Welcome to week 9. 31 more weeks to go!
Your baby has graduated from an embryo and is now officially called a fetus, which means little one. Last week they were the size of a raspberry, and this week they are growing to 0.9 inches (2.3 cm) and are about the size of a grape.
Your baby also no longer has a tail. Their hands can flex at the wrist. The head has straightened out, eyelids cover the eyes, and ears are beginning to take shape. Some new organs, including the spleen and gallbladder, are forming.
It may be too early to feel anything, but it’s not too early to hear something. Your baby’s heart is developed and large enough that its beats can be heard with a Doppler. A Doppler is a handheld ultrasound device that amplifies the noises from your womb. Don’t panic if your practitioner can’t pick up the sound of your baby’s heartbeat yet. Placental placement or your baby’s position can make it challenging to pick up a heartbeat. Hearing your baby’s heart will sound rapid since it beats about twice as fast as yours.
You may feel like you have more energy and are friskier than you have been for the past two months. A surge in estrogen and progesterone creates more blood flow to the breasts, vagina, labia, and clitoris, making them more sensitive. Your breasts continue to get fuller, so it could be an ideal time to buy a maternity bra or go up a cup size.
Mood swings are probably familiar by now. Know that these are normal and temporary. Mood swings will wind down in the second trimester, coming up in just three weeks. Now that you have probably had your first appointment (of around 14 total) with a doctor or midwife, remember that for the other 260 days you are pregnant, it is just you and your baby. Your diet and lifestyle choices are the most significant influence on your baby’s health. You should already be taking prenatal vitamins. If you need assistance, check out the episode on what to look for in a prenatal vitamin.
Your doctor or midwife will document your weight at each appointment. Weight gain is not linear throughout the whole nine months of your pregnancy. In the first trimester, you should only gain a few pounds. See this episode for more information on healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Next week the window opens for several prenatal tests. Now is an excellent time to review Your Guide for Prenatal Testing. It is crucial to understand the difference between screening and diagnostic tests. A screening test does not diagnose a condition; it only signals that further testing is needed. You would need a diagnostic test to diagnose anything. It can be devastating to get screening results back, showing your baby is at a higher risk for anything. Please understand that you don’t know anything until a diagnostic test.
Tip for Dads and Partners
As mom’s pregnancy progresses, hormone changes can make their moods swing all over the place, especially in the first trimester. Having a short fuse or being extra emotional is normal. Try to understand that these emotions are out of their control.
Want more evidence-based information to navigate your pregnancy and birth?
20% OFF Pregnancy Podcast Premium with the code 40WEEKS. With a Premium membership, you get access to the private podcast feed (in your favorite podcast app) with every episode ad-free. Exclusive access to all episodes, articles, and resources on the website. Plus, a digital copy of the Your Birth Plan book. Your step-by-step guide to creating the birth experience you want. Including sample plans and a master template you can customize. Become a Pregnancy Podcast Premium Member.