Week ten marks the end of the embryonic period and the beginning of the fetal period. Most of the critical part of formation is safely behind you. The developing baby (now referred to as the fetus) is a little over one inch long and weighs about 0.18 ounces. The baby’s torso is getting longer and stretching out, so he or she looks more like a little human being. The wrists, ankles, fingers, and toes are visible, and the baby’s fingers are now completely separated. The vital organs are functioning, including the liver (secreting bile) and the pancreas (making insulin). Your baby’s heart rate is steady and strong, and at your next prenatal visit, you may be able to hear the heartbeat with an instrument called a fetal Doppler.
Along with the baby’s growth, your uterus has been getting larger and has now almost doubled in size. You may not need maternity clothes for a few more weeks, but you’ve probably noticed that your waist is bigger and that your favorite jeans aren’t quite as comfortable. You may also experience indigestion and bloating due to all the progesterone your body is producing. Eating several small meals instead of three bigger ones can help prevent some of this discomfort. There is a tendency for your posture to slouch as your abdomen get bigger—be conscious of this and try to stand and sit up straighter to give your back and abdominal muscles the right support.
You may have more headaches than usual; these are probably due to changing hormones or sinus pressure. Consult your doctor about which medications are safe for you to take for headaches. If you get migraine headaches, they may get worse, but some women report their migraines stop or happen less often during pregnancy. On the other hand, many women experience their first migraine during pregnancy. The main thing you can do for a migraine is to rest in a dark room since sensitivity to light is a leading symptom of this kind of headache. You can also try placing a cool cloth on your forehead and the back of your neck. Although very unpleasant, migraines are not usually cause for alarm during pregnancy. However, if your migraine is accompanied by other symptoms—including fever or blurred vision—you should report this to your doctor right away.
Hot Topic: Exercise
Avoid activities that could make you slip or fall, increasing the risk of abdominal injuries. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which loosens your joints and ligaments to make it easier for your body to give birth. However, another effect of this hormone is that you are more susceptible to injury. You probably aren’t planning any parachuting or bungee jumping, but other potentially hazardous activities include:
- Downhill skiing, ice skating
- Water skiing, surfing, or scuba diving
- Rock climbing
- Horseback riding
- Biking on uneven or slippery terrain, roller or in-line skating
- Competitive contact sports
- Always check with your doctor if you are considering any strenuous activity or new exercise
A Mom’s Suggestion: If your clothes are getting tight in the waist, try looping an elastic band through the buttonhole and then over the button of your pants or skirts—you may be able to wear them for another few weeks. You can also buy a seamless knit band (think of a stretchy piece of material like a head band that fits around your abdomen) to go over the waist of your unbuttoned pants or over maternity pants that are still too big for you.
Eating For Two: Breakfast
Here’s an idea for a quick and nutritious low-sugar breakfast that can still appeal to your inner sweet tooth. Try these scones with a cup of warm chamomile tea for a quiet breakfast.
Carol’s Cranberry and Vanilla Scones
- 1 cup cranberries (or 3/4 cup dried cranberries re-hydrated with 1/2 cup water)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup fat-free yogurt
- 1/2 cup evaporated fat-free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cooking spray
- One large egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl; cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender (or with two knives) until crumbly.
3. Combine cranberries, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly four times with floured hands.
4. Pat dough into a circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush egg white over dough, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Cut dough into eight wedges; top with remaining cranberries.
5. Bake at 400° F for eighteen minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
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