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What to Expect During Pregnancy Week 9

What to Expect During Pregnancy Week 9

The early stages of pregnancy are a beautiful time that you can use to get acquainted with your baby. During this stage of your pregnancy, your baby will be developing its basic physiology and you will be getting acquainted with the idea of parenthood. Here are some of the things that you can expect during pregnancy week 9:

Your Baby

At week 9, the beginning of month three, your baby is roughly the size of a cherry. Your little bundle of joy is so tiny that they usually weight only a fraction of an ounce. Your baby is working on developing their muscles. Their head is often the same size of the rest of their body. The brain is growing to help the rest of your baby to grow with it!

During this stage, your child’s nerves, organs and muscles are all beginning to function more. The muscle function also means that your baby is also starting to move a little bit. As your baby continues to grow muscle, he or she will be able to move more. Don’t worry if you cannot feel anything yet. But because your baby is so tiny at this stage, most women aren’t able to feel these movements!

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Your baby’s face is also beginning to form this week. Their cute little nose, lips and eyes are beginning to take shape! At this point, your baby will begin to take on all of his or her parents wonderful features. Even your baby’s eyes are becoming more distinct. They will even begin to develop eyelids to protect their fragile sight but they won’t open their eyes until week 26.

Because of the extra development in your baby’s facial features, week 9 also sees your baby’s teeth beginning to form. Of course, most baby’s teeth won’t break through until after they are born. But they actually develop early in your pregnancy.

With all of these things developing so quickly, your baby is beginning to get ready to gain some weight.

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Remember that it is still early. Your baby’s sex organs have developed but you won’t be able to find out the gender for a couple more weeks!

Your Body

By week 9, you will notice that you are beginning to grow. You may not yet have a full bump to show off to family and friends. However, the waistbands on your favorite clothes may start to feel a little bit tight. Don’t be afraid to wear looser clothes. You will feel more comfortable all around.

You may also notice that your breasts are growing already. Your bras may also begin to fit improperly. It is not yet time to go out and find a maternity bra. But finding a comfortable and well-fitting bra will help you transition through this stage more comfortably.

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Common Symptoms

Before you got pregnant, you saw or heard about morning sickness. Whether you saw it in your own mother or in your friends, it was the one thing that you knew would be certain about pregnancy. Of course, not all women go through morning sickness. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, that morning sickness will be in full swing by now.

In addition to that morning sickness, you may notice that your mood is less stable than it was before. This is completely normal. Not only is your life about to change but your hormones are experiencing something completely new for your body. Many women experience the height of their moodiness between weeks six and ten. Just remember that at week 9, you may almost be near the end of it.

Tips for Pregnancy Week 9

Since you’re slowly gaining weight, do not be afraid to begin wearing clothes that put comfort over fit. There is nothing worse than being horrendously nauseous in a tight pair of jeans. Cut yourself some slack! Your body is doing important work. If that means getting a robo vac to help you around the house or call in on favors from friends and family, now is the time to do so!

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Things to Do

At this point, it might be time for you to tell your employer that you are pregnant. Of course, this depends on your employer, your job and how comfortable you are. Many women wait until they have reached their second trimester to tell anyone. However, if you are experiencing serious morning sickness or you have any complications, it is better that someone knows why you are so sick. If your sickness warrants outing yourself early, you can speak to your manager and keep the conversation private between the two of you.

From here on out, your pregnancy will fly by. This is a good time to begin to set time aside to connect with your baby. Some doctors suggest that you take a few minutes a day to think about your baby. During this quiet time, you can sit quietly and comfortably and put your hands on your stomach. This is a great way to begin to bond with your little one. It will also help you deal with the ups and downs of pregnancy as well as that postpartum adjustment.

Week 9 is an amazing week in your pregnancy. While it may not be the most comfortable or exciting of weeks, it is one to treasure!

Featured photo credit: Eugene Luchinin via flickr.com

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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