Parenting week 9

Week 9 of Your Pregnancy

At nine weeks pregnant, the changes in your body may start to feel real. Here is what to expect, how to deal with some common symptoms, and what's still to come.

It’s week nine of your pregnancy and, by now, you will likely have already heard your fetus' heartbeat, making the whole experience feel even more real. You might not be "showing" yet, but you're probably getting attuned to changes in your body—while perhaps still dealing with morning sickness and an overall discomfort throughout the day. But there are thankfully ways to help soothe some common symptoms you may start experiencing.

Pregnancy Week 9 Quick Facts

  • At nine weeks, you're three months pregnant 
  • You have 31 until your due date
  • You're in the first trimester

Your Unborn Baby's Size at 9 Weeks

At nine weeks, your unborn baby measures about .9 inches in length and weighs an average of .07 ounces. That's about the size of a cherry or a medium olive!

week 9

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 9

Some common symptoms you may experience during week nine of pregnancy include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

It's common to experience breast tenderness during the early weeks of pregnancy. That’s because your breasts begin to retain a lot of fluid and therefore can grow and feel uncomfortable, explains Eli Reshef, M.D., OB-GYN, and medical advisory board member at Win Fertility. To help ease the soreness, try wearing a bra that feels more comfortable on the body or opting for breezy camis instead. "Cold or warm compresses can also help," adds Dr. Reshef. 

You are also likely to feel fatigued. I experienced this symptom with all three of my pregnancies! But experts agree it can help to get eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, eat properly, and listen to your body. If you feel the need to take a nap in the middle of the day and are able to do so, don't resist it.

As for nausea and vomiting? "We believe nausea and vomiting to be related to an increase in the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)," explains Stephanie Hack, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN in Washington, D.C. The good news? "Most people start to turn the corner by week 10 of pregnancy."

To help with the nausea, Dr. Reshef suggests eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. "Pregnant people have a harder time emptying their stomachs the natural way, hence the nausea," he says. "Frequent eating of neutral foods (like bread and Cheerios) throughout the day may be helpful. Opt for less fatty stuff also."

Keep in mind that symptoms can vary among pregnant people but experts agree that if you can't hold down fluids for 24 hours, you're at risk of dehydration and should reach out to your health care provider immediately. If your nausea becomes unbearable, the provider can also prescribe you an anti-nausea medication.

Developmental Milestones

At nine weeks of pregnancy, internal organs like the kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain are still developing but your unborn baby's external features are becoming more prominent. Eyes in particular will already boast some pigment and small taste buds will likely have already formed on the tongue of the fetus. Ridges identifying where the hands and feet will be are also slowly beginning to take shape.

Prenatal Tests and Doctor's Appointments

At nine weeks, you will likely have just had your first prenatal appointment (some practitioners will call you in at eight weeks) or are scheduled to attend one right about now.

Health care providers will check your blood pressure and weight during these visits. Remember, you can certainly ask professionals not to share your current weight with you, especially if you feel like it might cause some anxiety.

In addition to giving your full history, you will likely get an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy. That's when you will hear your baby's heartbeat for the very first time!

Common Questions at this Pregnancy Stage

Do I still have to keep my pregnancy a secret?

While this is a very personal decision, experts agree that one of the most common questions that patients ask during week nine of pregnancy involves sharing the news with family and friends. "The risk of miscarriage drops after 10 weeks and keeps on dropping so people often tell their families at around 12 weeks," says Dr. Hack. Still, only you and your partner (if you have one) will know what feels right.

How much can I exercise at this time?

Generally speaking, unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider, you are encouraged to keep exercising throughout your pregnancy just as you were before conceiving.

"You can exercise and even have intercourse," says Dr. Reshef, specifically calling out yoga as a beneficial physical activity. (Stay away from hot yoga, though, as the high temperature is not recommended during pregnancy.)

Dr. Hack agrees. "As far as exercising, yoga is a great one to do throughout pregnancy for muscle strengthening and also just for stretching because, as your body changes, you might find yourself uncomfortable and yoga can help with that," she says.

Once again, though, it's important to consult a health care provider and listen to your body. If you weren’t exercising before pregnancy, it’s important to get advice on the best ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. Although I was able to exercise (I did cardio, weights, yoga) all throughout my first pregnancy, a shortened cervix prevented me from doing so during my subsequent two pregnancies.

What foods should I completely avoid?

"There are a ton of foods to avoid," says Dr. Hack matter-of-factly, specifically calling out the bacteria listeria. "It can kill or make pregnant people very sick."

Listeria is mostly a concern in deli meats, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized milk—so make sure to stay away from all of those.

It's also advisable to avoid certain kinds of fish for two main reasons: mercury levels and presence of bacteria. Regarding the former, certain fish like tuna, king mackerel, and swordfish are known to carry high levels of mercury, whether consumed cooked or raw. In addition to staying away from those species, you should also make sure to consume cooked-through fish only so as to avoid certain bacteria that can live on raw foods.

Things You Might Consider This Week

You're nine weeks pregnant and you likely have already selected a health care provider (or several). It's important to keep in mind that you'll be associating with this team throughout your journey, so make sure to pick medical providers you feel comfortable seeing. It’s also critical to make sure your medical providers have hospital privileges at the facility you're looking to give birth in.

"It's important you start thinking of your delivery process already," says Dr. Hack. "You want to make sure that whoever you are seeing has privileges to deliver at whatever hospital you want. You don't want to see someone for 30 weeks and find out that they don't deliver by your house!"

If looking to hire a doula, now would be the time to select one as well.

"The majority of people are already talking to us as they are trying to conceive and they will call us as soon as they get a positive test and ask for a consultation," says Yamel Belen, R.N., CLC, registered nurse, professional doula, and certified lactation counselor in Tampa, Florida. "I always recommend reaching out as soon as possible because most doulas can't take an endless amount of clients in a month as we're on call for births at any given moment."

Support You May Need This Week

At nine weeks of pregnancy, you are likely still comfortable to move around and lead your life as you have until now so you probably won't need help with your daily chores just yet.

These early stages are, however, the perfect time to start delving into your eligibility for certain state and federal programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The federal assistance program offers health care and nutrition to low-income pregnant people, those who are breastfeeding, and those with children under 5. To qualify, you must be a resident of the state to which you are applying for assistance and your gross income must fall at or below 185% of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. To find out more about the program, visit the official website.

Head over to week ten of pregnancy

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