What you can expect at 9 weeks pregnant…
You are beginning your third month of pregnancy and both you and your baby are going through a lot of changes as your little one grows and develops. This article will discuss your baby’s development as well as what you can expect at 9 weeks pregnant.
Your baby at 9 weeks
Your baby is now about an inch long and the size of a green olive and weighs about.07 oz.
New organs such as the liver, spleen and gallbladder are beginning to form. You may be able to finally hear your baby’s heartbeat on a Doppler by the ninth week. However, it is a slim chance as your baby may be curled up in the back of your uterus with its back facing out, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear a heartbeat at this early stage. This should not be an issue in a few weeks time.
Your baby’s heart has now fully divided into four chambers and is starting to form valves. All of the organs, muscles and nerves are starting to function. Your baby’s sex organs are present, though not fully developed or distinguishable. The placenta, now fully formed, has taken over the function of producing the necessary hormones.
Your baby’s facial features are now more distinct and although the eyes are fully formed, they won’t open til around week 27. His/her arms are growing and can now bend at the elbow. Your baby is starting to develop hair follicles and nipples. His/her fingers and toes are no longer webbed and the hands are able to reach the face. Legs are starting to become stronger and making kicking motions, although you probably will not feel any movement for a few more weeks.
Your body at 9 weeks pregnant
At nine weeks pregnant you may notice that you are feeling a bit more fatigued. This is due to the increased hormone levels which are causing a decrease in blood pressure and blood sugar. You can fight fatigue by paying attention to your body. If you feel tired, take the time to take a nap or at least rest. Don’t push yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are feeling tired and overwhelmed.
Morning sickness may be at it’s height. Some women claim it is at it’s peak between 8-10 weeks and then it will start to subside. Others experience it until the 2nd trimester and some women experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy. You can take some steps to alleviate morning sickness, such as eating smaller meals throughout the day, avoiding foods that trigger your nasease, sipping ginger ale, staying hydrated by drinking 8-10 8oz glasses of water daily, keeping healthy snacks handy, having dry crackers or ginger readily available to fight the waves of nausea and resting as much as possible.
Other symptoms you may be experiencing at this time include some noticeable weight gain, heartburn, constipation, bloating, gas, constipation, food cravings and or aversions, heightened sense of smell, excessive saliva, frequent urination, breast changes, enlargement and tenderness. Some women may experience urinary tract infections. If you have a URI, you need to tell your doctor before it becomes serious so it can be properly treated.
You should also contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms as they may be signs of pregnancy complications and/or miscarriage.
- vaginal spotting or heavy bleeding
- severe cramping or back pain
- blurred vision
- excessive nausea and vomiting
- extreme dizziness, vertigo and fainting spells
- high fever
- pain or burning during urination
- severe swelling or muscle cramps
- severe headaches
Eating and drinking
You should continue to eat healthy. Avoid greasy, spicy or salty foods. Stay away from seafood that has high levels of mercury as well as raw or under cooked seafood and meat. Eat only lean meats that are fully cooked and avoid processed meats like lunch meat. Avoid soft cheeses and unpasteurized foods as these may contain listeria which is harmful for both you and your baby. Eat plenty of grains, beans, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and and dairy. You should completely avoid alcohol, smoking, drug use and caffeine intake as these are all harmful to your baby. Make sure to let your doctor know of any prescription medications you are taking as well as over the counter medications including vitamins and supplements.
Your doctor will discuss your diet with you at your first prenatal checkup, which you should have had by now, or will be having shortly. You will want to discuss your complete medical history, as well as that of your partner and both family histories as well. You doctor may discuss any additional tests you may need, other than the usual pap smear, pelvic exam, urine test and complete blood panel. Your doctor will advise you on what prenatal vitamins and supplements you should be taking, such as folic acid, B Vitamins and Iron.
You may notice either an increase or a decrease in your sex drive at this time. Both are normal and vary by woman. It is perfectly safe to engage in intercourse at this time, but if you have any questions, you can ask your midwife or doctor. You should be engaging in light to moderate exercise such as walking, yoga, pilates or swimming as these are still safe at this point are actually beneficial as they will prepare your body for the birthing process. You need to avoid heavy and intensive exercise such as extreme body building, cycling, high impact aerobics, skiing, ice skating and other extreme sports. Contact sports are to be avoided as well.
Make sure you are strictly following your doctor’s advice. If you feel tired ask for help and make sure you are getting the rest and sleep that both you and your baby desperately need. Avoid chores such as cleaning the litter box or any animal droppings as these contain harmful bacteria. Avoid chemicals and inhalants and do not lift heavy objects. It’s not just your health at at stake, anymore, it’s your baby’s life. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the complications discussed above or if you notice anything out of the ordinary.