The risks of any congenital defects drop dramatically once you reach the 10th week of your pregnancy as the most vital stage of fetal development is over . Although it does not mean that you and the baby are safe from any complications in the coming months, following the guidelines of your ob-gyn can help you have a healthy pregnancy from this stage.
Development of the eyes continues with the main optical structure already being in place . The external ears have completed their growth while the internal ear is almost done growing as well. Both the eyes and ears start developing at the sides of the head, later moving to the right place.
The forehead starts bulging up at this stage, sitting high on the head while the hair follicles begin to grow as well. The fetal head will soon appear normal as the forehead gradually flattens .
The thin hands and legs continue to grow longer while the fingers and toes start to grow nails and unique finger prints . The bones and cartilages also keep growing during the 10th week .
The outline of the spine becomes clearly visible at this stage with the spinal nerves stretching out from it .
The vital organs of your baby, including the brain, liver and kidneys begin to function on their own while continuing their growth at the same time . The intestines are already hollow tubes with muscles that help them move and tighten , helping your baby to practice swallowing.
This is also the week when the diaphragm begins to develop, gradually separating the chest and abdomen. The sex organs also grow rapidly and you will soon be able to know whether to paint the nursery blue or pink .
The fetus that was the size of a green olive is now a big as a lime with his crown to rump measurement being around 1.2 inches  (3.1 cm). He has also started gaining weight, currently weighing about 0.14 ounces (4g) .
Your growing uterus and increasing blood volume continue to lead to certain pregnancy pains and other symptoms. The high pregnancy hormone (HCG and progesterone) levels make your complexion smoother and shinier, giving you the well-known “pregnancy glow” by increasing the number of facial oil glands . The growing milk-producing glands may also lead to fuller breasts .
Although you might notice your belly expanding quite a bit in the past few weeks, it is still too early for others to start noticing your baby bump . However, there is nothing to worry about if you do not start showing at all at this stage, especially if this is your first pregnancy .
An ultrasound scan performed this week shows the head to comprise about half the length of your baby  with some fuzzy hair growth .
The translucent or see-through skin allows you to see the functioning of the inner organs on a 4D ultrasound . This is usually the week when the parents hear their child’s heartbeat for the first time, which is often described as being similar to the sound of galloping horses .
Your doctor may ask you to take certain genetic tests at this stage to detect any hereditary or congenital disorders like Down syndrome . All these tests are non-invasive, meaning only a few blood samples are collected from you to examine your baby’s DNA. Some of these tests are performed routinely during your prenatal checkups while others are only necessary in high risk cases (having a family history of some genetic disorder or being over 35 years of age) 
In many women, the symptoms of morning sickness, dizziness and headache begin to subside in the tenth week . But, there is nothing to worry about if the symptoms persist. Apart from heartburn, bloating and flatulence, the common symptoms experienced during the tenth week include:
The chances of miscarriage drop considerably after the 10th week. However, it is advisable to look out for the following symptoms to avoid serious complications:
Published on April 4th 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.