8 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your first trimester

    Updated 05 July 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US
    Written by Ella Braidwood
    Edited by Alice Broster
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    From pregnancy symptoms to hormone changes, here’s the lowdown on being 8 weeks pregnant.

    Being 8 weeks pregnant can be an emotional time. You’re well into your first trimester, and if you haven’t already, you may be thinking about telling family and friends about your pregnancy. Know that there’s no right or wrong time to share your news; it’s simply when you feel ready. For some, that’s right away, while others might wait until after their first ultrasound scan at around 10 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. You do what’s right for you.

    You may not be able to see your bump just yet, but rest assured that your body and your baby both change in pretty monumental ways during early pregnancy. Maybe you’ve started feeling some of those telltale pregnancy signs such as nausea, mood changes, and needing to pee a lot more than usual — or equally, maybe not. Navigating this time can be exciting but also confusing. So if you’re curious as to what you might be feeling at 8 weeks pregnant, then read on for our guide, with advice from a Flo expert. 

    Your baby at 8 weeks pregnant 

    Developing their heart

    Let’s take a look at how your baby is changing right now. At around 8 weeks pregnant, your baby’s heart will continue to develop and get stronger. While your baby’s heart will have been forming from as early as 4 weeks pregnant, it’ll be more fully developed by now. It’ll change from being a cluster of cells to connected tubes that can circulate blood. Clever, huh?

    Forming teeth

    At 8 weeks pregnant, you’re into your second month, and your baby is starting to take a more human shape with a larger head and developing body and limbs. Alongside your baby’s major organs developing, their face is also becoming more defined as the eyes, ears, and nose become more distinct. 

    Most babies don’t start teething until around 6 months of age. However, at 8 weeks, tiny teeth buds have already formed in their mouth, which will one day become their teeth. 

    How big is a baby at 8 weeks? 

    Length (crown to rump): 1.6 cm or 0.6 in.

    Weight: Too small to calculate accurately

    Size: Equivalent to a kidney bean

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    Your body at 8 weeks pregnant 

    Frequent peeing

    Your body will change a lot during your first trimester, and you may already have noticed some weird and wonderful symptoms. Your baby isn’t big enough yet to be putting pressure on your bladder. However, due to the fact that your body produces more blood during the first trimester to aid your developing pregnancy, your kidneys have to work harder to filter any impurities and waste. As a result, you may need to pee more. It can be tempting to stop drinking water, but staying hydrated is important to help nutrients circulate in the body and manage any pregnancy constipation you might also experience. 

    Pregnancy sickness and nausea 

    Alongside needing to pee more often, feeling nauseous might have become part of your everyday life. While pregnancy sickness is sometimes referred to as morning sickness, you probably already know that vomiting in early pregnancy isn’t reserved for the morning it can happen at any time. Thanks, Mother Nature! This sickness and nausea is caused by the fluctuations in your hormones after you conceive. When you’re pregnant, you experience a surge in hormones such as estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). These support your pregnancy as your baby develops

    Symptoms of nausea and vomiting usually peak between 8 and 10 weeks,” says Dr. Allison K. Rodgers, reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician, and gynecologist, Fertility Centers of Illinois, US. “At this stage, most people will have pregnancy symptoms, although some won’t.”

    It can be difficult not to compare yourself or your experience to others during pregnancy. If you haven’t noticed any symptoms yet, you might feel worried, but try to remember that every pregnancy is different. If you’re concerned about any of your symptoms or a lack of them, reach out to your doctor. They will be able to answer any questions you might have.

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    Your questions answered

    What should I be feeling at 8 weeks pregnant? 

    While pregnancy sickness, tiredness, and mood changes are all common during early pregnancy, there’s no way of predicting how you’ll be feeling at 8 weeks pregnant. Everyone is different. 

    As your hormones change and fluctuate, you might be feeling more stressed or anxious than usual. To a degree, these feelings can be normal in pregnancy (and you’re certainly not alone in having them). Your estrogen and progesterone levels are naturally higher at this time, and this can take its toll. However, if you find that mood changes are affecting your day-to-day life or you’re worried about your mental health during pregnancy, speak to your doctor and try to be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to go through the motions without feeling guilty or embarrassed. Similarly, you can use an app like Flo to understand how your hormones can impact your mood. 

    Other pregnancy symptoms at 8 weeks can include:

    What happens at an 8-week pregnancy appointment?

    At 8 weeks pregnant, you might have already had your first prenatal appointment. It’s recommended that you call your doctor as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test. They usually recommend an appointment within a few weeks to help confirm the pregnancy (with a pregnancy test or ultrasound), review your medical history, and potentially perform screenings to assess your health. This can include a blood test to check your iron levels and establish your blood type. 

    Will you have a baby bump at 8 weeks? 

    Your baby is growing and developing at a rapid rate. But at 8 weeks pregnant, they’re still only the size of a kidney bean, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have a bump at this point. Most people report feeling a bump for the first time between 12 and 16 weeks. So, not long to go!

