As you approach the last month of your first trimester, being pregnant isn’t such a foreign concept anymore. 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, worry not! There are still 30 weeks for you to experience pregnancy in all of its grand glory.
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 but it’s never too early to start switching to loose fitting bottoms. They make you feel much better because they don’t press on your belly.
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. 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. You should break the news anytime you and your partner are comfortable to do so.
Your physical changes this week
- You may be able to 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 it continues to ache and you have any vaginal bleeding, it’s best to 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 frustrating pimples on our faces.
- 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 nausea and tiredness is still hanging around and there isn't much you can do to alleviate either. Hang in there. Most women start feeling a lot better by the end of their 1st trimester. The countdown has most certainly 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. 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. This week it's the size of a green olive, the average-sized one.
- If you have an ante-natal appointment this week, your obstetrician will be able to hear the baby's heartbeat with a Doppler. This is a really 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 black or 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 the parents.
- 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 an ante-natal 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 jogging is not ideal during pregnancy and there are other lower impact ways to exercise.