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Your baby has officially graduated this week from embryo to fetus, and with that change are a whole bunch of others happening in his development.

 

If you could see your baby from a close range, you would be surprised how much it now resembles a grown person!

Both fingers and toes are fully developed as well as most large joints such as elbows, shoulders, knees, knuckles and ankles. Vital organs, including his kidneys, intestines, brain and liver are in place and starting to function, though they will continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord.

The tooth bud fairy is making an appearance this week, heralding the arrival of your baby’s little choppers, which are forming under the gums.  But those pearly whites won’t break through the gums until your baby is close to six months old.

At 10 weeks, your baby practically swims within the uterus and once you see that on the ultrasound, you cannot believe your eyes that your baby is moving without you feeling it! This is quite normal because these moves must be strong enough and the baby must be larger in order for you to feel its moves.

If you haven’t already looked in the mirror lately and examined your newly pregnant body, take a deep breath, take off your clothes and go for it. First thing you are likely to notice at 10 weeks pregnant is a slight roundness in your lower abdomen. That is your ever-growing uterus you are checking out, which is now about the size of a small grapefruit.

Your baby is around 35 mm long and weighs 5 grams.

Most common symptoms at 10 weeks pregnant:

  • Round ligament pain. Don’t be surprised if you start feeling some aches and pains in your abdomen as it stretches to accommodate your growing baby
  • Growing breasts
  • Morning sickness
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Visible veins

Prenatal tests are one of the many ways your healthcare practitioner will check on the well-being of you and your growing baby.

First trimester screening tests can begin as early as 10 weeks.

 These usually involve blood tests and an ultrasound. They test your baby’s overall development and check to see if your baby is at risk for genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome.

What is Down’s syndrome?

Down syndrome is a disorder that happens at conception. It occurs when the baby has an extra chromosome (chromosome 21). Genes are the blueprint for human growth and development and control how each cell functions. Genes are located on 46 chromosomes (22 pairs of autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes). A genetic disorder may not be suspected unless there is a known family history. An ultrasound or a known maternal factor can also cause concern. Trisomies 21, 18 and 13 are a result of too many copies of these respective chromosomes, causing serious disorders.

Children with Down syndrome have an intellectual disability, a characteristic facial appearance, weak muscle tone (hypotonia) and other body systems can be affected as well. The degree of problems varies, with some people needing a lot of assistance with daily activities and some living almost independently.  Some will need medical treatment for their physical problems. Despite the challenges, though, some people with this condition lead rich and fulfilling lives.

The First Trimester Screen is a routine screening that is not an invasive procedure and poses no known risks to the mother or baby. The First Trimester Screen results may warrant additional testing. The reasons to pursue further testing or not vary from person to person and couple to couple.

Today, thanks to prenatal testing, we can know the sex of a fetus, and diagnose a number of genetic abnormalities and malformations.

Antenatal screening comprises various tests that you will be offered in your first trimester and second trimester. Some tests for Down’s syndrome have become a routine part of NHS antenatal care.
Whether or not you decide to have a test is entirely your choice. Your midwives and doctors will support you, whatever you decide.

  • Screening tests are offered to all women. These tests do not give a definite answer. They simply tell you whether your baby may have a higher chance of having Down’s syndrome. Screening tests do not carry a risk of causing a miscarriage.
  • Diagnostic tests are only offered to women if their screening tests show a possible higher chance of Down’s syndrome. Diagnostic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis, provide definite results but have an associated risk of miscarriage.
  • NIPT is a new non-invasive prenatal testing that will detect nearly all pregnancies affected by Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edward syndrome) and Trisomy 13. With a simple blood draw you can know if your baby is at risk of having a chromosomal disorder.

NIPT poses no risk  to the mother or baby with high detection rates and low false positives. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis (ISPD), along with other professional societies, have stated that NIPT is an available screening option for all pregnant women.

Tranquility,  detects the presence of trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) with a sensitivity >99,9%.