8th Week of Pregnancy: Baby Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care

8th Week of Pregnancy: What to expect

Congratulations! You are now 8 weeks into your pregnancy. Week 8 marks the completion of two whole months of carrying your little one inside your womb. There are only 32 more weeks to go. Your baby is 6 weeks old and is now transforming into a fetus from an embryo. A lot is happening with you and also your baby in this 8th week. This week, you may finally start to feel that you are pregnant. 

8th Week of Pregnancy: Baby Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care

Body of mother at week 8

By this week you are probably noticing that your clothes are starting to fit more snuggly. You may start to gain weight, but only by a couple of pounds at this point. Your uterus has started to expand to provide a cozy nest for your rapidly growing baby. Your breasts will start to enlarge as the milk-producing glands develop. Your breasts will also probably start to feel full and tender to touch. Your cervix will continue to soften throughout your pregnancy to prepare your body for childbirth. 

The joy of finally becoming pregnant is probably starting to give way to anticipation and anxiety, or even fear. Most women experience these feelings, so it would be completely normal to feel that way. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed then discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Common pregnancy symptoms in week 8

Your womb has now expanded to the size of a small lemon, but it is too small to show yet. However, you will continue to feel the symptoms of pregnancy. At week 8, your hormones are going into overdrive and it will heighten your sense of smell and lead to changes in your appetite. Some of the common pregnancy symptoms include

Sore breasts 

Your breasts are getting ready for breastfeeding and that is causing them to feel sore and tingly.

Fatigue

You are probably not being able to get enough sleep this week. The fluctuations in your hormones are causing your body to produce blood for the baby. The blood volume is rapidly increasing in your body. The levels of your blood pressure and blood sugar are also changing. 

Your body is working overtime and using more energy to provide for your fetus. All these changes in your body are making you feel exhausted and tired. You must try to get more sleep even though it may seem extremely difficult.

Morning sickness or nausea 

Be prepared for, at week 8, nausea could get very severe due to fluctuations of pregnancy hormones. Try to stay hydrated and munch on healthy snacks. Try to find the foods that you will be able to stomach as you may start to experience severe vomiting. To help combat morning sickness, most mothers suggest wearing Acupressure wristbands, eating Ginger, and getting vitamin B-6.

Pregnancy cramps

Cramping at this stage is very normal. It is caused by the stretching of your abdomen due to the expansion of your uterus. If you experience severe cramping, you should let your doctor know.

Constipation 

More than 50% of women experience constipation during pregnancy. The natural remedy, in this case, is to hydrate with lots of water and to consume a diet rich in fibrous fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid foods such as white grains that often lead to constipation. You may substitute your white rice for brown rice and chicken. You may consult your doctor for other remedies.

Strange dreams 

At week  8, vivid and weird dreams may become a part of your sleeping routine. Dreams could be a manifestation of the anxiety and fear that you are experiencing during your pregnancy. It is normal to have such dreams during pregnancy.

Increase in vaginal discharge

A new bodily fluid, known as Leukorrhea, is also introduced during this time. This vaginal discharge is thin and milky in texture. Estrogen increases the blood flow to your pelvic area and simulates the mucous membranes that produce this fluid. This discharge protects the vaginal birth canal from any bacterial infection. Refrain from washing it away.

Bloating and flatulence 

The hormones, called relaxin and progesterone, are trying to relax your muscles and gastrointestinal tract. In this stage, the food will move along slowly and this will lead to gassiness. You may want to relax when eating so that you don’t swallow too much air with your food which may form gas pockets in your intestine.

Spotting 

Unfortunately, blood often reminds any new mother-to-be of miscarriage. But at 8 weeks pregnant, spotting can also be caused by sex and other factors. Make sure you are consulting the doctor to understand if there are any complications. 

Food craving 

Weird food cravings, such as that of laundry starch, may be a sign of nutritional deficiency. Let your doctor know of such cravings and any food aversions.

