At 9 weeks gestation, you pretty much have a fully formed baby in your belly! All the vital bits and pieces are in place, but they'll spend the next 31 weeks (give or take!) developing further, and your baby will be growing rapidly. In fact, in the first year of life your baby will grow quicker than it will at any other time.
As for you, you're now so close to getting that first peek of your little baby, so it's a really exciting time. You're hopefully in the last few weeks of morning sickness and tenderness now, too, and it won't be long before you get that second trimester burst of energy!
Baby: What's Happening?
Your baby's ears start to appear this week, completing that tiny face, although they won't be functional for another few weeks yet. Even so, it's worth getting into the habit of talking or singing to your little one now. You may feel a little bit silly, but it won't be long before your baby can recognise your voice.
The big change this week is that your baby's external genetalia start to become apparant. Your baby has had a gender right from the start (it's determined by the sperm) but so far there's been no distinguishing features that hint at one or the other. Even these external bits look almost identical at this time, although by the time you have your first ultrasound there is a teeny tiny possibility the gender could be confirmed. Most women will need to wait until their 20 week scan to find out though (or even until the birth if Baby doesn't want to cooperate!).
All organs that have already been formed are now just perfecting their processes. By week 9, the placenta is an old pro and is doing an excellent job of providing all the essential nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby, and the lungs are preparing themselves for when your baby starts to breathe.
You: What's Happening?
As your baby only measures around 2.3 cm (or just under an inch) long, and weighs just 2 grams (or a little over half an ounce) you won't be looking pregnant quite yet, although with the placenta, amniotic waters, increased blood quantity and extra waste water in your system, you may be feeling a little "thicker" around the middle.
You may still be feeling a bit nauseous, emotional and achy, but rest assured it won't be for too much longer. You may notice that increased hormones have wreaked havoc on your skin, having you breaking out in acne. A good skin care routine can't work miracles, but it can help to reduce all that extra oil and sebum that's clinging to your face. You may also feel tired all the time, and who can blame you? Your body is working overtime growing this baby, so it's only natural that you'll need a bit more sleep than usual.
If you haven't already made an appointment for an ultrasound, you should do so, and soon. Most first scans happen between 10 and 13 weeks so make sure you're in the system!
If you're starting to find your jeans are feeling a little tight, you might want to start thinking about how to keep fit during your pregnancy. You should expect to put on anywhere between 17 and 30 lbs during your pregnancy, any more than than and you increase the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Adopting a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables not only ensures your baby is getting the best start, but also helps to keep you in shape. Try some gentle, pregnancy-friendly exercises too, such as walking, antenatal yoga or "aquanatal". Women who keep healthy, fit and active during pregnancy are likely to find it easier to lose the additional baby weight after the birth.