Being pregnant

Your pregnancy: 9 weeks

In week 9 your baby is about the same size as a green olive. From the top of his head to the bottom of his buttocks, he's about 22 to 33 mm long.

By Today's Parent
Your pregnancy: 9 weeks

Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt:

What's going on in there: Fetal development at 9 weeks pregnant

Your baby is the size of a piece of macaroni this week! If you could take a peek inside, you might be able to start guessing whose nose he has because your baby’s facial features are becoming much more distinct. At nine weeks pregnant, his eyelids are visible, but they will stay fused shut until around week 27. And even though it’s too soon to tell by ultrasound, your baby’s genitals are becoming more visible and your baby’s heartbeat is strong enough to hear with a fetal Doppler on your belly. At this point in your pregnancy, your baby has reached a big milestone, having graduated from an embryo to a fetus.

Pregnant Woman Expecting A New Life Oscar Wong / Getty Images

Nine weeks pregnant symptoms

So. Freaking. Tired.

The levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) tend to peak around this time, so you might be feeling moody, nauseous and more tired. But don’t despair: Once you get over this bump (ha!), you’ll start to feel much better. At nine weeks pregnant, the fatigue can feel like it’s taken over, and you’ll be fighting the urge to nod off whenever you stop moving. The exhaustion typically lets up once the first-trimester hormones simmer down. But in the meantime, sleep whenever you can and keep eating small snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

woman sleeping Delmaine Donson / Getty Images

Why are my doctors looking at my thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck. Although it’s small, it produces hormones that can have a big impact on your metabolism, cholesterol and temperature, which affect your weight, mood and energy levels. During pregnancy, your body’s demand for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) increases, which means that a previously undetected thyroid disorder can worsen. Of course, some of the symptoms of a dysfunctional thyroid (whether it’s overactive or underactive) are very similar to common pregnancy symptoms. The jury is still out on whether all pregnant women should be screened, so if you have a pre-existing thyroid condition, a family history of thyroid disease or any other risk factors, such as an autoimmune disease, make sure that your doctor knows as soon as possible. An untreated thyroid condition can have adverse effects on both mom and baby. Luckily, your thyroid levels can be safely monitored with a simple blood test and managed with daily medication (which is safe for the fetus) during pregnancy. Normal TSH ranges are 0.1 to 2.5 during the first trimester, 0.2 to 3.0 during the second trimester and 0.3 to 3.0 during the third trimester.

woman being checked her thyroid stefanamer / Getty Images

Losing your waistline

You might notice that your pants don’t feel as comfy as usual, and that could finally be your growing uterus, which has already doubled in size. It may also feel firmer in the lower part of your abdomen (that’s also your growing uterus), so jeans with buttons will feel really uncomfortable. You can put off buying maternity pants a little longer by using a belly band, or by simply looping an elastic band through the buttonhole and wrapping it around the button. Many women notice that their waistlines thicken before their bumps begin to show. Loose, flowing tops over leggings are another great way to keep your secret under wraps a little longer if you’d like. But if you want to start looking at maternity jeans, we asked three moms to put the most popular brands to the test. Here's what they thought! 

woman at the park looking at her waist Anna Efetova / Getty Images

Stylish maternity jeans put to the test by real moms

Forever Fit Skinny Maternity + Post Pregnancy Jeans

Rating: 4/5 stars These distressed, black skinnies have the full belly band, and are designed so you can remove it post-pregnancy (just take out the stitches). You will end up with a low rise jean when you take out the panel, and it has a real functioning fly. (Bonus: All the pockets are actual pockets!) They also have an extension tab on the side so you can adjust their fit as your belly grows (just like those button tabs you find in toddler jeans). They’re made of cotton and spandex and are machine washable. They’re available in a smaller range of sizes (from 2 to 12), but they also carry plus sizes. Helpful tip: Keep an eye out for Petite and Tall sizes! Colour: Black. $80,  If this colour is unavailable in your size, check out their wide selection here:

three pregnant women wearing stylish maternity jeans by Motherhood Maternity Canada on an orange background Photos: Ibrahim Abusitta


Maternity Side-Panel Rockstar Skinny Jeans

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

The Rockstar skinnies are one of Old Navy’s bestsellers, so we had to try the maternity version with the side panels instead of the full tummy panel. The denim is made of comfortable cotton, polyester, rayon and spandex. They are machine washable and you can put them in the dryer on low (although we’d be a bit worried about the side panels getting out of shape—we’d personally hang to dry.) The fly may be faux and there aren’t any front pockets, but the back pockets are legit. Colour: Silver Lake. $45, If this colour is unavailable in your size, check out their other Rockstar Maternity jeans here:

three pregnant women wearing stylish maternity jeans by Old Navy on an orange background Photos: Ibrahim Abusitta

