Have you told your employers you're pregnant yet?
your baby this week:
Now about an inch long, your baby's growth has certainly picked up speed. With the basic physiology finally in place, your little one will rapidly gain weight in the coming weeks. The muscles and organs now move independently, and the heart has divided into four distinctive chambers.
Your little one's eyes are fully formed, but the eyelids will remain fused shut until about week 27. The tiny tail your baby was sporting is now entirely gone, and the sex organs have developed! But it's too early for your midwife or doctor to detect the sex. If you're hoping to find out if you're having a boy or a girl, most parents will find out around week 16 to 20, which is basically a hop, skip, and jump away.
Maybe you still don't feel like you're showing, but by week nine you've likely experienced morning sickness, mood swings, and fatigue. Fluctuating mood swings are normal at this stage, just do your best to accept your emotions. Don't beat yourself up if you feel terrified one minute and elated the next. You are not alone, and there is hope: many seasoned moms say their moods evened out a bit during the second trimester.
Do you have a stuffy nose, or nose bleeds? Don't worry! This is a common complaint during pregnancy. Many women say using a humidifier or a vaporizer will help.
Feel like the number on your scale is increasing?
Around week nine, some women will begin retaining water, causing this weight gain. And just like your mood, your weight may fluctuate all day long, seeming to go up and down each time you step on that scale. In fact, water retention can even cause your weight to rise and fall by about five pounds in a single day! So it's best to step off and stay away from the scale, if this wavering number is causing you to stress or worry. Try weighing yourself only once a day, or once every few days. As a general guideline, pregnancy experts suggest a weight gain of zero to five pounds during the first trimester.
At this point in your pregnancy, you have an opportunity for several optional screening tests for genetic abnormalities. Whether or not you take them rests on your approach to the information they give you. Before determining whether or not to go forward with the testing, consider how the potential results will be benefit to you.
One test is called the first trimester screen, performed between 11 and 13 weeks.
This non-invasive test consists of a blood test, coupled with an ultrasound known as the nuchal translucency screening. It doesn't pose a risk to you or your baby. It is a screening, not a diagnostic test, to evaluate the level of risk - ranging from normal to abnormal - for certain conditions, such as Down syndrome and other chromosomal issues. If your test result shows a higher level of risk, you can always opt for further testing. This test cannot tell if your baby has one of these conditions with certainty, but it can evaluate your level of risk, using a number of factors, to determine the ratio. An abnormal test result doesn't mean your baby has one of these conditions; and a normal result doesn't mean your baby won't be affected by any of these conditions.
If you choose to undergo further testing, you may be offered a chorionic villus sampling (CVS). This is an invasive procedure, removing cells from the placenta and testing them for genetic abnormalities. A CVS is done between 10 and 13 weeks. Unless they have abnormal results from an earlier test, many women choose not to complete this test due to the risk of infection or miscarriage. Your midwife or healthcare practitioner should discuss the risks with you – should help you consider all options - before deciding which tests, if any, are right for you.
Routine visits to your dentist, dermatologist, optometrist, psychiatrist, and any others you see are still important to your overall well-being. Don't become so focused on your pregnancy that you allow your usual appointments to slide. Gum tenderness, sensitivity, and infection are common issues during pregnancy, which means it's important to maintain your regularly scheduled, annual or bi-annual visits. Be sure to let the office know you are expecting, so they can take the appropriate measures to keep you and your baby safe. If you take any medications for depression, ADHD, anxiety, acne, and/or other health conditions, make sure you've discussed them with your doctor. You may have to discontinue certain medications, but your doctor should suggest other ways to safely treat your condition. Diet, exercise, and natural treatments, such as massage and acupuncture, may help too.
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
Look into taking a pregnancy or birthing class! Many soon-to-be-parents find these classes immensely helpful. These classes are available to you, your partner, and your older children. Contact your local hospital or birthing center, and ask your midwife, doula, doctor, or any other childbirth educator, for a listing of current or on-going classes.
Keep writing down the questions and concerns you wish to discuss at your next midwife or doctor appointment.
If you weren't previously active but feel a desire to begin a new exercise routine, first speak with your healthcare practitioner to make sure it will be safe for you and your little one. Walking is generally safe enough during pregnancy. A slow walk that builds into a brisk stroll and ends with a proper cool-down for no more than a total of 20 to 60 minutes - if your doctor has cleared you for this activity - can certainly help your labor and delivery go more smoothly. If you were physically active on a regular basis prior to getting pregnant, you should be able to continue at that level of activity unless and until you're told otherwise by your midwife or doctor. Be sure to protect your skin with a good SPF, stay completely hydrated, and keep your body temperature from getting too high. If exercising makes you feel nauseous or faint, try eating a high-protein snack about 30 minutes before activity.
If it's possible, try to avoid changing the cat's litter box, dealing with any harsh household chemicals, and refilling your car's gas tank. Getting someone else to do these regular chores can eliminate any unnecessary risk of harm to your little one.
Spend a few minutes every day talking, singing, or reading to your baby. It's important that both you and your partner take the time to find little ways to connect with your little one before he or she arrives. Involve your partner in the special moments and make important decisions together.
During week nine, the hCG hormone is flowing through your body at its highest level. Are you still not feeling any symptoms? Cross your fingers! Some women get through this first trimester without experiencing morning sickness; in fact, they love how they feel when they're pregnant. However, about 80 percent of all expectant moms experience morning sickness. So, if you're in the majority, just know relief from nausea and exhaustion should be right around the corner. In the meantime, here are some of the common symptoms you’re likely feeling this week.
- Morning sickness, nausea, or vomiting
- Mood swings
- Weight fluctuations of one to five pounds
- Nasal congestion and/or bloody nose
- Frequent urination
- Heartburn and/or indigestion
- Constipation, bloating, and/or gas
- Crazy pregnancy dreams
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