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Week 10: Rapid Growth And Fetal Movements In The Womb

The tenth week of pregnancy is an exciting milestone characterized by rapid growth and development in your baby. Essential organs and systems start functioning at this important time, and your baby begins to make subtle movements.. 

In this article, we will walk you through the exciting developments that occur during the tenth week of pregnancy. This includes the growth of fingernails and hair, the start of important organ functions, and your baby’s early movements.

1. Fingernails and Hair Begin to Grow

Nose and Nasal Passages

In the tenth week of pregnancy, your baby goes through important changes, including the start of fingernail and hair growth.

a. Development of Fingernails

At this stage, the baby’s fingers and toes become more defined, and the formation of fingernails begins. The nail beds start to develop, setting the stage for the eventual growth of fully-formed nails.

b. Emergence of Hair Follicles

Hair follicles also begin to appear this week. Soft and fine hair, known as lanugo, starts growing on the baby’s skin. Lanugo helps regulate the baby’s body temperature in the womb and will eventually shed or be absorbed closer to the due date.

2. Vital Organs Start to Function


In week 10, the baby’s essential organs start working, playing a crucial role in the fetus’s growth and well-being.

a. Functioning Heart

By week 10, Heart is fully formed and the heart has 4 chambers and beats at 180 beats per minute, 3 times faster than an adult heart. The heartbeat can often be detected through an ultrasound, bringing a sense of reassurance to expectant parents.

b. Functional Digestive System

The digestive system begins to form, with the stomach and intestines starting to develop. Although the baby does not yet begin to absorb any nutrients through the digestive system, this marks an essential step toward the baby’s future nutritional needs.

c. Kidney Functionality

The kidneys, responsible for filtering waste products and regulating fluid levels, become operational during this week. They produce urine, which goes out into the amniotic fluid and is replaced as the baby swallows and processes amniotic fluid.

3. Baby Begins to Make Small Movements


One of the most exciting milestones during week 10 is the beginning of baby’s small movements within the womb.

a. Early Movements

The baby’s muscles develop during this stage, allowing for limited movements. During this time, the baby’s early movements may not be noticeable to the mother. However, these movements mark the beginning of the baby’s journey towards developing proper and powerful motions.

b. Limb Movement

As the baby’s limbs grow and develop, they might flex their tiny arms and legs. These movements might be subtle. However, they play an essential role in preparing the baby’s muscles and nervous system for more significant actions in the coming weeks.

c. Swallowing Reflex

Around week 10, the baby begins to practice swallowing amniotic fluid, which helps strengthen their swallowing reflex and prepares them for feeding after birth.

4. Maternal Experience and Preparations

Week 10 also brings various emotional and physical changes for the expectant mother. Understanding these experiences and making necessary preparations are important during this phase of pregnancy.

a. Physical Changes

Week 10 of pregnancy can bring on fatigue, morning sickness, sore breasts, and mood changes for expectant mothers.. It is essential to listen to your body, rest when needed, and maintain a balanced diet.

b. Emotional Bonding

Bonding with the Baby

As the baby’s movements become more powerful later in pregnancy, an emotional bond between the mother and the baby begins to develop. This bond strengthens over time, and many mothers find it helpful to talk or sing to their babies to build this connection.

c. Prenatal Care and Nutrition


Ensuring regular prenatal check-ups and following your doctor’s advice is crucial. Proper prenatal care and nutrition support the healthy development of the baby.

Week 10 of pregnancy is a remarkable and transformative period for the baby and the expectant mother. With the growth of fingernails and hair, the functioning of vital organs, and the baby’s early movements, this stage lays the groundwork for further growth. Begin seeking the required medical assistance, prioritize your own well-being, and embrace the enchanting journey of nurturing a new life within you.

This article is approved by Dr. Chitwan Dubey, Consultant Obstetrics, Gynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon at Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital.

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