MAMA Skinny Jeans

Rating: 3/5 stars These jeans come in lots of washes and distressed styles. With lots of fading, whiskering, dark acid washed parts, there’s definitely some dimension on these. They also sport a full tummy panel, copper coloured buttons and rivets and of course, the faux fly and fake front pockets. They’re made of cotton, polyester and elastane, and can be machine-washed. They range in sizes from 2 to 20. Note: Denim retailers are notorious for having great variation in their sizes—a size 8 in one brand might be completely different in another. It’s always a good idea to try before you buy, or make sure they have a great return policy (which, luckily, H&M does—30 days!) And when buying maternity items, make sure they will fit for the whole ride. Colour: Denim Blue. $60, If this colour is unavailable in your size, check out their other MAMA Skinny Jeans here:

three pregnant women wearing stylish maternity jeans by H&M on an orange background Photos: Ibrahim Abusitta

Maternity Full Panel True Skinny Jeans

Rating: 3/5 stars This is the slimmest of Gap’s maternity jeans and this pair comes in Gap’s premium 1969 denim and has a medium stretch. They’re also made of cotton, polyester and elastane with a full tummy panel and range in sizes 0 to 18. They have five pockets and a faux fly (it’s just for show ladies!) This pair is machine washable, but because of the darker wash, comes with the rub-off warning. So do yourself a favour and pre-wash them on their own. This is the most expensive pair we tried but don’t forget: You can always find a sale at the Gap! Colour: Rich Indigo. $85,  

three pregnant women wearing stylish maternity jeans by the GAP on an orange background Photos: Ibrahim Abusitta


George Maternity Jeggings

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

This super stretchy pair is our jegging of the group and, when you hear jegging, that usually means no pockets—but this pair has two in the back! They also have a full tummy panel that scoops pretty low where you would expect the fly to be (there’s no zipper on this pair.) We tried on the dark, thin denim and the fit is very skinny, hence the jegging style. They are machine washable, but wash separately just in case the colour bleeds. Like many of the other pairs we tried, they’re made of cotton, polyester and spandex. The George Maternity Jeggings range in sizes from S-XXL. Colour: Indigo. $22,  

three pregnant women wearing stylish maternity jeans by Walmart on an orange background Photos: Ibrahim Abusitta

Skinny Dark Wash Maternity Jean

Rating: 2.5/5 stars Thyme Maternity jeans come in a stretchy denim that is a combination of cotton, polyester and elastine. The wash we tried has a hint of striation and it’s a skinny-fit with a full belly panel. This is their signature 3-in-1 belly panel that you can wear low (just roll it down), or mid waist (fold it in half) or full (wear it all the way up, Urkel-style). There is no pinchy elastic band at the waist, so it moves with comfort. This pair has real pockets (phew!) and is available in tall and petite sizes, too. Sizes range from XXS to 4XL. Colour: Denim Dark Blue. $70, If this colour is unavailable in your size, check out their wide selection of slim fit maternity jeans here:

three pregnant women wearing stylish maternity jeans by Thyme Maternity on an orange background Photos: Ibrahim Abusitta

What's on your mind this week


How much weight should you gain?

Even though you won’t look very different in the first trimester, weight gain will happen and it’s a good thing—after all, your body is growing a human! Your ideal weight gain depends a lot on your pre-pregnancy weight. For example, a woman with an average body mass index (BMI) should gain about 25 to 30 pounds over the course of her pregnancy. Of course, every woman is different, especially moms who are carrying multiples. Some women even lose weight during the first trimester due to the severity of their nausea or food aversions. It’s something you and your healthcare provider can keep tabs on together, but it only becomes a great concern if you swing too far in one direction or the other. Read about trends in weight gain for Canadian moms here.

Female is checking her weight on the scale StockPlanets / Getty Images

Just for kicks

Maybe the sight, smell or even thought of certain foods sends you running for the washroom these days. Are there only a few foods you can stomach? In the first trimester, a lot of women report craving fruit. Then there are the more stereotypical pregnancy tells, such as pickles and ice cream. Or, if you’re Mila Kunis, it’s…sauerkraut. 

Baby names

What’s in a name? Well, once you’ve locked down a first name and agreed on the last name, there’s always your baby's middle name to consider.

middle name ZoltanFabian / Getty Images


Pregnancy to-do list: 9 weeks pregnant

Breaking it to the boss

If you’re working right now, you’re probably starting to think about how and when to tell your employer about your pregnancy. It’s a good idea to look into your workplace policies, as well as think about what you want your maternity leave to look like and what will happen to your role while you’re on leave. If you have a colleague who has already taken a maternity leave, you might find it reassuring to have a discussion about how it went for her.

At present, Canadians are entitled to one year of parental leave with benefits—including self-employed parents if they meet the requirements. It includes up to 15 weeks for birth mothers and up to 35 weeks in addition for parental leave (for biological or adoptive parents—and it can be split between partners), during which time you may be eligible to receive 55 percent of your average weekly earnings up to a maximum amount. (What does this mean for your mat-leave budget? As of January 2, 2019, the maximum yearly insurable-earnings amount is $53,100 which means a maximum payment of $562 per week). With the government extending parental leave to 18 months (over which you'd get that amount over 18 months instead of 12), the search for child care is now less of a burden for parents who return to work. 

Read more: I'm doing the 18-month maternity leave and this is why it's awesome Why I think 18 months of mat leave is actually pretty useless Next up: 10 weeks pregnant

Your pregnancy: 9 weeks

This article was originally published on Jul 02, 2019

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