Week 9

How big is your baby?

She’s still quite tiny, measuring just 2.3cm in length (just under an inch) and weighing less than 2 grams.

She’s grape sized, but despite her tininess, she’s a bit more like a baby and has some distinct features growing.

How big is your baby?

She’s still quite tiny, measuring just 2.3cm in length (just under an inch) and weighing less than 2 grams. She’s grape sized, but despite her tininess, she’s a bit more like a baby and has some distinct features growing.

What does your baby look like?

Her head is half of the total crown to rump length and the exciting development this week is that her face is gradually forming. Her eyes have pigment and are more prominent. Tiny earlobes are beginning to appear, but her eyes are still fused shut and will remain like that until well into the second trimester.

Changes in your body this week

By now your body has approximately 7-8 litres of blood pumping around it, compared to the typical non-pregnancy capacity of 5 litres. Therefore, your metabolic rate will increase rapidly to cope with the new demand. Your body needs around 40% extra blood and providing this places a strain on you, meaning that you may well feel more tired and perhaps more hot or faint than usual.

Up until now progesterone, an essential pregnancy hormone, has been produced by your ovaries, but your placenta is likely to be taking charge now – it will also be starting to deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to your baby, by extracting them from the blood. So that’s why you need more.

How your baby is developing

Your tiny embryo has now reached ‘foetus’ stage. The next time that changes will be when she is born and becomes her own little person.

Her heart is developing by now and the placenta is almost fully formed. She has tiny eyelids, a definite jawline and her mouth and tongue are becoming more distinct.

How your baby is developing

Your tiny embryo has now reached ‘foetus’ stage. The next time that changes will be when she is born and becomes her own little person. Her heart is developing by now and the placenta is almost fully formed. She has tiny eyelids, a definite jawline and her mouth and tongue are becoming more distinct.

Health concerns

A pleasant side effect of the pregnancy hormones is that you may feel an increased libido. Contrary to popular thought, there is no risk to the baby during sex (unless certain medical events have happened such as a threatened miscarriage or blood spotting). Your tiny foetus is well cushioned by the amniotic fluid in the womb, which is designed to protect her. So feel free to enjoy intimacy with your partner.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

Increased urination is very common in pregnancy and perfectly normal most of the time as more blood than usual is flowing through your kidneys. However, if increased urination is accompanied by pain or changes in the urine (cloudy, different smell) then medical advice from your doctor should be sought as you may have a UTI (urinary tract infection).

Safety first

As the development of the placenta ramps up in the final weeks of the first trimester, you may notice that you suffer from more severe pregnancy symptoms. At 9 weeks these can catch you unaware so it’s vital to be prepared. Remember to carry a bottle of water around with you and a small snack (whatever you can stomach!) and perhaps try to get more rest by going to bed a bit earlier than you would normally.

If you feel at your worst in the mornings then try setting your alarm clock a few minutes earlier to allow for a more gradual wake up and so you can make sure that you feel safe to drive; many women routinely suffer dizziness and fainting in the first trimester.

Important issues this week

By this stage of pregnancy all of your baby’s major organs are still under full construction and it’s more important than ever that you try to eat a balanced diet, rich in nutrients and vitamins. And if you haven’t already stopped smoking, then it’s vital that you do so now. You don’t have to go it alone however, your midwife or GP would be a good place to start if you need advice.

The NCT (national parent support charity) says that the evidence as to whether nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is safe during pregnancy is inconclusive – while the safety of nicotine skin patches, nicotine gums and sprays etc have not been proven, they may be safer than continuing to smoke. Speak to your GP for help and information about NRT.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

Regular, low impact exercise will help to keep you in good shape as you progress through the pregnancy. Gentle walks, swimming and antenatal yoga classes are all great ways to release those magical endorphins and keep your body supple during the run up to the birth. Take a look at our weekly fitness blogs for lots of useful ideas about different exercises you might like to try and how they can fit in with your pregnancy.

Looking forward; planning ahead

Sketch out a rough plan of what baby equipment you need to buy, from the obvious things such as pushchair, pram and car seat to the less thought about items including cot blankets, muslin squares and nipple shields.

Before you begin buying everything brand new, it’s worth checking around with friends and family to see if they have any decent quality baby accessories you could buy or borrow. After all, babies grow so quickly that it’s perfectly conceivable that you might need different sizes of things from one month to the next. And remember, friends and family may well want to buy you lots of baby things as your pregnancy progresses – make a list of everything you need and cross items off as you buy or receive them.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
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