As you move into the last month of the first trimester, your body is all geared up for another set of changes that will take place in the coming week. You are still 4-5 weeks away from getting rid of the bouts of vomiting and food aversions but you might start getting used to the symptoms by now. With practice and an experience of 8 weeks by your side, you are probably aware of how to deal with most of the symptoms. However, it is essential to understand what your body might be telling you this week. You would also want to know what your baby has reached developmentally which is why this article will give you a clear picture of the changes this week that are expected of your baby and your body.
Your Baby At 9 Weeks
Already past the embryonic stage, your baby is now officially a fetus and is almost the size of a grape, measuring around an inch and weighing about a fraction of an ounce. It is growing more human-like in appearance with each passing day. Although most of the essential parts of its body are in place, they are developmentally ready to function. There is a massive amount of growth and development left for the baby to reach by 40 weeks and that happen gradually over time.
Your baby is drawing its nutrition from your placenta which is capable enough to produce hormones and to carry forward this pregnancy independently. The pearly whites of your baby are already in place under the gums and will erupt only when the baby is developmentally ready outside the womb. Till then you can visualize the gummy smiles that will reward you every single day in less than 9 months. Your baby has lost the embryonic tail by this week.
Yet another significant change that happens in the 9th week is that your baby’s heart finally divides into 4 chambers and the valves begin to form. Its external sex organs have started developing but there are a few more weeks before you can sure of the gender of your baby.
As far as your facial features are concerned, your baby’s eyes are now fully formed but her eyelids will remain fused up to 27 weeks. The earlobes are also present but they are still forming and are tiny in size. The formation of the mouth, nose and nostrils is gradually becoming distinguishable.
This is around the time when your fetus will start gaining weight rapidly because its basic structure is now in place.
Another distinct development that happens in the 9th week is how the region around the neck becomes more defined and also undergoes movements like lifting and turning while your baby starts twitching.
The joints of your baby’s body will now start working. Elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles and wrist joints will work together to help your baby stretch and move around in the amniotic fluid.
What else is developing? Your baby’s digestive system is picking up pace and the diaphragm is also developing which means that your baby is gearing up to have hiccups very soon. It is amazing to know that you will be able to feel your baby’s hiccups in a while!
As the 9th week sets in, your baby’s skeletal structure begins to harden and cartilage starts forming through the body. Your baby’s nipples and hair follicles will also start forming this week.
Coming to the intestinal system, the pancreas, gall bladder, bile ducts and anus begin to take form and the intestine starts elongating.
While the external reproductive organs are not yet distinct, they continue to grow internally. If your baby is a girl, her ovaries would have started forming and if it is a boy, his testes will start developing.
Your Body At 9 Weeks
With most of the symptoms from the 8th week carrying forward to the 9th week, your pregnancy continues to remain discreet because you are far from showing but internally, your body is changing in significant ways.
Finding Your Clothes Uncomfortable
You might not be able to find a difference in your waist size but the waistbands of your denims could already start to feel uncomfortable. You are bloated, gassy and nauseous for a considerable part of the first trimester and even if you haven’t started putting on weight, some of your clothes that are body-hugging might feel extremely uncomfortable. If you have clothes that are restrictive around your waistline, avoid wearing them for now and switch to more forgiving styles. It is essential that you pick clothes that have a breathable fabric and are stretchy enough to accommodate your growing baby bump in the near future.
It is normal to be gassy all through your pregnancy and if you have been farting not so discreetly anymore, blame your pregnancy hormones that slow down your digestion. It is perfectly natural to feel embarrassed but you are not the first pregnant woman to pass gas often so learn to start forgiving yourself. One of the ways you could keep yourself from becoming too gassy is by avoiding certain food items like cabbage and beans and also by avoiding heavy meals at one go. It is best to avoid taking medication for gas. Keeping yourself active with moderate exercises can help relieve you.
Bulging veins on your arms, legs and feet as well as on and around your breasts can make you look a little out of place but it is good to know that these are all ways of nourishing and looking after the baby in your womb. Your body is producing 40% more blood than usual and as your blood volume increases, veins tend to bulge out in areas where there is more blood flow. Increased blood flow might also make you feel dizzy and light-headed.
Changes In Your Nipples
As much as you might hate the changes that happen to your nipples in pregnancy, it might feel better to know that these are ways of your body to prepare itself for breastfeeding. Your nipples will turn noticeably darker and larger in size. Montgomery’s Tubercles2 that are common during pregnancy might appear as raised bumps around your areolas. Each development in pregnancy has a purpose to fulfill and it is best to let your body be as your pregnancy unfolds. This whole process is Biology at its best.
