Week 9 of pregnancy is known for the “era of the mood swings”. You may begin to notice symptoms such as irritability, weepiness and mood swings. Indigestion may appear at this time and antacids will become your friend. At this time your baby is about 1 inch long and weighs about as much as a paper clip (one eighth of an ounce). There are some major changes taking place in your baby’s body as the development during this time is fast and dramatic.
At this stage of your pregnancy, your baby is undergoing a great deal of developmental changes. The nipples and hair follicles are beginning to form and the abdomen and chest cavities separate. The facial features are becoming more pronounced as the eye muscles and upper lip develop. Ultrasound can detect fetal movement but you won’t likely be able to feel the first flutterings for a few more weeks. The nerve cells form in the retinas of the eyes and nerve connections are made to the brain from the retina. The ear canals form as do the nasal passages. The neck elongates and becomes more distinct as it connects the body to the head.
All the fingers and toes are visible at this time and the rectal and urinary passages separate completely. The intestines move out of the umbilical cord and begin moving into the abdomen. The changes are very dramatic at this time of the pregnancy and these first few weeks are the time frame that allows the baby to develop in a manner that will form the foundation of his or her growth. You will likely feel more tired, even exhausted during this time because of all the things that are going on in your body. Just rest when your body tells you that it needs it. In a few weeks the exhaustion will pass as the development shifts from baby formation to baby growth.
You are going through some dramatic changes as well. Your hormones are shifting about and your body is preparing to nurture your baby, go through labor and delivery and breastfeed your baby after the birth. Those are a lot of changes! Your breasts feel fuller and more sensitive and you may have some PMS symptoms. You probably notice that your waistline is expanding and even a slight weight gain. You may feel bloated, have mood swings and feel teary or irritable. While nausea and morning sickness are already a regular part of your day, heartburn and indigestion may surface at this time and you may also notice that you have food aversions and food cravings. Some women crave “normal” food like brownies or Chinese food, while some women crave things like dirt or starch. If you have any abnormal cravings, you should talk to your doctor.
The first trimester of pregnancy is usually not the most comfortable. It is usually considered by women to be the least enjoyable with the third trimester running in second. Your body is working very hard during this time and on top of that, your hormones are adjusting. Hang in there because the second trimester is usually a wonderful time where you feel great and you get that beautiful “pregnancy glow”.