By the ninth week, your baby will the size a cherry. Although your little one is still so small, they’re going through a lot of changes and developing swiftly.
Your baby at 9 weeks
The ninth week marks the end of the embryonic period and the beginning of the foetal period, which will last until birth.
By the ninth week, your baby can move his limbs around and his muscles are getting stronger. However, you won’t be able to feel them move because they are still too small but you will be able to hear their heartbeat through an ultrasound.
Your baby has fully functional taste buds at this stage, along with fully developed ears. The head and neck are also more noticeable, and a tiny face will have started to take form. The limbs will have fingers and toes by now, and the arms can bend at the elbow. Internally, your baby will be developing a spleen, liver, intestines, and gall bladder. Although the genitals are almost fully developed, you won’t be able to tell the sex of the baby yet.
Your body at 9 weeks
Here are some of the things you will notice with your body:
- Frequent urination: You will be going to the bathroom more often at this stage. This is because your uterus is growing and putting pressure on your pelvic muscles and bladder. Try to drink more fluids during the day and a little less at night if you want uninterrupted sleep.
- Fatigue: You will probably be used to getting tired very easily by now, and you might also get dizzy spells once in a while. Lots of fluids and regular rest will help with this.
- Trouble sleeping: If you are uncomfortable in bed, try lying on one side and putting a pillow between your thighs. If you are losing sleep because you need to use the bathroom a lot, reduce your fluid intake before going to bed.
- Nausea: You will likely still have bouts of morning sickness because you are still in the first trimester.
- Bloating and gas: This will be quite common. Instead of eating a heavy meal all at once, try to eat small portions throughout the day.
- Constipation: An easy fix for this is drinking lots of fluids, eating more fruit and incorporating more fibre in your diet.
- Heartburn: This is also quite common, especially after hearty meals. Sugarless gum has been shown to help ease heartburn, so stock up on it. Also, consider eating more vitamin-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. If your heartburn is too severe, ask your doctor for the best remedy or antacid.
- Breast tenderness: Your breasts will be larger, and you will notice some tenderness.
- Mood swings: This is completely normal. All the hormones swirling around in your body are to blame.
Again, it is important to mention that every mom is different. These are just general symptoms that you can expect. You might experience all of them or just one or two of them, or even none at all. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns or if you notice anything unexpected.
Taking care of yourself during this time
It’s important to try to get as much rest as you can right now – in fact, your body will probably demand it. Try to eat a balanced diet and exercise.
Here are a few symptoms that should be checked by a doctor as soon as you notice them:
- Fainting and frequent dizzy spells
- Severe headaches or abdominal pain
- Unexpected swelling of the face, hands or feet
Having gone through the “having-a-baby-and-returning-to work stage”, not once but twice, has made me wiser and given me time to think about how I would …