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

At a Glance

Getting stronger
Getting stronger
This week, tiny muscles are starting to form, but it will be at least another month or two before you'll be able to feel those little punches.
That sweet, sweet sound
That sweet, sweet sound
While it's too early to feel any kicks yet, it's not too early to hear something — fetal cardiac activity might be audible on a Doppler device at your doctor's appointment this week!
Hi, baby
Hi, baby
The spinal cord "tail" at your baby-to-be's rump has all but disappeared! He's looking more and more like a tiny human.

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 embryo period ends

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.

Fetal cardiac activity 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 cardiac activity to be heard with a Doppler, a handheld ultrasound device.

But don't worry if your practitioner can't pick up the sound 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.

Your Body at Week 9

9 weeks pregnant woman

Feeling so tired!

When it comes to pregnancy symptoms, you may feel like you've already reached your limit at 9 weeks pregnant: Your clothes are getting tighter around the waist, you're busting out on top and you're still running to the bathroom 100 times a day — and if it isn't because you're sick, it's to pee.

But wait, there's more. You're having trouble lifting your head off the pillow, you're dragging your feet all day and you can't wait to crawl into bed as soon as you arrive home at night.

Sound familiar? Extreme pregnancy fatigue is a common symptom, especially in the first trimester. And for good reason: Making a baby is hard work. Your body is working overtime preparing for motherhood as it develops the placenta, your baby's lifeline.

What's more, your body's metabolism and hormone levels have increased significantly, which triggers a decrease in blood sugar and blood pressure — a recipe for fatigue. Try these tips to combat fatigue safely during pregnancy.

The good news: Relief is around the corner as your energy level increases and morning sickness decreases over the next few weeks, once placenta construction is completed in the second trimester.

The not-so-good news: Tiredness is likely to reappear during the third trimester as the demands of toting around a larger fetus increase. But since staying active is important for your health (and your baby's!), try these tips to work out when you're tired during pregnancy.

Snacking well

Even if you're still grappling with morning sickness, try not to worry too much. Your baby will still get the necessary nutrients to grow and develop.

Focus on eating six mini-meals or snacks rather than three big meals a day. And snack smart to satisfy your baby's and your nutritional needs without offending your less-than-settled tummy.

Snacks like saltine or whole grain crackers topped with mild cheese, ginger in various forms (tea, ginger ale, candy or even small meals cooked with fresh ginger), applesauce, bananas, plain toast or bread, and modest servings of plain rice or pasta can all do the trick.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 9

Frequent urination
Frequent urination
Breast tenderness and changes
Breast tenderness and changes
Heartburn and indigestion
Heartburn and indigestion
Bloating and gas
Bloating and gas

Tips for You This Week

Fight heartburn

Are you feeling the burn — heartburn, that is? For many, heartburn is among the earliest symptoms of pregnancy, beginning around the second month.

If avoiding spicy and greasy foods isn’t helping, try taking antacids. They contain extra calcium, which you need during pregnancy anyway.

Ask about genetic tests

If you’re 35 or older or if you have a family history of genetic conditions, now’s the time to consider talking to your doctor about common genetic screenings, including NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing), performed after 9 weeks, and CVS (chorionic villus sampling), performed between 10 and 13 weeks.

Get your Zzzs

If your favorite sleep position is tummy-down, that’s perfectly fine — at least, until your tummy is the size of a watermelon, at which point you’ll have to switch positions for obvious reasons.

During the second and and third trimesters, sleeping on your side is ideal for you and your baby-to-be.

This position allows for maximum blood flow and nutrients to the placenta, since it puts less pressure on a large vein called the vena cava, and enhances kidney function.

Fill up on fiber

Fiber-rich foods — aka roughage — will help you eliminate waste. Eat whole grains, fresh or dried fruits, vegetables, beans and peas.

Going for the green can also help you go — and you don't have to rely only on vegetables: A kiwi, for example, packs a potent laxative effect. Aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day, but try to ease into it if you don't eat a lot of fiber already.

On the flip side, be sure to cut back on those classic cloggers: refined grains, like white bread, white rice and refined cereals and pasta.

Get more mileage out of your clothes

Sooner or later, every pregnant woman enters that period of fashion limbo. Right now, you're too big for your jeans but too small for maternity wear.

So get creative: Thread a rubber band around your jeans button, through the buttonhole and back around the button again or buy a belly band, which can hide your unbuttoned pants and smooth out your silhouette.

Or keep your skirt partially unzipped in the back and wear a blouse, sweater or jacket over it to hide the evidence. You'll get a couple more weeks of mileage out of your favorites that way.

When you're ready to venture into the world of maternity fashion, be savvy about your wardrobe. Buy as you grow, look beyond the maternity department for cute stuff that fits and don't sacrifice your personal style!

Prevent constipation

Constipation — it's one pregnancy symptom that no one wants to talk about.

Need some tips to get things moving? First, scrutinize your supplements. Ironically, many of the supplements that do a pregnant body good (prenatal vitamins, calcium and iron supplements) can also contribute to constipation.

Talk to your practitioner about possible alternatives, such as a slow-release formula, an iron-free prenatal or a vitamin that contains a stool softener. You can also get things going more smoothly by fitting in some kind of exercise (a brisk walk, yoga) daily.

And don't forget, when you gotta go — go. As soon as possible. Holding it in can weaken your bowel muscles, making it harder to push out the poop. And remember to stay away from medications, including herbal ones, until you've checked in with your practitioner.

Use cold compresses

Breast tenderness is extremely common among the pregnant set, with symptoms ranging from a dull ache to feelings of fullness and sharp, shooting pains.

There's a reason for all this activity, though: Your body is building fat and increasing blood flow to the area, which will help prime you for breastfeeding once baby is here.

Until the pain subsides — usually in the second or third trimester — apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your breasts. Or, if you prefer heat, take a warm (not hot) shower.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

Recommended Products

What to Expect selects products based on real-life testing conducted by staff, contributors and members our user community, as well as independent research and expert feedback; learn more about our review process. Prices and details are accurate as of the published date. We may earn commissions from shopping links.

Best Acne Treatments for Pregnancy, According to Doctors and Real Parents-to-Be
View All
Cetaphil Pro Oil Removing Foam Wash
See Now
Pregnancy-Safe Acne Products - Cetaphil PRO Oil Removing Foam Wash (3 pack)
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Pregnancy-Safe Acne Products - CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Pregnancy-Safe Acne Products - Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer
Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask
See Now
Pregnancy-Safe Acne Products - Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream
See Now Add To Amazon Registry
Pregnancy-Safe Acne Products - Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream

What Other November 2023 Moms Are Talking About

There are 8,179 active discussions happening now with other November 2023 parents-to-be.
Join in