Pregnancy: Week 9

Week nine marks the beginning of the last month of your first trimester.

Physiological Development

Your grape-sized fetus is starting to look more like a human now that it has lost its tail. The eyelids are fully developed and will remain fused shut until week 28 rolls around. However, retinal pigmentation is fully present. Your child now has the ability to move about freely, as all of its joints are now functional and its muscles are becoming stronger—it may even begin sucking its thumb. The external portion of the ears is also fully formed and facial features become more pronounced. The heart has divided into four chambers and it now begins to develop valves. Week nine also marks the point at which your baby will start to grow in size and gain weight as its basic physical structure forms and skeleton begins to harden. Internally, your baby’s reproductive and intestinal systems start to form.

Week 9 Ultrasound

In your week nine ultrasound, you should be able to observe the places on the hands and feet where the fingers and toes will form and you’ll be able to see, for the first time, what looks like the beginnings of a little person. The head will be clearly defined, though still a bit big and bulbous, as will the torso.

Changes in You

Besides some bloating and a little breast enlargement, you probably aren’t showing your pregnant state very much at this point, but you are definitely feeling it. You may notice your veins starting to bulge—this is from the increased blood flow rate—and you may experience nosebleeds and/or nasal congestion, random bouts of unexplainable crying, itchy skin, being excessively thirsty, joint pain, acne, and pica, which is craving things that are not edible.

What You Should Be Doing

Your body needs a lot of calcium in order to nurture your baby without drawing from your own calcium stores. Stock up on calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, kale, bok choy, dried figs, oranges, cheddar cheese, Colby cheese, fortified breakfast cereals, sardines, yogurt, and fortified orange juice. You should also be sure to keep up with your vitamins and folic acid supplements.

At this point in your pregnancy, you need a lot of rest, so ensure that you get a full night’s worth of sleep and several small naps throughout the day. Your body is working hard to help your baby grow and develop and it takes a lot of energy.

The End of Week 9

By the end of this week, your baby will be well on its way to gaining weight and growing quickly. It can even use the bathroom, though in this case, “bathroom” is defined as “your womb”, more specifically, your amniotic fluid, which the fetus then consumes.

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