Being 9 weeks pregnant marks an exciting milestone – you are almost through your first trimester! At this stage, your baby is developing rapidly and your body is adjusting to the many changes of pregnancy. Here is what to expect when you are 9 weeks pregnant.
Key Takeaways When 9 Weeks Pregnant
- Your baby is around 1 inch long and weighs just 1/4 ounce, about the size of a grape. Their muscles, bones and organs are forming.
- Morning sickness may peak around week 9 as hormones rapidly increase. Drink plenty of fluids, eat small meals, avoid triggers, and ask your doctor about taking vitamin B6 or anti-nausea medication.
- The placenta has taken over providing nutrition and oxygen to your baby. You may start to feel some relief from first trimester exhaustion and other symptoms.
- Your breasts may be increasingly tender and growing in preparation for breastfeeding. Wear a supportive maternity bra.
- Your waistline will expand as your uterus grows. Maternity clothes with stretchy panels will help make you more comfortable.
- Schedule your first prenatal visit if you haven’t already to confirm your due date, check your health, and screen for potential complications.
Your Baby’s Development at 9 Weeks
At 9 weeks pregnant, your baby has developed dramatically over the past week. They have transformed from a fetus into a embryo and officially graduated from the embryonic stage to the fetal stage of pregnancy. Here are some of the major changes happening with your baby this week:
- Size: Your baby is around 1 inch long from crown to rump, about the size of a large grape. They weigh just 1/4 ounce.
- Body: Your baby’s head is almost half the size of their entire body. Their body is long and C-shaped. Their muscles and bones are developing, and they can make small movements.
- Organs: All of your baby’s vital organs are formed, including their heart, brain, lungs, stomach, liver and kidneys. Their heart has separated into four chambers and is pumping blood. Their arms, legs, hands and feet are visible but still very small.
- Facial features: Your baby’s eyes are fully formed but fused shut. Their ears are beginning to take shape, and their upper lip and nose are forming. Their external genitals are also forming this week.
- Placenta: The placenta has taken over the job of supplying your baby with nutrients and oxygen, allowing the embryonic sac to disappear. The placenta will continue growing along with your uterus.
Your baby still has a long way to go in their development before birth, but they are progressing right on schedule for the 9 week mark.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms at 9 Weeks
As you near the end of the first trimester, you may start to feel some relief from early pregnancy symptoms while new ones crop up. Here are some of the most common symptoms women experience at 9 weeks pregnant:
- Nausea and vomiting: Morning sickness often peaks around weeks 9 and 10 as your pregnancy hormones rapidly increase before leveling off. Drink plenty of fluids, eat small frequent meals, avoid triggers like strong smells, and take vitamin B6 or anti-nausea medication if needed.
- Fatigue: Your energy levels may start to improve slightly this week as the placenta takes over for the corpus luteum. But exhaustion is still very common in early pregnancy. Rest as much as you can and take short naps.
- Frequent urination: Rising progesterone relaxes the muscles in your bladder causing it to fill up more quickly. Urinate frequently to avoid UTIs.
- Bloating: Hormonal shifts slow digestion leading to gassiness and bloating. Eat small meals spread throughout the day and avoid gas-causing foods.
- Breast changes: Your breasts may become increasingly tender and swollen as they prepare for breastfeeding. Get properly fitted for a supportive maternity bra.
- Cramping: Light cramping and spotting are common as your uterus expands. But severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding may signal an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, so contact your doctor right away.
- Headaches: Changing hormone levels, stress and fatigue can trigger headaches. Rest, use cold compresses, drink water and consult your doctor about taking acetaminophen.
- Mood swings: Shifting hormones may make you weepy and irritable. Getting enough rest helps stabilize your moods. Share your feelings with your partner.
- Constipation: Progesterone slows digestion and causes constipation. Drink lots of water, eat high fiber foods and stay active to keep bowel movements regular.
Make sure to discuss any severe or concerning symptoms with your healthcare provider.
Your Changing Body at 9 Weeks Pregnant
As your baby grows rapidly this week, you will notice some obvious physical changes taking place:
- Expanding waistline: Your uterus is expanding pushing out your abdomen. You may need to transition into maternity clothes with extra room around the middle.
- Darkening areolas: Increased hormones cause the areolas (the circles around your nipples) to grow larger and darker. This helps lead your newborn to the breast for feeding.
- Skin changes: Your skin may break out due to surging hormones. Moisturize daily and use only gentle, natural products. You may also notice dark splotches on your face or stomach caused by melanin overproduction. These typically fade after pregnancy.
- Nasal congestion: More estrogen and progesterone cause swollen nasal passages and nose bleeds. Use a humidifier and saline spray for relief.
- Vaginal discharge increase: You may secrete more clear, milky white or mild smelling discharge due to increased blood flow and cervical mucus production. But let your doctor know if it becomes foul smelling.
- Gums bleeding: Swollen, tender or bleeding gums are common early in pregnancy due to increased blood flow. Brush and floss gently twice a day and use a soft toothbrush.
- Hair growth/loss: You may notice faster hair growth on your head due to shifting hormones, while your leg and pubic hair fall out more. Hair typically returns to normal after giving birth.
- Spider veins: Increased blood volume can cause tiny red veins, called spider angiomas, to appear on your chest or arms. These should fade after pregnancy.
