Pregnancy week 9
(Sparx Media)

How's the foetus by nine weeks?

  • No gender yet.
  • Your baby is about the size of a grape, weighs about 2g and is 2.3cm long from crown to rump.
  • Cartilage and bones are beginning to form.
  • The tongue begins to develop.
  • Your baby's eyes are well-developed and eyelids appear.
  • All organs, nerves and muscles are beginning to function.
  • His hands are bent at the wrist and arms are growing longer.
  • Intestines start to move out of the umbilical cord and into the baby's abdomen.
  • The baby's feet begin to lose their webbed look and the toes are clearly visible.
  • By the end of this week the inner workings of the ear will be complete.
  • The internal sex organs are starting to develop, but you won't be able to tell the baby's gender yet.

What's with my body: Cramps and soft gums

Morning sickness might be the only thing on your mind at the moment. Eat smaller, more frequent meals to combat nausea.

You might also suffer mood swings that come and go and that you have no control over.

You may have a dull cramping feeling in your belly. This is your uterus starting to grow and stretch. You might also have a slight brownish or reddish discharge - this is normal. But if the cramping is severe and the discharge is bright red, go to your doctor as soon as possible.

There is more blood in your body. This will improve your skin, but can soften your gums. You may have nose-bleeds, which are common in pregnancy.

You might feel warm because of the extra blood your heart is pumping.

Some women develop patches of dark pigment on their cheeks, foreheads and noses during pregnancy, so slap on the high-SPF sunscreen from now on.

Did you know that the embryo is now essentially a complete little human being, although only the size of a small prune (about 2,5cm). It can even hiccup and react to a loud noise outside the womb!

How your baby's growing

Thanks to increased muscle development, your little one may start to move for the first time. The embryo will begin to turn somersaults, stretch and hiccup. Although these stirrings can be detected in an ultrasound, they're too small for you to feel now. Your uterus is now double it's original size and your baby's eyelids are forming as well as his fingernails and toenails.

Your body

You'll soon be feeling a little better! Pregnancy-related nausea usually peaks around week 9, then improves as the placenta takes over hormone production.

Feeling hungry lately? Don't be surprised if your appetite has increased, thanks to elevated hormone levels and the fact that your metabolic rate may have risen by up to 25%.

Even though your due-date might seem eons away, now is actually a good time to read up on what to expect during labour. Start preparing now in order to have the support you need on the day.

For the guys

Now is the time for your partner to start taking it easy and look after herself. Indulge her a little and make her feel good by taking her away on a romantic weekend or buying some sexy lingerie!

Tip of the week: Your appetite

  • Enjoy the increase in appetite, but keep eating healthily. Make sure you're keeping to all those daily good nutrition resolutions:
  • Eat eight to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat six or more servings of wholegrains
  • Include three servings of calcium-rich foods
  • Eat three servings of lean protein
  • Drink eight or more glasses of water
  • Choose healthy fats (found in nuts, olive oil and cooked fish)
  • Eliminate alcohol and limit caffeine to no more than 2 cups of coffee or tea per day
  • Limit junk food
  • Take a prenatal supplement with folic acid

What have you found most exciting, scary or simply surprising about this week of your pregnancy? Tell us by emailing and we may publish your comments.

Read more:

Next: Pregnancy week 10

Previous: Pregnancy week 8

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