9 weeks pregnant
9 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development
This week, your little one is looking less and less like a little pink blob. The foetus's facial features are coming along nicely. The eyes are bigger and eyelids are forming to protect them. A little colour pigment is present in the eyes. The foetus also has a mouth, tongue and teeny-tiny taste buds.
The fingers and toes are now visible as little ridges; each finger and toe has not yet separated out yet – they're still webbed.
The foetus's bones are forming, as are the internal organs such as the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys and gut. The genitals are also forming right now, but you won't find out your little one's gender until your mid-pregnancy scan. If the gender doesn't reveal itself at this point, you might have to wait until your baby is born. Of course, you might prefer this, particularly if you're planning on leaving it as a surprise. All in good time!
Curious about what else is happening? Check out our article on the first trimester for more.
How Big Is Your Baby at 9 Weeks?
When you're nine weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a cherry! Your little one is about 22 mm long, from crown to rump.
Mum's Body at 9 Weeks Pregnant
Symptoms at nine weeks pregnant might be very intense because the pregnancy hormone, hCG, has be doubling in amount ever two to three days since the start of your pregnancy and reaches its peak at about this week. This means you might be feeling intense nausea, very moody, extremely tired, and just a little tender all-round. It might help to keep in mind that hCG plays a very important role in keeping your pregnancy on track and the foetus happily snug in the uterus. Another plus is that in about a month or so, you'll be in the second trimester and probably feeling much better!
Although, you might be dealing with lots of pregnancy symptoms right now, this is also a great time to talk to your midwife about exercising during your pregnancy. If you're already active, you may need to make some adjustments to your fitness routine but you can probably keep up with what you currently do for as long as it feels OK and as long as your midwife gives you the all-clear. If you haven't been as active, choose a safe activity to help get you moving. Walking, prenatal yoga, swimming and water aerobics could be excellent choices as they're gentle on your joints.
Moderate exercise will help you develop the strength and stamina you'll need during labour and delivery. Try not to exhaust yourself, drink plenty of water and follow the guidelines suggested by your midwife or the exercise instructor. If you do a group class, it could be that the instructor will suggest you do certain moves differently now that you're pregnant.
9 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Growing waistline. Your belly, at nine weeks pregnant, may not be showing per se, but your pre-pregnancy clothes are probably feeling a little snug as your waistline thickens.
Light bleeding. This, or spotting, is usually nothing to worry about, however, it's always the safest to contact your midwife for a check-up, just in case. It some cases, bleeding could be a sign of something more serious like an ectopic pregnancy.
Mild uterine cramping. It can be perfectly normal to experience mild uterine cramping at nine weeks pregnant. If the cramping is severe or if you feel other pain like lower back pain, call your doctor to rule out any problems.
Morning sickness. Given the pregnancy hormone, hCG, is at its peak this week, this could be a particularly bad time for you in terms of nausea and vomiting. Keep on eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day and remember to stay hydrated. Some mums-to-be find eating ginger biscuits or drinking ginger tea helps, while other swear by sucking on ice.
Food cravings and aversions. Your sense of smell is heightened now, and foods and smells you once enjoyed may now seem unpleasant. On the flipside, you may now find you crave certain foods. Feel free to indulge any food cravings you have from time to time. Just make sure you're sticking to a balanced diet overall. Always talk to your doctor if you crave non-food things like dirt or chalk.
Fatigue. Thanks to your increased levels progesterone and oestrogen, you may be extremely tired. Rest as much as you can, whenever you can, and try to clear your diary of as many activities as possible to give yourself enough ‘me time'.
Feeling moody. If you're feeling on top of the world one minute and doomed the next, you can thank those pregnancy hormones we keep mentioning. Speak to loved ones about how you're feeling — it may help you feel a little better — and seek help from your doctor if your mood swings are severe.
Vaginal discharge. Having a little more discharge than you usually do is normal, but if it smells foul, or if the vaginal area is itchy or sore, go in to your doctor for a check-up as it may be an infection of some kind. Not every mum-to-be has an increased amount of vaginal discharge during pregnancy, but some have quite a bit more. If this is you, it might help to wear a panty liner.
Headaches. At nine weeks pregnant it's not unusual to be getting headaches. They tend to go away in the second and third trimesters. For now, reducing stress, drinking water and getting good sleep might help clear them. If your headaches are severe, chat with your doctor about which painkiller is safe for you to take.
9 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
Make sure you get fitted regularly for the right size bra to keep yourself comfortable. You may need to switch to a supportive maternity bra as your breasts get fuller.
If you haven't spilled the beans yet, you might want to have some fun thinking about how you will share the news that you're expecting when the time is right for you. Here are some fun ideas for pregnancy announcement cards to consider. You could use the image from your dating scan as part of your big reveal, and use the updated due date you get at the dating scan, too. No matter how you share the news, enjoy the moment!
Throughout your pregnancy you'll need to keep an eye on your caffeine intake. You might be surprised to learn that caffeine comes from a variety of sources, including coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks and even chocolate! Experts recommend consuming 200 mg a day at most. That means you're almost at your limit if you have one mug of instant coffee and one mug of tea. To help you work it out, here's an approximate of how much caffeine is in what:
One mug of filter coffee: 140 mg
One mug of instant coffee: 100 mg
One mug of tea: 75 mg
One can (250 ml) of energy drink: about 80 mg
One can (250 ml) of cola: 40 mg
One bar (50 g) of dark chocolate: probably less than 25 mg
One bar (50 g) of milk chocolate: probably less than 10 mg
9 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
When will you have your dating scan? It's usually scheduled between 8 and 14 weeks, which means you may have your dating ultrasound scan at 9 weeks pregnant. During this scan your doctor will double check your due date, assess foetal development, and screen for abnormalities such as Down's syndrome.
What's the best approach to eating well, getting the right nutrients, and maintaining healthy weight gain during pregnancy? Tell your doctor if you're feeling hungry all the time, or if you can't keep anything down due to morning sickness.
At nine weeks pregnant should you be showing yet?
Will you have a screening for the infections HIV, hepatitis B, and syphilis this week or in the coming few weeks?
Will you have tests for sickle cell and thalassaemia? These are usually done before week 10. Sickle cell is a group of inheritable conditions that affect red blood cells, and thalassaemia is a condition that affects a substance in the blood called haemoglobin.
How should you do Kegel exercises?
How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS).
The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
9 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
If you haven’t already, schedule your ‘booking appointment’ with your midwife or doctor. This usually takes place between 8 and 12 weeks. During this appointment you’ll get information about your foetus’s developments and your pregnancy. You’ll be asked if you need additional support. Any risk factors you might have will be identified. Your measurements will be taken. And, the rest of your antenatal care will be explained. This is a great chance for you to ask any questions you have – no matter how trivial you think they might be. Your midwife or doctor are the experts, and they’re there to help.
Find out what healthcare services are available to you in your local area. Your doctor's office is a good place to start and you can also use this tool: nhs.uk/service-search for more information.
Even though you don't know your baby's gender yet, you can still have some fun with our Baby Name Generator. You've got plenty of time to choose a name you love!
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