Feeling exhausted? Fatigue kicks in for many moms-to-be around week 9 of pregnancy. The (very important) reason? Your body is working overtime in the first trimester to develop the placenta, the lifeline between your baby and your own blood supply.
Your Baby at Week 9
Your baby’s not quite ready for a cap and gown, but this week it’s graduation time as your little one graduates from her embryonic stage and officially enters the fetal period. At about an inch long, the graduate is the size of a medium green cocktail olive (but please…hold the martini!)
Baby’s heart is now both developed and large enough to be picked up by ultrasound. But if your practitioner can’t detect the thump-thump of that little ticker this week, don’t worry. It probably means your tiny target is hiding out in a far corner of your uterus or facing away from the sensor. Sometime in the next few weeks you’ll get a listen for sure.
Your little body builder can boast the groundbreaking of some new organs this week: The liver, the spleen and the gallbladder are all under construction now. The bladder and urethra separate from the developing digestive tract and the intestines begin to move out of the umbilical cord and into the abdominal cavity, which has grown big enough to house them.
The diaphragm starts to form — it’s the muscular membrane that will separate the chest and abdomen… plus help your cutie breathe after she’s born. And though you won’t feel it yet, your baby is trying out some early moves. Tiny muscles are starting to develop, allowing your little dancer to make spontaneous reflex movements with those tiny arms and legs.
At a Glance
9 weeks pregnant is how many months?
If you're 9 weeks pregnant, you're in month 3 of your pregnancy. Only 6 months left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
How big is my baby at 9 weeks?
At 9 weeks pregnant, your little one is now about 1 inch long, the size of a medium green olive — but no martinis, please.
The end of the embryo period
Would you believe your baby is only an embryo for one more week and is already developing into a fetus?
The head has straightened out and is more fully developed and the ears are continuing to grow, making baby look more human. Plus, toes are visible, and all of baby's essential organs, like the heart, brain, kidneys, liver and lungs, have begun to develop.
The arms and legs in your soon-to-be-fetus are also spontaneously moving now that minuscule muscles are beginning to develop, though you won't feel your tiny dancer for at least another month or two.
Baby's heartbeat is audible on ultrasound
While it's way too early to feel anything, it's not too early to possibly hear something. Your baby's heart is developed enough — and has grown large enough — for its beats to be heard with a Doppler, a handheld ultrasound device that amplifies the lub-dub sound the heart makes.
But don't worry if your practitioner can't pick up the sound of your baby's heartbeat yet. It just means your shy guy is hiding in the corner of your uterus or has his back facing out, making it hard for the Doppler to find its target. In a few weeks, or at your next visit, that miraculous sound is certain to be audible for your listening pleasure.
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