Pregnancy Week 9 – The Baby’s Progress

Pregnancy week 9 now marks the start of the ‘fetus stages’ as the basic structures of all major organs are now in place and workable with their assigned functions although not all are entirely mature yet, such as the stomach and intestines. The intestine does, however, begin to migrate up into the abdomen cavity this week from where it has been developing inside the umbilical cord. Your baby’s main function in the coming weeks is to now gain in size and weight, become familiar and ‘practise’ using their new organs.

Entering the ‘fetus stages’

Semi-circular canals are now forming in the inner ear to provide a sense of balance but will still not be able to hear for a few more weeks until the bone structure inside hardens. This process happens gradually over time. It can be established how premature a baby is by how soft the inner ear bones are. The eyelids have completely fused together now as the irises begin to develop and these will open for the first time toward the end of the second trimester although he will already be able to distinguish light from dark long before then. Taste buds have appeared on his tongue and resemble those of an adult’s although he won’t be able to taste anything just yet.

Your 9 week fetus is now the size of a jelly baby and can bend his little arms at the elbows as his flexes and moves his newly formed joints around by constantly wriggling and shifting position in his warm and safe environment. His tiny fingers will also be making little grasping movements as touch is one of the first senses to develop within the womb. One of the first things he will get to touch will be his own umbilical cord as it is the nearest thing to him and soon he will be able to feel it with his newly formed, stubby finger pads that he now has. His hands and feet plates are still similarly shaped and will become distinguishable from one another from around week 12.

This little jelly baby will actually resemble a miniature human with a big head as his tail will have completely disappeared. Why is the head so big? Because the brain and head grow far more rapidly than the rest of the body in the first few weeks. I guess Mother Nature obviously felt it was important to get the brain built first in order to co-ordinate the development of everything else. The back portion grows even faster so the head leans forward or curls around over the body. His torso has began to straighten out now though as the spine continues to harden. His facial features continue to become a little more distinct as he now has a little button nose with nostrils and the brain is now 4 times larger than it was at 6 weeks.

Your baby’s sex organs are also still in the developing stage and after 12 weeks will form into the selected organ externally but still might not be visible in a scan until you are around 18-20 weeks in gestation. The growing ‘fetus’ will have an extra layer of skin now but will still be transparent and resemble an over-sized, wrinkly jumpsuit allowing all the ‘blue’ organs inside to remain visible, however, sweat glands have began to form.

In pregnancy week 9 he will measure 1.22” (31 mm) crown to rump.

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