You are now in your third month, mum! It’s probably too early to feel any of their movements, but believe us, your baby’s very active inside mummy’s womb. Meanwhile, you’re probably still battling morning sickness and mood swings. Read on to learn more about the changes during the first trimester and the developments you and your baby are experiencing for week 9 of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Week 9: Baby
Ok, so you’re 9 weeks pregnant, and things are changing. A lot! Your baby is like a little shrimp, still in the yolk sac and covered in a sticky transparent film. You have also not yet begun to show, though you’re feeling more tired than usual.
Already the size of longan fruit, your baby is now 2.3 to 3 centimetres in length and weighs 1.9-3.5 grams.
At this stage, your baby is covered in a waxy coating called vernix caseosa, which helps protect it from amniotic fluid and germs.
The yolk sac still functions, providing nutrients to the foetus through the umbilical cord. The fetus also has its blood circulation system, which means it has its own heart, blood vessels and lungs.
The brain is still developing and will continue to do so until birth. The bones grow and form into joints, allowing them to move freely later in life. The skin is still transparent but starting to become pigmented with melanocytes (pigment cells) which will eventually give your baby their skin tone as an adult.
In this week-by-week pregnancy guide, you’ll learn that:
- Your little one is no longer an embryo but a foetus—yes, a living, breathing, growing baby in your womb.
- Facial features are forming quickly. They look less like a tadpole and more like a person. The head and neck are more erect and show up during the scans. Even his toes are visible now!
- Your baby’s heartbeat is detectable through ultrasound. Their heart has finished dividing into four chambers, and the valves are beginning to form. Does it sound like galloping horses? It’s because your baby’s heartbeat is twice as fast as yours.
- Other organs, such as the liver and spleen, are developing.
- Nipples and hair follicles are forming.
- The embryonic tail at the bottom of the spinal cord is completely gone at week 9 of pregnancy.
- It will be long before you see his pearly whites, but tiny tooth buds are already developing in your baby’s gums.
- This little one might also get caught in action during ultrasounds, moving their arms and legs. But it’s still too early to feel movements yet.
- The placenta is ready to take over and become your baby’s life-giving organ for the next six months.
The baby’s ears are starting to form! At this point, you may have noticed an indention where the ears will grow. Your baby’s hearing is also getting better every week. The outer ear and middle ear are forming, which means that your baby can start to hear sounds from the outside world.
You may be surprised to learn that your baby’s teeth are already developing in the early weeks of pregnancy. There are tiny tooth buds, and they are developing under the gums. The baby’s teeth will continue to grow and develop throughout the pregnancy, so you could be pregnant for nine months with a baby who looks like he has two teeth!
It is important to remember that these are not real teeth but are referred to as “milk teeth.” Permanent teeth will eventually replace them.
It is a little too early to feel your baby moving yet. This usually happens in the 1oth week, but it can happen as early as the seventh or as late as the fourteenth.
If you haven’t felt any movement by now, don’t be alarmed—it’s perfectly normal for babies to get ready for the big reveal! You may want to try placing your hand on your belly or playing music and dancing around. You may find that this helps your baby get into position so that he or she can start kicking away at all those delicious nutrients you’re feeding them!
Pregnancy Week 9: Your Body
Congratulations! You’ve made it to your ninth week of pregnancy! It’s time to start thinking about what’s going on with your body.
Your uterus is beginning to expand into your abdominal cavity. The placenta has fully developed, and the amniotic sac is also growing.
You may be feeling more fatigue than usual, and you may also experience some cramping or spotting. This is normal, but if you’re worried about anything happening with your body during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to talk about it with your doctor or midwife.
- Morning sickness is still at its peak, and it can take all day! Whoever termed it as “morning sickness” didn’t get it right. Some of us sail through the first trimester with nary a sign (Lucky you!). But take heart. There are ways to beat the nausea.
- Food cravings and food aversions are still ongoing, as these hormonal changes greatly impact your sense of taste and smell. Go ahead and indulge in your cravings, as long as they don’t harm your baby. If you’re starting to crave nonfood substances, such as laundry starch, dirt, or clay (a condition called pica), consult your doctor immediately.
- Fatigue, backaches, inability to focus, loss of appetite, or maybe even weight loss (Yes, it’s possible!) may have taken over as your body adjusts to the new baby developing within.
- You may also be struggling with gastrointestinal disorders such as heartburn and constipation. Make sure you have a healthy, fibre-rich diet and drink lots of water to prevent these unwanted pregnancy side effects.
- Your mood swings will likely be in full swing at week 9 of your pregnancy.
Maternal Weight Gain
This week, your body is going to start looking a little different. You might feel changes in your breasts and underarm area, and you may notice many skin changes. You might also feel more tired, which is normal at this stage of your pregnancy. The good news is that the number one thing you can do to prepare yourself for labour is to eat well!
The amount of weight you should gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, but as a general rule of thumb, if you were underweight before getting pregnant (less than 125 pounds), try to gain 25-35 pounds. If you were overweight before getting pregnant (between 126-200 pounds), try to gain 15-25 pounds. If you were obese before getting pregnant (over 200 pounds), try to gain only 10-20 pounds.
If you’re unsure what you should be gaining during pregnancy or have questions about how much weight is too much or too little for your body type, talk with your doctor or midwife about it.
Your body has been through a lot, and there’s still a long way to go. Here are some tips for staying healthy during the last half of your pregnancy:
- Eat more protein-rich foods. Protein helps build muscle and boosts your energy level, so if you’ve been craving meat lately (or haven’t), now is the time to indulge!
- Drink plenty of water. Hydration is important for keeping your body running smoothly, and staying hydrated will help keep you energized during pregnancy—which can be especially important during the second half of your pregnancy when fatigue tends to set in!
- Get some sleep! You might have heard that pregnant women should get more than eight hours of sleep per night—but did you know that too little sleep can make it harder for your body to adjust during labour? Try setting the alarm and taking a nap every day if possible.
Image Source: iStock
Pregnancy Care: Your Checklist For Week 9 of Pregnancy
- Your gynaecologist might have prescribed some prenatal vitamins such as folate and multivitamins for you to help your body cope with the additional nutrient requirements for your growing baby. So one of the best takeaways in this week-by-week pregnancy guide is to have smaller frequent healthy meals instead of three large meals, so it is easier on your stomach.
- As bland as it might be, water is key to staying hydrated, especially if you have been throwing up. Down juices, if tasteless water makes you nauseous, or go for healthy soups or isotonic drinks to replenish lost electrolytes. Severe nausea should be highlighted to your gynaecologist. In cases of dehydration, patients may be put on an IV drip, so let’s stay water-balanced.
- You may experience bloating around the abdomen, which is completely normal. Wear loose-fitting clothes or dresses if your usual pants are sinking into your waistline. Go ahead and shop if you must—it may be the best therapy to keep things off certain discomforts you may be feeling.
- You may start thinking about your maternity leave. Look at your company handbook to check out the policy.
Your next week: 10 weeks pregnant
Your previous week: 8 weeks pregnant
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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