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The 9th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and Mom

The 9th obstetric week of pregnancy is a period of the first visual physiological manifestations in the female body and the active stage of formation of new organs and systems of the baby. The baby completes the embryonic period and becomes more like a little human.

A mother at this stage is a little bit confused – trying to get used to her new condition, her hormones are raging, moods change very quickly, and morning sickness does not provide psychological comfort.

The size and development of the fetus in the 9th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 9 sizeThe ninth week of pregnancy ends the second month in the first trimester of pregnancy. At this time, the placenta begins to fulfill its protective and nourishing functions, actively adapting to the needs of the growing organism.

At this stage the baby, measured in a sitting position from the top to the coccyx, reaches 2.6-3 cm. The baby’s weight varies from 2 to 5 grams. The embryo can be compared to a grape or olive and could fit inside a ping-pong ball.

The baby’s appearance

Despite its diminutive size, the fetus has already acquired many features of a human. The still-disproportionate head is pressed against the body, while the neck is already formed. The limbs are also uneven: the arms are longer than the legs. The elbows, forearms and growing feet are already prominent, the interdigital webbing of the palms and feet has almost disappeared.

The nails on hands and feet start to develop thanks to the thickening of the epidermal cells. So far they are formed on the inside and only after some period of time they will assume their natural position. The spine is getting long, and the tail that appeared at week 8 is transformed into the coccyx.

[attention type=yellow]The baby’s face gets the typical features: the mouth elongates and exhibits the folds of the lips; the nostrils are better outlined; eyes enlarged and covered with a protective film; the ears become more prominent, and it is already possible to discern emerging earlobes. In week 9, the baby can already pucker his lips, frown and make swallowing movements.[/attention]

Formation of the body and organs

 Fetal development at 9 weeks of pregnancyIn order to accommodate all of the internal organs, the baby’s body elongates and expands; skeleton cartilage begins to thicken. Muscle tissue is formed unevenly but a baby can already spontaneously move his arms and legs.

At the end of the second obstetric month, the brain, divided into two hemispheres, begins to form an essential part responsible for balance and coordination – the cerebellum. All the parts of the brain and central nervous system are being actively built; ganglia, cranial and spinal nerves are generated.

The pituitary gland, which will be responsible for the production of growth hormones and metabolism in the future, appears.

The gastro-intestinal system is actively developing: the pancreas, spleen, liver, and gallbladder are forming; bile ducts and anus appear, intestines lengthen. The middle layer of the adrenal glands is set up, a place for the future production of adrenaline. The umbilical cord is strengthened and extended, the kidneys begin to work, so that now the fetus can independently excrete bodily waste.

In week 9, the bronchi continue to develop, there are rudimentary mammary glands, the thyroid begins its work. Emerging lymph nodes are already able to release immune cells – lymphocytes – into the blood.

The baby’s heart is sufficiently developed and can beat 120-150 times per minute, saturating a small body of barely-formed vessels with blood. The expectant mother will not yet be able to feel the baby’s movement, but it is possible to hear the heartbeat with the help of special equipment.

[attention type=yellow]If the future child is a boy, then testicles will have appeared within the peritoneum, and they will eventually descend into the scrotum. Gender differences can be seen in just a few weeks.[/attention]

What’s going on with Mom in the 9th week of pregnancy

In the 9th obstetric week of pregnancy, the fetus increases in size, its needs are multiplying, and it is beginning to affect the mother.

Mom’s belly

Photos of mom`s belly at 9th week

If a woman’s uterus before conception was the size of a fist, then by this period, it has almost doubled and now looks like a small melon. Although visually, passers-by still cannot detect the pregnancy, the expectant mother has already started to feel her waist expanding and there appears a small bulge in the abdominal area. In the above photo, you can see what moms’ tummies look like in the 9th week of pregnancy.

Weight gain

Numerous statistics show that in 9-weeks-pregnant moms the weight increases slightly. The storage of body fat is necessary for the mother’s body to continue normal gestation of the fetus and subsequent lactation. The woman’s body has already begun to accumulate the necessary reserves of nutrients, but this is only noticeable if looking closely at her waist.

A 1 kg weight gain this week is due to hormonal expansion of the intestines, as well as increased volume of blood and lymphatic fluid necessary for fetal nutrition.

