Congratulations! You’re 8 weeks pregnant. Things are really revving up now.
There’s a lot happening for both you and your baby this week. Keep reading to learn more about all the changes in your body and in baby, plus find out when you need to call your doctor.
You may start to notice that your clothes fit more snugly as you move toward the end of your first trimester. Weight gain is typically only a couple of pounds, if any, at this point, but your uterus is slowly expanding to make room for your baby’s rapid development.
Your breasts may also feel full and tender, perhaps even tingly.
Blood volume increases
Changes and discomforts, even at this early stage, are happening as your body adapts to its new demands. But it’s amazingly up to the challenge.
Your little one might already be half an inch long, or 11 to 14 millimeters. They grow up so fast, right?
By now, your baby looks more and more like the newborn you’ll bring home from the hospital. Their body has sprouted tiny arms and legs, fingers and toes, bones, and muscles. The embryonic tail is almost gone.
Their unique facial features continue to develop along with all of their inner workings and organs.
Your baby’s upper jaw and nose are beginning to take shape, which means their facial features won’t be a mystery much longer! Little mounds are present where the outer shell of their ears will be, and eyelid folds now partially cover their eyes.
And though you can’t feel it yet, your little one is constantly moving in fits and starts.
It’s not just all physical growth either. Nerve cells in their brain are beginning to form early neural pathways and your baby’s sense of smell is starting to take shape!
8 weeks pregnant: What to expect
- You may start to feel bloated, and your breasts may start to grow.
- Baby’s unique facial features continue to develop, along with all of their inner workings and organs.
- Morning sickness may still happen this week.
- You’ll want to keep eating well and being safely active.
- If you have any symptoms that are out of the ordinary (read on for “ordinary” below!), talk with your doctor.
You may have found out that you’re carrying twins (or more!). By the end of week 8, your babies will measure around half an inch long.
They’re also starting to look more like real babies. Their arms are lengthening, their ears are forming, and even their upper lip and nose have sprouted out.
You’ll need even more nutrients than someone carrying one baby. These include:
Some women carrying multiples have more intense symptoms and a higher likelihood of complications. Talk with your doctor if you feel anything is awry or have questions.
By 8 weeks pregnant, you’re probably no stranger to pregnancy symptoms. Symptoms you’ve already been experiencing may continue during this week, and some new ones may join the mix. Common pregnancy symptoms for your eighth week of pregnancy include:
While it’s called morning sickness, the truth is that many people experience nausea throughout the entire day during pregnancy. (It may help to hang onto the hope that this frequently gets better within the next 3 to 4 weeks.)
Morning sickness is caused by rising hormone levels, which frequently peak around week 10 of your pregnancy.
If morning sickness feels more intense than you expected, tell your doctor. It can be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum — especially if:
- You can’t even keep fluids down. o
- Your urine is dark yellow, a sign of concentration due to lack of fluid intake.
- You’re not urinating at all.
Eating small, frequent meals can help regulate blood sugar and ease nausea. Snacking on ginger and peppermint or consuming more protein may also help you feel better.
Because you may be feeling nauseous and not keeping down all the food you eat, it’s not uncommon to have minimal weight gain at this point in your pregnancy.
In fact, some women lose a small amount of weight due to morning sickness. Your doctor will want to keep track of this to make sure you and your growing baby are staying healthy.
Chances are you’ve already been feeling pretty tired. Thanks to high progesterone hormone levels and the extra blood flow of nutrients to the baby, fatigue will likely continue this week.
Make sure to rest when you need to. Getting some light exercise and consuming a balanced diet can help your body’s energy supply, too.
Sore or tender breasts
The hormones helping your body grow a baby are also helping your breasts to prepare for breastfeeding or chestfeeding. This means that your breasts are growing and more blood is flowing to them, which can be uncomfortable.
If you wear a bra, your old ones might not be fitting properly. Finding new ones that accommodate your changing breasts may help with the pain and tenderness. Lotion or oil may help the stretching skin feel more comfortable, too.
Progesterone is a hormone helping your baby grow safely inside you, but it’s also a muscle relaxer.
One muscle it can impact is the lower esophageal valve, which separates your esophagus from your stomach. This can mean that you find a bit of stomach acid coming up your esophagus, especially if you choose a reclined position after eating.
