By week ten all of your baby’s major systems are formed including its circulatory, nervous, reproductive and digestive systems. The liver has taken over the work of the yolk sac, which is now slowly disappearing. The webbing between the baby’s tiny fingers and toes has vanished as well and joints have completed, which means it can now bend and flex its fully formed arms and legs. This week your baby also begins swallowing amniotic fluid and urinating. Even though your baby is just a little over an inch long and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce it in essence is a tiny complete human. All that’s left now is rapid weight gain, growth and some fine tuning and re-proportioning (Your baby still has quite the bulging forehead to fit all that new brain matter). The placenta has also almost fully formed which will have an added perk we’ll get to in just a moment.
By this time your uterus is nearly three times the size it was before you became pregnant which is about the size of a grapefruit or soft ball. Most women, at least those pregnant with their first child, are just now actually seeing their weight gain. Pants may no longer be able to be zipped, tight clothing feels uncomfortable and your waist line is disappearing. It’s a good idea to not invest in maternity clothes at this point, but simply loose clothing.
Also due to that increased blood volume in the body, your veins will become far more visible. If your veins are close to the surface to begin with you may be able to see almost all of them in a winding blue spider web across your chest and shoulders most prominently. For the most part these may look odd to you, but their harmless and go away after you’ve have the baby. However sometimes women will develop varicose veins during pregnancy. These are veins that bulge and puff out near the surface of the skin that tend to itch and hurt. Rarely varicose veins can lead to blood clots. Varicose veins usually improve after the birth, but don’t always go away.
So you’re getting fat and covered in veins, guess what else? The placenta mentioned earlier, is beginning to take over hormone production for you new baby. What that means for you? Chances are some of the lovely symptoms those hormones have reeked upon you will begin to diminish in the coming weeks. It’s all up hill from here…minus one little thing, constipation.
Most experts seem to agree that constipation in early pregnancy is indeed caused by hormones, so why this “fun little pregnancy joy” hits around week ten as hormones begin to decrease, is difficult to understand. Either way, hormones affect the muscles in bowels causing constipation which could end up plaguing through-out your entire pregnancy, though not all women experience this symptom. Put quite simply, no pregnancy is exactly alike; it is just to give an idea of what awaits you every week.
If you are suffering from constipation, there are some small life changes you can enact to reduce and possibly eliminate the problem.
You can reduce your risk of getting varicose veins in a few ways.