By the eighth week, your baby is developing tiny fingers and legs. Your baby is now approximately 1.5 centimetres long – roughly the size of a raspberry – and is growing by around a millimetre each day.
Your baby at 8 weeks
This week, your baby will be developing his limbs, his taste buds are now developing and his number of brain cells will also be increasing every minute.
Also, by the eighth week, your baby’s eyes will be in the last stages of development, where they will start getting their colour. Their genitals will also start forming, although it’s still too soon to say whether it is a boy or a girl.
Apart from the limbs and these other external organs, the internal organs of your baby will be developing, too. Their intestines are starting to develop, and they will immediately start performing their functions and carrying waste as early as this week. Your baby’s heart is also growing stronger, and you will be able to hear it beating clearly at your next doctor’s appointment. Finally, even though you may not feel it, your baby at this stage will also be able to move his limbs.
Your body at 8 weeks
By the eighth week, you will likely be paying very close attention to your belly to see if there is any noticeable change. However, apart from a few of your clothes getting a little tight, you might not notice anything else.
Therefore, it is a good idea to start shopping for some stretchy clothes and perhaps get fitted for a bigger bra because your breasts will soon start growing larger.
It is okay to do light exercises at this time, along with any other activity you enjoy. Check with your doctor about the best exercises to do during this time to avoid straining your body too much. Also, if you notice that you are having trouble being comfortable when you sleep, try putting a pillow between your legs.
You should also be trying to eat healthily, including fruit and vegetables. The nutrients in your diet are what will drive your baby’s development – remember to take your prenatal vitamins daily. Remember to stay hydrated and stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs.
Finally, you should remember that your body is still adjusting to its new state. Your hormones are still going crazy, and this will make you experience a number of things, including:
- Sensitivity to smells: This is completely normal. It might have started earlier in the pregnancy, and might even continue to the last trimester. It is something that simply comes with the territory and every woman has to figure out ways to deal with it.
- Morning sickness: The early stages of pregnancy are known for making you prone to nausea and vomiting. There are several home remedies that can help with morning sickness. You can also talk to your doctor about stronger medication if it’s severe. Morning sickness usually goes away at the end of this trimester.
- Sensitivity to taste: You might notice that there are particular foods that suddenly taste awful, and it’s okay to stop eating them for a while.
- Diarrhoea: Slight diarrhoea is also quite common because your digestive system and hormones are changing so fast. Eat healthily and stay hydrated, and if the diarrhoea persists, talk to your doctor about it.
- Weight gain: By this week, you will notice slight weight gain and your clothes getting tighter.
- Abdominal cramps: Cramps and frequent urination are also common. If the pain is severe and is ongoing, you should see your doctor.
- Back pains: Your lower back might start to get sore. This is because your uterus is growing rapidly and straining your back muscles and bones as it does.
- Spotting: This should be light and infrequent at this stage. If you notice that you are bleeding more than expected, see your gynae.
- Fatigue: By the eighth week, you will be getting tired faster, even when performing simple tasks. This is nothing to worry about. However, if it is accompanied by fainting, then chat to your doctor. Rest as much as you can throughout the day.
Taking care of yourself during this time
By now, you should have started your prenatal visits. It is very important to keep all your appointments. Your doctor will need to stay up to date with the growth and development of your baby, and your progress.
Finally, your baby needs you to stay stress-free and relaxed. Try to avoid stressful situations whenever you can. It is a good idea to get extra support from pregnancy groups and friends. Share your experiences with them, but keep in mind that everyone will experience something different. Your main focus should be on keeping your body as healthy as possible.