8 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & What To Expect

8 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & What To Expect

Congratulations - you’re 8 weeks pregnant! Your baby has now gone from an embryo to a fetus. (1) You, on the other hand, may have gone from a productive member of society to a sleep-motivated ball of emotions - or maybe you don’t feel pregnant at all. (They’re both normal!) Big changes are happening regardless, and being prepared for what week 8 may hold can help you get through it. Keep reading to learn about common symptoms at 8 weeks pregnant, what your baby is doing in there, and more. 

What Are The Common Symptoms At 8 Weeks Pregnant?

Even if it’s not apparent on the outside yet, your body is changing. Rapidly. Your uterus is around the size of a lemon by week 8 and the placenta is gearing up to attach itself to the walls of your womb. Hormones are on overdrive helping your body prepare for future growth and childbirth. Unfortunately, those hormones can cause a slew of unpleasant symptoms. 

  • Nausea - Morning sickness doesn’t just happen in the morning. Saltines may be your new best friend. 
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Breasts 
  • Mood swings - You can expect the emotional roller coaster to slow down in a few weeks. 
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Cravings and aversions
  • Cramping - Your uterus is stretching and growing so some cramping is normal. Contact your care provider if cramping is severe. 
  • Bloating, gas, and constipation - Pregnancy hormones can slow digestion. If this begins to make you uncomfortable, allow yourself to - ahem - release  gas as often as possible. Laying on your stomach can help. (Enjoy that while you can!)

Don't worry, not all pregnancy symptoms are bad! “Pregnancy glow” is a real thing - keep your eye out for shinier hair this week.


(2)

How Is The Baby Developing At 8 Weeks?

Your sweet little fetus is around 16mm ong this week - that’s about the size of a raspberry! Although they haven’t quite taken the shape of a baby yet and still somewhat resemble a tadpole, their head is beginning to uncurl from their chest. The upper part of an 8 week old fetus’s body develops quicker than the lower half, so your baby’s arms are longer than its legs. In fact, their legs are just beginning to grow longer. Knees, thighs, ankles, and toes have yet to develop - but soon!  (2) Facial features are becoming more distinct this week and you should now be able to hear baby’s heartbeat with a doppler! (3) 

What Prenatal Care Should You Consider At 8 Weeks?

Prenatal care is important, even early on. First trimester prenatal care typically includes going over any medical history, determining a due date, physical exams, and possibly some lab work. Blood tests may be done to confirm blood type, including your Rh status, check for anemia, and check for the presence of any infections. Prenatal genetic screening may also be offered around the 8 week mark. This can be done by a simple blood test and could detect some genetic abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. You may also be asked to provide a urine sample to check for urinary tract infections, which are common in pregnancy. These early appointments are a good time to bring up any concerns you may have about being pregnant, if any. It is important to feel comfortable with your OB GYN or midwife that is seeing you for your regular visits. It is not uncommon to switch providers early on if you feel it is not a good fit. 


(4)

How Can You Manage Morning Sickness At 8 Weeks?

If you’re experiencing morning sickness at 8 weeks, you’re not alone. About 70% of expecting moms battle “morning” sickness. Who came up with that name, anyway? This nausea can last all day for some. This lovely pregnancy symptom can be due to hormones, dips in blood sugar, blood pressure fluctuations, or metabolism changes. Nausea can be amplified by stress, anxiety, heat, motion, and even being tired. You may have realized that the smell of certain foods might do it for you too. 


Luckily, there are a few things you can do to try and manage morning sickness. 

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently. Aim for six small meals throughout the day. This makes it easier for your body to digest and keeps your metabolism more consistent. 
  • Don’t skip meals - even if you’re having food aversions. 
  • Focus on nutrient dense foods. 
  • Eat a couple of crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. 
  • Try ginger tea or candy if your trusty saltines aren’t doing the trick. 
  • Stay hydrated!

(5)

What Lifestyle Changes Should You Consider At 8 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby is extremely vulnerable at 8 weeks pregnant. All of their major organs and systems are developing rapidly during the first trimester. Exposure to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and toxic substances could severely impact their quality of life and development. If you consume any of the above, now is the time to quit. (1)


8 weeks pregnant is also a good time to begin a prenatal exercise regimen. Keeping your body fit while you prepare for childbirth will not only make carrying a baby easier, but it can make you feel better too! Talk to your doctor about what exercises are appropriate for each stage of pregnancy. 


Eating nutritious foods is also more important now. Don’t think “eating for two”, think “nutrients for two”. Load up on protein, vitamins, and fiber. 

What Emotional Changes Might Occur At 8 Weeks Pregnant?

Mood swings may feel more like a mood pendulum sometimes - bouncing back and forth between “so happy I could cry” and “why am I crying?”. This is so, so normal. (Thank you hormones). Prioritize self care during this time and lean on your partner or other loved ones for support. 

Conclusion

You’ve made it to week 8 of your pregnancy, marked by nausea, mood swings, and gas… Ah, the joys of pregnancy. Only 7 months to go - but don’t blink, it’ll go by faster than you think. Before you know it, you’ll be holding a newborn in your arms thinking about how they used to be a raspberry sized tadpole in your belly. For that newborn stage and beyond, you can count on Dreamland Baby to help your baby get the sleep that they need to grow even bigger. 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-first-trimester#:~:text=During%20the%20first%20eight%20weeks,to%204%20inches%20in%20length.
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/start-for-life/pregnancy/week-by-week-guide-to-pregnancy/1st-trimester/week-8/ 
  3. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-first-trimester#:~:text=During%20the%20first%20eight%20weeks,to%204%20inches%20in%20length
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20044882 
  5. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16566-morning-sickness-nausea-and-vomiting-of-pregnancy

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