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Pregnancy

      9 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

      Read time: 4 minutes

       

      9 weeks pregnant is how many months?

      Month 3 (Trimester 1)

      Baby development at 9 weeks

      Your baby’s muscles and bones are continuing to develop.

      Food safety

      During pregnancy you’re more vulnerable to infections, making food hygiene a top priority. 

      Vitamin D

      Learn how to support your baby’s growing body with a healthy supply of Vitamin D.

      Baby development at 9 weeks

       

      What does my baby look like? And, what size is my baby?

      When you are 9 weeks pregnant your baby’s mouth and tongue have started to form and taste buds are already in place1. Measuring between 2cm and 3cm long from head to bottom, they’re roughly the size of a cherry. At this stage, your baby’s eyes are becoming more defined1 and their nose has assumed a recognisable shape2.

      Your baby’s major organs, including their brain, heart, lungs and kidneys, continue to develop. It’s still too early to see their gender on an ultrasound, but your baby’s tiny movements may be visible3 – a sign of their muscles starting to form4. Your midwife may also be able to hear your baby’s rapid heartbeat through a handheld doppler (ultrasound device) on your abdomen4.

      Pregnancy at 9 weeks (first trimester)

      What’s happening in my body?

      While it’s common to be bloated at 9 weeks pregnant, it’s unlikely that you’ll look pregnant yet or see any signs of a pregnancy belly. 

      Early pregnancy symptoms at 9 weeks5

      Early pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. At 9 weeks, you may experience any of the following signs of pregnancy, or no symptoms at all:

      Your breasts may become larger and feel sore. You may also find your nipples stick out more than usual and darken in colour as your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding. 

      During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted. 

      Morning sickness affects up to 80% of mums-to-be in the first trimester6. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.

      The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas7.

      Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy8,9. If the pain becomes severe (stronger than period cramps) or if bleeding becomes heavy, you should talk to your GP.

      Frequent trips to the bathroom are one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, as your growing uterus begins to put pressure on your bladder.

      Pregnancy hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, soar during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy10, affecting how you’re feeling emotionally. Get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling like yourself.

      Time to make it official

      If you haven’t visited your GP since becoming pregnant, week nine is a good time to call them and schedule your first antenatal visit, known as the booking appointment. While you may not be sharing the news far and wide, this opportunity to talk about your prenatal health in detail can make your pregnancy feel more real.

      Eating safely for good health

      During pregnancy, your immune system is naturally suppressed to allow your body to accept your growing passenger11. This can leave you more vulnerable to infection, so it’s important to take extra care with food preparation and hygiene.

      The following foods can cause food poisoning, so it’s best to avoid them. If you’re ever in doubt, take the safe option and throw it out.

      Raw or undercooked eggs that do not bear the British Lion mark, as well as foods that are made from them, such as homemade mayonnaise, certain ice cream and homemade mousse.

      Rare and undercooked meat, fish and chicken.

      Steak tartare, sushi and other foods that contain raw meat and fish.

      Unpasteurised milk, cheese or yogurt.

      Store-bought foods are usually made with pasteurised milk products, but check the label to make sure. It’s also a good idea to read up on which other foods you should avoid during pregnancy.

      Read more about foods to avoid

       

      Focus on vitamin D

       It’s recommended that you get 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day during pregnancy12.

      The most efficient way to get vitamin D is through exposure to direct sunlight – UVB rays in particular. However, the latitude of the UK means we only get around 6 months of effective sunlight each year, from April to September. This may explain why a significant number of young women in the UK have a low vitamin D status, and why skin exposure alone may not be enough to support your baby during pregnancy13.

      Vitamin D is present in certain foods, like eggs and oily fish. But the best way to make sure you’re getting enough is to take it as a 10mcg supplement. Some prenatal multivitamins contain this already, or you can choose to take a separate vitamin D supplement.

      You can also boost your vitamin D intake by including the following foods in your diet:

      • Oily fish, including herrings, mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout (limit your intake to 2 portions a week).
      • Eggs – the yolk contains the vitamin D.
      • Fortified foods – some brands of milk and breakfast cereals have added vitamin D.

      THE
      SCIENCE
      BEHIND

      VITAMIN D

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      Vitamin D forms an essential part of your healthy pregnancy diet. It plays a vital supporting role in the growth and development of your baby’s bones by regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in their body14. An adequate supply of vitamin D also reduces your baby’s risk of vitamin D deficiency.

      As well as supporting your baby’s bone development during pregnancy, the vitamin D you consume now helps to build up your baby’s personal store, which they will rely on during their first few months of life15.

      How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
       

      Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and varies a great deal from mother to mother. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22–28lb) while pregnant, some of which is the weight of the growing baby16. Learn everything you need to know about weight gain in pregnancy.

      LEARN MORE

      If you haven’t been to see your GP yet, you should make an appointment so they can start planning your antenatal care, including your first ultrasound scan.

      1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx Page last reviewed: 17 July 2018. Next review due: 17 July 2021.

      2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 33.

      3. Curtis GB, Schuler J. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th ed. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011. p. 129.

      4. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.

      5. NHS. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/ Page last reviewed: 6 October 2018. Next review due: 6 October 2021.

      6. Noel M. Lee, M.D., Gastroenterology Fellow and Sumona Saha, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. 2011. Pub 2013. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3676933/

      7. NHS Start 4 Life. 1st trimester, week 10 [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-ten/

      8. NHS. Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vaginal-bleeding-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 26 January 2018. Next review due: 26 January 2021.

      9. NHS. Stomach pain in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stomach-pain-abdominal-cramp-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 1 May 2018. Next review due: 1 May 2021.

      10. Claudio N. Soares and Brook Zitek. Reproductive hormone sensitivity and risk for depression across the female life cycle: A continuum of vulnerability? 2008. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440795/

      11. NHS. Why are pregnant women at higher risk of flu complications? [Online]. Available at: www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/3096.aspx?CategoryID=5 [Page last reviewed: 20 January 2017. Next review due: 20 January 2020.

      12. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: TSO, 1991.

      13. Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency. National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Headline results from Years 1, 2 and 3 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009-2010/11) [Online]. 2012. Available at: www.natcen.ac.uk/media/175123/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey-years-1-2-and-3.pdf

      14. European Union. Commission Regulation (EC) No 983/2009 of 21 October 2009 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on food and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 277 2009;3-12./p>

      15. NHS UK. Vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/vitamins-minerals-supplements-pregnant.aspx Page last reviewed: 26 January 2017. Next review due: 26 January 2020.

      16. NHS choices. How much weight will I put on during my pregnancy? [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2311.aspx?CategoryID=54 Page last reviewed: 18 October 2018. Next review due: 18 October 2021.

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