You are 9 Weeks Exactly 217 days to go…

By the end of this ninth week, your baby’s digestive system is rapidly developing but won’t function properly for some time.

Your baby today

The baby’s hands can be clearly seen here but the fingers are still fused at this stage. The fingers will be completely separate in just one week’s time and wrist movement is just about to begin.

Your baby is developing quickly inside the uterus. The simple tube forming along his gut has undergone most changes at the upper end. Now the lower part dilates as the single tube then divides into what will become the rectum at the back and then the bladder and urethra at the front.

Although the mouth is open to the amniotic fluid, there is still a membrane in place, which will disappear in one to two weeks’ time. The lower bowel is not yet mature and does not move material along its length.

The remainder of the large bowel and small bowel is still lengthening. The duodenum is the first part of the small bowel and it is still a solid tube. The pancreas, gall bladder, and liver have all formed buds leading off from the upper small bowel, but none are yet contributing any digestive function.

… Doctor

Q:Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve had terrible headaches. Could computer work be the cause?
A:Tension headaches and migraines are common in pregnancy, probably due to fluctuating hormones, and it is not uncommon to have severe headaches with prolonged computer use. This could be due to eye strain and the fact that you are immobile, which can cause tension.

Take even more breaks from your computer screen now that you’re pregnant. You’ll probably find you need more bathroom breaks anyway. If this doesn’t help, ask if you can do tasks that don’t require computer use for a short time. Headaches are often worse in the first trimester.

Looking at a computer screen for long periods of time can make headaches—a common side effect of pregnancy—even worse. Take regular breaks and drink plenty of water since being dehydrated can exacerbate headaches.

Actual size of your baby

At 9 weeks your baby’s crown to rump length is 0.70 in (18 mm).

Your 10th Week

This is your baby’s last week as an embryo; next week she’ll be known as a fetus. Her major organs are in place, although by no means in full working order. There’s a long way to go yet and her body systems will continue to mature for the rest of pregnancy, and beyond. The most noticeable difference to your body will be in your breasts. You may well have gone up a cup size—or more.


No longer an embryo, your unborn baby enters a new phase

Embryo at 10 weeks

You are 9 Weeks and 1 Day 216 days to go…

Your baby’s welfare will be your main concern, but be reassured that, however you’re feeling, she’ll be getting sustenance.

Your baby today

Most of your baby’s primitive organ systems are in place: the arms and legs have formed, complete with wrists and elbows, and have tiny fingers and toes; the retina of the eye, and the nose, can be seen. The large dark mass is the enlarged liver.

You may be very conscious of your health and well-being at this time but be reassured that even if you’ve felt unwell during this first trimester, your baby will have been taking what she needs from you: you have internal reserves of various minerals and substances, such as iron, and will still be absorbing some nutrients from what you eat. However, if you’re concerned about the amount of vitamins and minerals you’re consuming through your diet, for the sake of your own health you could take a prenatal vitamin supplement. Remember, you should still be taking folic acid supplements and eating folate-rich foods . There is no cause for concern if you do not put on any weight in the first trimester, or even if you lose a bit of weight. The majority of weight gain takes place in the second and third trimesters .

If you’re vomiting a lot and struggling to keep food down , don’t hesitate to see your ob/gyn.

… Your body
Your changing breasts

The changes to your breasts you will be noticing are caused by both an increased blood supply and a rise in pregnancy hormones, particularly in the first 12 weeks.

Before your pregnancy was confirmed you may have felt tingling sensations (especially in the nipple area) as the blood supply increased.

  • As early as 6–8 weeks, your breasts will have become larger and more tender and may have begun to look different on the surface, with threadlike veins starting to appear.

  • At around 8–12 weeks, the nipples darken and can become more erect.

  • As early as the 16th week of pregnancy, colostrum, the first milk, may leak from your breasts.

He’s “pregnant” too

Q:Can your partner ever really understand what you’re going through?
A:According to a recent study, some dads don’t need a fake pregnancy belly to empathize. Known as Couvade syndrome, symptoms experienced by expectant fathers ranged from morning sickness to backaches, mood swings, and food cravings. Although, interestingly, often it was the woman claiming her partner had these symptoms.

Couvade is thought to happen because men are so deeply involved in the pregnancy. While others believe it could be jealousy (you’re getting all the attention) or guilt that he’s responsible for your condition and therefore your symptoms.

You are 9 Weeks and 2 Days 215 days to go…

The muscular diaphragm that will eventually enable your baby to breathe—and hiccup—is developing now.

Your baby today

The baby now begins to bend her wrists. The natural position is for the limbs to be slightly bent at all joints, especially in the early stages. There is a more distinct neck area as the baby’s head is now slightly lifted off the chest.

As your baby’s lungs develop in the chest, there is nothing to separate them from the stomach, liver, and bowel in what will later become her abdominal cavity.

In adults, the chest is separated from the abdomen by the muscular diaphragm. When we breathe, the diaphragm moves downward and the ribs expand outward. This process allows air to enter the lungs.

Your baby’s diaphragm forms from four in-folds of tissue. First seen at around this week of pregnancy, these folds gradually expand inward, fusing together and closing the space by the end of this week. In the center of the diaphragm there are openings for the esophagus to the stomach, main artery to the body—the aorta, and main vein returning blood from the lower body, the inferior vena cava. As your pregnancy progresses, muscle fibers gradually strengthen your baby’s diaphragm, which later allows her to make breathing movements.

… Twins
Twin tests

If you’re expecting twins or more, blood-based screening tests for Down syndrome can mislead, since they rely on measuring the amounts of circulating AFP (alfa-fetoprotein) and other markers, which are present in much higher levels when there’s more than one baby. That’s why your best bet for screening is the nuchal translucency test from 11–14 weeks .

The nuchal translucency screening is a scan. It measures the width of the skin behind the baby’s neck to assess if excess fluid has collected there—if a high level is found, it may indicate a greater risk of Down syndrome. Nuchal translucency is the most accurate way to screen for Down syndrome.

Screening and diagnostic tests

It’s useful to be aware of the screening tests and diagnostic tests that will be available in the weeks to come. Your doctor will talk through the pros and cons of having each test. Some abnormalities may be detected at the 18–22 week scan.

  • Screening tests: these tests identify the “risk factor” for a particular condition, but do not confirm that your baby definitely has a condition. For example, a screening test for Down syndrome may give your baby a risk factor of 1:200. This means that your baby has a 1 in 200 chance of being affected by Down syndrome, but it does not mean that he actually has the condition.

  • Diagnostic tests: if screening tests reveal your baby has a high risk factor for a chromosomal abnormality, you will be offered a diagnostic test, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, which gives a definite result as to whether or not a condition is present.

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