At 8 weeks pregnant, you may find yourself feeling like you have a secret identity! Your “mummy mode” will be activated.
You’ll constantly be thinking about what you can eat, how you’re feeling, and what your future baby will be like. But, even though so much activity is happening inside your mind and body during pregnancy week 8, you will still look completely normal to the outside world (unless they notice your frequent trips to the bathroom or increased sense of smell!).
Your trademark baby bump will appear soon, but you have other things to focus on for the moment! Take a look at this quick guide, which will tell you everything you need to know about week 8 pregnancy.
8 weeks pregnant: Mom’s eyes? Dad’s nose?
Your little one has grown so much in 8 weeks! Pregnancy flies by fast, and before you know it you’ll be holding your munchkin in your arms. When you finally meet him, you’ll be able to clearly see what his mouth looks like, or what colour eyes he has. But for now, you’ll have to just wait, even though he has already developed several of these physical features! At 8 weeks pregnant, this is what your baby will look like:
- About half an inch long and growing by a millimetre every day!
- Ears, a nose, a mouth, and eyes – complete with eye colour and eyelids – are all beginning to form.
- The gender is already developed, but the sex organs haven’t grown enough for anyone to be able to tell yet.
- The tailbone has disappeared.
- The internal organs are all growing fast, with the intestines taking the lead.
- All the fingers and toes have formed, but they are webbed together for the time being.
- The first neural pathways are beginning to form between the brain and the spinal cord.
- The heart is beating at a rate twice as fast as yours!
8 weeks pregnant: Say goodbye to skinny jeans
With all this incredible growth going on inside you at 8 weeks pregnant, you are going to notice some changes in how you feel! By now, morning sickness is probably a part of your daily routine (unless you are one of the lucky 25% who don’t experience this unpleasant side effect). But there will most likely be some new issues that you will have to deal with during week 8 pregnancy. Some of the most common changes will be:
- Continued breast growth, at this point possibly forcing you to go up a bra size
- Exhaustion caused by higher progesterone levels, and possibly by lack of sleep if you frequently have to get up in the night to pee
- More vaginal discharge than before, due to increased blood flow around the reproductive organs
- Headaches because of increased blood volume, a normal side effect of pregnancy
- Slight weight gain (by just a few pounds) is possible, but more noticeably, abdominal swelling/bloating, which is caused by your uterus growing from fist-sized to grapefruit-sized and filling with amniotic fluid
With all these physical changes, pregnancy week 8 might just be a great excuse to go shopping!
8 weeks pregnant: Doctors visits and finally, your first look!
By 8 weeks pregnant, you should have already made your first visit with a midwife or doctor, where they explained some basic information about pregnancy and told you which prenatal vitamins you should be taking. Now it will be time for you to book another appointment, which can take place anytime from being 8 weeks pregnant to 12 weeks pregnant. A lot of very important steps will be made during the booking appointment or first midwife appointment, such as:
- Discussing your diet and nutrition to make sure that everything is healthy for the baby
- Learning pelvic and floor exercises that will help your body keep up with your growing little one
- Some antenatal screening tests to check that everything is on track
- General education about how to deal with labour, how to breastfeed, what your maternity benefits will be like, and where you could give birth
- Looking for any potential risks or concerns, either from family history, your medical background, or working conditions
- Urine protein tests
- Glucose tests to check for pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes
- Setting the date for your first ultrasound, also known as the dating scan, that will check your baby’s development and also determine with more accuracy when your due date is.
At eight weeks pregnant, your embryo is still very small, but seems to take an inordinate amount of energy from you! Remember that your body is working extremely hard to create a new life, and exhaustion is a completely normal part of this process. Many women find it helpful to take 10 to 15 minute walks during the day to find their second wind. You’ll want to avoid excess caffeine, so exercise is one of your most valuable resources. Though you probably want to lie down more than anything, staying active throughout your pregnancy will help keep your energy levels stable.
By 8 weeks pregnant, you are probably just aching to see your little one for the first time. (And also just…well, aching.) Don’t worry, you’ll get to meet him or her very soon! For now, just focus on taking care of yourself by staying active, eating nutritious foods, and getting enough rest. Your body’s got work to do!