Guide to 10 months of pregnancy

Huge pregnancy bump

If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, this guide is for you!

Having a baby can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be a time of uncertainty. Many parents have questions and concerns as they face all the changes that pregnancy brings. With advice coming from everyone, it’s tough to know who to listen to. That’s why having accurate information is so important! It will help you to make good decisions about how to take care of yourself before, during, and after your pregnancy.

1st month 

  • heartbeat begins

  • arm and leg buds appear

  • primitive digestive system develops

  • the embryo is 5 mm (1/5th of an inch) long

Feeling Sick: Nausea and Vomiting

Feeling sick? You’re not alone! Many women experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy. That’s because changes in hormones can make you feel sick to your stomach. Certain smells and movements can make nausea worse. The good news is that nausea usually disappears after the first trimester.

To help cope with nausea and vomiting, you can:


  • Avoid having an empty stomach.

  • Eat food that appeals to you in frequent small amounts until you are feeling better.

  • Get out of bed slowly and eat soon afterward.

  • Drink fluids between meals and not with meals.

  • Choose cold foods (with less smell) or have someone else do the cooking.

  • Get plenty of fresh air.

  • Try smelling fresh-cut lemons.

  • Avoid smoke, strong odors, alcohol and caffeine 

2nd month 

  • brain, liver, kidneys, bloodstream and digestive system are developing

  • limbs develop

  • an embryo has become a fetus: it is about 2.9 cm (1 and 1/8th inches) long and weighs 0.9 g (1/30th of an ounce) 

Calcium and vitamin D

You need calcium throughout your pregnancy to build strong bones and teeth for your baby. Vitamin D is also needed to absorb and use calcium. Getting enough calcium will help your teeth and bones stay healthy too! Eat foods rich in calcium, such as milk (all types), cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy beverages.

Also eat foods that provide vitamin D such as milk, fortified soy beverages, fish, and margarine.

Did you know…

Your baby’s teeth start forming in the womb.

3rd month 

  • facial features are present, the nose and outer ears are formed

  • movement such as head-turning or sucking begins

  • all internal organs are developing

  • the fetus is about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long and weighs 30 g (1 ounce) 


Too much caffeine isn’t good for you or your baby.

For women of childbearing age, the recommendation is a maximum daily caffeine intake of no more than 300 mg — a little over two eight-ounce (237 ml) cups of coffee. This total should include natural sources of caffeine, including herbs such as guarana and yerba mate.

Start trying to limit how much coffee, strong tea, and soft drinks you consume. Water and milk are good alternatives that will provide you with more of the nutrients your baby needs.

Warning! Some herbal teas, such as chamomile, aren’t good to drink when you’re pregnant. You’ll also want to avoid teas with aloe, coltsfoot, juniper berry, pennyroyal, buckthorn bark, comfrey, labrador tea, sassafras, duck root, lobelia and senna leaves.

Other herbal teas, such as citrus peel, linden flower (not recommended for persons with pre-existing cardiac conditions), ginger, lemon balm, orange peel, and rosehip, are generally considered safe if taken in moderation (two to three cups per day).

4th month

  • lanugo or fine body hair develops

  • the fetus is about 15 cm (6 inches) long and weighs 110 g (4 ounces) 


Many women get constipated during pregnancy. It happens because food passes through your body more slowly when you are pregnant so you can absorb the extra nutrients you and your baby need. Eating foods high in fiber — like vegetables and fruit, whole grains and cooked or canned beans, peas and lentils — can help. So can drinking more fluids, especially warm or hot fluids. Being physically active is also important. There’s nothing like a good walk around the block to move things along!

Warning! If you are pregnant, do not use a laxative to treat constipation without checking with your health care provider first. Laxatives can trigger the onset of labor contractions.

