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Now that you’re 9 weeks pregnant, a big name change is about to happen: your baby is now a fetus! Before this week, your baby was considered an embryo, and the fact that it’s now a fetus means that it’s getting bigger and stronger. You’re fast approaching the end of your first trimester, and your baby is looking less like a tadpole and more like a child each day.
Your baby at 9 weeks has already started to develop all its vital organs, and its facial features are more recognizable. Although you might still not have a baby bump, you might also be showing a bit. Your skinny jeans could be getting tighter around this time! It’s also normal to experience 9th-week pregnancy symptoms, just like the ones you’ve been having during the rest of your first trimester.
By week 9 of pregnancy, the fetus is looking more like a baby. At 9 weeks pregnant, your baby is already about 0.6–0.7 in (16–18 mm) and weighs about 0.11 oz (3 g). The tail has disappeared; human features are becoming more distinct. The joints of his/her hands and legs can flex; the nipples and hair follicles are developing. Taste buds are beginning to form on the tongue, as well as primary tooth buds in the gums.
How big is your baby at 9 weeks pregnant?
A baby at 9 weeks is as big as a cherry or a green olive. And by week 9, physiologic processes are already in place to make sure that the baby gains weight quickly during the rest of the pregnancy.
Pregnancy week 9 fetal development
There’s a lot going on inside your belly during week 9 of pregnancy! It’s still too soon to determine your baby’s sex through an ultrasound, but his or her reproductive organs will start to develop this week.
Other organs will continue to grow during this period. The baby’s heart has finished dividing into four chambers, and it’s beating loud and clear now. By now, muscles are starting to grow and allow the 9-week fetus to move its arms and legs around.
Your baby at 9 weeks pregnant is getting more defined facial features, including more prominent eyelids and a tiny nose. Your baby’s ears are also more distinct and moving into place. Inside the baby’s mouth, teeth and taste buds are also beginning to take shape.
Arms and legs are getting longer, too. Your baby’s fingers are longer now, and they’re wider at the end. This is where fingerprints will form later on. The baby is moving around now, but you won’t be able to really feel these movements until later on in your pregnancy
You’re only entering your third month of pregnancy at this point, but so much has changed already! Inside your belly, the placenta has started to take shape. Once it’s fully formed, the placenta will be in charge of delivering vital nutrients to your fetus.
You might think that your uterus is where all the changes are taking place, but that’s not the case. Your body is also going through metabolic changes due to the effect of hormones. These changes include a lower blood sugar level and lower blood pressure.
9 weeks pregnant belly
Before this week, you probably looked pretty much the same as you did before becoming pregnant. But around week 9 of pregnancy, you’ll probably gain some weight which could make tighter clothes feel uncomfortable.
Although you might only be showing a bit of a baby bump by week 9 of pregnancy - or in some cases, no bump at all yet -, you can probably feel your lower belly getting firmer. This is your uterus, which is expanding to fit your growing baby and will soon become a larger baby bump.
Keep in mind that if morning sickness caused you to lose weight during the earlier stages of pregnancy, you could still be recovering some pounds. In fact, you could still be losing some weight if your morning sickness continues. As long as this weight loss is mild, there’s probably nothing to worry about. However, you should still discuss these changes with your doctor.
9 weeks pregnant symptoms
Your 9 weeks pregnancy symptoms are probably very similar to the ones you’ve been experiencing in earlier weeks. Some of the symptoms you can expect at 9 weeks pregnant include:
- Morning sickness: yes, it’s still normal to feel queasy when you’re 9 weeks pregnant. The good news is that as you approach the end of your first trimester, this symptom should decrease soon.
- Fatigue: you might be feeling very tired around this time. Your body is using a lot of energy to help your baby grow, and this could leave you struggling to get off the bed in the mornings.
- Swollen breasts: you might be feeling like your breasts are going to burst! By week 9 of pregnancy, hormones are enlarging your breasts and making them feel sore.
- Frequent urination: a combination of hormonal changes and extra pressure on your bladder can make you feel like you need to run to the bathroom all the time.
- Digestive symptoms: progesterone is slowing down your digestion, which can cause bloating or indigestion. Heartburn is also common during your first trimester.
- Nasal congestion: this might come as a surprise, but hormones can also increase your mucus production. This can make your nose get stuffy and runny.
- Headaches: another unwelcome side effect of hormonal changes, headaches are pretty common around this period.
If your pregnancy isn’t high-risk, your doctor will probably schedule your first ultrasound between weeks 8 to 12. That means that you could be getting your first-trimester ultrasound right about now.
This ultrasound will probably be performed transvaginally, and you’ll be able to confirm that you’re carrying a uterine pregnancy — as opposed to an ectopic pregnancy. The baby will probably look more like a bean on the ultrasound screen, and you could hear the heartbeat.
Although your baby’s external genitals are already developing, it’s still too soon for your doctor to determine gender through an ultrasound. If you’re carrying a high-risk pregnancy - especially in the case of advanced maternal age -, your doctor could recommend performing a first-trimester screening.
First-trimester screening uses a combination of ultrasound and blood tests to rule out an increased risk of genetic abnormalities, such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). First-trimester screening can also determine your baby’s gender, but this shouldn’t be the aim of the procedure.
Although you’re probably experiencing some uncomfortable 9th-week pregnancy symptoms, some lifestyle changes can help you feel better during your 9th week of pregnancy:
- Always have a snack on hand: your stomach is probably still feeling queasy, and smaller meals are more easily digested. Keep a healthy snack nearby to keep your energy up, and avoid eating larger meals that can make you feel unwell.
- Keep up your exercise routine: studies show that women who regularly raise their heartbeats during pregnancy through exercise tend to experience shorter labors. Find an exercise that works for you - swimming, spinning, and jogging are all great options — the important thing is to try to work out regularly.
- Wear comfortable clothes: some of your more well-fitted clothes might feel too tight by now. Don’t force yourself into those skinny jeans if you’re feeling uncomfortable, and wear stretchy, fresh fabrics whenever possible. Belly bands and waist extenders can also be very helpful.
- Stay hydrated: in addition to eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids during the day can help with headaches, dizziness, constipation, and bloating.
- Rest whenever possible: it’s normal to feel fatigued around the 9th week of your pregnancy. Try to sneak in some naps or relaxing moments throughout your day to keep your energy up.
Sex at week 9 of pregnancy
Having sex when you’re 9 weeks pregnant is perfectly safe. In fact, sex is safe right up until your due date. However, it’s normal to feel put off if you’re dealing with morning sickness at this point. Sore breasts can also be uncomfortable during sex, so talk to your partner to find what works for you.
Some women report that their libido increases during the first trimester, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the fun times if your morning sickness isn’t so serious.
- attend your first ultrasound appointment
- buy comfortable maternity bras
- discuss maternity leave with your superiors at work
- start making a budget for all your pregnancy and baby-related costs
- if you’re 35 years old or older, or if there’s a history of genetic disorders in your family, talk to your doctor about first-trimester screening.
Even though your baby bump is still tiny on week 9 of pregnancy, your baby is growing leaps and bounds and preparing to meet you in a few months. Even though 9th week of pregnancy symptoms can be uncomfortable, you’re getting closer to the end of your first trimester and you should be feeling better very soon. The great news is that these symptoms are all signs that your baby is developing inside your belly and you’ll be holding them sooner than you think!