At 9 weeks, your pregnant belly is really starting to show! And you are just a few weeks out from closing your first trimester. Perhaps you’re getting all geared up for your first prenatal doctor’s visit as an expectant mother, if you haven’t been seen yet. Prepare for your first trip by making some notes about yourself to share with your obstetrician, like your medical history, diet routines, exercise programs, and any medications you are on.
What Is Happening to Your Body at 9 Weeks?
By this time, you are really starting to feel the effects of many first trimester symptoms. With the 9 weeks pregnant belly your clothes are not fitting right anymore, your breasts are getting larger, your insatiable need to pee seems like it will never go away, and the morning sickness still may haunt you. As if that weren’t enough, you are just exhausted. It feels near impossible to get up in the morning, and all day you dream about getting right back in bed.
This is all very normal in the first trimester. It’s a sign of your body working hard to create the placenta which provides nourishment for your baby throughout pregnancy, a natural yet strenuous feat. Fatigue is also triggered by the rise in hormone levels, which drops your blood pressure and blood sugar. In addition, you’re likely to be feeling bloated because of water retention. Intense mood swings are also common, and you can blame that on hormones as well, particularly all the progesterone in your system. At this stage, your belly is around the same size of a cantaloupe.
Here are some photos of a 9 weeks pregnant belly, with some women showing more prominently while others just a small bump because every woman is different. Your figure, genetics and number of babies can all play a role:
Your Baby at 9 Weeks
At 9 weeks, your baby is no longer an embryo, but a fetus. You baby has eyes and ears and a little nose, and their muscles and bones are detectable underneath their thin skin. Elbows and ankles are formed, and your baby can bend their arms now. Your baby will move at this stage, but you won’t feel it just yet. Although it’s too soon to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, testiclesor ovaries have already formed. The placenta that your body has worked so hard to make is now feeding him/her.
Your baby has a heart that is large enough and developed enough to be detected by the Doppler ultrasound. However, it is not uncommon for your doctor to struggle to pick up the heartbeat of your baby now. The Doppler may not be able to reach your baby’s heart if the back is facing out, or he/she may be snuggled up in the corner. Not to worry, within the next couple of weeks you’ll be able to hear your baby’s precious little heartbeat.
At 9 weeks, your baby will be somewhere around 2.3-2.5 centimeters long, weighing in at nearly 2 grams.
What You Can Do at 9 Weeks
Now that you know what your 9 weeks pregnant belly and the baby will look like, let’s discuss what you can do at this stage of your pregnancy.
Tips for Dealing With Pregnancy Symptoms
- Frequent urination
Frequent urination is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. Dealing with it can be frustrating, but try leaning forward when you urinate. It can help push everything out of the bladder, and try peeing again immediately after you’ve finished. Avoid caffeine intakeas it is a natural diuretic.
Fatigue is also normal during the first trimester. Try to rest when you feel like you need it, and try to sleep for more hours at night. Good nutrition is also important, so make sure you’re feeding your body often with enough protein and complex carbs, which provide excellent sources of energy. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Breast changes
If you are experiencing breast enlargement and tenderness, make sure to let your partner know so they can be cautious of your sensitivity. Invest in a good bra to protect you against future sagging and stretching. If your breast tenderness makes you uncomfortable at night, try wearing a soft sports bra.
- Excessive saliva
Some pregnant women, especially those who suffer from morning sickness, can experience a bout of excessive saliva. Make sure you brush your teeth well and often. Chewing sugar-free gum can help, as well as using a mint flavored mouthwash.
- Heartburn and indigestion
Heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy can be relieved a number of ways. You can decrease extra acid by chewing sugar-free gum, or popping over-the-counter remedies like Tums and Rolaids (which are pregnancy-safe) after eating. Natural remedies include almondsand warm milk with a tablespoon of honey.
- Gas and bloating
To deal with gas and bloating, what you need is a healthy amount of fiber which you can get with legumes, whole grains, and leafy greens. Relax, and try eating more oftenwith smaller portions, and don’t eat too fast.
For constipation relief, follow the same advice for gas and bloating, keeping in mind that green vegetables and fruits can help keep things moving along. Try to make sure that after you eat, you’re near a toilet. Also, regular exercise can promote bowel movements during pregnancy.
What to Consider
- The progesterone in your body at this stage of your pregnancy makes it easy for urinary tract infections (UTIs) to develop. Discuss any signs of infection such as burning sensation when urinatingwith your doctor so they can prescribe pregnancy-safe antibiotics.
- Discuss concerns about your environment with your healthcare provider. For example, if you work in hazardous conditions, or with chemicals. It is important to make sure that you and your growing baby are safe.
- At 9 weeks pregnant, there are several diagnostic tests available that you may want to start asking your doctor about. If you’re unclear about the purpose of the tests, your healthcare provider should be happy to help you. Genetic tests like CVS and amniocentesis may also be suggested by your doctor. Carefully weigh the benefits and potential risks with your partner, your doctor or genetic counselor.
- Something else to consider: if you learned that the baby inside your 9 weeks pregnant belly was going to be born with a serious birth defect, would you terminate your pregnancy? If not, how would you prepare for a special-needs child? Fortunately, the odds are in your favor and more than 90% of pregnancies safely deliver healthy babies. Nevertheless, it is certainly better to be aware and prepared than taken by surprise.