Your baby is now the size of a grape. Measuring nearly one (1) inch long but weighing no more than a fraction of an ounce, your baby is starting to look more and more human every day. And no more tail! You are in your third month of pregnancy.
During week 9 of pregnancy, all of your baby’s essential body parts have formed but will continue to grow and develop over the next few months. The heart, which continues to beat at between 100 and 160 beats per minute, has finished dividing into four chambers, two ventricles and two atria. The four valves that keep the blood pumping through the heart are now beginning to form. You may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat using a fetal Doppler, but do not worry if you cannot find the heartbeat just yet. By the end of week 12 of pregnancy, the fetal heartbeat is audible on a Doppler for 95% of babies and 100% audible by week 14 of pregnancy. Only a lucky few mamas-to-be get to hear their babies’ heartbeats during week 9 of pregnancy.
Also during week 9 of pregnancy, your baby’s hands and feet are looking less like stubby as the fingers and toes become more defined. The tips of the fingers might also look a little swollen as the touch pads begin to develop. Your baby’s eyes are fully developed but will remain shut until about week 27 of pregnancy. The face, which looks even more like a tiny human face, now has a mouth, nose, and nostrils that are becoming more and more distinct. The external reproductive organs are also now forming, although you will not be able to determine the sex of your baby on an ultrasound for another couple of weeks. Your baby is also wigglier than ever, and you will soon be able to feel these movements. The placenta is also almost fully developed and has begun taking over the job of producing the hormones that will sustain your pregnancy.
Most women finally begin to feel pregnant during week 9 of pregnancy. Although you will most likely not be showing yet, your waist is definitely a little bigger as your uterus, which is about the size of a large grapefruit, continues to grow inside your abdomen. Many expectant mothers report moodiness and mood swings as the third month of pregnancy begins. You may find yourself feeling a little stressed as the reality of your pregnancy sinks in. You may also begin feeling extremely tired due to a surge in your metabolism and hormones; fortunately, after the placenta fully develops within the next couple of weeks, you should begin to feel better and may even experience increased energy levels. Other symptoms during week 9 of pregnancy include morning sickness or nausea, frequent urination, breast changes and tenderness, heartburn, indigestion, food aversions, food cravings, bloating, flatulence, constipation, and a heightened sense of smell.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice of your health care provider.
9 weeks pregnant: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/9-weeks-pregnant_70656
Curtis, Glade B. & Judith Schuler. 2011. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th edn. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Fetal Doppler use: http://www.fetaldopplerfacts.org/facts/dopplers/fetal-doppler-use.php
Stone, Joanne & Keith Eddleman, eds. 2003. The pregnancy bible: Your complete guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. Willowdale, Ontario: Firefly Books.
Your pregnancy: 9 weeks: http://www.babycenter.com/6_your-pregnancy-9-weeks_1098.bc
Your pregnancy week by week: Weeks 9-12: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-9-12
9 Week Embryo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:9-Week_Human_Embryo_from_Ectopic_Pregnancy.jpg
Life 9 Weeks: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/322390
Green Grapes: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_grapes.jpg