9 weeks pregnant
How is your baby growing at 9 weeks?
In week 9 of pregnancy the size of the foetus, (as the baby is now called), from its head to its bottom (crown to rump) is about 22mm, about the size of a grape. By the end of the week, the head should be more erect, the torso should straighten and the tadpole-like tail should be disappearing. The features of the face continue to develop, with the eyes now becoming larger and having some pigment that gives them their colour, and the eyelids will be forming. The jaw and facial muscles are forming, as are the mouth and taste buds.
The major internal organs – the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and digestive tract – should all be established by now but will gradually continue to develop to fine-tune them. The heart should start to develop four chambers. The intestines will be developing but not within the embryo – they form inside the umbilical cord, then eventually they migrate into the baby's abdomen when it's large enough to house them. By the end of week 9, nipples should appear on the chest.
The pituitary gland – the gland that will regulate the other hormonal glands – begins to form, along with other structures inside the neck region such as the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe). At around the beginning of week 9, primitive cells will be migrating to the genital area, where they will eventually form into either male or female genitals. By the end of the week, these cells should begin forming, along with other structures in the area such as the anus.
In week 9 the arms should be in their correct location and formed, bending at the elbows and with visible wrists. Ridges should have developed on the arms and legs where the fingers and toes will be. By the end of week 9, indentations in the legs will indicate the positions of the knees and ankles and toenails may begin to appear.
The bony material of the skeleton should begin forming in week 9, and the baby's muscles will be developing. An ultrasound may pick up movement from the muscles, but you won't feel them yet.
How are you changing in week 9?
It's likely that you still don't look pregnant but your waist may be getting a bit wider and your breasts may be getting larger – you may notice that your bras are not providing enough support. The increase in hormones can make spots appear on your skin. You may be feeling anxious about the pregnancy and how you will cope, and fluctuating hormones may not be helping you emotionally – you may suddenly be tearful one moment but happy the next.
What you need to know in week 9
Try to avoid stressful arguments and situations and take some time to relax, perhaps listening to music or having a long bath.
Ideally, you should have your first "booking appointment" with your GP or maternity team by the time you are 10 weeks pregnant. If you have not already scheduled an appointment, do so now. For first-time mums-to-be, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends 10 appointments, but if you have already given birth to a baby, you should need only seven appointments. You will be offered a range of checks and tests, including routine blood tests, to monitor your pregnancy and ensure the best care for you and your baby. These checks and tests can help identify any potential problems.
Next: 10 weeks pregnant