What women should know in week 9 of pregnancy

At nine weeks of pregnancy, your baby is growing fast and is now about the size of a grape, about 28 grams in weight and 2.54 cm in length.

Your baby’s heart development is almost complete, dividing into four separate chambers. The valves are starting to form, creating a strong foetal heartbeat.

Although you may not hear or feel anything, your baby’s heartbeat can be detected by a special device called a Doppler.

How is my body changing?

Many may comment that you have a pregnancy glow. This may be true. To support your growing baby, your body is producing more blood cells and increasing blood flow.

This can cause blood to rush to your skin, creating a warm glow. This also means you may feel other symptoms – dizziness and lightheadedness apart from feeling hot and sweaty. This is normal.

Studies have shown that pregnant women have about 100 ml of blood flowing through their uterine artery.

During early pregnancy, your blood flow may increase to about 120 ml per minute, and will gradually increase to 350 ml per minute closer to your due date.

When you feel dizzy or lightheaded, you should lie down and rest. Remember you need to take it easy.

What should I be concerned about?

If you have any complications, see your doctor immediately and be careful when carrying out your daily activities.

If you are feeling nauseous or vomiting regularly, you will have to speak with your superiors at work about your pregnancy earlier than you intended.

For the sake of the baby and yourself, you will probably need to relax your mind, so inform colleagues about your pregnancy.

Your manager can assign your work to others in time without affecting the operation of the company.

Can your superior and colleagues assist you?

This will depend on the work culture in your office. If you are confident your boss will receive and arrange notification of your pregnancy in a professional manner, telling him or her about your pregnancy means you can take advantage of preferential policies.

Unfortunately, some employers are rarely sympathetic when they learn that their employees are pregnant. If you are concerned about the reaction of your superiors, you should be cautious and wait until your body begins to show signs of pregnancy before saying anything.

What should I tell my doctor?

If you usually suffer from migraines, you may experience more during pregnancy due to the higher levels of pregnancy hormones circulating through your system.

Work with your doctor for the safest treatment. To help manage the migraines, you should identify the triggers and try to avoid them.

Some known triggers include stress, chocolate, cheese and coffee. Also try avoiding noise, direct light and any odours by lying down in a dark and quiet room for a few hours.

What tests should I know about?

Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection that affects women of childbearing age. It is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that lives inside the vagina.

About one in five pregnant women get bacterial vaginosis at some point during their pregnancy.

A symptom of this condition is white or grey vaginal discharge with a fishy odour. This smell may be more noticeable after sex. You may also experience irritation or itching around the vagina and vulva.

Bacterial vaginosis increases your risk of miscarriage and premature rupture of membranes surrounding the baby.

If you have any symptoms of a vaginal infection, inform your doctor immediately as it can be easily treated with antibiotics. Early detection can reduce your risk of a miscarriage.

Staying healthy and safe while pregnant

• Pest control sprays

Pesticides and chemicals to kill ants and cockroaches can be harmful to pregnant women although there is no conclusive evidence that this is so.

• Fumigation

Similarly, scientists know very little about the effects of fumigation on pregnant women. So after your home has been fumigated, it is best that you stay out for longer than recommended by the manufacturer.

• Herbal tea

There is no conclusive evidence that herbal tea is not safe for pregnant women. However, it is best to avoid teas containing ingredients with pharmacological effects.

You should also stay away from teas which may stimulate uterine contractions or menstruation such as black cohosh or green tree as it may contain a yellow-flowered buttercup called Ranunculacea.

This article first appeared in hellodoktor.com and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.