Make sure to mention any concerning bodily changes to your healthcare provider at your next visit. Staying hydrated, eating nutritiously, exercising and getting plenty of rest will help you look and feel your best at 9 weeks pregnant.
Doctor Appointments and Tests at 9 Weeks
- First prenatal visit: If you have not already had your first prenatal appointment, you should schedule it for around week 9. Your doctor will confirm your due date, take your health history, assess your pregnancy risk factors, and run blood and urine tests to check for issues like anemia and infections. Based on your exam, additional genetic or anatomy screening tests may be ordered.
- Physical exam: Your weight and blood pressure will be measured. Your thyroid, heart and lungs will be checked. Your doctor will calculate your body mass index (BMI) and discuss appropriate weight gain goals.
- Pelvic exam: A pelvic exam may be conducted to assess your uterus and ovaries. Your doctor will take a Pap smear if you are due for one.
- Blood tests: A complete blood count, blood type and Rh factor tests may be run to check for anemia, infections and blood type incompatibilities with your baby. Additional genetic carrier screening for diseases like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell may also be offered.
- Urine test: A urinalysis checks for indicators of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, UTIs and other conditions.
- Ultrasound: Depending on your doctor, an ultrasound may be done around 9-10 weeks to confirm your due date by measuring your baby’s size. But ultrasounds are most common during weeks 12-14.
After your first appointment, you will come in monthly until week 28, then every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, when you will start coming in every week until delivery. Always come prepared with any questions or concerns!
Tips for Staying Healthy at 9 Weeks
Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits provides the best start for you and your developing baby. Here are some tips for staying healthy at 9 weeks pregnant:
- Eat a balanced diet high in whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. Take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid daily.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated.
- Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise like brisk walking.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night by maintaining good sleep habits. Using pillows for support can help.
- Find ways to reduce stress through yoga, meditation, journaling, or talking with supportive friends and family.
- Avoid toxins like cigarette smoke, alcohol, chemicals and cat litter, which can harm your baby’s development.
- Be diligent about hand washing and food safety to minimize risk of infections. Avoid unpasteurized foods.
- Limit caffeine to 200mg per day. Avoid raw fish and deli meats to prevent foodborne illnesses.
- Wear seat belts, don’t text and drive, and take care walking on slippery surfaces to prevent falls.
Focusing on nourishing your body, minimizing stress and getting adequate rest lays the groundwork for a healthy pregnancy. Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, treatment or supplement.
Planning Ahead for Week 10
As you near the end of the first trimester, here are some things to think about as you prepare to enter your 10th week of pregnancy:
- Tour the maternity ward at hospitals or birthing centers where you may want to deliver.
- Interview pediatricians if you do not already have one picked out.
- Look into prenatal classes and childbirth education options locally.
- Make a birth plan outlining your preferences for labor, delivery and postpartum care.
- Discuss maternity leave and any necessary financial or work preparations with your employer.
- Plan any final vacations, outings or dates before your third trimester.
- Freeze some easy-to-reheat meals to have on hand for busy days after your baby arrives.
- Hold off buying too many maternity clothes until closer to 20 weeks when your bump gets bigger.
Planning ahead will help you feel organized and ready for the months ahead. Pace yourself and take time to relax – you’ve made it through the first trimester!
When to Call Your Doctor at 9 Weeks Pregnant
You should call your doctor right away if you experience:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding or passage of tissue
- Regular cramping or pelvic pain
- Dizziness, fainting or insufficient weight gain
- Severe nausea/vomiting or inability to keep liquids down
- Signs of a UTI like painful urination, back pain or fever
- Severe abdominal pain or tenderness
- Flu symptoms like fever over 100°F, body aches or headaches
- Decreased fetal movement after already feeling movement
- Leaking fluid from your vagina or sudden discharge increase
- Thoughts of self-harm
Otherwise, discuss any questions or concerns at your next prenatal appointment. Maintain open communication with your healthcare providers throughout your pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tests can be done at 9 weeks to check for genetic abnormalities?
There are two main genetic screening options available in early pregnancy:
First trimester screening combines a maternal blood test with an ultrasound around weeks 11-13 to evaluate risk of chromosome defects like Down syndrome. It does not diagnose definitively.
Cell-free DNA testing analyzes fetal DNA in the mother’s blood as early as week 9. It can screen with very high accuracy for Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and 13. It may also reveal baby’s sex. Talk to your doctor about pros and cons.
What should your blood pressure be at 9 weeks pregnant?
Normal blood pressure in early pregnancy is around 110/70 or lower. Elevated blood pressure after 20 weeks may signal preeclampsia. Always discuss your blood pressure measurements with your doctor.
Is it normal to show at 9 weeks with your second pregnancy?
It is common to show slightly earlier with subsequent pregnancies. The muscles and ligaments in your abdomen have been stretched before so they loosen up quicker. Each woman shows at different rates based on factors like height, weight and genetics. A small bump is nothing to worry about.
What STD tests are recommended during pregnancy?
All pregnant women should be tested for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Being treated for STDs significantly reduces the chance of passing infections to your baby that could cause major health problems. Testing is typically done at the first prenatal visit.
How much weight should you gain in the first trimester?
Normal weight gain varies, but most women gain 2-4 pounds in the first trimester. Focus on eating a healthy diet with extra 300 calories per day rather than restricting calories or weight gain, which can harm your baby. Discuss your weight at each visit.