Guess what! You’ve put the first two months of pregnancy behind you and the ninth week is the start of the third month.
Just some weeks ago, you took a pregnancy test, you started seeing early symptoms of pregnancy and now, here you are in the 3rd month. It’s all happening so fast!
At 9 weeks pregnant, sorry to break it to you, but the symptoms are not getting any better. As a matter of fact, you would probably experience rising levels of morning sickness, some heartburn, lots of mood swings, and a host of other pregnancy symptoms. But on the bright side, your baby is developing just fine. Starting to look a lot more human and may even move around a bit.
Your baby is now about the size of a cherry.
Just like other weeks, you would not appear pregnant to people either. Whatever changes that may have occurred in your body would be noticed only by you. Your thickening waistline would make your clothes more constricting and some hormone-induced bloating may rear its head too.
You would notice your breasts getting fuller and as we mentioned last week, your blood volume would increase in order to supply nutrition to your baby. This may cause your veins to appear more prominent.
Your Baby’s Development
The ninth week marks the development of your baby from the embryonic stage to the fetal stage. At this stage, there is rapid growth and significant developments take place.
With the fetus measuring about 0.6–0.7 inches (16–18 mm) and weighing about 3g, it is becoming a lot more human.
The tail has disappeared completely and human features are becoming more apparent. The joints in its hands and legs can flex now and hair follicles and nipples are developing.
In the mouth, we have the growth of primary tooth buds in the gums, and taste buds are forming on the tongue.
Facial features are a lot more defined now and eyelids are pretty obvious at this point in time. Your baby has a tiny nose now and its ears are moving into position and becoming easier to notice.
The head is pretty straight and rounded now and the face is beginning to form. And although the eyes may still be closed, full retinal pigmentation is already taking place.
Limbs are growing too—arms and legs are extending in length and your baby’s fingers are getting longer and on the end, wider too.
At this time, the baby has finally decided to stop being stationary and start to move around, however, you may not feel these movements right now.
These movements would be spontaneous jerking of their limbs because their muscles are getting stronger. Similarly, these movements would cause waves in the amniotic fluid.
Using a handheld Doppler, it may be possible to hear a heartbeat for the first time. However, this is dependent on the baby’s position and is not always possible.
In the way of organs, the spleen, gallbladder form, liver, and the intestines work their way back into the body from the umbilical cord where their development took place.
Other organs would continue to grow as well and your baby’s heart is already beating steadily after it finished dividing into the four chambers.
Your Body and Symptoms
A lot is happening in your body right now and a lot has changed as well. By now, the placenta is starting to gear up for its task of nutrient supply. Once it is completely developed, it would take over the duty of supplying nourishment to your growing baby.
While most of the major changes are taking place in your uterus, some other places are experiencing changes too.
The effect of hormones is not lost on your body and you may experience some metabolic changes. Among these include lower blood pressure and reduced blood sugar level.
Also, your symptoms would still be pretty consistent with those that you have experienced in previous weeks. Here’s an overview of some that you have experienced and some that you are likely to if you haven’t:
1. Morning Sickness
Around this time, your morning sickness should be peaking already. You may find it more difficult to keep food down than you did in the past weeks and you would probably feel a lot more nauseous as well.
A feeling of queasiness and general irritation is nothing strange and you would probably feel the worse for wear.
But there’s some good news, morning sickness is known to reduce at the end of the first trimester and you’re nearly there!
Your baby requires a lot of energy for growth and for all of the developmental processes that it is going through. And guess where your baby gets that every from. Directly from you!
So, you’re clearly sharing your energy with your baby, and this may cause you to feel pretty exhausted sometimes. You may notice that the smallest activities or chores leave you fatigued and bone-weary.
Also, getting out of bed in the morning could feel like a tug of war, but remember that it’s all for a good cause—your own baby.
3. Swollen Breasts
Your breasts have been growing for a while now and you’ve probably had to go shopping for a new set of bras for them to fit in.
Around this time, you may feel like they are bursting, because they would have grown in size considerably.
“Carting” your full breasts around can feel like quite a chore, but an image of your unborn baby suckling on them should lighten up that mood.
And what do you have to blame for the enlargement and soreness? Hormones of course!
4. Frequent Urination
You’re going to be a frequent visitor to the bathroom and you would see those fixtures more than you care to. You would be feeling very pressed too, so, don’t blame yourself for speed walking to the bathroom.
The extra pressure on your bladder doesn’t allow for much urine to be stored at all and this in conjunction with hormonal changes simply seals the deal.
5. Digestive Symptoms
Your digestion isn’t occurring as fast as it normally would. You have progesterone to blame for this and it might result in indigestion or bloating. Another common symptom during this week and your first trimester generally, is heartburn.
6. Nasal Congestion and Headaches
You may notice your mucus production increase significantly—this is only as a result of hormones. There is a tendency to have a runny nose and then your nose gets all stuffy and uncomfortable.
Headaches are another effect that may be brought about by hormonal changes. As a matter of fact, you may be experiencing headaches pretty frequently around this time.
If they get too intense or frequent, you should see a doctor.
Measures To Begin To Observe
As always, this would comprise measures that you should begin to take / measures that you should continue.
1. Start A Journal
A journal is a great way to keep track of everything that is happening to you. A planner or organizer can be pretty handy as well.
You can write down everything ranging from your feelings to your symptoms to your thoughts, changes that you note in your body, and questions that you have for your doctor so that you don’t forget next you see him.
Writing down your appointment dates in your journal would help you remember and keep them. You can also bring your journal along to doctor’s appointments and write down important stuff.
If you ever need to make reference to something during the period of your pregnancy, it would most likely be inside your journal.
2. Keep Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients that are needed by your baby, as well as a lot of other ingredients that would do it a great world of good.
If you find yourself being unable to keep food down, then prenatal vitamins are mandatory for you. Matter of fact, whether or not you can keep food down, doctors advise that you begin to take your prenatal vitamins as soon as possible.
This is why we headlined it with “keep taking your prenatal vitamins.” We expect that you already started a while back.
3. Hydrate Properly
You need to take large volumes of water since you would be losing quite a bit of your intake. With frequent urination and excessive spitting, your body would get dehydrated after a while.
The only way to prevent this in addition to measures you must have been taking already is to drink lots of water. You should take at least 10-12 glasses of water every day and more if you feel up to it.
If you’re stuck indoors, you really should get out more. The feelings of depression and your mood swings can be taken care of by a wonderful day in the sunlight. Also, you should work on building intimacy with your partner.
Your pregnancy shouldn’t be the end of intimacy between you and your partner until the nine months are over. Finally, steer clear of harmful substances whether you’re actually consuming them or you are inhaling secondhand.