bleeding or pain when you pee.

Mood swings

Be warned, those pregnancy mood swings will be felt most during trimester one and for the final few months of pregnancy. You’ll have a break soon, but for now, get used to feeling rather over-emotional. "Emotional changes are common during pregnancy. Ensure you have a support system in place and communicate openly with your healthcare provider," recommends Ayanthi.

Fatigue

Exercise during pregnancy is important this week, but so is resting. In about a month you’ll be feeling less tired, but for now, listen to your body and get an early night or two.

Heartburn

Another one you’ve probably already experienced by week 10, but in order to prevent pregnancy heartburn, try not to lie down too soon after you finish eating, no matter how tired you may feel!

Vaginal discharge

Another one caused by those pregnancy hormones, expect white, milky discharge as more blood flows to your pelvic area. Another one not to worry about, it’s completely harmless. If you spot brown discharge at 10 weeks pregnant, it can be a sign of infection so speak to your GP or midwife.

Feeling faint or dizzy

One side effect to all this extra blood pumping around your body is that you may feel faint or dizzy. Remember to sit down as soon as you feel light-headed, and to keep your blood sugar levels up by snacking.

Round ligament pain

This is a fancy way of saying ligament pain as your belly expands. This can be dull or sharp but is very normal. The best thing to do to ease round ligament pain is sit down and put your feet up, as it’s caused by the growing weight of your baby.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain at 10 weeks pregnant is a common symptom and shows your body is getting ready to grow a baby. The ligaments in your body start to soften and stretch, but this can put more strain on your joints, which is why you might be feeling aches and pains in places like your lower back at 10 weeks pregnant.

Spotting

Bleeding at 10 weeks pregnant isn't necessarily a bad sign but it does depend on the type and amount of blood. It's not uncommon to see a little light spotting at 10 weeks pregnant, but heavier bleeding can be cause for concern so contact your GP or midwife if you're worried.

What to do at 10 weeks pregnant

Your first scan: As mentioned above, all pregnant women will be booked in for a dating scan between 10-14 weeks pregnant, often referred to as the '12-week scan'. If you haven't got a date already, make sure to get in touch with the hospital to confirm yours is booked in. This scan is the first in-depth look at your growing baby and assesses the early development in the womb.

Get more vitamin D: As we mentioned above, your baby is growing their teeth this week! If your diet is low in Vitamin D, now’s the time to talk to your doctor about pregnancy vitamins and supplements.

Keep calm: What with keeping your mum-to-be status a secret for the next few weeks, battling morning sickness, tiredness and all the hormonal changes happening right now, it’s a good time to learn to relax. Exercise is a good way to release those feel-good endorphins, so unless your doctor has told you otherwise, joining a pregnancy yoga class this week could be a good idea.

That said, if those overwhelmed feelings are creeping in when you’re not on the mat, try this simple yoga-style breathing exercise to help keep you stress-free. Repeat the following a few times, then breathe as normal. It will help regulate the oxygen flow in your blood:

Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of two. Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of three. Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of four. Inhale to the count of two; exhale to the count of five.

Tweak your meals: "If you are having symptoms such as bloating or heartburn, eat small meals regularly and avoid eating late at night," advises Ayanthi. "Avoid spicy or fatty foods."

Shopping time: "As your body continues to change, you may find it more comfortable to wear maternity clothing. Invest in comfortable and supportive nursing and maternity bras and consider loose-fitting, breathable clothing."

How common is a miscarriage at 10 weeks?

An early miscarriage is one that happens before 12 weeks and while the risk of miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant varies, the chances of having a miscarriage are lower as your pregnancy progresses. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that in the second half of the first trimester (between 8-13 weeks), the rate of miscarriage was 2–4%. You know your body best, so if you're worried about any symptoms, always speak to your GP or midwife.

About the experts

Dr Ayanthi Gunasekera is a senior obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) trainee (ST7) in North and East London at Barnet and Chase farm Hospitals NHS Trust. She has a keen interest in medical education and has a PG certificate in Medical Education.

A journalist since 2015, Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for seven years. Emily writes about everything from the top baby products to pregnancy, fertility and maternal mental health. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

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