Congratulations! Pregnancy week 9 begins your third month of pregnancy and the last month of your first trimester.
This is a special time in every soon-to-be mom’s life.
Naturally, you have many questions about each stage of your pregnancy, and that’s what we’re here for. This is a time of anticipation and wonder, so let us help you put your mind at ease.
Each stage of pregnancy has its own characteristics, and it’s hard to say which is the most difficult, but your first trimester comes with the added news that you’ve conceived.
Many pregnant women begin to feel more familiar with the pregnancy journey by week 9, but don’t worry if you’re still getting used to things!
In this article, we’ll explore what’s happening with your baby’s development at 9 weeks pregnant, what’s happening in your body these days, and how to stay healthy and strong as you approach your second trimester.
Baby development at 9 weeks pregnant
At nine weeks pregnant, your baby is still relatively small.
The average 9-week-old fetus measures around 0.9 inches from crown to rump and weighs only 0.07 ounces.
Even though right now they’re about the size of a grape, your baby is growing quickly. Systems, limbs, and features are developing rapidly, and changes are happening every day.
At week 9, your baby is starting to have more defined facial features than ever before. Looking at them, you would now notice their eyes, ears, and nose. Your baby’s head is now quite large relative to the rest of its body, weighing around half of its total body weight.
Your baby’s heart is beating fast. On average, the heart beats at a rate of 180 bpm at this stage of pregnancy.
This may seem fast because it is – almost double that of the average adult’s heart rate – but it’s completely normal.
As your pregnancy progresses, your baby’s heart rate will slow down.
In addition to a rapidly developing heart, your baby’s organs develop quickly, including its intestine, kidneys, and liver.
There is also some movement happening in the uterus. At this stage, baby movement is still subtle, so you may not notice it just yet.
Your body at 9 weeks pregnant
At nine weeks pregnant, you’ll still be experiencing the pregnancy symptoms you’ve been experiencing for a few weeks already, such as morning sickness, tiredness, and breast tenderness.
Major growth and development occur within your body so that these symptoms will last longer.
Though you may not be able to avoid some of them, it helps to know what to expect and how to ease them.
Common pregnancy symptoms at week nine and tips for managing them include:
1. Morning sickness
Nausea and possible vomiting you’ve been experiencing lately are known as morning sickness and may last until you’re in your second trimester (14 to 16 weeks).
It’s called morning sickness because it often feels most intense in the morning, but the sensation can occur at any time of day or night.
Morning sickness can affect your appetite, so get on top of it by eating wisely.
Pay attention to nausea triggers to avoid that type of food when possible. Maintain good health by including a variety of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, protein, and healthy fats.
Instead of large meals, eat smaller meals but more often. Learn what feels good to eat and what doesn’t, and adapt to your diet to keep it varied and balanced.
You may be feeling exhausted lately.
Fatigue is a common pregnancy symptom and makes it hard to find the energy to do things throughout the day.
Don’t feel bad if you think you’re being unproductive. Your body needs a lot of rest now and for the rest of your pregnancy.
Listen to your body’s cues and give yourself plenty of guilt-free rest.
Note that effective resting is when we engage in light aerobic exercise, raising our heart rate for around 30 minutes daily and then returning to a resting heart rate.
3. Tenderness in breasts
That breast tenderness you may have been feeling over the last few weeks may last a few more weeks.
Breast tenderness tends to come early in your first trimester – around 4 to 6 weeks – and typically decreases in intensity early in your second trimester.
If you struggle with tenderness and increased sensitivity in your nipples, try wearing loose-fitting clothing for comfort. Gift yourself a comfortable padded or cotton sports bra for sleeping.
Mild cramping and discomfort are expected at nine weeks pregnant. Your uterus is constantly growing, which causes lower back pain and cramping without bleeding.
Consult your healthcare provider immediately if you experience severe pain or heavy bleeding.
5. Appetite changes
Morning sickness isn’t the only 9-week pregnancy symptom that can affect your appetite. You may also notice an intense craving for certain foods, especially sweet foods.
You may also experience a strong aversion to some foods, whereby the smell or texture brings on more nausea. Aim for a balanced and varied diet with small frequent meals, plenty of hydration, and lots of vitamins and minerals.
6. Mood swings
You may still be getting used to the drastic surge in pregnancy hormones that have been taking place over the past few weeks.
Hormonal changes strongly influence our mood and emotions so you may notice some emotional upheaval and unpredictability.
Maintain contact and healthy communication with loved ones to check on and help you with anything you need.
7. Digestive issues
With all those hormones surging around your body, your digestion suffers.
Many women experience constipation in the first trimester due to hormone-related slowing down of digestive processes.
Aid digestion and relieve constipation by drinking plenty of water and ensuring you get plenty of fiber-rich foods in your diet.
8. Aches and pains
In addition to the abdominal cramps and lower back pain resulting from a growing uterus and baby, you may also experience headaches. These arise from fluctuating hormones and pregnancy stress.
Try a warm or cold compress to ease headache severity, and get as much rest as you need.
Every pregnancy is different, and everybody is unique. That means you may experience all of these symptoms, or you may only experience some, and the severity and duration of your symptoms may differ from someone else’s.
Dealing with pregnancy, whether with or without complications, can be challenging, so don’t hesitate to ask for support, advice, and encouragement whenever needed.
