There is a lot going on in your belly this week, Mothers-to-Be! The little bun in your oven that was little more than a cluster of cells is growing and developing more and more every week and this is really the week that those big changes start happening. There’s a lot happening with you as well and there are lots of things you should be starting to think about. All in all, it’s a big week Moms! Let’s dive in.
What’s Happening with Your Baby
Perhaps the biggest news next week is that your little bun is no longer considered an embryo! That’s right, Moms-In-the-Making! Your baby is now a fetus. While in week’s past your baby has looked more like a bean than a baby but that’s starting to change now. The irises of your baby’s eyes have formed and are now even functioning. It probably doesn’t much matter to your baby as its eyelids will still be fused shut for another few weeks but he or she has functioning irises all the same. If you were able to open a window in your belly and see your tiny baby inside, you would now be able to see tiny ears, with earlobes and everything, on the sides of your baby’s head. Your baby is also starting to develop its sense of balance thanks to its fluid filled inner ears.
Still looking into the imaginary window in your tummy, you would be able to see your baby’s little legs with little toes at the ends but they’re still pretty small. In the weeks to come, those legs are going to grow and develop into the chubby little arms and legs that will eventually help your baby take its first step. In total – little legs included – your baby is now about the size of a grape and doesn’t even weigh an ounce yet. That little tail your baby has had for the last few weeks is now gone entirely and her mouth and nose are looking more defined. You would even be able to see your baby’s nostrils. You’re still likely not going to be able to confirm or deny your hunch about your baby’s gender just yet. While your little one’s genitals are now technically visible, you won’t yet be able to tell on a sonogram whether you’re having a baby girl or a baby boy.
The changes with your tiny grape-sized baby aren’t just on the outside. There’s a lot going on inside your baby as well. Your baby’s heart will finish the process of dividing into four chambers and all of your baby’s muscles and nerves are starting to spring into action. The placenta is now taking over the all important task of producing hormones for the most part and thanks to developments in your baby’s kidneys, it is now able to urinate. In short, all of the most important parts of your baby are there even though those parts still need to develop quite a bit and the basic physiology of your baby is intact. In other words, that little being about the size of a grape that you’re carrying inside your body is well on its way to become a fully developed human being.
How You’re Feeling
Just like there are a lot of changes happening with your baby, there are a lot of changes happening with you during pregnancy week nine. You likely aren’t showing as of yet (although some women do show earlier than others) but you may notice your pants are starting to fit a little more snugly than they did last week. In all likelihood, any weight gain you’re noticing in your ninth week of pregnancy is minimal. You still have a little while to go before you have to start wearing your maternity clothes. Morning sickness is still in full effect as are many of the other common early pregnancy symptoms. This week, you might be feeling any or all of the following:
- Nausea (morning sickness)
- Swollen or tender breasts, often swollen and tender breasts
- Light cramping in your lower stomach or even your lower back
- Light spotting
- Food cravings or food aversions
- Mood Swings
The last one is in italics for a reason. This is the big one. Many, many women will start experiencing those trademark pregnancy mood swings around nine weeks in. Try not to be too hard on yourself for being a little bit (or even a lot) on the moody side. It’s hard to keep that under control. You’re probably tired a lot. You’re experiencing morning sickness. There are all sorts of hormonal changes taking place inside your body. On top of all that, you are responsible for the baby in your belly. You’re responsible for making sure it has what it needs to be healthy. You are likely anxious over what happens once the baby is born and feeling more than a little frightened of possible pregnancy complications. Of course you’re going to be a little bit moody. If you’re especially moody or are worried about how your partner is coping with your moodiness, ask if they’d like to visit your doctor with you. Your doctor can help explain exactly what is going on with you and perhaps help them find ways to handle your mood swings in a healthy way.
What You Should Be Focusing On
Last week you really focused a lot on planning out your prenatal doctor visits and finding out what prenatal vitamins you should be taking as well as trying to decide when and how to share your baby news. This week should be about trying to keep yourself comfortable, dealing with your rapidly changing emotions and trying to stay as active as possible. Talk to your doctor about pregnancy safe exercise routines and start finding what works for you. You really need to talk over your options with your doctor. If you were in shape before you got pregnant, you’ll have more options than someone who wasn’t in such great shape but it’s still important you make sure your routine won’t put too much stress on your body or your baby. Invest in a few good water bottles so you can be sure you stay hydrated and then get moving. Women who stay active during pregnancy recover faster post-birth and have an easier time getting back in shape after Baby comes along.