Week 9 of pregnancy: how are the embryo and mother doing?

By (embryologist) and (psychologist).
Last Update: 04/07/2022

The ninth week marks the beginning of the third month of pregnancy, which will be the last month of the first trimester.

This week marks the end of the embryonic stage. The embryo finishes forming all its basic systems that will begin to function.

Pregnancy still goes unnoticed in women at 9 weeks. However, she does notice all the characteristic symptoms and is gradually gaining weight.

Changes in the embryo

Week 9 of pregnancy is also a time of great changes for the baby: it almost doubles in size and its nourishment is already dependent on the placenta.

The embryo measures approximately 2.5-3 cm at nine weeks and the most relevant changes in its development are the following:

  • The hands appear with all their fingers formed.
  • The legs become longer and the feet also appear with all their toes.
  • The wrists appear first and then the ankles.
  • The head is no longer so disproportionate and the body begins to lengthen and straighten.
  • The face takes on a more normal shape: the eyes migrate to the front, the eyelids are formed, which will remain closed, and the mouth can even open.
  • The organs of the digestive system begin to develop.
  • The bones continue to grow and the skeleton gradually hardens.
  • The embryonic tail at the end of the spine disappears.
  • The genital tubercle is formed, from which the genital organs will be distinguished according to the established sex, but it is not yet possible to know this on ultrasound.

The embryo can already move in this ninth week of pregnancy, but these are involuntary movements that the woman cannot perceive.

The ninth week of pregnancy marks the end of the embryonic stage. From this moment on, the embryo is called a fetus, which continues to grow rapidly.

Symptoms in the mother

Pregnancy symptoms in week 9 remain the same as the woman had the previous week. Since this is the beginning of gestation, the mother's body is still adapting and undergoing several changes.

These symptoms may be different from one woman to another. In fact, some report a lot of discomfort in the first trimester, while others hardly notice anything at all, which is also completely normal.

Below, we will discuss the most common symptoms during this week nine:

  • Increased fatigue
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Pelvic pain due to uterine growth
  • Breast growth
  • Stomach acidity and gas
  • Mood swings
  • Cravings

Fatigue and dizziness in the mother are due to decreased blood pressure. From this moment on, the demand for maternal blood increases in order to nourish the embryo.

The belly is not yet noticeable because the uterus has not yet emerged from the pelvis. However, it does grow larger and the woman begins to gain weight slightly.

Pregnancy control

During the third month of gestation, it is necessary to visit the gynecologist to start monitoring the pregnancy and perform some diagnostic tests.

First, urine and blood tests are performed to check that all parameters are normal. The mother's weight and blood pressure, which should be monitored throughout the pregnancy, will also be noted.

The gynecologist will then perform an ultrasound to take measurements of the embryo and check for a heartbeat.

Combined first trimester screening

This test is also known as triple screening and informs about the probability of risk of the embryo having chromosomal alterations.

To perform the triple screening, the gynecologist takes into account the following parameters obtained from the maternal blood test and ultrasound:

  • Pregnancy-associated placental protein: PAPP-A
  • Beta-hCG hormone
  • Nuchal translucency of the fetus

If you are interested in more information on this topic, we recommend you to continue reading the following post: Medical control during pregnancy.

Estimated delivery date

At the first visit to the gynecologist after the pregnancy is confirmed, the gynecologist will make an estimate of the baby's due date.

To do this, it is necessary to do an ultrasound scan to measure the embryo and to take into account when the woman's last menstrual period was before conception.

Normally, delivery takes place about 40 weeks after the date of the last menstrual period (LMP), as long as the woman has regular periods.

Care

As the embryo grows and the woman gains weight, back and lumbar discomfort will increase. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women practice sports from the beginning of pregnancy.

Walking every day is a good activity to keep fit, fight fatigue and improve circulation. In addition, moderate-intensity sports such as swimming or Pilates provide multiple benefits as well.

In terms of diet, the woman should continue with the same healthy and balanced diet of the previous weeks. Fruits and vegetables that provide folic acid and vitamin C are indispensable. It is also important to have a good calcium intake for the correct skeletal development of the fetus.

On the other hand, in order to have a good digestion and avoid gas formation, it would be important to follow the following recommendations:

  • Avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid foods such as chickpeas, beans or lettuce that cause gas.
  • Chew slowly and take the necessary time to eat.
  • Do not eat abundant meals.
  • Make about 5 or 6 daily intakes in small quantities.

Finally, it is very important that the woman maintains good hydration, drinking water frequently.

FAQs from users

How many months pregnant are nine weeks?

By Zaira Salvador B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

Nine weeks of pregnancy equals 2 months and one week.

What can bleeding at 9 weeks of pregnancy indicate?

By Zaira Salvador B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

If it is light bleeding, do not be alarmed. Some women may experience small amounts of spotting throughout their pregnancy. In the case of heavier bleeding, it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible, as it could be a threatened miscarriage.

What is a twin pregnancy like at 9 weeks?

By Zaira Salvador B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

In the 9-week ultrasound, it is possible to establish the type of twin pregnancy, that is, the number of placentas and sacs present.

On the other hand, weight gain in a woman pregnant with twins will be more noticeable than in a singleton pregnancy. Therefore, the control of height and weight must be done more carefully, in addition to following all medical recommendations to avoid possible risks.

If you are interested in continuing reading about the weeks of pregnancy, we recommend you to visit the following article: The tenth week of pregnancy.

Maintaining good health is essential for the proper development of pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women should follow the advice discussed in the following post: Health in pregnancy.

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References

Author

 Zaira Salvador
Zaira Salvador
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Technical University of Valencia (UPV). Biotechnology Degree from the National University of Ireland en Galway (NUIG) and embryologist specializing in Assisted Reproduction, with a Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI) More information about Zaira Salvador
License: 3185-CV
Adapted into english by:
 Cristina  Algarra Goosman
Cristina Algarra Goosman
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Psychologist
Graduated in Psychology by the University of Valencia (UV) and specialized in Clinical Psychology by the European University Center and specific training in Infertility: Legal, Medical and Psychosocial Aspects by University of Valencia (UV) and ADEIT.
More information about Cristina Algarra Goosman
Member number: CV16874

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