Self-Care at 9 Weeks Pregnant
You must take care of yourself as well as possible and move forward. Establishing a support system of close and trusted loved ones is essential to help you on your journey.
However, knowing how to practice effective self-care will make your journey easier for everyone (especially yourself).
When you know how to care for yourself and your developing baby effectively, it’s easier to let go of the natural worries and anxieties that may arise during pregnancy.
1. A varied and balanced diet
A balanced diet is a critical factor in a healthy pregnancy. Your little one relies on you for all their nutrients, so aim for healthy, nutrient-rich foods as much as possible.
Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein in your meals, and try your best to avoid processed or sugary foods.
You may experience food cravings for sweet, spicy, and greasy foods, but try your best to keep food organic and nutrient-dense.
2. Stay hydrated
Hydration is vital to a healthy and balanced diet, so drink plenty of water.
Dehydration can harm your health and your baby, especially at this crucial development time, so stay hydrated with 8 to 12 glasses of water daily.
Water improves the circulation of nutrients around the body and helps with the formation of the amniotic sac.
Some women also experience diarrhea and vomiting during pregnancy. If you experience these symptoms, then staying hydrated is even more critical.
3. Keep up with prenatal appointments
One of the most important things you can do now for a healthy pregnancy is to schedule a prenatal appointment (if you haven’t already.)
Prenatal appointments typically happen around eight weeks into your pregnancy.
After your first prenatal visit, keep up with regular check-ups and consultations with your healthcare provider.
At nine weeks, your healthcare provider will recommend weight gain relative to your pre-pregnancy BMI.
Healthy weight gain is important for your health and your baby throughout pregnancy.
4. Take care of your mental and emotional health
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and an honor to experience, but it’s not without challenges.
In addition to the physical symptoms mentioned earlier, you may experience some mental and emotional symptoms, such as mood swings, anxiety, tearfulness, and irritability.
Fatigue, low blood sugar, and fluctuating hormones contribute significantly to emotional upheaval. As such, it’s important to take care of your mental and emotional health at this time.
Reach out to close, trusted loved ones who can listen to and support you through your worries and anxieties, and do what you can to reduce stress.
Light exercises such as walking, yoga, and swimming are great ways to stay active and reduce the effects of stress on your mind and body.
Spend time with loved ones and do things you enjoy to help yourself feel grounded and well.
FAQs for 9 Weeks Pregnant:
Below we have included some common FAQs women wonder when they are nine weeks pregnant.
What is the hardest week of pregnancy?
It’s hard to say which week of pregnancy is the hardest. Every pregnant woman experiences her pregnancy differently.
Some things that are challenging for one person are mild for others and vice versa.
However, many moms-to-be find that the first trimester is particularly challenging.
The first trimester comes with the news that you’ve conceived, which can be surprising and emotionally challenging even when actively trying to conceive. This is also when you’re first adjusting to the huge changes in your body as it prepares to accommodate the rapidly growing fetus.
The first trimester is the first three months of your pregnancy or your first 12 weeks. This is when you’ll first experience those challenging symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, breast tenderness, and mood swings.
It may take some time to get used to these changes, and you may need to adjust your regular routine and lifestyle to accommodate.
Again, the journey to motherhood is different for everybody, so your most complicated pregnancy week may not be the same as somebody else’s most challenging week.
Listen to your body and reach out for care and support in whatever form you need it.
How does a 9-week pregnant belly feel?
Nine weeks pregnant is still relatively early. Your uterus is growing but hasn’t developed enough to show your baby bump.
Still, you may notice increased bloating or swelling at nine weeks pregnant. This is not your baby bump but a result of slowed digestion due to increased levels of pregnancy hormones.
Your pregnancy bump is likely to show up sometime in your second trimester.
Can you feel little kicks at nine weeks?
You probably won’t feel any movement or kicks from your baby at nine weeks pregnant. Your baby is still relatively small – about the size of a grape – so you won’t feel it just yet, even though they are moving around.
You may start to feel baby kicks and movements in your second trimester, sometime between 16 and 25 weeks.
What to expect at 9-week ultrasound?
At your 9-week (first trimester) ultrasound, you’ll be able to see images of your baby’s head, body, and still-developing limbs. Your healthcare provider will ask you to arrive at your appointment with a full bladder to provide a clearer image of the baby.
During the appointment, your healthcare provider will either use a Doppler transducer and gel to scan across your belly or a transvaginal device – a small wand inserted into the vagina to produce images of the uterus.
Once images have been produced, your healthcare provider will examine them and check for your baby’s health, including the shape and size of your uterus, the integrity of the gestational sac, and the health of your baby’s heartbeat.
What week is baby gender developed?
Your baby’s biological sex is determined as soon as you conceive.
At conception, the sperm fertilizes the egg and determines whether the embryo will have male chromosomes (XX) or female chromosomes (XY).
However, it takes a while before external genitals begin to develop. This development happens sometime around week 9 or 10. Once external genitalia develops further – by around 18-22 weeks – your healthcare provider can determine the gender of your baby.
Accuracy is not always guaranteed, and it’s completely up to you whether or not you want to know the baby’s gender.
Pregnancy week 9 is when you may start feeling more familiar with the ups and downs of the journey.
This is the last month of your first trimester, and you’re about to enter your second.
You’ll probably have many prenatal tests from now until the end of your pregnancy, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask your healthcare provider about your questions and concerns.