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Week 9 of pregnancy

The first two months of pregnancy are officially done and dusted. It is week 9 of pregnancy and as the muscles of the baby get stronger, a lot of waves are formed in amniotic fluid, with the constant movement of limbs.

At this stage, it is possible to hear the heartbeat for the first time. Between weeks 8 and 12, the levels of HCG are at their peak. You might experience a soaring rise in morning sickness, fatigue, and nauseousness. But rest assured that they will start to decrease then.

What does week 9 of pregnancy look like?

Feeling very tired? It is because during week 9, the symptoms are at the peak. You may feel that you have reached a limit in week 9. Don’t worry, soon these symptoms will be suppressed. But for now, you might be having a really hard time.

You might be having frequent trips to the loo and finding it difficult to lift your head from the pillow and do anything. Making a baby is hard work and your body goes through a lot in this process.

The body’s metabolism and hormone levels also significantly increase, which triggers blood pressure. The good news is that relief is around the corner in just a few weeks. So hold that in and keep a good check on your blood pressure levels.

Fetal development at week 9

In week 9, the baby is about an inch in height, equivalent to a cherry. The baby is growing quickly and is more human-like. The physical features, organs, and systems continue to develop at a rapid speed.

The structure

  • The back of the baby continues to straighten out as the tail which was formed earlier gets smaller and smaller, until it fuses with the body. 
  • The hands and feet sprout out webbed toes and fingers which starts to get more and more visible with frequent movement.
  • The ear lobes, nose, and upper lips also grow distinct.
  • Eyelids continue to grow and cover the eyes.
  • Facial features are getting more defined.

The system

  • Heart and the arterial system continue to develop while bones, while the bones and the ribs are forming. You can hear the heartbeat and see the heart beating during the ultrasound.
  • The pancreas, liver, and ducts are also forming
  • The spine and the nervous system are also developing along.

Movement

  • The little feet and hands are paddling itself, making swift movements in amniotic fluid in the uterus.
  • The baby is moving around and bending. These are visible through ultrasound but you can’t feel it for now.

At 9 weeks pregnancy, ultrasound can be done transvaginally. It means that the ultrasound technician would insert a probe into the vagina, as the baby sits right over the pelvic bone. It doesn’t hurt. It allows you to see the 9-week baby aka a fetus.

It also confirms that your pregnancy is uterine and it is not an ectopic or tubal pregnancy. It helps in better visualization of the embryo sac and viability of it. Also, it is easier to visualize in obese women. If the fetus is viable, the risk of loss of pregnancy lowers between 2 to 9 percent and lowers as the weeks move on. 

Week 9 of pregnancy

What are the symptoms?

Volatility in emotions

Your emotions are about to take a rollercoaster ride during this week, Blame it on the pregnancy hormones which are soaring high in your body. The mood swings are at its peak between weeks 6 and 10, dipping later on and again on a rise during the third trimester.

Mood swings are triggered due to hormonal changes. The physical, social, and emotional changes also add fuel to your mood swings. Your best is to stay active and busy along with practicing mindfulness.

Heartburn 

Progesterone is the reason for the heartburn. This hormone relaxes the gastric muscles and slows down the digestion in order to absorb more nutrients. 

There is a sphincter over the stomach, a soft muscle that keeps the food and acid down. Since the muscle relaxes due to progesterone, the acid may go up in the esophagus or the food pipe, towards the chest, causing burn in the chest area.

Frequent urination

The uterus is expanding and the blood volume is increasing in the body. This results in an increase in urination, making you take more frequent trips to the bathroom. This should not make you intake less water or get dehydrated. It is important to stay hydrated as it helps to suppress a lot of triggering symptoms and constipation.

Morning sickness and fatigue

You may feel bloated and nauseous throughout the day, in some way or the other. This symptom will happen in about 90 percent of the pregnancies. At week 9, your morning sickness will be at its peak. But the good news is, it will reduce during the start of the second trimester. Staying active and having frequent healthy short meals helps ease nausea and fatigue.

Related articles: Week 8 of pregnancy

Self-care tips

Weight management

Weight gain in a certain amount every few weeks is recommended. You may have trouble with weight management due to nauseousness and fatigue. To manage your weights, maintaining a track of weight gained is important. Include healthy snacking and regular small meals throughout the day.

The doctor recommends you to put on during pregnancy depending on your pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI). You will be most likely recommended to put on 25 to 35 pounds during total pregnancy and break it down into different trimesters.

Staying hydrated

Frequent urination can trigger you to hydrate less. It is important to make sure that you have enough water intake during the day. It helps to reduce fatigue and sickness. Some moms-to-be suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum which is a condition of dehydration of a pregnant mom. Consult the doctor immediately if you feel weak and dizzy.

You may need an IV to fill up with fluids or the doctor may recommend some anti-emetics to reduce vomiting. Try having plenty of fluids in the form of ORS, electrolyte solutions etc if you don’t like to have water regularly, which will keep you hydrated and keep your electrolytes in check as well.

Fighting heartburn

You may experience heartburn and it is completely normal. Avoid having spicy or greasy food to decrease the heartburn. If that doesn’t help, the doctor may recommend antacids. Consult the doctor to reduce the burn. Take short walks after each meal, as sitting.

Get enough sleep

Fatigue and sleepiness is a symptom of early pregnancy. It is a body’s way of indicating you to take enough rest. To have morning sickness and fatigue under control, it is recommended to have a proper sleep pattern and take naps whenever you feel exhausted.

Intake more fiber rich food

Fiber-rich food like whole grains, fresh or dried fruit will help you reduce waste and provide more energy. Include more greens to your diet in the form of vegetables and fruits. Have more colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, fulfilling your body needs and reducing discomfort from symptoms.

Stay active

You may find yourself taking enough rest, but excessive rest and increase fatigue and weakness. Try to stay active through exercising, diet, and lifestyle changes, handling the symptoms can be a tough task but with proper consultations and actions, you can make this journey a smooth one.

Visit the doctor

Ultrasound

A transvaginal ultrasound can be done which helps you to see the image of your 9-week fetus. You might also be able to see the paddling hands and feet and a fast-beating heart.

Important checklist for week 9 pregnancy

  • Continue your prenatal supplements 
  • Continue drinking enough water and fluids
  • Observe your symptoms and maintain a pregnancy journal
  • Stay active
  • Seek mental support from the professional
  • Take necessary tests and ask for symptom relief, if extremely triggering

Bottomline

The pregnancy reality might hit you hard this week, things are getting real! The initial prenatal tests are under the belt and a line of tests are awaiting this week. 

Your emotions would take a toll on you with all that excitement, fear, anxiety and on the top the hormonal changes. You may take some time to get adjusted with the life changes and seeking help from professionals is not only okay, but it is recommended. 

Your baby is likely to develop and move to the next stage of development.

Reference:

What do you think?

Written by Neetu Verma

I am a certified Nurse in General Nursing - Midwifery. I am currently fighting coronavirus in a government hospital in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India as a nurse on special duty. I have a special love for writing and write as and when time allows me to do so.

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