Changes In Libido
While some women continue to have the same libido as before conception, most others report a distinct disinterest in sexual activity from around the time of conception. With increased secretion of hormones and a number of other symptoms that wreak havoc on your inside as well as outside, there is nothing unusual about not wanting to have sex. A lucky few have an increased urge to indulge in sexual activity and one of the primary reasons for that to happen is the increased blood flow to the clitoris. There is heightened sensitivity around the clitoris that enhances your libido. If you have been postponing sex because you thought that it might hurt or harm your harm, rest assured that the amniotic fluid around your baby will always keep it well cushioned. The contractions from an orgasm will also not affect your baby.
Changes In Hair
By 9 weeks, you are either losing hair rapidly or you have the best hair quality in the longest time. Pregnancy hormones can have different effects on different people so some feel blessed with thick and lustrous hair while some others might want to chop off thin, greasy and lumpy hair.
Other Common Symptoms
Other symptoms that carry forward from the previous weeks prevail through first trimester and sometimes all through pregnancy. Headaches can be quite common in the 9th week of pregnancy, because of the increased blood flow. Nausea, morning sickness and food aversions will be with you for a few more weeks. You could also feel dehydrated at times; that dry and parched throat and mouth could be annoying, especially when you are out and about. Carrying water and sipping at regular intervals will help keep that feeling at bay.
While your uterus is growing and has almost reached the size of a small melon, the lower half of your stomach below the navel might feel tighter. Around 8-9 weeks into pregnancy, round ligament pains can set in because your uterus is expanding rapidly.
You will still continue to feel the urge to pee more often and reducing water intake is definitely not the solution for this. What you could rather do is to cut down on caffeine and carbonated drinks that increase the need to pee. If you feel a burning sensation while peeing, please speak to your doctor to rule out urinary tract infection.
Dealing With Your Emotions In The 9th Week Of Pregnancy
While you are caught up in a storm of overwhelming emotions by the time you are in the 9th week of pregnancy, there is every reason for you to feel beyond exhausted. How will you deal with your emotions that are as unpredictable as your mood?
It is normal to feel anxious in this phase because conception is new to you and you are still trying to figure out how to deal with the number of symptoms that are almost overpowering you. You wonder whether this pregnancy will thrive or not and if you are being as careful about it as you should. While anxiety is common, you will need to find ways to do away with it so that you can enjoy your pregnancy. You cannot really prevent a mishap nor can you deliberately cause trouble in your pregnancy. Read books, go out for short walks, work as you used to and sleep well. Do not let your fears overcome your peace of mind.
2. When you feel your partner is not as involved
By the 9th week, you and your partner have been happy as well as overwhelmed with the news and symptoms of pregnancy. If you have a feeling that he has not been as involved in the pregnancy as he should be, try identifying what is amiss. A lot of men find it difficult to come to terms with a pregnancy, planned or not, and if this is emotionally disturbing for you, you could talk to him about how you want him to participate. Communication is an essential element in keeping things working between parent-to-be.
Not everyone beams with happiness at the news of pregnancy and if you are one of them who is secretly wishing the test results were not positive, it is time to calm down and decide for yourself. A lot of pregnancies are unplanned and if you are yet to sort out finances and possibilities, you might regret the pregnancy and guilt follows on close heels. It is important that you keep guilt away from clouding your sensibility. Take a decision that serves you as well as your partner.
Work related stress may be enhanced once you are expecting and realizing that you are already in the last month of your first trimester could be particularly stressful. This is like a milestone of sorts, only different because it might overwhelm you when you are yet to make pregnancy announcements at work. Keep your evenings sorted by leaving work behind at office and unwinding at home. A relaxing spa on weekends, dining out or listening to good music could enliven that dampened spirit of yours.
What Are The Important Nutritional Elements For Week 9?
You need to know this for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, especially if you have been suffering from intense nausea and food aversions because there is a possibility that you might be nutritionally deficient.
Including Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is especially important in pregnancy because it is responsible for the production of red blood cells. If you are found to be deficient in it, your doctor may prescribe you supplements.
Magnesium is necessary for your as well as your baby’s well-being. Rice, beans and bananas are rich sources of magnesium.
