This week, your baby is as big as a cherry.
The early days of pregnancy can be difficult, with some women experiencing morning sickness, fatigue, heartburn, breast tenderness, and mood swings. Don't worry, this is completely normal. Make sure you have the support network you need. Thankfully, in about a month, you'll be in your second trimester, when you'll feel a lot better. Get some rest now! At this stage, the risk of miscarriage will be much lower and you may feel comfortable sharing your joyous news with others.
At the ninth week of pregnancy, the baby's facial features such as eyes, nose, mouth, and tongue have gradually formed and are becoming more and more clear.
A gestation period is measured from the first day of a woman's last menstrual period and has an average length of 280 days or 40 weeks. Your obstetrician or midwife can calculate this for you, but we have also created an online calculator to help you estimate it yourself.
At the ninth week of pregnancy, your baby grows about 22mm from head to toe. The baby's face is slowly taking shape; the eyes are bigger and more pronounced, the eyelids are starting to grow, and there is a mouth, tongue, and taste buds. You will soon see what your baby looks like!
By week 9, your baby's tail will have completely disappeared and they will begin to look more like a person. The hands and feet are developing, and the positions of the fingers and toes are beginning to emerge, though they are not yet separated and are still connected to each other in a webbed fashion.
By week 9, major internal organs continue to develop, the heart is now divided into four chambers, and valves are beginning to develop. Your baby's baby teeth and reproductive organs are slowly starting to form. That said it is still hard to tell if it's a boy or a girl. You may have to wait till around 16-22 week to confirm gender via ultrasound. Alternatively you can find out through a NIPT test at week 12 which is primarily done to screen for Down syndrome and some other chromosomal conditions.
Entering the 9th week of pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is at its peak, and the levels of oestrogen and progesterone will also rise, which will help increase the blood supply to the uterus but at the same time make your mood fluctuate.
Nearly all pregnant women experience tiredness during pregnancy, usually more during the first and third trimesters. Try to listen to your body's needs and allow yourself enough rest time.
About 75% of pregnant women are troubled by morning sickness. They often feel nausea and vomiting, especially in this week. Although some women will suffer from morning sickness for their entire pregnancy, this is rare and it is more common for it to disappear after 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Headaches, which mostly occur in early pregnancy, are nothing to worry about but can be bothersome. Speak to your doctor about pain relief strategies.
Increased vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy; however, if the discharge smells bad or strange, if there is itching in the genital area, or if you experience pain when urinating, it may be a sign of a vaginal infection that requires further investigation by your doctor.
Cramps can feel like menstrual cramps. This is due to your abdomen stretching as a result of your enlarged uterus and pressure on your organs. While abdominal cramping sensations are common during pregnancy, it is important to consider other potential causes such as ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, ovarian cysts, or other gastrointestinal disorders such as preeclampsia. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry, so see your Obstetrician if you are worried.
Progesterone weakens the muscles in your stomach and intestines, causing them to work more slowly, which can lead to gas and belching.
The body produces more blood during pregnancy to provide blood and nutrients to the baby. Your heart may not be accustomed to the increased volume of blood and may have to work harder, making you more prone to palpitations.
Although you can go earlier, many pregnant women attend their first check-up between weeks 8 and 10. Usually, obstetricians and gynaecologists will use an ultrasound to:
The appointment will give you the chance to understand and discuss the schedule and content of the next prenatal examinations. These will include a prenatal blood test (blood type, hemoglobin, platelet, and infectious disease screening), fetal chromosome examination, pregnancy toxemia screening, structural ultrasound, pregnancy diabetes test, and Strep B tests.
Generally, the chance of miscarriage after confirming the fetal heartbeat will be greatly reduced (from 15% to 3-5%), but pregnant women should still pay attention to prevent miscarriage.
Your Obstetrician will likely prescribe you folic acid supplements (up to 12 weeks), and may add multivitamins, calcium and vitamin D and DHA.
You should also be paying attention to your diet. Do not eat unpasteurised or uncooked food such as can be found in sushi, oysters, soft-boiled eggs or half-boiled beef.
Pregnant women may notice a slight change in the smell of their discharge due to a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy. If the vaginal discharge has a strong foul smell or yellow-green, itching and pain in the genitals, you should consult your obstetrician as soon as possible.