From week 9 you can have Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening, to assess your risk of Down's Syndrome and other conditions. Your Baby has doubled in size over the last week.
Ultrasound image of fetus at 9 weeks gestation.
Week 9 is exciting, you’ve not too long to go until the second trimester. You’ll also be noticing a lot of change with your own body.
Your embryo is now a fetus and continues to grow rapidly, measuring approximately 2.5cm by the end of this week (double the size of last week!) and the fetal sac is approximately the size of a quail’s egg (3cm).
Your baby’s eyelids now cover the eyes completely and are now fused. They won’t open until week 26. The very beginnings of earlobes are now also in evidence. An early form of skeletal structure is now in place and wrist and ankles joints are now fully formed with the arms being able to bend at the elbows. The separation of fingers and toes are now clearly visible and muscles are developing in the arms and legs to the extent that small movements are now possible. Genitals are beginning to form although it is not possible to determine the sex of your baby by ultrasound just yet. Your baby’s heart now comprises 4 chambers and is beating at the rapid rate of twice the speed of an adult human. Now that basic forms of all major body parts and organs are formed and in the correct position, they will continue to grow, develop and increase in complexity.
The placenta is now sufficiently developed to produce nutrients and take away waste products from the fetus. It is also now able to support the production of hormones – a crucially important task.
You may notice that you have gained some weight, especially about your waist. This is common at this stage of pregnancy and is most likely to be due to water retention. You are also still likely to be suffering with fatigue. This is due to your energy supplies being consumed by the production of the placenta and the maintenance of the fetus and its development. You are also likely to be experiencing a drop in blood sugar levels and blood pressure due to surges in your metabolic rate and hormone levels. When the construction of the placenta is complete (during the course of the next few weeks) both fatigue and morning sickness should abate, however some women continue to experience both throughout pregnancy. You should consult your Doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about fatigue or morning sickness. If you are suffering from heartburn or indigestion, it may be helpful to chew sugar-free gum. This increases the production of saliva, which in turn helps to neutralise stomach acid, helping to alleviate the discomfort of acid indigestion. Some antacids are also safe to be taken during pregnancy, but you should seek the advice of your Doctor or midwife before taking any prescription or non-prescription medication.
It’s important that by this stage of your pregnancy you have stopped smoking. Every time you inhale a cigarette your baby’s heart rate increases to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. You may also wish to avoid second hand smoke whenever you can too. Your doctor or midwife can give you advice and support on smoking cessation.
Vaginal bleeding is not uncommon. Usually not associated with menstrual pain it does not harm the pregnancy although it is called a threatened miscarriage. Bleeding may continue for some days but generally changes from bright red to dark red to brown before it disappears. In some cases a bruise is seen on the placenta on ultrasound scan: this is called a subchorionic haematoma. The dark red bleeding is likely to be persistent if this is present. The risk of an ectopic pregnancy has generally passed at this stage except in rare cases. If you have any concerns or think that your symptoms are unusual, call your midwife.
If you have bleeding in early pregnancy and you have associated severe abdominal pain you are at a high risk of miscarriage. In about 40% of cases there is shown to be a fetal abnormality incompatible with life. Unfortunately if a miscarriage has begun, there is nothing you can do to stop it.
If your GP has sent a letter to the local hospital/midwife then you may have an appointment to see her at this stage. She will have a long talk with you about pregnancy and birth. She will take some blood samples that are routine in pregnancy and may also take the blood sample used for the Combined Test for Down syndrome. It is unlikely that an ultrasound scan will be done at this visit but she will arrange an appointment for a few weeks later.
You can now opt for the NIPT test which is completely safe and not yet available on the NHS. The Harmony Test is the most popular and it will give you results within 8-12 days. Many mothers prefer this test to waiting for the combined test from the NHS as you can find out earlier if your baby is at risk of conditions such as Down’s syndrome. The test can be done as a one off, you do not need to have private care throughout your pregnancy to book a Harmony Test. From week 10 of your pregnancy you can have The Panorama Test.
You can also have a consultation with a midwife to discuss everything about your pregnancy and gain advice. A nutritionist will also be on hand to help you choose the right foods during pregnancy for your health and your baby’s. As always you will be offered an ultrasound scan and at this stage you will be able to see the shape of the fetus and hear a heartbeat.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
Great Portland Street