5th month

  • finger and toenails formed

  • responds to noise

  • hair and eyebrows are growing

  • movements become increasingly vigorous

  • the fetus is about 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches long), half its length at birth and weighs 220 to 450 g (8 ounces to 1 pound) 


Iron is important for healthy blood. It is also needed for your baby’s brain to develop properly. You need to get enough iron so your baby can grow properly and build up a good store of iron for after birth. Babies without enough iron may have more illnesses and problems learning. To increase your iron intake, eat foods rich in iron such as red meat; eggs and poultry; whole-grain and enriched breads and cereals; cooked or canned dried beans; and peas and lentils.

Don’t overdo it! If you are taking a vitamin-mineral supplement that contains 16 - 20 mg of iron, you don’t need an extra iron supplement unless it’s recommended by your health care provider.

6th month

  • eyes are open

  • a creamy substance called vernix covers the skin

  • skin is wrinkled and the fetus appears very thin

  • the fetus is about 28 to 36 cm (11-14 inches) long and weighs 0.7 kg (1 1/2 pounds)

Low-Cost Nutritious Choices

Healthy eating doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Choosing basic foods that are not pre-packaged and processed will cost less and will be healthier for you and your baby. Check out these low-cost nutritious choices from the four food groups.

Milk and alternatives: milk powder, plain milk or yogurt, and canned milk.

Vegetables and fruits: in-season vegetables and fruit, squash, potatoes, turnip, frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, canned fruit packed in juice, low sodium canned vegetables, apples, cabbage, carrots, and vegetables from your own garden.

Grain products: bread, rice, macaroni or spaghetti, barley, and rolled oats.

Meat and alternatives: baked beans, canned or fresh fish, fowl, dried beans, peas and lentils, ground beef, and eggs.

7th month 

  • the fetus weighs about 1.1 kg (2.5 pounds) and is approximately 37 cm (15 inches) in length 

Swelling (Edema)

Many women notice some swelling in their feet and ankles in the third trimester. Pregnant women naturally retain more water in their bodies, so this is perfectly normal. Now is not the time to cut back on your fluid intake. Even when you feel bloated, you still need to keep drinking water and other fluid like milk, to stay healthy.

To reduce swelling, put your feet up, avoid crossing your legs, wear loose clothing, and get plenty of rest and exercise.

8th month

  • the fetus weighs about 2.2 kg (5 pounds) and is 40 to 45 cm (16 to 18 inches) long 


Heartburn is common during pregnancy. It’s caused by the pressure of the growing baby and hormone changes during pregnancy that allows stomach acid to move up to your throat.

The following suggestions might help:

  • Do not lie down after eating.

  • When you do lie down, raise your head and shoulders.

  • Avoid fried or greasy foods.

  • Drink fluids between meals, not with meals.

  • Avoid coffee, colas, alcohol, and smoking.

  • Eat slowly. Take the time to chew well.

  • Eat small meals and snacks.

Some women take an antacid medicine to help with heartburn. An antacid reduces the amount of acid in your stomach.

Not all antacids are safe for pregnant women. Check with your doctor or health care provider before you take one.

9th month

  • the fetus weighs 3.2 to 3.6 kg (7 or 8 pounds) and maybe more than 50 cm (20 inches) long

  • skin wrinkles become less pronounced

  • eyes open and close

  • the fetus responds to light 

Water and Other Fluids

Your baby is always thirsty so it’s important for you to drink plenty of water while you’re pregnant. Water carries nutrients to your body and to your growing baby, carries away waste products from your baby and from you, keeps you cool, helps prevent constipation, and helps to control swelling. Drink plenty of fluids every day, including water and milk. Drink more in hot weather or when you are active.

Did you know…

Water makes up about half of our body weight.

10th month

For New Parents

Having a baby can be one of the most exciting times in your life, and, at the same time, one of the most daunting. There are many changes to adjust to and many unknowns to face. With this in mind, it is important to remember that the most precious gift you can give your child is a healthy start in life.

© 2000–2006 Women’s College Hospital.

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