40 Wonderful Weeks: 9 Weeks Pregnant
You are just over 2 months along with thirty-one weeks to go. Your body will be experiencing some noticeable changes. You are also well into the first trimester, and your baby is developing rapidly. Here is the good, bad, and uncomfortable about being 9 weeks pregnant and what you can do to make the experience as magical as possible.
What Is Happening: To Your Body and Baby!
The baby growing in your stomach is getting bigger every day! As it gets bigger, it's starting to look more and more like a human baby. It's also starting to develop internal progress. Here is the expected development of your baby at 9 weeks pregnant.
At 9 weeks pregnant, your baby is one inch long. This is about the size of a cherry or a green olive. In comparison, the average baby is 20 inches long at birth. While this may seem small, it's important to remember that just a couple weeks ago the baby was nothing but a cluster of cells. It is growing and will continue to grow.
Baby's Physical Features
This baby is no longer simply a bundle of cells now. It is starting to develop physical features and resemble a tiny person. The embryonic tail disappears, and the baby’s body is straightening out from its previous curved position. You can make out hands and feet with tiny fingers and toes. The joints even allow for flexing of the arms and legs. Ear lobes and the tip of the nose can be identified in its ultrasound. Eyelids form and cover the eyes. All of these small changes come together to create this baby's appearance. As the body gets smore complex, organs and bodily systems are growing, too.
The internal organs are starting to appear. The heart is growing and has developed all four chambers. The baby is nowhere near able to start pumping its own blood through its body yet, but you should be able to hear a clear heartbeat when you visit the doctor. Other organs that are stating to develop include:
- bile ducts
The arteries are developing, too. Rib and sternum bones are taking shape, allowing for additional support and protection of the newly developing organs. Teeth and taste buds are even starting to grow in the mouth. The teeth are still just barely detectable and deep into the gums.
The baby is starting to move now, wiggling and turning in your stomach. You won't be able to feel it moving, but you can see it on an ultrasound. It is able to move now due to the miniature muscles the baby is starting to develop.
As your baby goes through changes, your body will experience a number of changes, too. While some of the changes can be uncomfortable (to be gentle), it's important to remember that every moment is leading up to the moment you get to meet your child.
Morning sickness should hit its peak at about this time. Morning sickness is the term for nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. It is generally caused by the increase in hormones, causing the stomach to become overwhelmed. Don't be fooled by the name, either. If you don't know by now, you should take note that morning sickness doesn't only happen in the morning. You can expect it to hit at any time of the day. Be ready to dip out to the bathroom at any given time. Also, while you can't prevent morning sickness, you should eat foods known to help settle the stomach, such as rice and yogurt.
Hormones are raging, and this means you will likely experience mood swings. This may mean that you cry at just how soft your pet kitten feels or how beautiful your cupcake looks, but it's a sign that your hormones are working overtime just like they should be. The mood swings come from major fluctuations in both estrogen and progesterone. These fluctuations cause the mood-regulating neurotransmitters in the brain to change. At about week 10, the mood swings will end until the third trimester. To reduce mood swings, you should practice positive thoughts and practice controlling your reactions and emotions.
The change in hormone levels can also greatly affect the breasts. They may start to get bigger at about this point, and, as the skin stretches, your breasts may get itchy or sore. When this happens, you don't want to get caught itching your breasts in public. Use creams to help minimize the sensations. You should also wear comfortable bras.
Many women who are 9 weeks pregnant experience frequent urination. This is due to the uterus growing to almost double in size and placing pressure on the bladder. You may find yourself running to the washroom with annoying frequency. Pads may become very helpful for little accidents during a particularly aggressive sneeze.
Heartburn is the irritation of the throat by stomach acid that makes its way up your digestive tract when eating. Heartburn is caused by your body slowing down the digestion process to relax the throat. While this allows you to take in more nutrients for you and your growing bundle of joy, eating so much can cause heartburn. Keep antacids on you, especially when you know you will be eating things that trigger your heartburn. You should also eat smaller meals throughout the day.
While pregnant, you will be focusing entirely on the little person you are growing inside of your stomach. You may even forget to focus on yourself. However, your baby wants you to focus on yourself and your body. Here are some self-care tips that will help get you through week 9 of pregnancy.