If everything seems intimidating and overwhelming, try to calm yourself and remember that very soon everything will all be worth it. Most women start to feel better in their second trimester. Also, not experiencing any pregnancy symptoms at this stage is totally normal. Don’t worry because chances are you will start experiencing them very soon.

Size of your baby

Your little bundle of joy is now over 1.6 cm or approximately 0.63 inches in length. Your baby is approximately the size of a raspberry. Each day your baby will now be growing by almost a millimeter. 

Fetal development at week 8

With each passing day, your baby is now starting to look like the way it will be when both of you will finally meet at the hospital. Your baby’s heart is beating at around 160 beats per minute, almost twice your heart rate. Your baby has also started moving the limbs spontaneously, but you can’t feel them yet. 

The toes and the fingers of your baby are still slightly webbed. The tail of your baby is almost gone by now. The legs have started to lengthen but it is still a little early to distinctly recognize all the different parts. The fetus is still getting its required nourishment from the yolk sac and not from the placenta.

The upper body of your baby will develop at a faster pace than the lower body. By this week, the head of your baby will begin to uncurl. 

This week the retinas of your baby will begin to form, even though you won’t be able to see your baby’s eyes yet. The taste buds of your baby are also forming and soon it will have its very first meal. It is still a little early for the sex determination, but the boy or girl parts of your baby have started to develop. All of the essential organs of your baby will start to develop by the end of week 8. 

Pregnant belly at week 8

At this stage, you may start to show a little bit but not showing at all is also normal. By 8 weeks, your uterus has started to expand and it takes some mothers a little longer to show that on the outside. At this stage, the size of the pregnant belly doesn’t matter.

8 weeks ultrasound

You will probably have your very first prenatal check-up with your doctor, also known as an 8-week pregnancy appointment, during this time. This is when you will get to see your 8-week fetus for the very first time. You will get to see your baby’s tiny arms and legs on the ultrasound.

 Your doctor will likely draw your blood at this appointment and run multiple tests. The doctor will check the blood type of both the mother and the baby. If the mother’s blood type is negative while that of the baby is positive, the doctor will prescribe medication. The doctor will also check the hormone levels and blood cell levels of the mother. Your blood will also get tested for STDs, HIV along with other immunities. 

The doctor may also perform a Pap Smear test to rule out any infections or abnormality. Get ready to start peeing in a cup from now on, because from this appointment onwards the doctor will ask for your urine sample to test for UTIs and to keep a record of the protein levels in your urine.

Sex Life at week 8

You can continue your usual sex life throughout your pregnancy unless your doctor advises against it. However, you may experience light spotting after sex at 8 weeks.

Tips for week 8

Here are a few important tips for you to follow at this stage. 

Combat headaches 

You may start to experience pain above your neck and headaches due to the increase in blood volume. Consult your doctor and ask for pregnancy-safe options of Aspirin or Ibuprofen.

Ease into exercise and include squats

Begin exercising with a warm-up routine of about 15 minutes. Exercise moderately for the next five minutes and then follow that with a 5-minute cool-down routine. Slowly over the next few weeks try to achieve the recommended exercise minutes. You may add squats in your exercise routine. Squats will strengthen your thighs and help immensely during labor. Try holding the squat position for a maximum of 30 seconds and then repeat that five times.

Use SPF

Fluctuations and surges in hormones during pregnancy may cause dark spots on your skin. Around 50 to 70% of expecting mothers suffer from melasma during this stage. Wearing a hat and using sunscreen with SPF 50 may help to avoid this condition.

Include healthy carbs

Choose healthy carbohydrates that will replenish your energy levels and also provide nutrition to your baby. In your diet, you can add fresh fruits, dry fruits, vegetables, potatoes, beans, peas, and other healthy carbohydrates. Also, eat only those foods that you can stomach without vomiting.

Takeaway

Remember to schedule a week 12 prenatal appointment. Also, you have to take extra care of yourself at this time. In case of any complications or uneasiness, you should visit your doctor without causing any delays. 

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