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      9 Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

      Sweet Potato Fish Pie

      9 Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

      Read time: 4 minutes


      9 weeks pregnant is how many months?


      Month 3 (Trimester 1)


      Baby development at 9 weeks

      Your baby’s muscles and bones are continuing to develop.


      Food safety

      During pregnancy you’re more vulnerable to infections, making food hygiene a top priority. 


      Vitamin D

      Learn how to support your baby’s growing body with a healthy supply of Vitamin D.

      Baby development at 9 weeks

      Foetus Pregnancy Week 9


      What does my baby look like? And, what size is my baby?

      When you are 9 weeks pregnant your baby’s mouth and tongue have started to form and taste buds are already in place. Measuring between 2cm and 3cm long from head to bottom, they’re roughly the size of a cherry. At this stage, your baby’s eyes are becoming more defined and their nose has assumed a recognisable shape.

      Your baby’s major organs, including their brain, heart, lungs and kidneys, continue to develop. It’s still too early to see their gender on an ultrasound, but your baby’s tiny movements may be visible – a sign of their muscles starting to form. Your midwife may also be able to hear your baby’s rapid heartbeat through a handheld doppler (ultrasound device) on your abdomen.

      Pregnancy at 9 weeks (first trimester)

      What’s happening in my body?

      While it’s common to be bloated at 9 weeks pregnant, it’s unlikely that you’ll look pregnant yet or see any signs of a pregnancy belly. 

      Early pregnancy symptoms at 9 weeks

      Early pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. At 9 weeks, you may experience any of the following signs of pregnancy, or no symptoms at all:

      Your breasts may become larger and feel sore. You may also find your nipples stick out more than usual and darken in colour as your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding. 

      During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted. 

      Morning sickness affects up to 80% of mums-to-be in the first trimester. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.

      The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas.

      Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy. If the pain becomes severe (stronger than period cramps) or if bleeding becomes heavy, you should talk to your GP.

      Frequent trips to the bathroom are one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, as your growing uterus begins to put pressure on your bladder.

      Pregnancy hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, soar during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, affecting how you’re feeling emotionally. Get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling like yourself.

      Time to make it official

      If you haven’t visited your GP since becoming pregnant, week nine is a good time to call them and schedule your first antenatal visit, known as the booking appointment. While you may not be sharing the news far and wide, this opportunity to talk about your prenatal health in detail can make your pregnancy feel more real.

      Eating safely for good health

      During pregnancy, your immune system is naturally suppressed to allow your body to accept your growing passenger. This can leave you more vulnerable to infection, so it’s important to take extra care with food preparation and hygiene.

      The following foods can cause food poisoning, so it’s best to avoid them. If you’re ever in doubt, take the safe option and throw it out.

      Raw or undercooked eggs, as well as foods that are made from them, such as homemade mayonnaise, certain ice cream and homemade mousse.

      Rare and undercooked meat, fish and chicken.

      Steak tartare, sushi and other foods that contain raw meat and fish.

      Unpasteurised milk, cheese or yogurt.

      Store-bought foods are usually made with pasteurised milk products, but check the label to make sure. It’s also a good idea to read up on which other foods you should avoid during pregnancy.

      Read more about foods to avoid


      Focus on vitamin D

       It’s recommended that you get 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day during pregnancy.

      The most efficient way to get vitamin D is through exposure to direct sunlight – UVB rays in particular. However, the latitude of Ireland means we only get around 6 months of effective sunlight each year, from April to September. This may explain why a significant number of young women in Ireland have a low vitamin D status, and why skin exposure alone may not be enough to support your baby during pregnancy.

      Vitamin D is present in certain foods, like eggs and oily fish. But the best way to make sure you’re getting enough is to take it as a 10 microgram supplement. Some prenatal multivitamins contain this already, or you can choose to take a separate vitamin D supplement.

      Eggs In Box

      You can also boost your vitamin D intake by including the following foods in your diet:

      • Oily fish, including herrings, mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout (limit your intake to 2 portions a week).
      • Eggs – the yolk contains the vitamin D.
      • Fortified foods – some brands of milk and breakfast cereals have added vitamin D.




      Vitamin D forms an essential part of your healthy pregnancy diet. It plays a vital supporting role in the growth and development of your baby’s bones by regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in their body. An adequate supply of vitamin D also reduces your baby’s risk of vitamin D deficiency.

      As well as supporting your baby’s bone development during pregnancy, the vitamin D you consume now helps to build up your baby’s personal store, which they will rely on during their first few months of life.


      How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

      Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and varies a great deal from mother to mother. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22–28lb) while pregnant, some of which is the weight of the growing baby. Learn everything you need to know about weight gain in pregnancy.


      If you haven’t been to see your GP yet, you should make an appointment so they can start planning your antenatal care, including your first ultrasound scan.


      Your baby, this week

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      each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your
      baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one
      round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

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      Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.

      Your baby, this week

      Discover the science behind your baby's developments, week-by-week

      Join now for free

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