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When you have been pregnant for 8 weeks, you are on the verge of completing two-thirds of your first trimester. You may still not be able to flaunt your baby bump at this point, but you will make your first visit to the obstetrician and gynaecologist. An ultrasound scan may also be recommended to determine the progress of your pregnancy. You will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time during the ultrasound scan!
Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 8
There has been a substantial amount of progress since week 7 in your baby. The baby is growing almost at a rate of 1mm per day. The formation of bones, spinal cord and intestine have begun too. Around this time, the retina starts to develop its pigment. The embryo looks more defined, and you can see where your baby’s limbs will be. Your baby would have also begun to develop a nose, lips and eyelids. The little protrusion in the spine or the tail is almost lost by week 8. Your baby’s heart rate is 150 to 170 times per minute.
What Is The Baby’s Size?
Your baby is still very tiny by week eight but rapid development and growth are happening with each passing day. When you are eight weeks pregnant, baby size is almost two centimetres long. The skin at this stage is still very transparent. Various internal and external organs begin to form too.
Common Body Changes
Your body changes during pregnancy, and you may notice following changes in your body by this time:
- Your breasts are growing and preparing for lactation.
- Your uterus is growing and pressing against your bladder, resulting in frequent urination.
- Your growing uterus may also cause cramping around your abdominal area.
- Increased blood supply to your breast results in varicose veins. Your areola may become darker than usual because the hormones oestrogen and progesterone cause an increase in pigmentation.
- The nipples become prominent and may secrete high-octane milk which is also called colostrum.
Symptoms Of Pregnancy At Week 8
You may experience the following symptoms at 8 weeks of pregnancy:
Increased sense of smell:
You may experience a heightened sense of smell as there is more blood rushing to your brain making your responses extra sharp. However, the odours or smells you may have never paid heed to might bother you now and could also trigger nausea.
Nausea and morning sickness:
You may feel nauseous around this time because of various factors such as stress, oestrogen, or a sensitive stomach.
You may feel soreness and tenderness in your breasts as they are becoming bigger and the getting ready for breastfeeding.
Constipation is very common during this time of the pregnancy as progesterone slows down the digestive process, making bowel movement difficult. Have lots of fluids to keep constipation at bay.
The feeling of fatigue:
Due to fluctuating hormones in pregnancy, you may feel fatigued and tired. Adequate rest is very important for an expecting mother.
You may experience cramping at around 8 weeks of pregnancy. It is very common as your abdominal muscles and uterus are expanding.
Your Belly At 8 Weeks Of Pregnancy
Your belly may show a little or not show at all; it depends on many factors. In case you are carrying twins or more babies, then your belly may show by 8 weeks. However, in a single pregnancy, you may have a slight or no belly bump at all. The uterus and abdominal muscles are expanding, so this time, a mommy-to-be is expected to gain around half a pound (0.2 kg) per week. This means by the end of week eight, you may have gained 4 to 6 pounds (1.8 – 2.7 kg). But if you are experiencing nausea and morning sickness, then you may not have gained this much weight. In case you feel concerned about your weight gain or belly size, it is recommended to get in touch with your doctor.
8 Weeks Ultrasound
At around 8 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor may recommend your first ultrasound scan. You will get to see your baby for the first time during the scan. It will be a little difficult for you to figure out your baby, as it is too tiny at this juncture. But you may be able to listen to the heartbeat of your baby. Your baby is moving in your belly; little hands and toes are forming too.
What To Eat?
If you are battling with morning sickness, then you may develop an aversion to food. But it is very important to pay heed to your diet and nutrition in pregnancy. You should opt for small, frequent meals rather than be filling your tummy in one meal. It is also recommended to include loads of fluids in your diet to protect yourself from getting dehydrated. Your 8th-week pregnancy food should include the following:
- Your diet should include 3 to 4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables as they have high fibre content and can prevent constipation. Do not eat preserved or packed fruits and vegetables as they have high sugar and salt content.
- Cereals and grains should be added to your diet. It is recommended to opt for whole grains instead of refined ones. Include starchy food such as rice in your diet as it will provide you with the energy needed to fuel your baby’s growth.
- You should also include protein-rich foods as they are the building blocks that will be needed to make the baby grow. These foods include chicken, lean meat, fish and eggs. The vegetarian moms-to-be can opt for pulses to compensate for their daily protein intake.
- It is important to add dairy products to meet the growing calcium demand in pregnancy. Milk, curd, cheese, etc., should also be included in your diet.
- You should also take any vitamin supplements that may be recommended by your doctor. Usually, calcium and folic acid supplements are recommended.
Tips & Care
It is important for the mom-to-be to be careful about her health all the time. Following are some dos and don’ts that are recommended in week 8 of pregnancy:
- Have light and frequent meals to avoid nausea.
- Keep yourself well hydrated by having plenty of fluids.
- Don’t eat spicy food as it could cause heartburn
- Don’t take medicines without a prescription from your doctor as this could have an adverse reaction in your body.
What You Need to Shop
There might be a few things that you need to shop for around this time, such as:
- Pregnancy books: to keep you updated on each stage of pregnancy
- Comfortable bras: for the breast tenderness and the increased breast size
- Good moisturisers: to ease the increasing dryness
- Comfortable pants: for the increasing belly size. You can opt for loose, stretchable pants and trousers to accommodate the constantly changing size of your belly
With each passing day, you are experiencing new feelings and emotions. You are crossing new benchmarks of pregnancy with each week. Your baby is growing and making remarkable developmental changes by 8 weeks of pregnancy.
Read this article in Arabic: الحمل في الأسبوع الثامن