9 Weeks Pregnant

9 Weeks Pregnant

As you move into the later stages of the first trimester you might be amazed that, although you haven't yet gained much weight, your breasts have increased by a cup size or even more! Now would be a good time to consider shopping for a new bra to accommodate your changing shape. Your breasts might also have started to change in appearance; for example, you might notice threadlike veins and darkening nipples.

Changes to you and your body

Elsewhere in your body, your veins will be carrying around 45 to 50 per cent more blood by now to meet your baby's demands. This can sometimes lead to varicose veins or piles, which are two of the less welcome side-effects of pregnancy.

Now is also the time when many women start to experience strange cravings for non-food items such as coal, soap or chalk. This is known as pica and could be a sign that you are lacking nutrients in your diet. However, it is best to speak to your doctor about improving your diet or taking supplements rather than eating a piece of coal!

Now is also the time when many women start to experience strange cravings for non-food items such as coal, soap or even chalk!

Lots of women also experience light bleeding in early pregnancy, this of course is extremely worrying and distressing but can be caused by a number of different innocent reasons so do try not to panic or think the worst. However, any amount of bleeding should always be discussed with your doctor or midwife as soon as possible as bleeding can also signal the start of a miscarriage or indicate an ectopic pregnancy.

Changes to your baby

This week is a big step for your baby as it is when your embryo officially becomes a foetus! The tail has mostly disappeared and the facial features and body are becoming more defined. The trunk area of the body is starting to elongate and your baby is around 22 millimetres long, about the size of an olive.

The fingers and toes are growing longer but they are still fused together for now. The arms and legs are lengthening and your baby's arms will cross his or her body, the hands meeting at the heart.

Your baby's digestive system is starting to develop along with the diaphragm that will allow breathing and the occasional hiccup. This is also the week when major organs start to form and so is an important week in your baby's development.

Your baby will be starting to move around more inside you now and react to light and noise. However, it will be some time before you are able to feel this movement.

Tips for a happy pregnancy

This week might be a good time to have a chat with your doctor or midwife about the screening and diagnostic tests that will be on offer over the next few weeks and the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Click here for an overview of antenatal screening and tests.

During pregnancy, high levels of progesterone in your body mean that it is easier to pick up a urinary tract infection. The progesterone has the effect of relaxing the tubes of your urinary system making it easier for bacteria to cause infection. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection so be sure to visit your surgery if you notice any symptoms.

Early pregnancy is not a good time to think about dieting as your baby takes its nourishment from the food you eat. Speak to your doctor or midwife if you have concerns about your weight during pregnancy.

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