You’re now nine weeks pregnant and have probably had a few weeks to settle into the idea of the big changes coming your way. Whether you’re excited or feeling apprehensive, you no doubt want to know what’s going on inside. Let’s take a look inside week 9 pregnancy!
Week 9 Pregnancy: Baby Size & Development
At 9 weeks pregnant – 7 weeks from conception – your baby is getting awfully cute. He or she is now 1 to 1 1/4 inches crown to rump, or about the size of a green olive.
What else is new with baby this week?
- Baby now moves its body and limbs; this movement may be seen during an ultrasound
- Head is more erect, and neck is more developed
- Pupils form in the eyes this week, and external ears are well formed
- Toes look like tiny baby toes now (1)
Headaches & Migraines
During pregnancy, some women experience headaches and/or migraines, and they have kicked in for many by week 9 pregnancy. Most doctors agree that it’s okay to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain, but many women also strive for treatments other than medication. Eating frequently, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and getting rest and relaxation throughout your day can go a long way toward prevention. But there are other things you can try when you find yourself dealing with a headache. Let’s look at the most common types of headaches, their causes, and what you can do to help.
When muscles in your neck and head become tense and contract, they can cause a tension headache. Some causes of muscle tension are stress, fatigue, hunger, and dehydration. You can relieve tense muscles with:
- a warm bath or shower
- a hot pack on your neck or shoulders
- massage of neck and shoulders
- tension-reducing exercises like shoulder circles
This type of headache is caused by clogged sinuses. Sinus congestion can come along with a cold or allergies, but you may also be surprised to learn that pregnancy increases mucus production and therefore potentially sinus congestion. You may find relief in using:
- a warm washcloth or hot pack on your forehead
- a cold pack on the back of your neck
Almost 20% of pregnant women will experience a migraine during pregnancy. There seems to be a genetic component in migraines, and there is no magic way to prevent them. Yet, in some people they are triggered by certain foods. If you find yourself experiencing migraines, you may want to try to avoid the most common culprits:
- cheese, especially hard, aged cheeses
- processed meats like hot dogs and sausages, lunch meat, pepperoni
Some studies have shown that ginger can help with migraines. When you start to feel symptoms, mix 1/3 teaspoon ginger in a cup of water. You can repeat this several times a day. (2)
By week 9 pregnancy, you may feel like you’re always running to the bathroom! Needing to go frequently is common in the first trimester. Your kidneys are processing an increased volume of fluid and your growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder. Some women find that this improves in the second trimester as your uterus rises out of your pelvis, and then gets worse again in the third trimester as baby gets bigger. You may be tempted to limit how much you drink, but your body and baby need you to stay hydrated. There’s no magic trick to solve this symptom. Really, the only thing you can do is accept it as part of pregnancy and make frequent trips to the bathroom. (3)
No Symptoms? No worries!
You may be reading about symptoms and feeling worried that you aren’t experiencing any of these things. You may even be wishing you had some of the unpleasant symptoms, just to reassure you that everything is okay. Just as it’s completely normal to have any of the pregnancy symptoms we’ve talked about in the last few weeks, it’s also completely normal not to have any symptoms by week 9 pregnancy, or even later!
Some women don’t notice any changes to their physical appearance in the first trimester. This is especially common for first pregnancies, as the abdominal muscles of a first-time mom haven’t been previously stretched out. Other physical symptoms vary widely. Bodies react differently to hormone changes; some are just more sensitive to their effects than others. Keep taking care of yourself and your little one, and baby will make his or her presence known soon enough.
Most women have their first doctor or midwife appointment around week 10. If you have an appointment this week or want to read ahead, you can find the week 10 post where we discuss the first appointment here.
Kopa Birth’s online childbirth classes allow you to prepare for a natural childbirth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class to learn more about preparing for a natural hospital birth.
(1) Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press.
(2) Simkin, P. (2010). Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, 4th edition. Meadowbrook Press
(3) Ladewig, P.A., London, M.L., Davidson, M.R. (2006). Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.