Understanding your pregnancy: Week 9

Understanding your pregnancy: Week 9

A quick snapshot

At 9 weeks of pregnancy, your baby has become a permanent fixture and is probably making its presence well and truly felt. It is still not obvious to anyone else that you are pregnant yet but you could be getting quite thick around the middle. Close fitting trousers and skirts don't quite do up like they used to and you could find yourself limited to what fits you. It's still too early to be wearing maternity clothes so search the inner depths of your wardrobe for clothes with an adjustable waistband.

What’s changing in your body

  • It's still too early to see or feel your expanding uterus through your abdominal wall. It is still protected behind your pubic bone and won't start lifting up and out until after week 12.
  • You might find you can see your veins more clearly, especially across your breasts and legs. Your legs may ache if you've been standing for a while and you could want to sit down more. Try to put your legs up when you can and rest them on a chair or footrest.
  • You will probably find your vaginal discharge has increased by now. This is normal throughout pregnancy and unless it is offensive smelling or becomes yellow or irritating, don't be concerned. Many pregnant women use panty liners and find them helpful.
  • You may feel occasional cramps and lower abdominal pains. This is normal and can feel similar to premenstrual discomfort and heaviness. However, if you have constant cramps or pains, have vaginal bleeding or are concerned, check with your doctor.
  • Your nipples may have grown larger and become darker. You may also find you have small pimples forming around your areola. These are known as Montgomery's Tubercles and will help to prepare your nipples for breastfeeding. Don't squeeze them or try to get rid of them. They do have a purpose, unlike the ones which may be cropping up on your face.
  • You could have a fresh outbreak of pimples. Those pregnancy hormones, for all the important work they do, are also responsible for the spots. Be careful what you put on them – some creams are not recommended for use in pregnancy.

How your emotions are affected

  • The ever present nausea and tiredness might be getting you down. Hang in there. Most women find they start feeling a lot better by the end of their 1st trimester.
  • You might find your partner is not as "into" the pregnancy as you are. His current experience of your pregnancy is through hearing your description of symptoms rather than being able to see much. His lack of enthusiasm doesn’t mean he’s not interested. For now, the reality of your pregnancy may still be some weeks away for him.
  • Some women feel a sense of guilt that they aren't overcome with maternal love around this time. They worry that the baby may pick up on their negative feelings. It’s okay if you're feeling this way. The baby does not have the cognitive ability to know how you are feeling.
  • Always feeling tired and exhausted can take its toll. Aim for a simple life and learn to say no to doing things you simply don't have the energy for.

How your baby is growing

First Trimester: Week 911

  • Your baby is now 2.5cm long, the size of a green olive.
  • If you have a prenatal appointment this week, your obstetrician will be able to hear the baby's heart beat with a Doppler.
  • Your baby's eyes have grown bigger and even have some colour to them.
  • Your baby's ears are forming, both inside and out. Inside their mouth is the tiniest of tongues and even their tooth buds are forming in their jaw.

Tips for the week

  • Do some research into childbirth education classes this week. You may need to book and there can be waiting lists.
  • Think about enrolling in a prenatal exercise or yoga class in your local area. These can be a great way to meet other pregnant mothers and build up a supportive network of new friends.
  • If you are normally a jogger, think about exchanging this for another form of exercise. Repetitive jarring is not ideal during pregnancy and there are other lower impact ways to exercise.