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8 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development

 

At this point in the first trimester, it can feel like your pregnancy revolves around food, specifically what you can keep down (not much!) and what’s making you feel nauseated (so many things!). You might also feel your pants getting a little tighter and your head could be pounding with pregnancy-related headaches. Here’s what else you can expect during your eighth week of pregnancy. 

Baby at eight weeks pregnant

Your baby is growing like crazy, now measuring ½ - ⅔ inch and about the size of a raspberry. As facial features like the lips, nose, eyelids, and ears, and back begin to take shape and shift into place, s/he’s looking more like a tiny human and less like an alien every day.

Your baby's starting to move around, but because s/he's so small, you can’t feel these movements, and you won't for a few more weeks. An ultrasound could detect a tiny, rapidly beating heartbeat fluttering away at 150-170 beats a minute. That’s twice as fast as your heart!

Your body at 8 weeks pregnant

Your uterus has nearly doubled in size and is the reason your pants may be starting to fit you a little more tightly. Its increased size is also the reason you’re probably making so many trips to the bathroom; its growth has it sitting directly on your bladder! This symptom will continue for the next few weeks and then you'll get some much-needed relief. 

week 8 pregnancy embryo
Weekly development of a human embryo at 8 weeks pregnant.

If this is your first pregnancy, you’re probably not showing yet. Moms who’ve already had a child will show sooner, thanks to more stretched out, err relaxed. stomach muscles. You might be wondering about pregnancy weight gain. At eight weeks pregnant, you might have gained a pound or two. It’s also possible that you’ve lost weight thanks to morning sickness and food aversions. A small amount of weight loss during the first trimester isn’t usually cause for concern, but speak to your doctor if you’re worried. In the first trimester, weight gain of one to four pounds is considered normal for women who had a healthy pre-pregnancy weight. 

You might also be experiencing some aches or pain in your lower abdomen or at your sides as your uterus expands, and you may continue to experience this tightening of the uterus throughout your pregnancy. It’s nothing to worry about, but if you ever experience any bleeding call your doctor.

Eight weeks pregnant ultrasound

An ultrasound at eight weeks will give you a peek at your baby’s development. Your little’s tiny body and oversized head can look out of proportion, and you might notice some tiny flickers of movement. Depending on the direction your baby is facing, you might have a view of your little’s face with its developing eyes and nose. You might also see your baby’s growing arm buds and legs.

How big is my baby at 8 weeks pregnant?

a pod of peas, symbolizing the size of a 8 week embryo

At 8 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a pepper, on average measuring at 0.6 inches long and weighing on average at 0.4 ounces.

Eight weeks is how many months pregnant? 

At this stage in your pregnancy, you're two months (2m0w) pregnant.

Common symptoms at 8 weeks pregnant

Here are some of the most common symptoms women report at eight weeks:

  • Morning sickness: Many women find that morning sickness is one of the worst symptoms at eight weeks pregnant. Sipping ginger tea or eating some candied ginger may help settle your stomach. Nibbling on crackers throughout the day and not permitting your stomach to be totally empty works for many women too. Try to eat frequent small portions of bland foods to keep your stomach as happy as possible. 
  • Exhaustion or fatigue: First-trimester pregnancy fatigue can hit you like a ton of bricks, making it hard to get off the couch and leaving you desperate for a midday snooze. Your body is working overtime right now, so some exhaustion is to be expected, right? Here are some ideas for getting through it when napping is not an option.  
  • Headaches: Headaches of various types can happen now and throughout pregnancy, caused by tension, food sensitivity, clogged sinuses, and/or changing hormone levels. Pregnancy headaches can be intense: about one in five women have a migraine in pregnancy. 
  • Breakouts: Pregnancy-related acne might appear in the first trimester (although conversely, some women report pregnancy improves their skin!). Speak to your doctor before using any acne treatments you used pre-pregnancy, as they might not be known to be safe for your developing baby. Benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, and erythromycin are considered safe to use during pregnancy, but avoid products with salicylic acid and don’t go anywhere near Accutane (isotretinoin) which has been shown to increase the chance of miscarriage or birth defects in babies.
  • Sore and tender breasts: This one’s not going anywhere. Shop for comfortable sports bras in a size up from your regular size for essential support.
  • Constipation and a sluggish digestive system: With pregnancy hormones are slowing everything down and your expanding uterus is expanding into the digestive track’s real estate, things can get backed up. Do your very best to eat more fiber, drink more water, and get some exercise (we know all of those things can be hard to do right now!).  
  • Heartburn and indigestion: These are both unpleasant symptoms and unfortunately can linger throughout your pregnancy. Check out these tips for minimizing heartburn and indigestion.

Pregnancy checklist at eight weeks pregnant 

Although many women rush to call their healthcare provider the moment they find out they're pregnant, it’s quite likely you haven't actually seen your doctor or midwife yet. If you’re heading to your doctor this week, you’re probably wondering what to expect. It’s almost certain that they will take some blood for a complete workup. Some of the tests they’ll run on your blood include:

  • A complete blood count (CBC) to check your iron and screen the presence of any infections
  • Screening for previous exposure to hepatitis-B, varicella (chicken pox), and rubella
  • A blood-type check and Rh-factor test
  • A screening test for syphilis

Now is not the time to diet! Instead, focus on eating healthfully throughout your pregnancy so that your baby receives the best possible nutrition. Prenatal vitamins provide vital support but they aren’t a substitute for nutritious food. But don’t worry if you can’t make every meal full of superfoods. Aim to achieve a balanced diet as rich in green veggies, lean protein, and whole grains as possible, and avoid eating junk and empty calories.

If you commonly take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen for headaches and other minor aches, speak to your doctor and get his or her approval to continue this usage during pregnancy. Acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) has long been considered safe to take during pregnancy. Recent research suggests that repeated, long-term use of acetaminophen during pregnancy might be linked to an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the child, especially when taken in the second and third trimesters. If you’re concerned and want to avoid taking medications during pregnancy, try lying down with a warm compress over the eyes, neck massage, or gentle exercise as alternative headache pain relievers.

Start thinking about when to tell your employer that you're pregnant. Many women choose to wait until the second trimester, but this depends greatly on your relationship with your boss and the atmosphere of your office.

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