Week 10 of Your Pregnancy
Have you been taking selfies in the mirror? In the coming weeks, you may spot your first sign of a baby bump! At week 10, your baby’s brain is undergoing a rapid phase of development – find out how iron supports your baby’s cognitive growth.
By your 10th week of pregnancy, your baby is as big as a strawberry and measures between 3cm and 4cm! Don’t panic if your baby’s head appears to be disproportionately large — this is a sign of early brain development. Miniscule ear canals are also taking shape, and bones and cartilage are beginning to grow throughout your baby’s body. Don’t be surprised to find tiny teeth buds too!
Nursing pads can be used to avoid the stains on clothing from the first colostrum leak from your breasts. Some swelling can occur at this stage at the genitals from the increased blood flow but don't worry, it's harmless.
Iron: Food for Thought
As you discover how your baby develops, remember to keep a healthy pregnancy diet! Iron is particularly important as it supports the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin in your blood, which carry oxygen around your body5. If you don’t take enough iron, iron-deficiency anaemia leaves you feeling tired, washed out, and sometimes breathless.
Be sure to check your iron levels at regular intervals during pregnancy. If you start feeling particularly tired at any time, let your doctor know. He may prescribe some iron supplements for the time being.
The recommended daily intake of iron for pregnant women is 16 mg per day6. Choose red meat and poultry, or non-animal iron-rich sources such as beans, tofu, raisins, dates, prunes and figs! (NUH)
Boost Your Iron Absorption
To help your body absorb significantly more of the iron in non-animal foods, pair them with something rich in Vitamin C!6. Your options include a glass of orange or tomato juice, or slices of citrus fruits. Calcium, however, interferes with your body’s ability to absorb iron6. The tannins found in tea and coffee are also thought to have a negative effect on iron absorption6.
Are you getting enough iron? Stock up on these healthy options!
- Well-cooked lean meat and oily fish, such as sardines
- Dark green vegetables, including broccoli, watercress, spinach and kale
- Nuts, especially cashew nuts
- Beans and pulses, such as chickpeas and lentils
- Wholegrains, including wholemeal bread and iron-fortified breakfast cereals
- Dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and raisins
1. Papaioannou GI et al. Normal ranges of embryonic length, embryonic heart rate, gestational sac diameter and yolk sac diameter at 6-10 weeks. Fetal Diagn Ther 2010;28(4):207-19.
2. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.
3. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 33.
4. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx [Accessed June 2014]
5. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.
6. Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for iron. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) 2015.
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