Pregnancy Week 9

At 9 weeks, you are officially entering the last month of first trimester. How does it feel? Great, isn’t it? Another good thing about this week is that, now your baby will not be referred as embryo but as a fetus which means “young one”. By this month, the fetus has made his permanent fixture in the body making its presence felt very well and often. Although, you might have not told the world about the happy news but the impact of pregnancy can be felt by you for sure.

In this month, your friends and family members could be little suspicious about your pregnancy due to clear symptoms you would be facing. However, most of the couples wait until the end of first trimester when the risks of miscarriages are reduced.

Growth and Development of Baby

As said earlier, your baby-to-be has passed his first stage i.e. embryonic stage and is now entering the fetal period. Congratulations for same! Now, your fetus is around one inch long weighing about 10 grams and is about the size of green olive. The baby’s ears have started to form while eyelids have also formed though they will be closed until 26-27 weeks. The curved shape of embryo is more straightening out with the head getting straighter. Along with it, neck is also developing which allows lifting and turning of head. The tail has completely disappeared.

The webbing between fingers and toes has started disappearing making them actual separate digits from titchy buds. On finger and toes, nail beds are developing but the actual nails are still to develop. Along with the finger and toes development, elbows, knees, wrists and ankles are becoming visible. Now, soon your baby will be able to touch his face with his hands. This time marks the beginning of thumb sucking.

First Audible Heartbeats

The baby’s heart is getting more advanced. It has already formed its four chambers. Now, valves are developing in aorta and pulmonary vessels. With these vessels there is direct blood flow from baby and his lungs through umbilical cord to your body. Though, it is too early to feel the baby and his movements by this week but this week make it possible to hear the heartbeat of your child through ultrasound.

Some other important organs like liver, gall bladder and spleen have started to show their presence. The initial soft and flexible bones are there now. In between bones and skin, the muscle tissue is also forming which will allow the spontaneous movements of your baby within your womb. Unfortunately, you cannot feel these until the end of fifth month. The bronchi tunnels are developing baby’s lungs so as to allow the air breathing as soon as he is born. The placenta has almost developed and will soon be taking its job of producing hormones, providing nutrition and getting rid of waste products. Internally, the genitals are clearly demarcated as ovaries and testes but as the external sex organs have just begun to form, they are still indistinguishable.

With these changes, one can say that your baby is now looking more human like.

Role of different hormones working in your body

  • The first twelve weeks of pregnancy are often dominated by the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone which is responsible for nausea and vomiting.
  • Another one is estrogen which helps in the growth of blood vessels, muscle cells of uterus and breast tissue.
  • One of the other very important one is progesterone which provides nutrition to the developing baby. It also helps in duct formation in the breasts. Apart from it, it is the hormone which holds the menstruation by working as a feedback hormone and signals the brain not produce other hormones.

Changes in Mother’s Body

You must be feeling as if you have reached your limit by this week. But wait, there is more to go. From this week onwards and further, the earlier symptoms may subside but other issues will rise.

Let us see what all changes you will be going through in this week

  • Around ninth week, you must have started feeling thick around your waist line though there is no baby bump still. So, you must set aside close fitting trousers and skirts and make leggings, jeggings, stretchy and breathable fabrics your wardrobe possessions. However, there is no need to opt for very loose maternity clothes so early.
  • Trouble lifting the head from pillow, feeling as it dragging the body whole day, crawling into the bed as soon as you see that, is that so? Must be as extreme fatigue and tiredness is one of the most unwelcomed symptom of pregnancy. The higher levels of pregnancy hormone and increased rate of body metabolism are responsible for it. These activities trigger decrease in blood sugar and blood pressure which makes you feels worn out every time.
  • The breasts have become more tender and larger which can make it hard to sleep well.
  • Excess saliva in mouth is another issue which you need to handle from this month. You always feel like spitting. Swallowing too much of saliva whole day can make you irritated.
  • You may notice weight gain in your body from this week onwards. However, right now, this weight is not due to baby weight but due to retention of more water in the body.
  • From now onwards, you may notice changes in your hair and skin which can be favorable or unfavorable.

Keeping up with Emotional Changes

  • You must be going through extreme stress and anxiety. The best way to handle that is joining some support group either in your locality or on the internet. Doing so will help you be in contact with other mums-to-be and share the feelings with them.
  • While dealing with partner, keep your communication lines open. This way, he will understand what you are going through and why. May be he could help you giving some relief.
  • Do not get upset when you feel elated and excited at one moment and terrified the very next. It’s perfectly normal. The good news is that this will ease up during second trimester but may come up in third trimester again.
  • In the past two months, you may have lost your sex drive due to changing hormonal environment within the body. This may affect your relationship with partner. However, from this week onwards, there will be a surge of estrogen and progesterone which will return your libido and you will feel a lot better.

Some Care and Tips

  • Heartburn is common issue in pregnancy. To avoid it, turn off any spicy and greasy foods. If that does not help, try antacids. They have calcium also which is again very important during pregnancy. Chewing sugarless gum can also help as it produces saliva which neutralizes stomach acids.
  • If you have a family history of any genetic conditions, bring it to the notice of your doctor. He/she will perform common genetic tests like NIPT or CVS during this week of further 2-3 weeks to ward off any abnormalities in baby.
  • Try double-voiding when you go to pee. Sleep gets interrupted with the gotta-go feeling at nights but if try this, you can be bit relieved. What you need to do is to pee again even when you think that you are done this will help you emptying the bladder completely so that you do not get disturbed for next one hour at least.
  • Try cotton sports bra to minimize the discomfort caused by breast tenderness.
  • Drink lots of water, eat fruits and veggies and take plenty of high fiber food if constipation is bothering you. Also, to avoid embarrassing moments of those with sudden explosion of gas, you must snack on smaller meals so as not to overload your digestive system.
  • Use mint mouth wash or brush your teeth often to keep your mouth dry and avoid saliva.
  • It is better to sleep on your left as it helps reduce the pressure caused by baby on intestines and blood vessels. This will in turn increase the blood flow to the mother’s body.
  • Though, eating cheese is recommended as being a good source of calcium but avoid having soft and mold-ripened varieties.
  • If you are a non-vegetarian, choose your food cautiously as these may contain harmful bacteria and viruses.
  • Delegate task which involve risks of infection like paint, litter cleaning of pets and other such tasks.

Garbha Sanskar Practices

From this week, you should develop a habit of sitting aside for 5-10 minutes and talk and think about your baby. The best time to do so is just after waking up or before getting into bed.

For this, you must just sit at a quiet place, put your hand on your belly and think about the baby, your feelings, hopes, dreams, fears and intentions, expectations and everything. You can even talk to your baby. This is important to establish a strong bond with your baby and develop yourself as a good parent.

With such practices, your baby also feel connected to you and thus feel more comfortable in your womb. It also enhances a good developmental process of baby’s growth.

Besides this practice, you must live a happy and stress free life. For the same, you can opt for yoga or meditation practices, read some religious books and think positive.

For some women, these three months are hard to sail through while some others don’t find it hard at all. Those who don’t must not disappoint as if you are missing something. There are further 30 weeks to make you feel everything about pregnancy. So, just wait and watch what all surprises are waiting for you.