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9 weeks pregnant


Pregnancy week 9Your baby at 9 weeks

At 9 weeks your little embryo is now a foetus. This rise in status in the ninth week happens after your embryo loses her funny little tail and becomes altogether more baby-like.

Now your baby is looking less like a jellybean and more like a jelly baby with an oversized head. This is because your baby's head gets literally a head start in life. It takes a few weeks for the rest of the body to catch up.

Your baby's size

By the beginning of the ninth week, your baby's head will make up half of the entire crown to rump measurement (this is the measurement of your baby's sitting height). 

Your baby is growing quickly so she can impress you at her dating scan (which you will probably have any time from now to 12 weeks). She is 3cm from the top of her head to her bottom and will double her length in the next three weeks.

What else is she doing?

  • Her nose and eyelids are still forming and she has a definite jaw.
  • Her tongue is starting to grow.
  • Inside her abdomen, her pancreas, gallbladder and other organs are developing.
  • Her ovaries (if your baby is a boy it will be his testes) are growing, but on the outside a boy and girl foetus look the same at nine weeks.
  • Remarkably, she is already capable of bending her fingers around an object in the palm of her hand (although she's not likely to find one just yet). If she was touched on the sole of her foot she would curl her toes or bend away from it. These are reflexes. Later on she will move towards things that touch her, rather than recoil away.
  • Her nipples and hair follicles are starting to grow.
  • She is developing cartilage - the scaffolding upon which she will later lay down bone. By the end of week 12, parts of her arms and legs will have bony growth area. Cartilage is a soft, flexible tissue - the stuff our ears are made of.
  • Her fingers, toes and elbows are getting more obvious.
  • She is making squirmy movements - later on she will be able to kick. 

Your body at 9 weeks pregnant

Your circulation This may be more science than you need but it explains almost everything; the tiredness and how hot and faint you can feel. 

The volume of blood in your body has to increase to support your growing baby. Normally, you carry around five litres of blood - this becomes seven or eight litres. Some is from red blood cells but most is from liquid called plasma. Your red blood cells catch up in the second trimester. Your baby puts demands on pretty much all of your body. So your metabolic rate soars by up to 25% and every minute your heart beats it has to send an extra 40% blood round your body. The blood flow to your uterus, breasts and kidneys increases up until birth. 

Needing to wee more You'll need to pass urine more often. Partly because the uterus presses a little on your bladder, but largely because you've got more blood being filtered through your kidneys, which means more to pee. 

If passing urine hurts you should see your doctor within 24 hours. There are safe antibiotics to take if you need them.

If you avoid drinking for two hours before bed, cut out caffeine and try to empty your bladder fully by rocking back and forwards on the toilet, then it may improve things. 

Having sex Some women find that pregnancy hormones ramp up their sex drive and even intensify the pleasure they get from sex. Others don't. If you're feeling knackered and nauseous, getting passionate with your partner is quite possibly the last thing on your mind at this stage. However, if you're in the first camp, or if your energy levels peak in later weeks and you find you're in the mood, there's no issue with having sex while you're pregnant. 

You may think it's a little weird DTD with a baby inside you, but rest assured she is entirely separate (although, in the later months, she may kick in response to any contractions from your orgasm). As always, if you experience any discomfort or bleeding, you should speak to your doctor.


Pregnancy Encyclopedia book coverIllustrations taken from The Pregnancy Encyclopedia, £25, published by DK.

Disclaimer: The information in the pregnancy calendar is for general information and is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or antenatal team. Not all babies develop at the same time and in the same way, so this week-by-week guide may not always match your own experience. If you have any worries, consult your antenatal team or GP.

Last updated: 4 months ago