Pregnancy week 8

Week 8 of Your Pregnancy

At this point in your pregnancy, you may be noticing some physical changes. Learn more about week eight, from the most common questions and symptoms to fetal developmental milestones.

It's week eight of your pregnancy, and—for some—this week is marked by discomfort. For example, while you may not have a "bump" yet, your pants may be feeling tighter. Your breasts may be sore or bulging out of your bra, and while some pregnant people have a ravenous appetite, many others are disgusted by the sight (and smell) of food, particularly this week. Why? Two words: morning sickness. According to March of Dimes, at least 7 in 10 pregnant people experience this condition. The good news is that, in most cases, morning sickness lessens in the coming weeks. You should feel relief soon. Oh, and if you haven’t had your first prenatal visit, chances are you will this week.

Pregnancy Week 8 Quick Facts

  • At eight weeks, you’re two months pregnant
  • You have 32 weeks until your due date
  • You are in the first trimester

Your Unborn Baby's Size at 8 Weeks

The embryo is still very small, measuring .63 inches. It weighs approximately .04 ounces and is about the size of a raspberry.

week 8

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 8

You might be experiencing some, none, or all of these common symptoms during week eight of pregnancy:

Kyler Elwell Silver, M.D., assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says your symptoms might not be much different than in previous weeks, but they could be progressively worsening. She shares that cramping really intensifies this week, but the good news is that nausea tends to peak around week eight.

For mild cramping, Dr. Silver recommends acetaminophen—if needed. She suggests drinking lots of water, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and using stool softeners if you suffer from constipation. She also recommends avoiding foods that trigger you. That said, while uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, Dr. Silver assures that (in most cases) bloating is nothing to worry about. "Bloating is very normal and due to the hormones your body is making to maintain the pregnancy," she shares.

It's common to have some mild mood swings during pregnancy, but be sure to reach out to your provider if you have severe shifts in your mood or are experiencing other physical or emotional symptoms that seem concerning.

Developmental Milestones

Your little one is growing at an astounding rate and big changes are happening this week! Your embryo's lips, nose, and eyelids are forming, as are their genitals. Your embryo currently has webbed hands and feet, but tiny fingers and toes are beginning to differentiate, and its tail is nearly gone as well.

Prenatal Tests and Doctor's Appointments

Dr. Silver explains that most providers typically see patients for their first visit around eight weeks. Expect an ultrasound and review of your medical history. There might be a physical exam and/or a Pap smear. Your medical provider will likely check your blood count, glucose levels, kidney function, and sexually transmitted infection status. "These are important tests and are part of standard prenatal care," she says.

Shieva Ghofrany, M.D., an OB-GYN in Stamford, Connecticut and co-founder of Tribe Called V, says your doctor may also offer you an expanded panel of genetic tests of up to 500 recessive maternal genes. If you are found to carry one of these recessive genes, your partner or sperm donor may be asked to be examined as well. If they carry the same recessive genes, there's a 25% chance the fetus may inherit both defective genes.

Oh, and at this stage most providers are able to distinguish a multiples pregnancy from a single pregnancy. So if you're carrying twins or triplets, you'll likely find out at this appointment.

"My week eight ultrasound is a day I'll always remember because it changed my life forever,” recalls Pia*, 38 from Blue Springs, Missouri. “They found three heartbeats and my jaw dropped to the floor. We only implanted two embryos but apparently one of them split. Triplets!" 

That said, it’s important to note that the timing of these blood tests can vary. Some doctors opt to space them out while others complete them at the same time. If you have concerns or questions about the different blood tests or physical examinations, talk to your provider.

Common Questions at this Stage of Pregnancy

Can I still work out? 

You do not need to stop exercising. In fact, it can be good for you, reveals Dr. Ghofrany. But, she advises, it’s important to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion, and overdoing it. "Exercise to the level where you could have a conversation," she advises.

Is my workplace safe? 

"If you need to continue to do physical work that you were doing, you're safe to do that. It's very unlikely that anything you're doing is going to directly harm the fetus, so just do it to your comfort level and listen to your body to see what it is telling you," says Dr. Ghofrany. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your physical limitations or working around chemicals or other substances you think might be harmful.

Should I quit caffeine? 

While you may want to limit your caffeine intake, Dr. Ghofrany says it is not necessary to give up your morning cup of coffee. In fact, if you're a regular coffee drinker, she actually advises against going cold turkey, as caffeine withdrawal can make you feel sick or give you a bad headache. "200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day should be fine,” she adds, though it’s worth noting this includes chocolate, tea, and coffee.

Things You Might Consider This Week

You're eight weeks pregnant. At this point, you are well into your first trimester and things are happening quickly. Now is the time to ensure that you have found a provider who is meeting your needs. If you're not satisfied with your current provider's practice, it's advisable to switch until you find one that you are more comfortable with. Don't forget to take into account the location you will be delivering and make sure you're happy with it. Do whatever is right for you and ensure you feel supported doing it! Consider when and if you're ready to reveal your big news to your friends and family.

"I met with this OB-GYN for my eight week appointment and I knew right away that he was not a good fit, so I found another doc in the same practice that I felt more at ease with. I also ended up hiring a doula as well. Best decision I ever made because I had the best of both worlds throughout my pregnancy and even postpartum," shares Kennisha*, 29, from Hollywood, Florida.

Support You May Need This Week

Dr. Silver reminds you to get all the support you need from your partner (if you have one), family members, or friends. This might come in the way of having someone accompany you to ultrasounds or doctor's appointments. Dr. Silver also advises those who experience a pregnancy loss to reach out for support. You may need your friends and family—or a professional—to help you get through this time.

It's also important to indulge in acts of self-love and -care. Pregnancy can be stressful, and it's easy to forget about about yourself. So whether it's taking a bath, booking a prenatal massage, or even just taking a nap, make sure to carve out time for a little rest and relaxation!

*Last names withheld for privacy.

Head over to week nine of pregnancy

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