First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! You’re going to be a mom. This is one of the most exciting, scary, and nerve-racking times of your life.
You’ll have so many questions and your body is going through some astounding changes to help grow and nurture your precious cargo.
You may feel embarrassed to ask your doctor or friends some questions and that is how you have found your way here. So, let’s start at the beginning.
If you’re wondering if can you feel a baby move at 8 weeks, then the quick and simple answer is no. Your baby is too small to be able to make a movement that you could feel.
It will more than likely be several more weeks before you can feel your baby moving inside you.
With such a huge progression in technology such as ultrasound, it’s possible for you to see your baby and maybe even some movement as early as six to eight weeks gestation.
You have so much to look forward to throughout your pregnancy. But let’s start here at 8 weeks and see exactly what is going on with both your body and your baby.
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Eight Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is around the size of a raspberry. You won’t feel any movements but their body is already moving in fits and starts in preparation for what is to come in the months ahead.
Your Baby at Eight Weeks
Your baby is growing at a tremendous rate and has already come so far. Your baby is measuring up at around 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch right now.
Your baby is now looking a lot more human with the development of their lips, nose, and eyelids. You won’t see your baby’s eyes for quite some time, but this week the retinas have begun to form.
By the end of week 8, all your baby’s essential organs and body systems will be well on the way to developing. The intestines are forming and start to take up space in the umbilical cord as there is not enough space in your baby’s abdomen.
But they are already doing their job and carrying waste away from the body. Don’t panic. The intestines will move back into your baby’s abdomen in around a month’s time when there is a bit more space available.
This week is a busy one for the new little life that you are carrying inside you. They’ll begin forming tiny fingers and toes. Their arms are able to flex at the elbows and wrists.
Their heart is beating at an incredible rate of around 150 to 170 times per minute. This is roughly twice as fast as yours.
At this stage, your baby’s head is larger than their body, and it’s tucked under resting on their chest. Nerve cells in your baby’s brain are branching out and starting to form those early neural pathways.
That part of the brain that is responsible for their sense of smell is starting to take shape too.
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Your Body at Eight Weeks
This time your body will begin to experience some of the less pleasant symptoms of pregnancy. Your clothes may begin to feel a little uncomfortable.
You may begin to experience an increase in saliva and notice that it has a slightly bitter taste to it. This is caused by hormones and is known as ptyalism. This will cause you no harm and should disappear after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The volume of blood in your body is also on the increase and this can make you thirstier than normal so you need to ensure that you are drinking plenty of fluids.
Those pesky hormones will also have increased the size of your breasts as they begin to prepare for breastfeeding.
Your body is working super hard to grow another human but unfortunately, all that hard work can cause some unpleasant symptoms.
It’s estimated that around 70 to 80% of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness as some time during their pregnancy. Morning sickness can vary from extremely mild to a very serious condition that may require hospital treatment.
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But for the vast majority of women, morning sickness is something that disappears during the second trimester. To help with the effects of morning sickness, you can try eating a plain cracker before you get up.
Eat smaller meals more often rather than your usual three larger meals. Ginger biscuits are also great for helping to keep morning sickness at bay.
This is a common side effect of pregnancy but there are a few ways to try to alleviate the problem. You could try switching to wholegrain cereals, bread, and rice. The increased fiber intake will help your gut work properly.
Try upping how much fruit and veg you eat each day. This will also help to keep things moving. Ensure that you drink plenty of fluids as this will also help to keep everything flowing in the right direction.
As your progesterone levels rise, it can often make you feel exhausted. Don’t feel guilty about having to grab a quick nap throughout the day.
This usually has to do with your expanding uterus. If you are concerned about severe cramps then please do contact your doctor.
Unfortunately, the amalgamation of increased hormones, your growing baby, discomfort, and the need to pee almost every hour won’t exactly help you get a peaceful and restful night’s sleep.
Try to start your bedtime routine a little earlier as this will give you a chance to wind down. Reading a book, listening to some soothing music can all help you to relax. Placing a pillow between your knees is also a great way to help you get more comfortable.
At eight weeks, back pain may begin especially in your lower back. This is as a result of the muscles in your back working a little bit harder as they try to accommodate your new weight distribution.
Be aware that your center of gravity has changed and those pesky pregnancy hormones are already working to loosen ligaments in the joints in your pelvis in preparation for birth.
Tips For This Week
These may become more frequent as your blood volume increases by just under 50% which when experienced with those pregnancy hormones those headaches may become more frequent.
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This may be something that you might want to add to your exercise routine. Squats will help to strengthen and tone your thighs. Just a simple squat, hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
During labor, they can help the baby to descend.
Make sure to always wear sunscreen with SPF factor 30 to 50. Also wear a wide-brimmed hat as it may help you to avoid a condition called melasma. This condition affects 50 to 75 % of pregnant women and is caused by hormone surges.
Melasma or dark spots on the skin and face. This can also mean that freckles, your skin, and any moles that you may have can look darker. You may also have a dark line down the center of your belly which is called the linea nigra.
Track your weight
Gain weight during pregnancy is normal. Track your weight right from the beginning as it will help you to see a pattern starting to form.
There are weight gains that you should be aiming for throughout your pregnancy that are considered a safe amount of weight to gain. In your first trimester, you will probably not gain very much weight at all. More than likely only 2 – 4 pounds.
As you head into the second and then third trimester, your weight gain will increase. You should be looking to put on around a pound each week right through months 4 to 8, which is around 20 to 28 pounds.
Once you reach the final month, your weight gain will slow down and you might actually find that you lose a few pounds. But your baby’s weight will keep powering towards the finish line.
Ask Your Doctor
Your prenatal visits are usually once a month until the last eight weeks of your pregnancy when they’ll become more frequent right up until you eventually give birth.
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These regular consultations give you the perfect opportunity to raise any concerns you may have, chat through any birth options you may want, and ask any questions no matter how silly you think they are.
If you haven’t already done so there are a few important details that you need to take care of this week. The most important thing that you need to take care of is to find a doctor or midwife that you’re comfortable with and that you like and trust.
Then you need to check with them what the schedule is for checkups, what health screenings are offered, and when they need to be done.
The fun part is to decide with your partner how you’d like to tell everyone your exciting news if you haven’t done so already.
The Final Thought
Being pregnant is a huge thing for a woman. One minute we’re happy the next we aren’t, then we’re crying at a pointless advert. It takes a huge toll on a woman both mentally and physically, and this is all before we actually go through birth.
Be kind to yourself and remember that just because you don’t look any different from the outside there are huge changes going on inside!