Pregnancy Tracker: Week 9

Pregnancy Tracker: Week 9




This week is a huge milestone! 9 weeks pregnant means you are entering your third month!

So much has happened in such a short time. If you are feeling more than slightly overwhelmed, you can be forgiven!

Not only are your emotions running haywire due to raging hormones peaking in your system, but you are more than likely feeling utterly exhausted. Remember that it takes a lot of energy to make a baby, especially in the first trimester while the placenta is developing. Pregnancy also creates sleep disturbances caused by factors like heartburn, nausea, and the frequent need to urinate, which all contribute to tiredness.

Added to this the significant increase in hormone levels which trigger a decrease in blood sugar and blood pressure, causing extreme fatigue.

It may be reassuring to know that fatigue is harmless for your baby! Try to take things easy and rest whenever possible. Go to bed earlier. If possible, rope in family members to assist you, or hire help for housework, order groceries online to avoid having to shop. Don’t suffer in silence – ask for help!

Your Baby’s Development at 9 Weeks Pregnant

The embryo is now quite active in the uterus although you will not be able to feel any movement yet. At 9 weeks, you can expect your baby to be the size of a grape and about 22mm long.

This is the last week of the embryonic stage. The skeleton, which consists of cartilage, is beginning to form into bone.

The head is more rounded and straightened, making the baby look more like a miniature human and less like a tadpole as the ‘tail’ slowly disappears.

Your baby has developed all the essential organs and parts of the body by now. Tiny toes and fingers can be seen as little ridges that will very soon separate into individual digits, and teeth buds are developing that will shortly harden and imbed in the jaw. The face is slowly taking shape, with more pronounced features in evidence. Testes or ovaries start to form this week, although it is still too early to identify the gender of the baby.

An exciting aspect occurs this week in that, should you choose to have an ultrasound, and if your baby is lying in a suitable position, the heartbeat can possibly be detected.

Another huge step forward is that the placenta is now mature enough to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones that aid in your baby’s growth, development, and nourishment.

You And Your Body

At 9 weeks pregnant you seem to spend much of your time in the bathroom, either to be sick or to pee! Nausea and frequent urination continue, as do headaches, fatigue, constipation, mood swings and now even nasal congestion, which is due to extra mucus production.

You may notice that your clothes are getting a bit tighter around the waist and the breasts. Now may be a suitable time to purchase some maternity underwear which is specifically designed for growing bumps and boobs.

This period can be unsettling as you feel you are too big for your normal clothes but not yet big enough to go into maternity clothes. Try to be creative with clothing by keeping skirts and pants partially unzipped where possible or replacing waistbands with elastic and wearing loose tops. Going into maternity clothes very early means you will end up being sick and tired of your (reduced) maternity wardrobe long before baby’s birth.

It is a sad fact that 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, with more than 80% of these occurring within the first 12 weeks. So, at this early stage of pregnancy, it is critical to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of a miscarriage, which can include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Unpleasant stomach cramps.
  • Discharge of fluid or tissue from vagina
  • Breast tenderness disappearing

High levels of caffeine are not good for the developing baby and could contribute to miscarriage or low birth weight. Try to ensure that you consume no more than 200mg of caffiene a day. A general guide to the amount of caffeine is:  100mg in a mug of instant coffee, while the same amount of filter coffee is 140mg; tea is 75mg; a can of cola about 40mg and an energy drink can be 80mg or more.  50g dark chocolate clocks up less than 25mg, so choose your caffeine treats with care.

Antenatal Check

You have undoubtedly booked your first antenatal check which should take place somewhere around the 12-week mark. This first appointment is an important one and you will need to clarify some points before you see your healthcare provider. So discuss the following with your partner:

  • Who will be your main antenatal carer – doctor, OBGYN, midwife?
  • Where would you like to receive your antenatal care?
  • Where would you like to give birth?
  • Check your medical insurance for details of what is covered

It is also advisable to hone up on family health history and to be prepared to answer questions concerning your own health that your doctor may ask:

  • Have you had any chronic illnesses, allergies, or surgeries? 
  • Are you taking any prescription medicines? 
  • Do you know of any genetic disorders that run in your family? If so, your doctor may ask you to consider genetic screening.
  • Has your menstrual cycle been regular, and have you had any past pregnancies? 
  • What are your exercise habits
  • Do you smoke/drink?

Some questions you should think about asking your healthcare provider:

  • When can you have your first ultrasound?
  • At what stage can the gender of the baby be determined?
  • If you do not want to be told the gender, make sure your healthcare provider understands this, so the information does not slip out inadvertently
  • How many antenatal visits will you have, and when?
  • Where could you find out about antenatal and/or education classes?

It is never too early to begin bonding. Take some quiet time each day to reflect on the miracle that is unfolding inside you and plan for the type of parent you want to be.

Schedule some time each week with your partner so you can explore this bonding journey together.

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