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The 8th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and Mom

The obstetric week 8 of pregnancy will hardly bring the mother many positive emotions. This is considered to be the most unpleasant week. This is the time when the body adapts to its new condition.

This week the woman may experience the most severe toxicosis (as often as 10 times a day), lower back pains, weakness and general malaise. Meanwhile, the baby is undergoing developmental spurts.

The size and development of the fetus in the 8th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 8 size

During week 8, the embryo is actively growing and developing. It does not yet resemble a little human. Its body is long and proportions far from ideal. The baby’s size can be compared to a strawberry or a grape (about 8-12mm).

It already weighs 2-3 grams. But, despite such small dimensions, the embryo’s organism will resemble a human being more and more each minute.

How does the fetus change in this term?

  • The gills and tail are shed;
  • Tiny fingers are formed, connected by a webby membrane;
  • The face is developing: nostrils, eyes and upper lip are forming. The face is taking on a usual appearance;
  • The formation of eyelids is complete;
  • Jaws take on a normal shape;
  • The inner ear and ears are forming;
  • The baby’s heart is developing;
  • The bronchi have formed;
  • Sex organs are forming. The girls are developing ovaries and the boys are showing the first signs of testes.
  • Sweat glands begin to develop;
  • Bone tissue is thickening.

At the 8th week, the embryo already has all the organs, but so far only in an embryonic state. This is why starting with this term, the baby is no longer medically considered an embryo but rather proudly and officially referred to as a fetus.

[attention type=yellow]In the 8th week the baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid. He has taken on a comfortable position, in which he will spend the remainder of his time in the mother’s womb. The fetus develops intrauterine reflexes. He is already moving his little arms and legs, although they are more accurately described to as involuntary movements. A lot of space in the uterus provides the baby with freedom to swim, flip and somersault.[/attention]

What’s happening to the Mom in the 8th week of pregnancy

Photo of mom`s belly mom of 8 weeks of pregnancy

During this period the uterus actively grows and reaches the average size of an orange. But if you observe a pregnant belly at 8 weeks, no one would suspect that the woman was pregnant. By week 8 moms rarely gain weight, and many even lose weight, if they are suffering from toxicosis. Above you can see a photo of what tummies look like in the 8th week of pregnancy.

Discomfort, pain and weakness are the characteristic features of week 8. Due to the active increase of the uterus in the abdomen, sharp spasms may occur, leading to muscle strain..

Weakness and malaise along with vomiting are constant companions of week 8. Normally, nausea may happen about 2-3 times a day; if it appears more often – it is advisable to consult a doctor. Too strong a toxicosis can adversely affect fetal development.

Breasts drastically grow and become heavier. They become more sensitive, veins may become visible. Although it isn’t yet necessary to consider a new wardrobe, buying a new bra is advisable. Also, some mothers may start to develop colostrum.

[attention type=yellow]Despite the fact that during this period the fetus leads an active life in the womb, it is still too early to discuss his movements. No matter how closely the mother pays attention to her body, she will not feel the little one’s movements.[/attention]

Often at this time, a widening of the varicose veins will take place. If a woman has a tendency to developing varicose veins, it is likely that 8 weeks pregnant, the increased load on the legs will start to show its effects.

 Mom`s state at 8 weeks of pregnancyThe woman may experience pain in the areas of hips and pelvis. This is caused when the growing uterus irritates the sciatic nerve. This unpleasant sensation can be relieved by selecting a comfortable body position. If the pain radiates into the left side – lay on your right, and vice versa.

In week 8, the growing uterus can also be the reason for frequent urination. This should not be accompanied by any discomfort or pain. If you do experience pain or burning during urination, you should consult a specialist. Such unpleasant sensations may be caused by cystitis or pyelonephritis.

Because of digestive disturbances, you may begin to experience heart burn.

At 8 weeks Braxton hicks contractions may occur. In this period, they are very weak and cause more discomfort than pain. If Braxton hicks are accompanied by sharp pain and possibly spotting, urgently seek medical help. These contractions can cause miscarriage.

Normal discharge for 8 weeks of pregnancy is uniform in consistency, has a whitish color and a faint smell of sour milk. It may slightly increase in volume due to the growing level of hormones in a woman’s body.

A change in the color, odor, appearance of voluminous secretions, pus, mucus, is evidence of an infection of the urogenital system. These symptoms may be accompanied by itching, burning and pain. It is necessary to consult a gynecologist to get rid of this problem. An untreated infection in addition to the discomfort for a woman, also carries a risk to the fetus. More about discharge during early pregnancy can be found here.

[attention type=red]Brown or bloody discharge is a cause for serious concerns, especially if accompanied by severe pain. In such a situation – see a doctor immediately![/attention]

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 8th week of pregnancy

Photo of fetal ultrasound at 8 weeks of pregnancy

The 8th obstetric week of pregnancy is the time for registration in an obstetric clinic. During the appointment, the gynecologist will examine a woman on an examination table to check the condition of the uterus and cervix. And on the basis of the examination, the presence of a pregnancy will be confirmed.

