You have reached the ninth week of your pregnancy, and now the embryo can officially be referred to as the fetus (Latin for ‘offspring’) .
The eyes already have some pigmentation, making them more prominent  while small earlobes are visible on an ultrasound. Your baby also has a tongue with tiny taste buds .
The eyes are now covered with well formed but fused eyelids that will not open until early in the third trimester . Other facial features, like the mouth, lips, nose and forehead also continue to grow more distinct, while the teeth start to develop as well .
The tiny arms and legs already make your baby look like a miniature human being with the wrists and ankles developing fast . Ultrasound images show clear ridges at the end of the hands and feet, marking the places where the toes and fingers will be . Your baby will now start growing in size and gaining weight as the basic body structure is formed.
The brain, nerves  and spinal cord continue to develop in the ninth week of pregnancy.
Internal organ development: All the main internal organs, including the heart, lungs, kidney and intestine are already in place, developing rapidly  along with the muscles. The heart has already divided into four chambers while the valves start developing . Although it is still too early to tell the baby’s gender by ultrasound, the development of the genitals has already begun . The placenta is also developed enough to carry out most of the jobs of hormone and nutrient production as well as getting rid of waste products.
The fetus is about as large as a green olive at this stage, measuring 0.9 inches (2.3 cm) in size and weighing around 0.07 oz (2 gm) .
The increasing blood volume will continue to make your body organs work harder, leading to various pregnancy symptoms . The body changes from the previous weeks, such as the fuller breasts and weight gain , remain in the ninth week as your body continues preparing for childbirth and breastfeeding. However, it is normal to experience little or no weight gain, especially if you have severe morning sickness and food aversions .
Your uterus continues to grow (it is almost as large as a small melon)  as you may notice your belly gradually getting bigger. But, the ninth week is still too early to start showing enough for others to notice the changes, especially if this is your first pregnancy .
Apart from the beating tiny heart, an ultrasound can also show your baby making small movements . But the fetus is still too small for you to feel it moving . You may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat on a Doppler device in the ninth week .
Sometimes, ultrasound scans performed in week 9 can show an empty gestational sac. It might be because of an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. But in many cases, it occurs when a woman thinks her pregnancy is further along than it actually is. In such instances, an ultrasound scan performed a few weeks later successfully locates the baby.
As in the earlier weeks, the increasing pregnancy hormone levels, along with the rising blood volume is responsible for most of the symptoms. Most women continue to experience the symptoms of morning sickness (nausea, vomiting) along with headaches, dizziness , gas, heartburn, bloating , abdominal pain or cramping and lower back pain . Other common symptoms occurring this week include:
Having a twin pregnancy increases the risks of the above symptoms due to higher hCG levels. . However, it is perfectly normal to have few or none of the above symptoms during the ninth week. So, there is nothing to worry about if you do not ‘feel’ pregnant at this stage.
Published on April 4th 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.