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9 Weeks Pregnant

9-weeks-baby

Image: Fetal Development At 9 Weeks

Your little embryo is now the size of a teeny swimming jelly baby – around three centimetres long. Your baby’s torso is beginning to straighten out and lengthen, moving baby away from the earlier sea-creature-like shape. The beginnings of the skeleton can be seen too.

The foetal sac is about the size of a hen’s egg, and a scan would show significant movement as muscles are developing so quickly. Baby’s heart beats twice as fast as yours and now has four chambers. The tip of your baby’s nose can be seen at this time. Although the eyes are still quite far apart, they will eventually centre themselves.

Don’t be surprised if you find your clothes are a little tight at this time, particularly if this is not your first baby. This is mainly due to water retention. Remember to keep taking your folic acid supplements – experts say until your second trimester.
 
I’m feeling so sick….
Sadly, nausea in pregnancy is incredibly common. In fact research shows up to 80% of women experience queasiness and about 50% actually vomit.

Morning sickness (which you might actually experience at any time of the day) is experienced differently from woman to woman. Some women find it flares up for a couple of weeks and others experience it for months. Some mums-to-be hop in and out of the bathroom throughout the day and some just experience a bit of mild queasiness. It really varies.

How long will my morning sickness last?
Pregnancy sickness can be frustrating and depressing, especially if you feel like you should be radiant. But try to take heart. It should ease off in your second trimester.

Usually morning sickness starts at around six weeks and gets better somewhere between 14 and 16 weeks – although a few women will experience it up to twenty weeks and some even longer (thankfully this is rare).

If you are also experiencing fever, headache and pain, or your sickness begins after 9 weeks of being pregnant, contact your doctor straightaway. It could be a sign of another problem.

Can sickness harm my baby?
Although morning sickness is a pain, it’s thought there are some beneficial reasons for it. Firstly, your body is releasing more of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone at the moment, which can be a shock to your body in such large surges but are needed to sustain your pregnancy. Women who experience pregnancy sickness are less likely to miscarry. However that’s not to say that if you don’t experience sickness you won’t have a completely healthy pregnancy – some women just don’t get sick.

Secondly, you have much greater sensitivity in your gastro-intestinal tract at this time, and many doctors believe this is because your clever system is trying to reject any toxins that might be harmful for your baby.

Morning sickness in itself won’t harm your little one, provided you can keep some food down. Also remember to drink a lot of fluids because vomiting is dehydrating. Sip rather than guzzle to avoid retching.

In a few rare cases women may experience sickness so severe that it becomes hazardous. If you really can’t keep anything down at all and are becoming very weak and dehydrated, get in touch with your doctor.

Is there anything I can do to relieve my sickness symptoms?
There are generally things that you can do to help relieve your nausea. For example you can:

  • Try to eat something before you get out of bed
  • Try to eat and drink little and often
  • Stay as healthy food in your food choices as possible, but try to have what you feel like eating rather than what you think you ought to eat. Often you should listen to your cravings because your body may be asking for a particular nutrient that you need. Whilst you should obviously ignore any bizarre or harmful cravings such as cigarettes or alcohol (as a few women have been known to crave), most cravings are for harmless foods such as bananas or tuna fish
  • Natural soothers like ginger can help to settle your stomach – but be careful about herbal remedies and homeopathy as they may be unsuitable for you in pregnancy – speak to your doctor or midwife about it.

Possible Scan at Week 9
An Early Pregnancy Viability Scan can be helpful if you feel a bit worried or just want to make sure that all is well with your baby.

This scan is advised for women over 35, and strongly recommended for women over 40. It’s especially important to have this scan if you’ve had vaginal bleeding or suspect an ectopic pregnancy.

Early Pregnancy Scan

Early Pregnancy Scan Picture (Click image to enlarge)

Viability scans are easily performed trans-abdominally (through the tummy) at 7-11 weeks of pregnancy as long as you are not overweight or have a womb that is tilted backwards.

If you’re having the scan because of a concern about a possible ectopic pregnancy, this scan can be conducted at 6-7 weeks, though at this time it would need to be performed trans-vaginally.