To help with heartburn, you may want to try:
- eating smaller meals
- sleeping in a more upright position
- avoiding lying down right after a meal
This symptom may stick around for a while — it’s common throughout the second and third trimesters, too. If it’s very uncomfortable, you can speak with your doctor about medications.
Pregnancy hormones may be kicking your kidneys into high gear, causing them to produce more urine.
If frequent bathroom visits are getting to be too much, you may want to reduce the amount of caffeine you’re drinking. You may also want to try going to the bathroom right before heading to bed for the night to maximize the amount of time before you need a bathroom break while sleeping.
As exhausted as you are, you might find yourself up frequently at night. Difficulty sleeping during pregnancy can be due to hormone surges, the need to urinate, heartburn, nausea, or discomfort from other pregnancy symptoms.
You may want to try meditating and not using electronic devices right before bedtime. Pregnancy pillows can also make your bed more comfortable as pregnancy progresses.
There’s a broad range of symptoms from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. If anything feels extreme or makes you unusually uncomfortable, call your doctor to get some reassurance or suggestions.
You may be concerned if your pregnancy symptoms seem to disappear or change unexpectedly.
While there is a chance that a sudden change in pregnancy symptoms can signal a miscarriage, it can also be the result of the typical hormonal fluctuations that come with pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for morning sickness and other early pregnancy symptoms to decline or change as the end of the first trimester approaches.
If you’re worried that something is wrong, you should reach out to a healthcare professional. They can offer reassurance, diagnostic testing, and helpful advice. You should let them know during your prenatal appointments what symptoms you’re experiencing and if symptoms have changed.
As you navigate your eighth week of pregnancy, your baby is growing by leaps and bounds, so you’ll want to consider:
- attending or scheduling your first prenatal medical visit
- exercising regularly
- eating healthy (avoiding foods your doctor advises against)
- avoiding alcohol and smoking
Your first prenatal checkup
If you haven’t had one, it’s time to get your first prenatal checkup. You’ll want to schedule an appointment with an OB-GYN or midwife if you haven’t yet.
At the appointment, you’ll likely give a urine sample to confirm pregnancy, provide your medical history, get a pelvic exam, and discuss your thoughts and concerns.
You may even have an early ultrasound to measure your baby’s growth and heart rate and determine their due date.
It’s helpful to bring a list of questions to this appointment. There isn’t a right or wrong thing to ask. Here are some suggestions:
- Are the medications or supplements I’m taking still OK?
- What types of exercises are safe during pregnancy?
- Are there any activities or foods I should avoid?
- Is my pregnancy considered high risk?
- What tests should I consider throughout my pregnancy?
- What should I do if I feel that something is wrong?
Exercise in the first trimester
Exercise is another way you can take care of your body and baby during this stage. If you were active before conceiving, it’s usually safe to continue most of your usual activities, but you’ll want to check with your doctor. A healthcare professional may suggest alternatives for activities with a high risk of falling or injury.
You may want to consider adding some exercises for your pelvic floor, like Kegel exercises, to your workout routine.
Eating healthy in the first trimester
Part of healthy eating during pregnancy is remembering to take a prenatal vitamin. You can ask your healthcare professional for recommendations during your first checkup. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re drinking enough water.
Raw fish, unpasteurized milk products, and deli meats are generally not advised during pregnancy. Your healthcare professional may also speak to you about reducing the amount of caffeine you’re consuming.
Sudden loss of symptoms doesn’t always mean there’s something amiss with your pregnancy. In fact, sore breasts and nausea can come and go.
That said, if you feel different or have some other reason for concern, call your doctor. Signs of a miscarriage can include anything from vaginal spotting or bleeding to cramping or passing tissue from the vagina.
There may also be no signs of miscarriage. Some people discover a miscarriage at their first ultrasound appointment.
Researchers estimate that
The situation can feel quite devastating, but know that you’re not alone in experiencing this. More often than not, miscarriages are caused by chromosomal anomalies and are in no way under your control.
The good news: Once your baby reaches 8 weeks, your miscarriage risk lowers to around
That just about sums up week 8. Continue eating well, abstaining from smoking and drinking alcohol, and safely being active.
Consider keeping a journal about your pregnancy. Snap a few photos and jot down notes to remember this special time in your life. It may not feel like it now, but the next 32 weeks will go by in a flash.
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