At 9 weeks, your bundle of joy is an inch long – about the size of a grape – and finally beginning to look more recognizable with a head, arms, legs, fingers, and toes. All of the essential organs are continuing to grow, including the placenta, which is how your baby receives oxygen and nutrients and gets rid of waste. It’s quite an accomplishment in a few short weeks. Good job!
As your body experiences dramatic physical changes during early pregnancy, you’ll likely feel physical fatigue. This week, you may experience emotional fatigue, as well. After doubling in your body every 2 or 3 days over the past 8 weeks to support the placenta, the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is at its peak.
This, coupled with estrogen and progesterone, can make you feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, experiencing all those pregnancy mood swings you've seen in sitcoms!
The good news is that first-trimester fatigue is temporary, and you'll probably feel more energized in the second trimester. Here are some things you can do to help with fatigue:
Begin a Daily Relaxation Practice
Practicing relaxation at least once a day is highly effective, but it’s so simple that it’s often overlooked. In fact, remembering to do your relaxation practice every day may be the most challenging part. You can try breathing exercises, aromatherapy, or meditation.
We love pregnancy yoga. You can find prenatal yoga videos for morning energy, bedtime relaxation routines, and everything in between. Prenatal and postpartum yoga can help calm your mind while keeping you active. Check out Larie’s 20 minute prenatal yoga session for your first and second trimesters.
Adjust Your Schedule
Your regular schedule of work and social commitments may be unrealistic during pregnancy, and you may need a temporary adjustment to support a healthy pregnancy. Employers, family, and friends can be a great help in finding solutions and providing support so you can balance all of your responsibilities.
Food Is Medicine
A healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and quality proteins can help you maintain energy throughout the day as your baby continues to grow and develop. Here are some pregnancy superfoods to add to your shopping list:
- Dark, leafy vegetables: spinach, watercress, kale, broccoli, and bok choy
- Nutrient-rich berries: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries
- Oil-rich fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, and fresh tuna (look out, heightened sense of smell!)
- Nutrient-dense carbs: bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and whole-grain cereals
Heartburn and Pregnancy
Heartburn is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms – and it’s often a surprise to women who have never experienced that burning sensation before. With a baby on board, your organs are shifting, which contributes to heartburn. Rest assured, your heartburn should disappear in a few months when your little one looks at you and completely melts your heart. In the meantime, read on for some home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy.
If you don’t want to feel the burn, relief will soon be on the way when you enjoy yogurt or drink some milk. That’s because the calcium and proteins in milk products neutralize stomach acid. Try stirring a tablespoon of honey into warm milk for a real treat!
The Cleveland Clinic and other medically reviewed sources recommend slowly eating several small meals each day while sitting up straight (no slouching). Stay hydrated by drinking water between meals, not during them (frequent urination is totally normal). Eating smaller meals more frequently can also help with morning sickness.
To avoid heartburn, steer clear of foods that are fried, spicy, or fatty (although that might be hard with food cravings!). Also, avoid caffeine and high-acid juices and citrus fruits.
Baby on Board
Under Construction: Pearly Whites
Although you won’t be able to see those pearly whites for another year or so, right now, there are 20 of them starting to form within your baby’s gums. Keep up your calcium intake (don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamin and DHA!) to help fortify your baby’s teeth.
Under Construction: Baby's Sweet Heart
At 9 weeks, your baby’s heart is now beating with all four chambers. But don’t worry if you haven’t heard their heartbeat yet. A transvaginal ultrasound may be able to pick up the sound of the heart beating at 5 to 6 weeks, and, according to Michigan Medicine, a Doppler heart monitor can pick it up at 12 weeks. But remember that all pregnant women (and all pregnancies) are different!
If luck is on your side (and your baby’s in the right position), you’ll hear their heartbeat at your next prenatal appointment (where you might have some prenatal testing). In your womb, your baby’s heartbeat is much faster than yours, so those four chambers sound more like horses in full gallop.
What to Wear This Week
With a bun in the oven, you don’t really need a nursing bra right now, but it’s never too early for expectant moms to enjoy support and comfort, especially if you're experiencing breast tenderness. Our Seamless Classic Maternity Bra adapts to your body throughout your pregnancy, including breast size fluctuations and weight gain. It even converts to a racerback bra to pair with maternity tank tops this summer.
We hope you’re enjoying your pregnancy and this blog series. You’ve reached the end of this post – now is a perfect time to begin your daily relaxation practice.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please reach out to your health care team with any questions.