The way your baby’s body is developing now allows for them to be measured in two ways during an ultrasound: from the top of the head to the tailbone and from the top of their head to the heels. They are now growing rapidly, and their body length will be triple what it is now by the 12th week. Your baby’s taste buds have recently started to form and eyelids are now covering the eyes. In the chest cavity, their diaphragm now separates the heart and lungs from the digestive tract. Their heart beats at its own pace – at between 150 and 180 bpm (beats per minute), it beats much faster than yours.
At 9 weeks, your baby is around the size of a peanut and will go through a growth spurt over the next few weeks and by week 12 they'll be triple the size they are now.
From the outside looking in, it may be possible for some people to tell by looking at you that there is a baby growing in your belly, while most will be completely surprised when you choose to share your news. Amazingly, so many of your baby’s organs have developed, and many more are still under construction. You may find that you are more tired than you would have thought and that is totally normal – you are growing a little human being inside your body!
Everyone should try to limit discretionary foods with high amounts of added sugar in their diets, and unfortunately pregnant women are no exception. Discretionary foods include things like lollies, soft drinks, chocolate, biscuits, pastries etc. These foods offer little value when it comes to nutrition and can crowd out opportunities to eat the healthier foods our bodies need. However, in some cases sugar can be a helpful tool to increase your consumption of nutritious foods. For example, using honey in your porridge or cereal to make it more palatable may make you more inclined to eat it. Also, small portions of 100% fruit juice are a more nutritious alternative to soft drinks. If you’re after something fizzy try sparkling water flavoured with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
Choose a breakfast based on whole grain cereals. A bowl of porridge, whole grain toast or a whole grain muesli/breakfast cereal offers fibre to help digestion and a range of B vitamins. Look for cereals fortified with Folic acid, a B vitamin know to reduce the risk of certain birth defects, and with added iron or zinc. Iron helps carry oxygen around your body and zinc supports your immune system. Topping your cereal with fresh or dried fruits can add sweetness and for added nutrition try adding some toasted nuts and seeds.
“I am 9 weeks pregnant, and I've put on 5 kilos. What’s up with that?”
Whether that’s your story or not, it’s good to know that weight gain varies among women in pregnancy. That said, an early, rapid weight gain should be reported to your doctor. If your weight before pregnancy was lower than average, you may have no reason to worry. If you were a normal or heavy weight before pregnancy, your doctor might want to learn more about your diet and activity to help you prevent gaining excess weight during the rest of your pregnancy.