Gestational week 9 – 12

This is how your pregnancy develops now

In the 9th week of your pregnancy your baby already looks very much like a real baby.  You can even see fingers and toes. The brain grows the fastest of all – every minute an incredible 100,000 new nerve cells are created! In the 10th week of pregnancy, your baby leaves the first stage of life as an embryo and is called a fetus from the 11th week of pregnancy. Now it’s time to relax, because your baby’s most critical developmental phase is over and the risk of congenital malformations and miscarriage is very low.

By the end of the 11th week of pregnancy, your baby’s head is so big that it is half the length of the body. In the 11th week of pregnancy you will have 50-60 ml of amniotic fluid in which your baby can do wonderful exercises. In the 12th week of your pregnancy, your baby weighs already 45 grams and is 5 cm tall. It can smile and suck its thumb.

What happens to mom?

Mom’s belly is now gradually rounding but is mostly still invisible to outsiders. Still, a few kilos have been added to the initial weight. This is mainly due to growing breasts, the placenta and the increased volume of amniotic fluid and blood that you now need to take care of your baby.

Many women notice changed cravings (the desire for pickles with chocolate cream is almost proverbial) and mood swings, even if they have been the more balanced type before. All of this is completely normal and usually comes back to normal soon.

The skin can also react very differently to pregnancy. Some women now have particularly beautiful skin, others struggle with acne.

For many women, drowsiness or dizziness caused by the changing blood pressure are worrying. It is important that you drink enough. Regular exercise is also good, but make sure to prefer activities with a low risk of accidents.

If you feel a pulling in your abdomen, it is mostly due to stretching of the ligaments of the uterus. However, if you feel seriously concerned, speak to your doctor or midwife.

At the doctor’s

Your second medical check-up is usually due in these weeks. Weight and blood pressure are measured and urine examined. Your uterus, your baby‘s heartbeat and position are also assessed. Now is the time to think about whether you would like to have a prenatal examination that goes beyond the usual preventive care. Get advice from your doctor and discuss with your partner what would be important and useful for you.

Some useful tips

If you want, you can start to ask around for a midwife. Let your feelings guide you when choosing. The midwife can already carry out part of the preventive medical check-ups and, as an attending midwife, also accompany your birth later.

If you have used fertility vitamins before your pregnancy, continue to do so until the pack is finished. Then switch to regular prenatal vitamins during these 4 weeks.

If you should ever feel ill during your pregnancy, before taking any medication you should discuss with your health care provider whether they are suitable during pregnancy. This also applies to herbal remedies that are often wrongly considered to be “harmless”.

Start putting lotion on your baby bump now to prevent stretch marks and pay attention to good dental hygiene.

About the author

Dr. rer. nat. Birgit Wogatzky

For many years now, biologist and nutritionist Dr Birgit Wogatzky, has been focusing on the special needs of fertility patients. For the readers of this blog, she sums up interesting novel information and developments from current research projects regarding lifestyle and nutrition of fertility patients.

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