At 8 weeks, you’re in the second month of your pregnancy and you’ve only got seven months to go. While it is apparent that you’ve still got some distance to go, you should also recognize the fact that you have come pretty far already.
By this time, you’re probably beginning to feel a slight tightening around the waist when you’re pulling on your favorite pair of jeans.
You’re slowly gaining some weight—nothing drastic though, and this is because your uterus is expanding gradually to accommodate your rapidly growing baby.
Around this time, your womb is around the size of a lemon and you would probably have missed your second period. Your breasts are probably feeling full and pretty tender and you may have some difficulty using your regular bras. You may also feel some tingling in your breasts but this shouldn’t alarm you.
You may not know it, but right now, there is a lot more blood in your body than there was before your pregnancy. Matter of fact, your blood volume might increase by up to 40-50%! As with other weeks, your body is constantly working on adjusting to these new conditions, so you might feel some discomfort.
Your Baby’s Development
Great news! Your baby begins to look more like a baby from this week (recall that last week, its form could be compared to a tadpole’s). Your baby has grown bigger from last week and would be around 1/2–3/4 inch long (1.5–2 centimeters).
This week, your baby is about the size of a raspberry.
Physical features would start to become more prominent and complex body systems and organs are not taking a break either—development continues.
The tadpole-like appearance is beginning to wear off, alongside the embryonic tail and some real straightening is already happening.
The arm and leg buds continue to grow longer while fingers and toes are beginning to form inside the paddle-like hand and feet that developed last week. Of course, the arms and legs aren’t flesh yet, they are cartilage.
Your baby’s digestive system is also beginning to develop, and there’s an interesting story here. The intestines are developing but there isn’t sufficient room within the embryo for this development to take place.
So, they relocate to the umbilical cord where there is sufficient space. When your baby grows big enough so that there is room, they would then move back and take their rightful place in its abdomen.
Facial features such as the nose and the upper lip are becoming pretty apparent and the tiny folds that you would find in the eyelids are developing.
Your baby’s ears are both developing inside of his head (the inner ear) and forming outside. The tongue is also developing and slowly but surely, the upper jaw and the mouth’s roof are coming together.
Your Body & Symptoms
Symptoms can be pretty inconsistent ranging from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. Therefore, you may still experience some symptoms that you did last week and you may have new ones too.
There is an extensive list of symptoms that may pop up during pregnancy, but keep in mind that you may not experience every single one of them. But if you’re curious, here are some that you’re likely to experience in pregnancy week 8:
You may not notice much of a difference in your body, in fact, your belly might still look pretty much the same. However, your uterus is beginning to grow. This natural process of uterine expansion can cause some cramping pain and result in some stretching.
The cramping occurs as a result of your abdominal ligaments stretching to accommodate your expanding uterus. There is also a possibility of abdominal discomfort from diarrhea, gas, and constipation, especially around this time.
It typically isn’t very severe, so if you’re experiencing severe pains that are constant and frequent, you should pay a visit to your doctor.
During pregnancy week 8, you may experience dizziness for a couple of reasons. First off, as usual, the hormones are not left out of this.
Pregnancy hormones may have some effect on the inner ear, causing interference with your hearing or balance which may, in turn, result in dizziness and vomiting.
They may also bring about relaxation and widening of your blood vessels, bringing about a reduction in blood pressure and with it, wave(s) of lightheadedness or dizziness.
Other causes of dizziness include dehydration that stems from drinking less than sufficient fluids, low blood sugar from an incomplete diet or not eating enough, sudden movements such as standing swiftly, and anemia (low iron level in the blood).
Dizziness can be helped by lying down and taking a rest as well and eating and taking a drink of water.
If your dizziness persists, you should see your doctor.
3. Breast Changes
You should have begun to notice changes in your breast by now because pregnancy hormones go to work on the breasts right away.
These hormones are responsible for preparing your body for your baby’s arrival and a steady increase in the size of your breast would indicate that the milk-making tissue is growing.
There may be some veins on the surface skin of your breast, this would be as a result of more blood flow to that area. The nipple and areola may darken considerably and you may feel soreness from time to time.
4. Unusual Dreams
You may experience some weird dreams, vivid stuff in fact, but it really is nothing out of the ordinary. It’s all part of the normal symptoms of pregnancy. These dreams could be as a result of anxiety or new thoughts—it might take a while to adjust to the reality of your pregnancy.
Measures To Begin To Take
By week 8, you shouldn’t be a stranger to various measures since you should have started right from week 1. This time, we’re only going to mention the ones that you should take super serious in addition to the mentions in previous weeks.
1. Regular Checkups
If you still haven’t scheduled a prenatal visit, then it’s getting long overdue and simply increasing the list of things that you’ve got to do.
You should see a healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms over. Some noteworthy mentions should be persistent headaches.
You might experience mild headaches from time to time due to an increase in your blood volume. However, if it gets persistent and very frequent, you should mention this to your doctor.
It isn’t a great idea to take medication during pregnancy except it is prescribed by your doctor. So, don’t go taking aspirins or ibuprofen for your headache except your doctor has given the green light. Most health providers are okay acetaminophen as a viable alternative.
Pregnancy does give you a particular glow, you may initially notice certain changes on your skin. Your once perfect and clear skin may begin to sport dark spots or melasma. In cases like this, you can always mention it to your health care provider and request a prescription.
2. Snack Healthily
At this point, you may feel nauseous very often and probably have difficulty keeping food down. But you should remember that it is essential that you eat, taking your food in small quantities instead of all at once works great.
Also, healthy snacking is advised. Snacks can help you stay alert and keep empty stomach nausea at bay. Constant snacking would also give you the required energy you need throughout the day, especially if you’re having difficulty keeping actual food down.
Dizziness from low blood sugar is not left out of the mix either, and snacks are a great way to avoid this. Some healthy snacks such as hummus and whole wheat pita chips or apples and peanut butter are great choices.
Essential Purchases For Pregnancy Week 8
By week 8, you would probably need to do a bit of shopping and for good reason too. Your stomach isn’t protruding just yet, but there are certain subtle changes that you would have noticed. For instance, your clothes may begin to feel a bit tight—especially the slim fit ones.
This calls for a visit to the store, but not the maternity department just yet. You can buy new pants that are considerably freer and probably with stretchy waists so that you feel more at ease.
You might need to “splurge” a bit on underwear too. Your regular bras may be getting tight already and the pressure on your sore breasts might just be a nightmare. You can opt for a new size that you may not need an upgrade for too soon or perhaps a style that you would be more comfortable in.
You would definitely be feeling more fatigued and less inclined to exercise, but recall that in order to stay in great shape, you need to keep at it.
Also, if you notice any symptom out of the ordinary, your first call should go to your doctor. Follow all the guidelines that your doctor should have enlightened you on.
And if there’s a specific task your doctor has prescribed for you, don’t slack! Remember that the health of your baby and yours as well depend on it.