    Your 8 weeks pregnant checklist

    Early pregnancy can be exciting, but if you’ve found yourself worried or nervous about what’s to come, you’re not the only one. You may just be getting your head around the idea that you’re expecting, but a few lifestyle tips and tricks may make you feel a little better. 

    Do you still need to rest at 8 weeks pregnant? 

    Your body is undergoing some monumental changes at 8 weeks pregnant, so if you feel more tired than usual, that’s normal. As we’ve seen, your progesterone levels rise during pregnancy, which can leave you feeling sleepy. It might feel frustrating if you don’t have the same energy to see friends or go out, but “getting extra rest is really important,” says Dr. Rodgers. “Listening to your body when you are feeling tired is important during this time.” 

    Get enough iron 

    If you’ve already attended your first prenatal appointment, your doctor may have outlined some of the key vitamins and nutrients that will support you and your baby during pregnancy. They may also have recommended that you take an iron supplement, as this can help to promote healthy red blood cells in you and your baby. You can also find iron in leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli. 

    With this in mind, pregnancy can be a great time for you to switch up your diet to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need. You may opt for smaller, more frequent snacks and meals to combat nausea. If you’re ever unsure about the foods that will benefit you during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. 

    Can you still exercise? 

    If you’re an avid gym goer or sportsperson, or you enjoy a long walk, you might be curious as to whether you can continue doing the exercise you love at 8 weeks pregnant. The good news is that you absolutely can! In fact, exercise is encouraged in early pregnancy. It may help to reduce back pain, ease constipation, and strengthen your heart. Dr. Rodgers explains that you just need to do this safely and avoid contact sports and activities which could make you fall. Before you start any new exercise program when you’re pregnant, you should consult your doctor. 

    Then again, if you don’t have the energy for exercise at 8 weeks pregnant, it’s OK to take a break. Generally, people will start feeling better around the second trimester and can pick up their exercise then. 

    What to avoid 

    Sometimes knowing what isn’t recommended is just as helpful as knowing what you can be doing during early pregnancy. It might feel like you’ve been bombarded with lifestyle tips and advice at 8 weeks pregnant. The important thing to remember is that if you’re ever unsure, speak to your doctor. There’s no such thing as a silly question. 

    Your doctor may outline some of the foods and drinks you should avoid during pregnancy. Once you get a positive test, you shouldn’t consume alcohol, nicotine, or recreational drugs. Limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day, which is equivalent to a 12-ounce cup of coffee. Unpasteurized dairy, undercooked meat and eggs, and fish that are either uncooked or high in mercury can also be harmful during this time. But don’t worry — there are lots of delicious pregnancy-safe alternatives to enjoy. 

    When to consult a doctor at 8 weeks pregnant 

    At 8 weeks pregnant, you may have already had or be preparing for your first prenatal appointment. During this, your doctor may: 

    • Take a full health history, including your medical, surgical, family, and social history. Be prepared to list any medications you’re currently on (or have been on) and allergies. The history also includes an obstetric history (asking you about any previous pregnancies you’ve had). This may feel intrusive, but it’s helpful for your doctor to know if you’ve had a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus) in the past. If so, they may want to monitor you more closely as you go through your pregnancy. If you have experienced either of these in the past, it may be difficult to think back to it. Remember, your doctor is there to support you, so don’t be afraid to share your worries with them if you feel comfortable doing so.
    • Run some blood tests, which will also establish your blood type and check for anemia and other conditions. 
    • Calculate your due date. How do they do this? Your health care provider will calculate your baby’s due date 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. So tracking your periods can be helpful. You might see figures like 8/3 or 8+3 in your medical notes. This is because your health care provider will monitor your pregnancy in completed weeks. So 8/3 means eight weeks and three days.
    • Conduct a urine test to confirm your pregnancy. 
    • Suggest some lifestyle changes now that you’re pregnant. 

    You don’t need to wait until your appointment if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. At 8 weeks pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience: 

    This isn’t an exhaustive list and just an example of some of the changes you should look out for. Some of these can be a sign of miscarriage or other health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about the best next step for you. And if you’re ever worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider. 

    8 weeks pregnant: The takeaway

    8 weeks pregnant might feel like a milestone. You’ll likely have had or be preparing for your first prenatal appointment. You might also be considering how to tell your friends and family that you’re expecting. There are no rules around this, so do what feels right for you.

    If you’ve spent the time since you found out you were pregnant watching out for symptoms, then remember that no 2 pregnancies are the same. Some people will experience early signs of pregnancy from 4 or 5 weeks, while others won’t until much later. Rest assured that that’s perfectly normal at this point. What’s important is to listen to your body and reach out to your doctor with any questions or concerns.

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    History of updates

    Current version (05 July 2023)

    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US
    Written by Ella Braidwood
    Edited by Alice Broster

    Published (24 February 2019)

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