- Women's Health
What to Expect in the 9th Week of Pregnancy
The Baby at 9 Weeks of Pregnancy
9 Weeks Pregnant
In the 9th week of pregnancy, the baby's tail has completely "disappeared" as the body length increases. Baby is now nearly an inch long, and the heart is finishing its development. By the end of this week, the heart will have four working chambers.
While the baby is moving now, the movements cannot be felt by the mother. Baby weighs in at just under one ounce, so there isn't a lot of heft behind those kicking motions yet! The fingers and toes are getting longer, and the external genitalia is beginning to develop. It is impossible to tell the gender of the baby at this gestational age, as the males and females look identical at 9 weeks of gestation.
Still thick in the first trimester, pregnancy symptoms still plague the mother. Fatigue, nausea, and all the other woes of the first trimester are often present during this week of pregnancy.
Embryo at 9 Weeks
Pregnancy Symptoms at 9 Weeks
While some mothers may note a slight reprieve in annoying pregnancy symptoms (like morning sickness), most will continue to experience the unpleasant effects of early pregnancy. These symptoms include:
- Breast tenderness
- Extreme fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Heartburn (acid reflux)
- Mood swings
While these symptoms are frustrating, take heart. The second trimester is just around the corner, and many women will escape the nausea and fatigue that plagues the first trimester.
Ultrasound at 9 Weeks
The Baby at 9 Weeks
The baby's eyes have formed, but eyelids are fused shut for the next few months. Still, baby is able to detect strong light through her fused lids - and will be able to see inside the womb once he or she reaches 27 weeks' gestation.
Most of the vital organs have formed and the baby's placenta is well developed. It begins to take over the role of fueling the baby's growth and producing the necessary hormones to continue the pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels begin to level off at this stage of pregnancy. These hormone levels will plateau and even decline as baby enters the second trimester.
If you have a prenatal appointment this week, there is the possibility of hearing the fetal heart rate on a doppler device. Don't be too anxious if the heartbeat is hard to find, though - some fetal heart tones are difficult to find until the baby is 10-12 weeks along.
When to Tell Your Boss About the Pregnancy
Deciding When to Tell Your Employer About the Pregnancy
Announcing a pregnancy is often an exciting time - and stressful, when it involves telling your boss. Many women wait until they are in the second trimester to tell their employer about the pregnancy, when the chance of miscarriage decreases dramatically. Some points to consider include:
- Is your job dangerous? If you work with hazardous chemicals or in a physically demanding job, you will need to notify your employer immediately.
- Is your pregnancy complicated? If you must leave work frequently for appointments, it may be a good idea to tell your boss about the pregnancy.
- How supportive is your workplace? A warm and caring workplace may encourage you to let the cat out of the bag earlier, while a more hostile work environment may cause you to keep the pregnancy hidden for a longer period of time.
- How are you feeling? If you are vomiting, extremely nauseated, or fatigued, it might be necessary to spill the proverbial beans. Running to the toilet to throw up five times per day may be a major clue to the others in your workplace, anyway.
Telling the Boss: A Poll
When did you let your workplace know about the pregnancy?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Know Your Rights
Some women are anxious about telling their employer about the pregnancy, for fear of losing their job or receiving a demotion. A federal law called the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prevents employers from reducing fringe benefits, wages, or terminating a woman's position because she is pregnant. Any woman who is pregnant, has complications arising from childbirth, or medical conditions related to the pregnancy is protected by this act. Examples include:
- Health insurance benefits must cover pregnancy-related medical care to the same degree as other medical conditions.
- Male spouses must be covered under a health insurance policy to the same degree that female spouses are covered.
- Employees who must take leave because of complications arising from the pregnancy must accrue vacation, seniority, and pay increases at the same rate as other employees who are temporarily disabled.
- An employer cannot refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant or has a pregnancy-related condition.
- A pregnant woman's job must be held open for the same amount of time that the position would be held open for any other person on leave with a temporary disability.
- A pregnant woman cannot be charged more for healthcare coverage: a larger deductible or fee cannot be imposed.
Creating a Facebook Pregnancy Reveal Photo
Telling Friends and Family
Telling friends and family is often less stressful than telling an employer about a pregnancy. While some women wait until the second trimester to tell extended family and friends, it is often a good idea to let a few very close friends and family members know about the pregnancy. If a miscarriage were to occur, these good friends and family will form a support network and will become a safe place to talk about the pregnancy and/or pregnancy loss.
Extended family and friends can wait to hear about the pregnancy until the mother is comfortable with spreading the news: this may be once the fetal heart tones are detected, the baby reaches the second trimester, or when the "big" anatomy ultrasound is performed at around 20 weeks of gestation.
Telling extended friends and family about the pregnancy on Facebook and other social networking sites can be extremely fun. Several "pregnancy reveal" photo ideas are extremely cute - a family posing with a new set of baby shoes, or a picture of a first-born child wearing a "big brother" or "big sister" shirt.