9 Weeks Pregnant
Pregnancy Week 9 & Stage of Fetal Development

This is the beginning of pregnancy week 9. At the end of this week, you will be a complete 9 weeks pregnant (see pregnancy chart).

Some of you only just found out you're pregnant. Others have known for a few weeks. Either way, changes have already begun by 9 weeks pregnant. Many you haven't been aware of, and many you've felt.

Although the basics of carrying a baby are the same for almost every woman, no two pregnancies are alike. Even for the same woman, pregnancy is often very different the second or third time around.

Knowing what's taking place in your body and with your developing baby will help you prepare for the weeks ahead.

What happens at 9 weeks pregnant

Your breasts are still growing in size. The nipples and areolas are getting darker. The fat layer is thickening. And milk glands are enlarging. Blood volume continues to grow. Can you see the bluish veins yet?

Nasal congestion (pregnancy rhinitis) and nose bleeds are common symptoms in pregnancy. Both the increase in hormone levels and the increased blood volume cause these symptoms and you may feel like you constantly have a stuffy or runny nose throughout your pregnancy.

Try these remedies for pregnancy rhinitis for help:

  • Use saline drops to relieve congestion. (Don't use other types of nose drops, nasal sprays, or decongestants without first consulting your health-care provider).
  • Drink lots of water and other fluids to keep your nasal passages moist.
  • Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home.
  • Use a neti pot for nasal irrigation to help with a stuffy nose.
  • Dab olive oil around the edges of your nostrils to keep the skin moist.
  • Try sleeping on one side or with your head elevated to breathe easier at night
  • Drink hot teas, soups, or broth to relieve rhinitis. Adding a pinch or two of pepper (black, red, or other hot pepper) makes it even better.
  • Eat less sugar and carbohydrates, eat more vegetables, whole grains, and fish.
  • Eat less dairy products, eat more calcium rich vegetables like: leafy greens and broccoli

You may have noticed an increase in thick vaginal discharge (cervical mucus) during pregnancy. It is quite normal and is caused by the increase in hormones, especially progesterone. However, you should not douche during pregnancy to wash it away. Try using a thin panty liner to keep it from staining your undies.

Hormone levels are still on the rise. You likely still feel much fatigue, which usually lightens up after the first trimester. Blood volume is still building.

Your uterus is still behind the pubic bone in pregnancy week 9. Though you may see a slight belly bulge, it's likely from bowel distention rather than the size of the uterus.

What about morning sickness, or heartburn? Have you had these symptoms yet?

What can you do at 9 weeks pregnant

I know I had lots of questions during my first pregnancy. You'll likely be wondering if exercise during pregnancy is a good idea.

Exercise during pregnancy can be extremely beneficial. And studies show that even rigorous exercise is safe and does not increase chances of miscarriage or preterm delivery.

It helps with fatigue (gives you energy), back aches, blood circulation, promoting good moods (lifts your spirits), strong bones, and keeps you and your baby healthy. It improves your posture and helps you relax and sleep better. Not to mention helping to prepare your body for labor and delivery.

The best advice I have is to talk to your care provider and pay attention to your body during exercise.

If you were not very active before pregnancy, don't try to start an exercise routine that is very rigorous. Talk to your doctor or midwife. Begin slow and increase gradually. And start with something simple like walking or pregnancy yoga (yoga designed especially for pregnant women).

If you were very active and fit before pregnancy, likely you can continue what you were doing (what you are already proficient at) throughout most of your pregnancy. Just make sure you pay attention to your body's cues and quit or slow down so as not to over-heat or become dehydrated.

Some precautions:

  • Your body, and later the baby (placenta), makes a hormone called relaxin. This makes your joints and ligaments loose which leaves you prone to injury if you push to hard during exercise.
  • Balance will also be off as you gain weight and your uterus grows which can make you less stable and more likely to fall.
  • If you can't talk at a normal rate while exercising, you are working too hard. Slow down. Your body is already working harder (including your heart) so this is not the time to push to new limits. Exercise to maintain or gradually increase paying close attention to your body. Take a break or slow down when you feel pain, stop sweating, or feel over-heated.
  • Warm up before and cool down after and drink plenty of water throughout.
  • Breath out on lifting (weight lifting); avoid holding your breath and straining.
  • Keep consistent. Rigorous exercise followed by long bouts (weeks) of rest has little benefit and is hard on your pregnant body.
  • Never work out to the point of exhaustion. Chemical by-products of overexertion are not good for the fetus.
  • If it feels good, it's probably OK. If there is any pain or strain, it is not.

Fetal Development at 9 weeks pregnant
Fetal age: 7 weeks

This week your little one is about 1¼ inches (3cm) in length (CRL - Crown-Rump Length).

And her head is huge compared to the rest of her body as the brain and nervous system continue to grow.  In the weeks to come, her body will catch up to the growth of the head in better proportion.  Her head is still bent over the chest area, but looking more like a little tiny human now as the neck is more developed.

Wrists, ankles, fingers, and toes are present this week. Her eyelids are mostly covering the eyes now. And her eyes are closer to the front of the face which is taking on a more human-like appearance.  The tip of her nose is formed and the ears are present on the sides of the head.

The genitalia are present, but still look pretty much the same in both male and female babies in week 9. 

You are now 9 weeks pregnant. Only 31 weeks to go!!

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