You are now officially in the last month of your first trimester. You’ve probably got your head around being pregnant by now and it doesn’t all seem such a foreign concept. At 9 weeks of pregnancy, your baby has become a permanent fixture and is probably making its presence well and truly felt. Although the early weeks are not easy sailing for most women, others don’t find it hard at all. If this sounds like you, don’t feel as if you’ve been robbed of something special. You still have another 30 weeks or more to experience all symptoms that pregnancy has to offer.
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.
At 9 weeks pregnant you may be thinking about telling your family and close friends about your special news, or they could be getting a little suspicious. Declining alcohol, giving up smoking, changes in your appetite or needing to run off to the bathroom a lot can raise alarm bells for the more observant. There is no perfect time to tell the world. Lots of couples wait until after the 1st trimester has passed when the risk of miscarriage is reduced.
Your physical changes this week
- It’s still too early to see or feel your expanding uterus through your abdominal wall. It is still protected behind your pubic bone when you are 9 weeks pregnant and won’t start lifting up and out until after your 12th week.
- 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 pre-menstrual discomfort and heaviness. However, if you find they are always present, you are having any vaginal bleeding or you are concerned, check with your midwife or doctor.
- Your nipples may have grown larger and become darker. You may also find you have small pimples forming around your areola/nipples. These 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!
- Yes, you could be revisiting your adolescence this week with 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.
Your emotional changes this week
- You may be feeling a bit down this week. The ever present nausea and tiredness is still hanging around and there isn’t much you can do to alleviate either. Hang in there. Most women find they start feeling a lot better by the end of their 1st trimester. The countdown has begun.
- 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. Avoid interpreting his lack of enthusiasm as being uninterested. 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 and sense it isn’t the most welcome of guests. Fret not, 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.
Your baby’s changes this week
- Your baby is now 2.5 cm long or 1 inch in the old scale. If you have an ante-natal appointment this week, your midwife or obstetrician will be able to hear the baby’s heart beat with a Doppler. Have the tissues ready, this is a special time and really brings the reality of your pregnancy home.
- By the start of week 9, your baby’s eyes have grown bigger and even have some pigment (colour) to them. Most babies are born with brown eyes. Your baby’s permanent eye colour will become obvious between 6-9 months and is strongly influenced by the genetics they inherit from you and their dad.
- 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 Week 9
- Do some research into childbirth education classes this week.
- Think about enrolling in an antenatal exercise in your 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.