Week 8 pregnant
This week your baby is around 1 cm long and can officially be called a foetus. The valves in your baby’s heart are present and the passages, which will help air flow from the throat to the lungs, have formed. Baby’s fingers, toes, lips, eyelids and legs are becoming more clearly defined.
What a big week this is. Only 4 more weeks to go before the end of your first trimester! It’s still really important to be careful about limiting your exposure to any toxins, viruses or chemicals, which could potentially harm the baby as it’s forming. You don’t need to live in a bubble, but just be aware and focus on staying well and healthy.
How do I look?
You still won’t look like you are pregnant when you are 8 weeks in, but you will certainly feel like it. Pregnancy hormones will be working overtime in supporting your baby’s growth and helping establish itself even more firmly into the wall of your womb. Your breasts are likely to have increased in size and weight and your waistline is quickly disappearing. You may often feel dizzy or lightheaded, not as decisive as you usually are, or just a little vague. You can put all this down to the normal symptoms of early pregnancy.
What’s in the fridge?
This week you are still likely to feel sick and turned off by the thought of eating particular foods. Some experts say this is nature’s way of protecting your baby from potentially harmful foods. Give into food cravings if you’re having them, no matter how odd they may seem.
Some women actually crave non-edible foodstuffs like chalk, sand and even mud. Obviously, it’s worth putting boundaries around your cravings if some things start to look too tempting to resist.
When you are 8 weeks pregnant you could also find your tolerance for exercise isn’t what it used to be. You may find yourself getting breathless or just tiring more easily. This may be the time to think about changing your exercise programme to something that is less strenuous and with a lower impact. It’s still important to move every day and incorporate some exercise and activity into your daily routine. Women who gain excessive pregnancy weight can have more difficult deliveries and are at a greater risk of obstetric complications.
Your physical changes this week
- More food size comparisons this week, when your womb resembles the size of a grapefruit or a large orange. Normally it’s around the size of a small plum.
- Nausea may be your constant companion. About 80% of women in the 1st trimester of pregnancy will experience nausea to some degree. Try to avoid your blood sugar dropping too low by not missing meals, snacking between meals, and eating foods that are easy to digest. Don’t force yourself to eat what repels you, just because you think it’s healthy.
- You may be more aware of heaviness or a full feeling in your pelvis this week. It may feel worse after you’ve eaten a large meal or when you need to wee. There is still no outward sign that you are pregnant and your tummy is as flat as it usually is.
- You may be aware of your waistline getting a little thicker than normal. It’s not quite time to start wearing maternity clothes, but you could just be reaching for the elastic waist pants and skirts about now.
- More tiredness and wanting to lie down and rest. Some days you may not feel as if you’ve slept at all, or for long enough. You may yearn for night-time to come so you can climb back into bed. Afternoon lie-downs can be very restorative, so try to plan for a rest or some day-time sleep when you can.
- You could become aware of some lower back pain from week 8 onwards. This may be something you’ve never experienced before your pregnancy, and is usually a result of pressure from your enlarged womb on your lower spine. Back pain comes and goes throughout pregnancy and is influenced by the elevated levels of hormones.
Your emotional changes this week
- You might seriously doubt if you are pregnant this week, or wonder if it’s all in your imagination. You still may not have had your first antenatal appointment so you are relying on your symptoms to convince you. Be patient. Week 8 is as important as any of the others and your baby has developedso much in the 6 weeks since you conceived.
- You could be feeling moody and irritable. It is also normal to have mood swings and not tolerate people or situations as well as you usually do. It can be hard, feeling as if you need to explain why you aren’t your usual self to others. This is especially true if you’ve chosen to keep the news of your pregnancy quiet for a while longer.
- You might find yourself thinking about the baby as a little person, what sex it will be and even baby names. Thinking about the impact the baby will have on your life will occupy your quieter moments.
Your baby’s changes this week:
- This week your baby can officially be called a foetus. This particular label will continue for the rest of your pregnancy until birth, when it’s finally known as “My Baby” or by the name you’ve chosen. Around this time, some couples make up a nickname for their foetus. Be careful though, it can be very hard to stop using those little terms of endearment once they stick!
- Your baby is around 1 cm long this week and is finally losing its little tail. But it still looks like it is all head, with a big forehead and a little body. Don’t worry though, in the next few weeks it will lengthen and those limbs that look so tiny now will grow and take on shape.
- This week your baby develops a tip on the end of its nose. Its fingers, toes, lips, eyelids and legs are becoming more clearly defined. Its eyes look to be positioned very far apart and more to the side of the face than where they will eventually be.
- In week 8 the valves in your baby’s heart are present. The passages, which will help air flow from the throat to the lungs, have formed and there are small definitions on their paddle-like feet and hands where their toes and fingers will be.
- This week your baby is making little involuntary movements, though these are so small you won’t be conscious of them. Your little foetus is still in a C shape, similar to a kidney bean that flickers and jumps around inside your womb.
- Your baby’s bones are starting to form and they can bend their tiny arms at the elbows and wrists.
Hints for the week
- Consider being fitted for a comfortable bra that will support your enlarged breasts. It’s too early for a maternity/feeding bra at this stage, but do take the time to be measured by an expert.
- Avoid having marathon days when you keep going from morning to night. Make careful decisions about how much you take on and, if possible, rest when you’re feeling tired.
- Consider buying a supportive pregnancy pillow, which you can use until you deliver. Long, rectangular pillows can be great for supporting an enlarging tummy and alleviating early pregnancy back pain.
- Do some research into who you want as your healthcare provider through your pregnancy. You have the option of using a midwife-based scheme or an obstetrician. What you choose may also depend on the type of health insurance you have. Speak with friends who’ve had a baby, read what you can, and make mutual decisions with your partner to include their wishes.
Week 9 is next!