Sensations and pain of the mother at 9 weeks of pregnancy

Pains on the 9th week of pregnancy

In addition to tortuous toxemia, the most striking signs of pregnancy at this stage are the woman’s heavy and swollen mammary glands. In week 9, the future mom’s breasts become very sensitive, nipples may darken and venous webs appear, as well as colostrum.

The growing uterus has already started to put pressure on the bladder, so urination is pretty frequent. Internal organs (kidney, heart, lungs) are experiencing additional workload because the volume of blood and lymph is increased by 40-50%.

The level of hormones in the blood increases significantly, so skin becomes smooth and clean. The woman’s body has a new hormone called placental lactogen, which adjusts the mothers metabolic processes to the needs of the baby. Due to the influence of progesterone, intestinal functions slow down, potentially leading to disruptions of the stool.

[attention type=yellow]The growing fetus actively uses neccessary amino acids, which may cause drowsiness, a feeling of constant fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting. Dry skin and hair, nasal congestion and sleep disturbances are frequent companions in the 9th week of gestation.[/attention]

The elevated levels of hormones create chaos in the woman’s mood: laughter and tears, unexplained joy and sudden irritability, happiness of expectation of the baby’s imminent birth, and anxiety that something will go wrong.

Early pregnancies are characterized by nagging pains in the bottom and sides of the abdomen, sometimes radiating to the lumbar spine. Painful sensations are due to the weakening and stretching of the uterine ligaments, and do not carry any risk for the woman. Discomforts occur periodically and will soon disappear altogether.

Possible discharge in 9th week of pregnancy

The so-called leukorrhea vaginal discharge happens throughout the whole period of pregnancy. It is a transparent whitish mucous secretion, which has no odor. The most abundant discharge takes place n the first trimester of pregnancy and it does not threaten the health of the woman or the fetus. More about discharge during pregnancy can be read here.

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in 9th week of pregnancy

 Photo of fetal ultrasound on the 9th week of pregnancy

After the news about the long-awaited pregnancy, the expectant mom should register with an obstetrician-gynecologist. Seeing a specialist will identify possible disturbances in the development of the fetus and the mother’s health, as well as eliminate them in a timely manner.

In addition to the obstetrician-gynecologist, the pregnant woman will be examined by a physician, dentist, ophthalmologist and cardiologist. Required tests and measurements are:

  • height and weight, body temperature;
  • heart rate and blood pressure;
  • general test of blood and urine;
  • stool sample;
  • blood tests for antibodies to hepatitis, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections;
  • coagulation;
  • breast examination;
  • pap smear, oncocytological examination, colposcopy (if necessary).

In addition to a general blood workup, the expectant mother must be tested for blood clotting, blood type, and Rh factor. This test will identify possible fetal Rhesus conflict with the mother. The future father is also encouraged to determine his Rh factor and undergo chest X-rays.

[attention type=yellow]Typically, an ultrasound screening is performed at 11-12 week of pregnancy, because at this time the fetus is more developed, and the specialist can examine the development of the organs. However, sometimes the physician considers it prudent to conduct such a screening a little earlier.[/attention]

In the 9th week, the ultrasound can help evaluate the general condition of the ovaries, placenta thickness and the fetus neck folds, the overall development of the umbilical cord, general mobility and the heart rate of the baby.

After reviewing the results of the tests and the ultrasound, the attending physician will be able to determine the degree of development of the fetus, and if necessary, require additional tests in order to provide the right advice and predict the future course of pregnancy.

We invite you to watch a video of a fetal ultrasound in the 9th week of pregnancy and to look at the child’s photo.

Possible abnormalities and problems

Since the risk of miscarriage in 9th week of prenatal development is still very large, attention should be payed to deviations in the normal course of pregnancy.

Pain. Severe pain accompanied by cramp-like spasms indicates hypertonus of the uterus and the likelihood of miscarriage. You must take to bedrest and call an ambulance.

Discharge. Generally, if bleeding is accompanied by pain, this is a sign that a miscarriage has begun. The appearance of bleeding without discomfort, is most likely due to the erosion of the cervix.

Discharge of gray, yellow, green color with an unpleasant odor indicates the presence of infection in the urinary system, which, in the absence of proper treatment can cause abnormalities in fetal development.

Problems with pregnancy on the 9th week

Rhesus-incompatibility. Sometimes the expectant mother with Rh-negative blood, will develop antibodies to a fetus with a Rh-positive blood. This condition is called Rhesus incompatibility of the mother and child’s immune systems.

