Welcome To Week 9
Your Baby: Gender Differences
The growing embryo is about 1 inch long (25.4 mm). As its embryonic tail disappears and the face rounds out, the embryo is looking more human in shape. On the outside, hands and feet that looked like paddles just a week ago are now forming fingers and toes. On the inside, the pancreas, bile ducts, and gallbladder have formed, and the reproductive organs are starting to develop as male or female.
Your Body: Worries, Concerns, And Fears
Most pregnant women - regardless if it's baby number 1 or baby number 9 - are anxious about the child growing inside. Will he be healthy? Will she have 10 fingers and 10 toes? It's perfectly normal and understandable to be concerned. After all, life takes on a new meaning when you're pregnant.
Statistics are on your side! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infant mortality is 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 (from 9.2 deaths per 1,000 births in 1990).
Every mother-to-be worries to a certain extent. But if you're so worried that it interferes with work, sleeping, or eating, you should take action. Try talking with your spouse, confiding in friends, consulting your doctor, or reading up on pregnancy and parenting. If none of these provide the comfort you need, you should consider seeking professional help.
On A Different Note:
Peek-a-boo, I See You.
Ever wish you could be on the outside looking in? With this interactive tool, you can take a visual tour of the female reproductive system and better understand what's going on inside your body - baby and all.
After talking with your health care provider, try to incorporate an exercise routine into your daily agenda. It might be as simple as taking a walk around the block on your lunch break or as subtle as doing 50 Kegel exercises at your desk (tensing the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles). Do whatever you have the time and energy for, but keep it up. In the long run, you'll feel better and it will help your postpartum recovery.
Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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