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By 9 weeks pregnant, you might be starting to feel like a veteran in morning sickness, and some of your early symptoms might be at their peak. This is due to the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) at its highest levels.
If you’re feeling extra moody and fatigued, or have more breast tenderness, nausea, heartburn, or constipation, trust us, you’re not alone!
Let’s talk about all that’s happening to you at 9 weeks pregnant.
At 9 weeks, you probably won’t appear pregnant to other people, but you may notice changes in your body. Those early pregnancy symptoms are really ramping up.
Depending on your size before pregnancy, your clothes may start to feel tighter due to your thickening waistline or hormone-induced bloating.
Your breasts continue to grow fuller and your nipples darker. As your blood volume increases in order to carry nutrition to your baby, you may notice that your veins are more prominent.
Your baby is now about 3/4-inch long at the 9-week mark — about the size of a grape or an olive. It’s an exciting time for baby: Major organs continue developing, arms are growing, and elbows can bend. Tiny toes develop and the ears and eyelids that began emerging a week ago continue to form.
Your baby is becoming more active, although it’s too soon for you to feel the motion. It may be possible for the heartbeat to be detected on a handheld Doppler ultrasound.
You may discover that you’re carrying twins (or more!) if you have an ultrasound this week. This can be exciting but does require some additional care and discussion with your healthcare providers.
Some women carrying multiples may have more intense pregnancy symptoms than women who are only carrying one baby and may have a higher likelihood of complications. Talk to your doctor about the risks of the following:
- gestational diabetes
- preterm labor
- cholestasis of pregnancy
- intrauterine growth restriction, or delayed fetal growth
- twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, which occurs when one baby gets more blood than the other baby
- vaginal bleeding
Speak with your doctor if you have severe morning sickness, as that can be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum. This causes severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Symptoms you’ve experienced so far in your pregnancy are likely to continue and even intensify this week. Your body is really ramping up all the hard work around week 9.
These symptoms include:
- nausea or vomiting
- frequent urination
- tender or tingly breasts
- irritability or unexpected emotions
- heartburn or constipation
- food aversions or cravings
- increased hunger
It’s not fun, we know, but a lot of these symptoms will ease soon enough. Hang in there.
To combat these symptoms, try the following:
- Wear a maternity bra to relieve sore breasts. A sports bra may also help. Find maternity bras online.
- Drink plenty of water and eat high-fiber foods to combat constipation and provide fullness.
- Stand up slowly, don’t skip meals, and avoid standing in place too long to help prevent dizziness.
- Eat several small meals a day and avoid greasy and spicy foods to help prevent heartburn and nausea.
- Eat salty crackers or dry toast before getting out of bed, suck on ice chips or a tart lozenge, or try bland, easy-to-digest small meals to combat morning sickness. Shop for lozenges online.
- Avoid caffeine and take bathroom breaks as needed to cope with frequent urination.
We hope you’ve been receiving prenatal care already, but if not, now is the time. You’ll want to talk about continued good nutrition and activity and your doctor can look for anything out of the ordinary.
It may be difficult to eat due to morning sickness, but it’s important that you try to eat protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods or snacks when you can. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re experiencing morning sickness with vomiting.
If you smoke or use any nicotine products, try to stop. According to the
- placenta problems
- premature birth
- low birth weight
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- venous thromboembolism (VTE) (blood clot risk can also be increased by smoking)
- heart defects, cleft lip or palate, and other birth abnormalities
Quitting smoking is never easy, but it’s well worth it for you and your growing little one. If you need help to stop smoking, talk to your doctor about starting a smoking cessation program.
One of the best things you can do for your baby at this stage in your pregnancy is to follow a healthy and balanced eating plan. Here are some tips for noshing on the good stuff:
- Avoid eating undercooked meat, fish, or eggs. Avoid all deli meats.
- Avoid high mercury fish such as swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. Low mercury fish is healthy and can be eaten up to
three times per week.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Keep cutting boards and dishes clean.
- Drink no more than one to two caffeinated drinks per day.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations for all supplements including folic acid.
- Take a prenatal vitamin with DHA and EPA as recommended by your doctor. Shop for prenatal vitamins that contain DHA and EPA online.
- Don’t drink alcohol. There is
no safe amountof alcohol when pregnant, as it may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) in your child.
Much of what you’re going through is perfectly normal, but when things feel off, you’ll want to get in touch with your healthcare providers. Call your doctor if any of the following symptoms occur during the first trimester:
- bleeding or cramping
- increased vaginal discharge
- vaginal odor
- fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- pain or burning with urination
- pain in your belly or pelvis
- you’re experiencing any symptoms of depression or anxiety
A call to your doctor is in order if your morning sickness is severe or causes any of these symptoms:
- weight loss
- vomiting three or more times a day with the inability to keep food or water down
- vomiting blood
- decreased urination
- rapid heartbeat
- frequent headaches
- fruity mouth or body odor
- confusion or disorientation
Week 9 of your pregnancy may not feel much different than week 8. But your baby is almost fully developed in miniature, and ready to continue growing.
The decisions you make to take care of yourself and your baby at this early stage will help to support a healthy pregnancy later. It’s time to get excited and keep making great choices for you and baby!