In this situation, it is imperative to receive treatment, otherwise the fetus can develop anemia or jaundice. A miscarriage can also happen as the worst case scenario.

The lack of progesterone, an excess of testosterone, disruption of the thyroid and adrenal glands, all affect the course of the pregnancy. It is important to undergo all required tests and examinations, in order to take all necessary and timely measures to avoid negative consequences.

A missed abortion can also happen during this term. More about the symptoms of a missed abortion can be found here.

Nutrition and exercise in 9th week of pregnancy

Mom`s nutrition 9 weeks of pregnancyIt is the 9th week, so the rapidly-developing brain of the fetus begins to send signals to its mother about its needs. Many experts have concluded that dietary eccentricities of pregnant women are associated with this factor.

Appetite may appear or may disappear completely, but at every stage of the development, the child needs a balanced diet. While at the beginning of pregnancy nutrition wasn’t as important and you could eat as you always have, in this week the mom’s diet should contain all the necessary ingredients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins.

To improve the overall tone of the body, iron- and protein-rich products, nuts, and grains as well as fruits and vegetables need to be included in the menu. A diet rich in food containing folic acid (spinach, asparagus, lettuce, liver, carrots, egg yolk, cheese, pumpkin, melon, apricots, beans, etc.) will help prevent fetal defects.

Do not get indulge in unhealthy food and drink, even if the desire is great. Overly greasy and fried foods will lead to heartburn; sweets and baked goods will provoke constipation; coffee and carbonated drinks have a bad impact on the nervous system and increase the burden on the kidneys.

[attention type=red]Pregnant women should avoid eating undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk, herring and raw fish, soft cheeses, raw eggs and unwashed fruits and vegetables – these products can cause the disease listeriosis, which manifests itself in the form of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and could lead to damage of the fetus.[/attention]

If a pregnant woman feels great and there is no risk of a spontaneous abortion, regular exercise, for pregnant women in the 9th week, as shown below, will help to:

  • relieve common problems of pregnancy (back pain, bloating and swelling, fatigue);
  • improve metabolism;
  • saturate the women’s body with oxygen;
  • feel better physically and emotionally;
  • facilitate general activity levels in the future.

According to research data, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and recommended exercise can protect your child from many diseases in the future.

Sexual activity in the 9th week

 Sexual relations by 9 weeks of pregnancy

A very small tummy and increased libido help to increase the sexual activity of the woman. However, some caution should be observed. 8-10 weeks bring a threat of termination of pregnancy due to poor attachment of the fetus and hypertonus of the uterus.

If a pregnant woman feels great and there are no contraindications, safely continue your sex life. You must immediately contact the doctor if you have dark brown discharge from the genitals.

Recommendations for future moms

The 9th week is a period when the future baby is still tiny, but the mother is already feeling some of the difficulties associated with her condition. There are a number of general recommendations to ease this stage:

  • stick to a balanced diet and eat well;
  • as often as possible walk in the fresh air;
  • perform exercises for pregnant women, as allowed this week;
  • use special cosmetics for pregnant women, rich in vitamins A and E;
  • buy seamless underwear that will not irritate your skin;
  • avoid stressful situations;
  • do not engage in heavy physical labor;
  • eliminate alcohol and cigarettes;
  • take medicines only after a doctor’s approval;
  • follow all doctor’s recommendations.

The leading psychologist specializing in pregnancy and postnatal adaptation, Diane Sanford, encourages all women in the early stages of pregnancy to have 5-10 minutes of relaxation during the day. During this time, the future mom needs to relax, put hands on her stomach, focus on her breathing, and only think of her baby. This simple connection with the child will calm the mom’s anxieties and fears, as well as help her to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Video about 9th week of pregnancy

The weekly pregnancy video guide talks about the benefits of proper nutrition. Leading experts will educate the pregnant woman about harmful effects of excess weight, as well as the need for vitamins and minerals for this period.

[attention type=yellow]In the 9th week of pregnancy, the mom’s belly is practically not visible and only breast tenderness and morning sickness give away her condition. In what month did you share with your colleagues that you were pregnant? Was there constant sleepiness during the day and incomprehensible insomnia at night? When did you start communicating with the baby? Share your experiences – they are helpful to those who have yet to go through this process.[/attention]

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