If you like milestones, then you’ll probably enjoy this one: you’ve now been incubating your baby-in-waiting for two months! Even if you’re not a sentimental kind of gal, it’s still an achievement to be noted. You’ve come a long way since this whole journey began — it may feel like ages since you first got news that you were expecting and started to anticipate all the changes to come in your life.
This is a big week for you and your baby. It’s fair to say that growth and development are continuing at quite a pace now. It’s also likely that you’ll be feeling a lot more pregnant than in previous weeks. If you’re like most women, nausea, and vomiting may have become a regular feature of your day (or night). This, in addition to a sensitivity to certain smells, may mean that you’ve got little appetite for food.
This week you need to plan your first visit to the gynecologist. The doctor will prescribe the necessary tests and examinations for the first trimester of pregnancy. You may feel the growing discomfort of morning sickness. Try to be patient; it usually lasts until the 12-14th week only.
If all you’re going through has you reeling a little, let Flo walk you through week 8 step by step so you know what to expect:
In the previous week of pregnancy, many important fetal body systems were developing: brain, heart, lungs, and others. At the same time, your fetus grew in size until it was as long as a whole centimeter. This may not seem like much, but consider that not so long ago it was the size of a poppy seed.
So what’s going on with your baby this week?
How big is your baby at 8 weeks pregnant?
Only 1 cm long (0.4 in) last week, your little bundle has already put on more than a half a centimeter — it’s now around 1.6 cm in length (0.63 in). That’s around the size of a bean. And get this: by next week, it will already have increased to twice this size! Talk about a growth spurt.
Pregnancy week 8 fetal development
By now your baby-to-be’s legs are lengthening, but it’s still too early to see the different parts of the leg as distinct sections: it will be a bit longer before thighs, knees, ankles, and feet can all be identified. But still, it’s a work in progress!
The fetus still gets its nourishment from the yolk sac for now. The placenta — the structure that will later provide for your baby’s nutritional needs and take care of waste — is still developing, forming structures that help attach the placenta to the wall of the womb.
If you were to look closer at your little one at this stage, you’d notice the head beginning to uncurl a little. You’d also see that the arms are longer than the legs — this gives the fetus an uneven appearance for now, but it’s simply because the upper body develops at a quicker rate than the lower. Of course, this will all even out in the fullness of time.
8 weeks pregnant belly
At week 8, you’re still not showing yet. Most first-time pregnancies don’t show until around week 12. If you’ve had previous pregnancies you may show earlier as a result of stretching of the muscles in your uterus and belly. Until then, enjoy your svelte figure.
8 weeks pregnant symptoms
By 8 weeks pregnant, your womb is around the size of a lemon — too small to show, but you’re still going to be feeling the effects of pregnancy. At this point, fatigue and nausea may be your most prominent symptoms. Whatever tiredness you encountered in the last few weeks will remain, if not increase. And if you’ve been affected by morning sickness (or afternoon or evening sickness!), you’ll probably still be experiencing this too.
At this stage, pregnancy hormones are jetting around your body and are responsible for you feeling like you’ve got premenstrual syndrome (PMS). You may feel a little emotional or fragile — perhaps you’ve noticed that minor issues that you encounter over the course of your day can make you feel unusually upset. Be aware of the changes that are taking place in your body and don’t be too hard on yourself if you find you’re becoming emotional.
You’ll probably have other symptoms too: your breasts may feel sore, heavy and uncomfortable, and you may urinate more than usual. By now, you’ll have missed your second period but remember that some women still bleed a little during pregnancy. Always mention any bleeding in pregnancy to your midwife or GP, particularly if the bleeding is substantial, it continues, or if it is accompanied by stomach pain.
Until now, it’s been safe to put off any thought of an ultrasound, but week 8 is the time to start making plans. In many countries, the first scan of a pregnant woman takes place between weeks 8 and 14. It’s usually followed by another scan at 18-21 weeks. Your healthcare provider has probably already mentioned this to you and put things into motion, but if not feel free to flag it up and ask what arrangements need to be made.
Your pregnancy may be a challenging time for you, but do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle. This will provide the best support for you and your baby until full term. Your diet should contain a wide variety of foods from all the recommended food groups, including a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible. You should also aim to drink between 8 and 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day, unless your doctor says otherwise.
Try not to fixate on the old idea of ‘eating for two’ — in reality you only need around 300 extra calories per day to provide for your baby. And don’t worry too much if nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy mean that you don’t have much of an appetite; as long as you’ve been careful about your diet in the preceding weeks, your baby will still get what he or she needs.
Sex at week 8 of pregnancy
Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, your sex life can continue as normal throughout pregnancy.
Here’s your week 8 pregnancy checklist with the only arrangement:
- Now might be a good time to start wearing a more supportive bra. Your breasts are going to feel increasingly heavy and uncomfortable as time goes on. A well-fitting, supportive bra will increase comfort and minimize later sagging.
It’s not uncommon for women at this stage of pregnancy to find the experience overwhelming, even if they have the support of friends and family. Take a moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come and how well you’re coping! In fact, one of the best ways to care for your growing baby is to take care of yourself.
This means taking time out of your day to rest and relax — this will make it easier to deal with tiredness and nausea. Make sure that your diet is nourishing and healthy. And if possible, try to incorporate a little exercise into your daily routine. A short walk or a few laps in the local swimming pool will make a world of difference to how you feel!
Don’t be shy to call upon the support of others around you. Let friends and relatives know that you’d really appreciate their generosity in helping you out around the house or with personal tasks. Tell work colleagues how you’re feeling and see if they’re willing to make adjustments in the office to make things easier for you. And of course, make sure to reach out to your trusted healthcare professional for expert medical advice.