Pregnancy Week 9

 

9 weeks pregnant

 

Baby Growth at 9 Weeks Pregnant

Congratulations! You've reached the 9th week of pregnancy, and your embryo is now officially referred to as a fetus. Your baby is growing fast and developing a more human-like appearance with each passing day.

At 9 weeks, your fetus measures around 1 inch in length. That's roughly the size of an olive. During this time, your baby’s kidneys, liver, brain and lungs begin functioning independently, and they are also starting to develop taste buds. Yum!

The embryo's little tail is gone, and all of their organs, muscles, and nerves start to function. The wrists become slightly curved, the feet begin to shed their webbed appearance, the fetal arms grow, and both hands bend. The legs lengthen and the feet cross at the front of the body. That’s right, your little one will sit criss-cross applesauce in no time!

Your baby's muscles develop to make light movements and they constantly move around and change positions, although you can’t feel it quite yet. It will still be another month or so before you do. During an ultrasound, you might see your baby's sweet little movements.

Perhaps the most exciting part about week 9 is the increased likelihood that you may be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a fetal doppler, which is a very special first for you and your little one, isn't it? Your baby’s heart has beat for a while now, but is forming distinct chambers and valves now.

 

Fetal development 9 weeks pregnant

 

You and Your Body at 9 Weeks Pregnant

Your uterus has grown two times larger than where it started, about the size of a tennis ball. As your uterus grows in size, you feel changes throughout your body. Although you haven't gained much weight yet, your breasts swell considerably, your nipples and areolas are more pigmented (darker in color), and your waistline starts to increase. You may feel tightness and or mild pain in your legs and soreness in your lower back.

The toilet may be your best friend today, but it shouldn’t last too much longer. Morning sickness typically peaks during this week and many women find it disappears as you enter the second trimester.

Other symptoms such as fatigue and frequent urination may persist. You might also experience heartburn, itchy breasts, and mood swings.

During the first trimester your body works overtime to develop the placenta, which is the lifeline between your baby and your blood supply. Your body's metabolism and hormone levels increased dramatically, which can trigger swift drops in blood sugar and blood pressure — be sure to stay hydrated and say yes to electrolytes to support your water absorption, and eat frequent, healthy snacks to stabilize your blood sugar.

 

Typical Symptoms at 9 Weeks Pregnant

Since your uterus expands and there’s more major blood flow to your pelvic area, you'll head to the bathroom more frequently than before pregnancy. Even so, don’t keep yourself from drinking lots of water. It’s essential to stay hydrated. Just think of it as an opportunity to ‘get your steps in’ for the day. 

While your hormones work overtime to grow and develop your 9 week old baby, you might feel absolutely exhausted. Sleep when you can, focus on nutrient dense whole foods, and eat frequent meals or snacks. If you haven’t already,  keeping snacks in your purse saves you from low blood sugar crashes that can leave you dizzy and irritable. In the second trimester, many women feel better and report a huge spike in energy! So for now, put your feet up, rest, and write your to-do list for the second trimester when you feel more like yourself again. 

When it comes to heartburn during early pregnancy, it is caused by the hormone progesterone. There is a sphincter at the top of the stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter) that keeps food and stomach acid down. As this muscular sphincter relaxes, food and acid go back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn or indigestion. Our good friend progesterone relaxes muscles in preparation for your baby’s delivery through your pelvis but it also relaxes the muscles in your esophageal sphincter, leaving you reaching for antacids! Eating smaller meals and staying away from spicy foods or acidic foods helps alleviate heartburn.

At 9 weeks pregnant, your breasts become bigger and tender, and it is time to select and purchase bras that fit. There are some differences in choosing a bra for pregnant women. Many women enjoy a cotton sports bra to minimize discomfort, a wireless bra, or you can even start wearing nursing bras now. (You may find them to be more comfortable than what you wear now!) 

Other symptoms that pregnant women commonly experience in week 9:
  • Emotional peaks and valleys

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Headaches

  • Bloating and gas

  • Constipation


Pregnancy Week 9 Tips and Advice

It may be a more emotional week with some mood swings. You may go from excited to worried. You may bounce from happy to nervous when you think about your baby, body, symptoms, or even parenthood. Spend time to care for your mental health and try to find some relief from those uncomfortable symptoms.

To take care of your mental health, make sure you get enough sleep. It is best to shoot for 8-9 hours of sleep, and if possible sneak in a little nap every day while you’re still able. Eat healthy meals throughout the day with more protein and less sugar. Enjoy some exercise, but don’t overdo it. Continue exercising with the same vigor as you were before you got pregnant, now is not the time to start a new or more intensive exercise routine. Staying active does wonders for your mental health and helps alleviate some of your aches and pains. 

If you're dealing with heartburn, try to eat slowly and chew your food well. This also aids in digestion. Try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Avoid spicy and greasy foods altogether (at times a difficult task with pregnancy cravings) and avoid lying down or going to bed right after a meal. You may find eating dinner at least 2 hours before going to sleep or sleeping propped up on a couple pillows also helps minimize the reflux.

Consider beginning a pregnancy journal. Some women enjoy tracking their thoughts and feelings during the pregnancy and it is a useful tool to document your symptoms and body changes. Also, write down the questions for your doctor so you won’t forget them, and bring your planner along to prenatal appointments.


Sources: 

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm

https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/how-your-fetus-grows-during-pregnancy

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=4

https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2010.2371

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20045302

https://www.perinatology.com/index.html

fetal development, pregnancy, pregnancy in week 9, pregnancy symptoms, pregnancy tips
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