Your baby is only about the size of a cherry, but development is coming along rapidly now. By this week, your baby has a nose and mouth, and a tiny tongue and taste buds! Your baby's digestive system is developing rapidly, along with the rest of the major internal organs. Arms, legs, hands and feet are growing fast and ridges show where those tiny fingers and toes will soon be. Even though your baby will rapidly increase in size over the next few weeks, they still have plenty of space in your womb to practice, coordinate and refine their movements.
Are you feeling a little constricted around the middle?
You might be finding you need to leave the top button of your jeans undone, and your breasts might well be getting bigger. Some women find this an awkward stage – you don't necessarily look pregnant yet, just a bit bigger, and this can be a challenge to deal with if you've not yet told everyone about the pregnancy. Try not to let it irritate you too much – you'll have a “proper bump” very soon!
*Don't forget – it's important to take your folic acid supplement until the end of week 12.
What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 9
The typical symptoms will continue to ease, as by now your body has almost completely adapted to the changing levels of hormones. You might still feel more tired than usual, but this should stop being a problem by the end of the third month of your pregnancy. Then you’ll start to feel a great sense of anticipation and creativity, and you’ll be full of energy.
Changes to your skin and hair
In week 9, mums-to-be frequently notice changes in their skin and hair. Some women’s hair gets thicker and more glossy, while other women’s hair gets thinner. These symptoms are also caused by changing levels of hormones as a result of pregnancy and, after you give birth, they’ll quickly subside as your hormone levels return to normal.
Your skin will also react to the hormones now coursing through your body. On one hand, it will become softer and have a healthy glow thanks to the increased blood circulation, while on the other hand, you may see a few spots here and there. Gentle treatment is always the best answer – never use aggressive anti-spot cosmetics to try and improve your skin during pregnancy.
You might get nosebleeds every now and then. If it’s only a small amount of blood, then there’s no need for any treatment, but ask your doctor or midwife if you’re unsure because they can give you tips on how best to deal with it.
- Make sure you get enough calcium, which helps your baby’s organs to grow properly.
- Buy a bra made from comfortable material that will adapt and stretch as your breasts grow bigger (it may be a good idea to buy one size up).
- Do gentle gym exercises every day, go for walks and don’t spare yourself too much in everyday life (climbing stairs, cleaning, etc.). Women who keep physically active during pregnancy usually experience fewer symptoms and have an easier birth.