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9-Week pregnant: Development and diet

Two hearts beat as one, as the song says. In actual fact, your child’s heart is beating just fine on its own. Read more about this week.

3 mins to read Jan 6, 2021


From the outside looking in, it may be possible for some people to tell by looking at you that there is a little child growing in your belly, while others will be completely surprised when you choose to share your news. Amazingly, so many organs have developed, and many more are still under construction. As such, 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!

Your child’s taste buds have recently started to form. The way her body is developing now allows for her to be measured in two ways during an ultrasound: from the top of her head to the coccyx and from the top of her head to her heels. She is now growing rapidly; her body length will be double what it is now by the 12th week. She has eyelids covering her eyes, and in her chest cavity, her diaphragm now separates her heart and lungs from her digestive tract. Her heart beats at its own pace – at between 120 and 160 bpm (beats per minute), it beats much faster than yours.


What about sugar? Is it ok to include in my diet?

It may seem like a harmless way to hydrate, but a 330ml can of your favourite soft drink can contain as much as seven teaspoons of sugar. Juices may seem like healthy alternatives, but they can be calorie-laden, too. If you need a bit of fizz in your life, go for sparkling water flavoured with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Even cereals marketed as healthy can contain high levels of sugar per serving. Instead, choose wholegrain cereals and oatmeal, which contain B vitamins and fibre to aid your digestion and may help keep you feeling full. Also look for cereal fortified or enriched with folic acid, iron, and zinc. Folic acid is a B vitamin known to reduce the risks of certain birth defects. Iron and zinc are also important minerals. Iron helps carry oxygen around your body and zinc supports your immune system. Add a hint of natural sweetness by topping with fresh fruit, such as berries or banana, or add some crunch with toasted nuts and seeds.


“I drank a beer when I didn’t know I was pregnant. Have I put my child in danger?” It’s a common question. Drinking should always be in moderation anyway. If you had a beer or a glass of wine at a barbecue before you realised you were pregnant, you probably haven’t affected the foetus. However, it is advisable that you don’t drink alcohol for the rest of your pregnancy. You increase the risk of foetal alcohol syndrome, miscarriage, premature delivery as well as low birth weight.


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