Mental Health Care
Mental health is of the utmost importance while you are pregnant. Get your mind right at this point in the pregnancy to help you maintain a positive attitude throughout the rest of the process, which will be important as things get more difficult. Prioritizing your mental health will also help control your mood swings and your reactions to them.
Caring for your mental health means different things to different people. Some people try meditation. Other people enjoy artistic outlets. Still others opt to see a professional therapist or psychiatrist. However, talk to mental health professionals about your pregnancy to ensure that they don't prescribe something that doesn't mix with a growing baby.
Part of your mental health involves having strong personal relationships. While it can be easy to get caught up in your pregnancy, you need to take time to nourish your relationships. These relationships will become important when you have bad mood swings. Call people on the phone and go out to lunch or dinner with them. Don't forget to talk about what's going on in their lives and not just the baby.
Maternity Clothes Shopping
Prepare for pregnancy glam. You probably aren't too much bigger quite yet, but those days are coming soon. In fact, you may even start to struggle buttoning your pants. You want to buy yourself some nice maternity clothes. Look for leggings and pants with stretchy waists. You'll also want to get larger bras for your growing breasts. You should wait to buy breastfeeding bras until you see exactly how big they get, though. Don't forget shoes that don't have laces (you'll be thankful for them in a few months when you can't bend over).
You want to make a point to keep up on your beauty routine at this time. You don't need to let yourself go just because you are pregnant. Take time to get your nails done or get a facial. Consider treating yourself to a massage as well. You'll start to appreciate them more than ever in the upcoming months. You also want to make sure you keep up with your skin care routine. This is especially true since you may experience some pregnancy acne soon.
Make yourself comfortable in your daily life. Get comfortable shoes to help you run to the bathroom every hour. If you work in an office, get a pillow for your chair to prevent your butt from getting sore. You should also put pleasant smelling items in your desk to prevent bad smelling items from attacking your sensitive senses. The more comfortable you are, the better you will feel every day during a very sensitive time in your life. It will also help you accomplish the things you want to do throughout your day. Without the appropriate shoes or comfort, you may not decide to go into work or run your errands.
Sometimes self-care involves some work. Your body is about to go through a lot of changes, and you're going to want to keep up on it. Make the decision to exercise and take care of your physical fitness. Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you can't exercise. Find classes specifically for pregnant people. Take it easy while also challenging yourself. Make a point to watch your heart rate throughout your exercise sessions to keep it at a safe level for you and the baby. You also don't want to overexert yourself to the point where it can be dangerous.
Your Focus for This Week
It's not enough to read up on the baby's development and how it affects your body. You need to take action. Here are some simple recommendations to keep your body looking and feeling its best at 9 weeks pregnant.
Drink a lot of water. Your body is composed mostly of water, and this water allows your cells to operate properly. Your baby needs your body to be operating at top functionality in order to grow properly. For this reason, you want to drink at least 10 glasses of water each day. Buy a large water bottle to bring with you as you go about your day. You can also eat foods with high water consistencies, such as watermelon and cucumber.
Combat Pregnancy Brain
Stimulate the brain. Watch shows that make you think, such as Jeopardy or nature shows. You can also play puzzle games. You can also make a point to engage in stimulating conversation. Be patient with yourself if you forget things or struggle to complete tasks with as much focus as before. Your mind is going a million miles a minute, and pregnancy brain is not a myth.
Buy a high quality moisturizer to help your skin. Your breasts will require lotion as they get bigger. Your stomach will need lotion as well. There are a number of products on the market, but there are some specifically made for pregnancy. Little Luminary’s Slake is organic with naturally moisturizing ingredients.
Stock your fridge and pantry with loads of healthy meals and snacks. If you have healthy options at home, you won't be tempted to go out and buy fast food or something unhealthy for both you and the baby. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't give in to your cravings from time to time, but you want to eat healthy things more often than not.
Keep It Small
At 9 weeks pregnant, you are likely pretty well-adjusted to pregnancy by now. However, that doesn't mean it's time to tell everybody quite yet. Keep your pregnancy to your closest friends and family at this point. Generally speaking, you want to wait until about 12 weeks before announcing the pregnancy to everybody.
Pregnancy is beautiful, and you should be basking in your glory at 9 weeks pregnant. Things can be a little scary if this is new to you, but for all of the uncomfortable moments, you will also have moments of incomparable joy. At the end of 9 weeks pregnant, you only have 3 more weeks of the first trimester and 31 more weeks of the entire pregnancy. Enjoy!