It may be hard to believe, but you’ve been growing your baby for two months - what an accomplishment! Well technically…with the way doctors calculate your pregnancy with week 1 being your last menstrual period, you’ve been pregnant for a full six weeks but you are well over halfway through your first trimester.
Baby Growth at 8 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is about doubling in size each week and is now the size of a raspberry, 0.5 to 0.75 inches long. Talk about a growth spurt!
This week your baby’s physical features start to become more noticeable. Your baby’s arms and legs grow longer this week. Although they are growing, it will still be a few weeks before you see their cute little fingers and toes! Your baby’s tadpole appearance fades and they look more and more like a tiny human.
Although baby’s sex was determined at conception, their reproductive organs are starting to take shape this week. It is still too early to see on an ultrasound, but you can talk to your doctor about blood testing to find out the sex earlier. At-home tests let you find out the gender of your baby as early as 10 weeks, so start planning that gender reveal if you’re someone who can’t wait to find out the gender of your baby!
You and Your Body at 8 Weeks Pregnant
By the time you're eight weeks pregnant, your pregnancy symptoms will be in full swing. Although you may not have a baby bump yet, your uterus is growing and some of your clothes may pinch a little due to bloating. Most first time pregnancies don’t start to show until the end of the first trimester or late into the second trimester. However, if you had a previous pregnancy, you may start to show sooner!
Your surging pregnancy hormones may peak during this week, meaning that nausea may come in full force. It is hard to tolerate or keep certain foods down. Just do your best by eating small snacks and stay hydrated. Some women report lemon or ginger tea soothes a sour stomach or sucking on a hard candy between meals to keep the nausea at bay.
Since your hormones peak this week, you may feel emotional, and that’s okay! This is an exciting time in your life, but can be overwhelming at the same time. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it, whether that's from your partner or a family member. You can also reach out to a licensed provider, your mental health matters and is so important.
Typical 8 Week Pregnancy Symptoms
Since every woman and every pregnancy is different, you may experience no symptoms, or you may have started feeling them a few weeks ago.
These are some common symptoms you experience in week 8:
- Breast changes: This may be something you already noticed, but if not, this may happen soon! Your breasts become fuller and feel a little sore or tender in addition to darkening nipples.
- Frequent Urination: You may notice an increase in bathroom trips now. As your baby grows, this may continue throughout your pregnancy.
- Back pain: Your uterus grows and your muscles stretch, so back pain may be noticeable this week.
- Food aversions: Some foods may sound amazing right now, but others may increase your nausea. It’s common to have food aversions and you may see an increase this week. Don’t be alarmed if your favorite foods no longer appear palatable, most women’s food aversions disappear by the second or third trimester.
Pregnancy Week 8 Tips and Advice
It’s time to do some shopping! As your breasts become fuller, you need a more supportive bra for comfort. Consider stretchy, breathable cotton bras grow with you during your pregnancy. Some women even opt for a new nursing bra now.
While you’re out, find some healthy on-the-go snacks to take with you when you leave the house, in case you need something for nausea or become really hungry. Foods packed with protein keep your blood sugar stable and stave off nausea such as nut butters, hummus and veggies, or a protein bar.
Keep taking your prenatal vitamins, and if you haven't already, prepare for your first ultrasound appointment to see your baby for the first time. Call your provider to schedule an appointment, and ask what you should expect, so you can prepare for blood work or testing.
It’s okay if you feel a little overwhelmed now; preparing for your first OB appointment and seeing your little one for the first time is stressful. You may have so many thoughts racing through your mind, and that’s okay! Take some time for yourself and reach out for support if you need it.
This is such an exciting time and you’re doing great so far, momma!