Afterwards, the obstetrician will measure the blood pressure as well as the weight and dimensions of the woman. Then she will provide a referral for the number of mandatory tests:

  • Urine analysis;
  • Stool analysis;
  • Blood work;
  • TORCH-infection blood test;
  • HIV blood test;
  • Rhesus factor test;
  • HCG test;
  • Pap smear.

In addition to the referral for analyses, the obstetrician will conduct a small survey. A woman should be prepared to answer some questions. For example:

  • the date of the last menstrual period;
  • length of menstrual cycle;
  • unhealthy habits of the woman and her husband;
  • number of previous pregnancies, miscarriages or abortions;
  • whether there are hereditary diseases in the family;
  • any serious illnesses of the woman and her husband.

Next, a woman is referred to an ultrasound. This is done for a final confirmation of the pregnancy, as well as to make sure that the pregnancy is uterine.

The first screening allows you to draw conclusions about the viability of the fetus. It can identify any serious irregularities and deformations arising spontaneously or due to hereditary predisposition. The results of the ultrasound will determine whether it is possible to continue the pregnancy or it is best to terminate it.

During the examination, the doctor will also confirm the gestational age and calculate the due date. We recommend that you watch the video of a fetal ultrasound at week 8 of pregnancy, as well as refer to the above photo from the first examination of the baby.

Possible abnormalities and the threat of miscarriage

The results of the analysis will show whether the pregnancy is normal or complicated, and provide additional information about the health of the mother.

  • Urine tests will show any kidney infections.
  • Increased levels of red blood cells indicate lung disease or heart disease, lower levels – anemia, leukemia, or possible presence of tumors.
  • A reduced number of white blood cells indicates the presence of viral hepatitis, influenza, rubella. The increased number of white blood cells indicates bacterial or viral infections.
  • An analysis of HCG can show how the pregnancy is proceeding during this term. Each week HCG levels increase with a normally developing fetus, which helps to prevent missed abortion.
  • If the ultrasound finds that the fetus is not in the uterus but rather in the fallopian tube, the woman is referred for surgery to remove the fetus. Otherwise, there is a serious danger to the life of the pregnant woman.
  • Also, using an ultrasound, one can detect the hypertonus of the uterus, which will need to be treated to save the pregnancy.

Mom’s nutrition and exercise in the 8th week of pregnancy

If you are well-familiar with toxicosis, fatigue and malaise at this point, you can bravely skip this section.

Mom`s on the 8th weeksof pregnancyGeneral nutrition recommendations for a woman in her 8th week of pregnancy are as follows:

  • Completely exclude alcohol;
  • Cut back on caffeine;
  • Maintain a balanced diet;
  • Eat lean meats. Do not forget about fish and other seafood;
  • Eat fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products;
  • Cut back on products made of yeast dough.

Throughout the pregnancy, irrespective of the term, it is beneficial to go swimming. This helps reduce the load on the spine. Do more walking, and also engage in exercise for pregnant women. Learn about 1 trimester exercises here.

[attention type=yellow]Pregnancy is not the best time to start a new exercise routine, or do strenuous exercise. You need only reach a light sweat.[/attention]

Sexual activity in the 8th week

Sexual relationships at week 8

Some are concerned about the issue of sexual relations during pregnancy. Many believe that after the occurrence of the happy event, one might as well forget about sex with a beloved man for 9 months. But that is incorrect.

If there is no threat of termination of pregnancy or other contraindications, and you have the desire and general well-being, intimacy is not only not harmful, but also beneficial.

Although we would caution against excessive sexual activity. Choose a comfortable position and listen to your body. Too zealous of a sex life can lead to miscarriage.

Recommendations for future mommy

Week 8 is a difficult time for the mother and her baby. This is the time is to protect yourself and tune in to a positive mindset. Our recommendations for future mommy will assist with this:

  1. Try to remain calm, sleep more, and walk in the fresh air.
  2. Avoid alcohol and try to get rid of bad habits.
  3. Avoid wearing high heels.
  4. Get registered and follow all recommendations of the obstetrician-gynecologist.
  5. Adhere to proper nutrition.
  6. If treatment is necessary, do not self-treat.
  7. Consult with a specialist who will select medications approved for pregnant women.
  8. Exercise.

Video about the 8th week of pregnancy

In this video, you will find out what exercises are useful for the future mom in the first trimester. The obstetrician-gynecologist will provide her recommendations on physical activities during pregnancy. She will talk about what is suitable for women who previously exercised and for those who prior to conception showed no interest in sports. A fitness center instructor can demonstrate exercises for expectant moms.

[attention type=yellow]Toxicosis is a very frequent phenomenon at 8 weeks. On the Internet you can find many tips on how to deal with morning sickness. But every body is different, and therefore universal ways of coping simply do not exist. Please tell us how you have coped with the toxicosis. Perhaps it will help other moms.[/attention]

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