Fetal Development at Week 9 of Pregnancy
Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 16, 2012
Every expectant mother patiently waits for the arrival of her baby for a term of 40 long weeks. During this time all her focus moves to the baby developing within her womb. She takes utmost care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of her little baby. At 9 weeks of gestation, she is almost through a quarter of her anticipated wait. The uterus continues to grow to accommodate the quickly developing baby. At 9 weeks, the uterus is approximately the size of a baseball. This period marks the shift to transitional maternity wear as clothes start to feel tight and uncomfortable.
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At a fetal age of 9 weeks, the baby begins to swim around in the amniotic fluid that protects her from external shock or trauma. The amniotic sac is a safe haven for the growing baby. By the ninth week, the little baby moves on from its embryonic stage to the fetal stage. She grows to approximately an inch, in length and weighs around half an ounce. The baby slowly begins to resemble a normal person rather than a punctuation mark. The tail slowly recedes. However, a baby’s head at this stage is much larger than the body as the brain grows rapidly. The brain starts functioning and brain waves can be measured. The chambers of the heart are formed and the valves begin to develop. The blood vessels become prominent through the baby’s extremely thin, transparent skin that resembles a membrane at this stage. Organs and muscles also start functioning. By now, the baby’s reproductive organs are formed and continue to develop with the passage of time. Fetal development at 9 weeks also includes the formation of bones and cartilage responsible for giving the baby’s body proper shape. The arms and legs continue to grow gradually and the toes and fingers become prominent. However, the toes and fingers are still webbed. At this time, the baby is also able to flex her elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. The facial features develop distinctly. The eyes and eyelids are formed but they remain closed for the next few months. The nose begins to take shape and the nostrils begin to form. The upper lip and tongue also begin to form with fetal development of 9 weeks. The baby develops teeth buds and the palate continues to develop along with the earlobes. The baby begins to respond to various stimuli through facial expressions.
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