You are 9 Weeks and 4 Days 213 days to go…

Just as you’ve become used to the idea you’re pregnant, you may discover that you’re carrying more than one baby.

Your baby today

The baby’s facial features are becoming more distinctive by this stage. The very fine eyelids have now completely fused over the developing eye and will remain closed until approximately the 26th week of pregnancy.

Do you have an instinct that you’re having twins? Some women, even very early in pregnancy, suspect they’re carrying more than one baby simply because they feel “more pregnant.” Signs of a multiple pregnancy include highly sensitive breasts, and extreme morning sickness and fatigue. In a multiple pregnancy, your uterus might also be larger than expected. Your doctor may be able to feel it rising into your lower belly from this week, instead of from 12 weeks.

Whether or not you suspect anything, the first ultrasound scan will show definitely if you are carrying more than one baby.

… Twins
The shocking news

The news that you’re having two or more babies may not always be delivered with the greatest tact. For instance, the sonographer may look at the scan and say that “something needs checking.” This sounds worrying, of course, but remember, he or she is only being cautious before giving you the life-changing news. The sonographer may also be checking your twins for size, to rule out any major problems. Once this is done, however, there are likely to be hearty congratulations.

… Mom
Q: I’m delighted we’re having twins but how will I manage?
A: I felt the same when I was expecting and had so many worries—“Will I be able to breast-feed two babies? How many cribs will I need?” At first, your head is likely to be spinning with these thoughts, as you get used to the idea of your twin pregnancy.

To give yourself time to come to terms with the news, you may prefer to keep it to yourselves for a few weeks. What you’ll find is that family and friends react differently. Responses can range from pure joy (usually from thrilled grandparents) to envy or a bit of scaremongering (from friends and strangers).

We found it helpful to talk to others who were expecting twins or who were already parents to twins. Visit the website of the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs to find a local group.

You are 9 Weeks and 5 Days 212 days to go…

One of the downsides of pregnancy is being at greater risk of urinary tract infections, so you need to be aware of the signs.

Your baby today

The lower limbs are now held flexed at the hip and knee joints, leading to a slightly crossed-legs position. The separate toes can be distinguished. Further growth of the thigh and shin bones will bring the foot length into proportion with the rest of the leg.

It’s important to be on the lookout for any signs of a urinary tract infection while you’re pregnant. While it’s not very serious, and can be easily treated, it’s a complication you can do without.

An infection may cause you to urinate more frequently, but this is also a symptom of early pregnancy so can be hard to spot. If, however, you also have stinging or discomfort when you actually urinate, lower abdominal pain, or even blood in the urine you may have developed a urinary tract infection. These infections are very common in women in general, because the urethra (tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside) is very close to the anus and so bacteria do not have far to travel to create an infection.

In pregnancy, there are high levels of the hormone progesterone; this relaxes the tubes of the urinary system making it even easier for bacteria to enter and infect the bladder or even the kidneys. It is very important that if you have the symptoms of a urinary tract infection that your doctor tests your urine. In general, urinary tract infections are easily treatable in pregnancy. If there is an infection, you will be prescribed antibiotics that are safe to take in pregnancy. The infection must be treated because, if left, it may cause damage to your kidneys.

Staying in shape

If you were a regular exerciser prior to becoming pregnant, it is important to continue with some form of exercise. Stopping entirely, just because you’re pregnant, would be a shock to your fit body.

There are some contraindications to exercising, but if you have clearance from your doctor, take the following steps to ensure that you are continuing to exercise safely and effectively, and getting all the benefits from your program without putting you or your baby at risk.

If you’re used to bicycling, switch to a stationary bike at the gym during pregnancy. It’s best to avoid activities that can lead to falls, such as biking outside.

  • Continue with activities, such as jogging, and swimming, as long as you feel comfortable.

  • Listen to your body very carefully—look for signs that you should slow down or take a break.

  • Get adequate rest between workouts, and drink water before, during, and after all forms of exercise.

  • Exercise at a moderate level—you should be able to do the talk test .

  • Keep to low-impact and low-risk activities (avoid sports that involve contact and the risk of falling).

  • Wear the right clothing: cotton will enable your body to dissipate heat, and a supportive sports bra is vital for your growing breasts, especially if you’re jogging.

You are 9 Weeks and 6 Days 211 days to go…

Your baby’s organ systems are now present, in a basic form, so at this point she changes from being an embryo to a fetus.

Your baby today

The umbilical cord widens where it enters the baby’s abdomen. This bulge is necessary to accommodate the bowel that is forming underneath at this stage of development. The bones of the head are not yet fully formed.

The early embryonic period is complete at the end of this week, and it is the start of the fetal period. The development of the embryo was characterized by the three cell lines each developing into their own types of tissues and organs, as it grew from a flat disk of cells into a human shape. Many of the changes took place concurrently, but it was the heart, circulation, and nervous systems that developed initially with the gut, limbs, and face development following.

During next week (your 11th week), your baby’s kidneys and genital system will undergo their most rapid development. All your baby’s organs need to mature fully, and many of them, such as the brain, lungs, and kidneys, will continue to mature throughout pregnancy and after birth.

During this ninth week, your baby’s facial features are becoming more recognizable. The ears will take on their final shape, although they are still positioned low.

The eyes, which started on the side of the face start to move more centrally, the nose is visible, and the head achieves a more rounded contour.

… Nutrition
Vegetarian mom-to-be

A vegetarian diet can be safe and healthy in pregnancy. Lacto-ovo vegetarians, those who consume dairy products, usually have no trouble getting enough nutrients, though they should be careful to eat a varied diet rich in whole grains, beans, legumes, fruit, and vegetables, in order to obtain the proper mix of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Vegetarians also need to obtain enough, as well as complete, protein since vegetarian sources tend to be lower than animal proteins. An intake of 2 oz (60 g) of protein is needed daily in pregnancy, which for vegetarians usually means that a protein source be included in all three meals, as well as a protein-containing snack.

In addition, vegetarians need to obtain all 23 essential amino acids, since vegetarian proteins don’t usually have all of these in any one source. To obtain all 23 amino acids, eating a variety of protein types at several meals will usually do the trick. It is not necessary for each meal to contain all 23, since the body can store them over several meals. If you’re vegan, see Vegan needs.

A new noninvasive test to detect chromosomal disorders could soon be available.

This could require simply a sample of blood from the pregnant woman, unlike current tests that require a needle to be inserted into the uterus.

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