One of the most important nutritional needs during pregnancy is the sufficiency of iron. During pregnancy and childbirth, maternal iron stores are depleted to lay down the stores for your baby. In this process, a lot of women tend to become anemic and suffer from weakness, fatigue and dizziness. This could also lead to uncontrolled bleeding during childbirth. Including iron-rich food like meat, fortified eggs, spinach, nuts, flaxseed, oatmeal etc is a good idea. You might also need supplements if your hemoglobin count remains low.
Is It A Good Idea To Wait For Pregnancy Announcements?
Looking for the best time to make pregnancy announcements can be a task, especially since it comes along with a number of issues and a tiny risk of being compromised at work. By 9 weeks, your bosses and your colleagues might or might not have found out about your pregnancy, depending on how intense your symptoms are. If you have symptoms that are clearly evident of your condition, it is better to make the announcement since you will need the breaks often.
1. When You Have Complications
By week 9, you could have complications like early vaginal bleeding, chances of pre-term labor; miscarriage, etc, and keeping yourself untangled at work could get messy. If you let your boss and colleagues know about your pregnancy beforehand, you could at least spend lesser time and energy trying to hide the symptoms.
2. What Do You Need?
Before making an announcement, always ask yourself if you will particularly benefit from it. if you have a rather healthy and low-risk pregnancy, you might want to wait till the first trimester is over.
3. What Are Your Job Responsibilities?
If your job includes dealing with potentially harmful or toxic fumes and materials, it is important to let your boss know right away so that you don’t expose your baby to any of it. Furthermore, if you have a strenuous job that could take a toll on your health that again is reason good enough to make the announcement ahead in time.
4. How Are You Placed At Present?
If you are working on a project that is at the brink of completion and you are expecting a pay hike or promotion, you could wait for it to get over. Make your announcements while keeping your interests intact.
5. Are Your Colleagues Supportive Enough?
A federal law, Pregnancy Discrimination Act3, prevents employers from discriminating against women who are pregnant by firing them, reducing their potential or compensating insufficiently. If you feel that your company or your colleagues haven’t been supportive enough, you should be aware of your legal rights and know how to exercise them.
Contrarily, you could also have immensely supportive colleagues who help you sail through the pregnancy without having to give up on your work.
Tips To Beat The Stress In The 9th Week Of Pregnancy
Your prenatal care will decide how normal and natural your pregnancy and childbirth would be. Listed below are a few tips and tricks that you could follow to ensure a pregnancy you would love:
1. Join A Support Group Online
Pregnancy and parenting support groups are more accessible now than ever before and that is great news for nuclear families that look forward to guidance but prefer remaining discreet. Online support groups will help you with access to pregnant women all over the world who can share success stories with you as well as help you to cope with the general discomforts of pregnancy.
2. Be Informed
The first lesson in pregnancy is that you should always be informed of your tests, medicines and procedures. There is a saying that goes like this, “when you know better, you do better’. It is all about owning your body and believing in its ability to nourish a baby and for that to happen, you should be well-read and well informed either beforehand or in the course of pregnancy.
3. Stay Active
It is a myth that you need to rest as much as possible during pregnancy. Doctors all over the world believe that a woman who has a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy should stay as active as possible and indulge in moderate to high intensity body weight exercises under the supervision of a certified trainer. It not only enhances strength and endurance but ensures that the usual cramps and aches are at bay.
4. A Good Night’s Sleep
Everything is taken care of when you have a good night’s sleep and to ensure that, a proper exercise regime in place really helps. You could change your sleeping positions, use more pillows or play white noise; whatever helps you sleep is permissible at this phase of life.
How Can You Help Your Pregnant Wife At 9 Weeks?
If your wife has been particularly upset or irritated about anything, you could ensure that you communicate with her and sort it out as soon as possible. While mood swings are common in pregnancy, she should not drift into depression or deeper blues because a situation slipped out of hand.
Patience is a virtue that you will need to own for the next 30 weeks. Remembering to take care of the tiniest details that could set her off is an effective way to keep her feeling happy through this phase of life.
Ensuring that her pantry is full of nutritious food that she can snack on whenever hunger pangs strike and reminding her of prenatal visits, supplements and vitamins so that pregnancy dementia does not get the better off are a few other ways of being more involved in the pregnancy.
9 weeks of pregnancy marks a transition that is significant yet not impossible to sail through. The basics of eating and sleeping well and feeling happy about the tiny little being you are nurturing in your womb are what can help you through this week; however complicated or high risk your pregnancy might be.