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9 Weeks Pregnant: Choosing a Care Provider

“I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”

It’s common for many pregnant people, especially during first pregnancies, to slide from well woman care to prenatal care with the same OB/GYN or midwife you’ve always seen. This person or practice may be the right fit for you, or you may discover that you have different needs for the prenatal and birth portion of your care.

Spinning Babies recommends the guide 12 Steps to Safe and Respectful MotherBaby-Family Maternity Care, written by the International Childbirth Initiative (ICI), when interviewing care providers. This guide is helpful for all pregnant people, not just those who have had a surgical birth. These questions help determine how parent-friendly your provider and birthing location are. The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) also provides a helpful guide for finding providers friendly to a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

It’s important to understand the difference between OBs, midwives, and family practice doctors:

  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are trained medical providers who practice in many hospitals, freestanding birth centers, or homes. CNMs specialize in normal birth with low-risk pregnant people and can prescribe medicines, including epidurals. They cannot perform surgery and in hospitals, have relationships with OBs who step in if needed.
  • Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are skilled and professional independent midwives who have met certification standards set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires experience in out-of-hospital settings.
  • Obstetricians are doctors who specialize in childbirth. OB’s are also surgeons. They can specialize in high-risk pregnancies and typically attend births in a hospital-only setting. In the U.S., an obstetrical nurse cares for the person in labor under the doctor’s supervision.
  • Some Family Practice Physicians attend hospital births, providing care to all members of the family, in all phases of life. Their birthing philosophies vary, as it can with all types of care providers, so interview for your needs and desires specifically.

Spinning Babies Activity of the Week

Learn how to Rest Smart in standing positions that let your baby’s back settle in the “hammock” of your belly. Why? Think about how you often stand. Perhaps you shift your weight to one side, favoring one hip over the other. Over the years this creates a structural imbalance. It’s especially important during pregnancy to undo these patterns and create new patterns that promote balance in the body — especially in the pelvis.

How to Rest Smart:
  1. When standing, imagine both feet planted equally into the ground, with your hips at center.
  2. Let your lower back sway forward. Don’t tuck your tail.
  3. Allow your back, shoulders, and glutes to relax. Think of your belly as a hammock that baby’s back cradles into.
  4. Breathe.

Your Baby This Week

Your baby’s head makes up half the size of the baby’s entire length! The body will catch up until the baby’s head is ⅓ the entire length of the baby at full term. Baby measures about 0.9 inches at nine weeks. Now that baby’s legs, arms, brain, heart, and lungs are formed, they’ll continue developing for the remainder of your pregnancy. [1]

You This Week

This is a good time to increase your protein. It may be that eating was troubling you last week and even now. Eat small meals frequently, especially if you have heartburn (smaller meals help). Have some walnuts or almonds available so you can nibble 3 or 4 if your stomach acts up. A small amount of yogurt or live culture food, avocado, or pear can be helpful as well. Avoid acidic and oily foods.

You may be managing the symptoms of pregnancy now with a little less uncertainty. Acceptance is the first step to coping. You may begin cravings if you haven’t already. You may see some mild spotting next week to 10 days. This is likely caused by implantation of the placenta. Report any bleeding or cramping to your healthcare provider.

Weekly Affirmation

Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy:

 

“I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”
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