8 Weeks Pregnant
While you may not be showing yet at 8 weeks pregnant, being pregnant is probably finally starting to feel real to you; like most women, you may have your first prenatal appointment right around now. At this visit, an ultrasound may be performed to determine how far along you are. You may even hear—and see—baby’s heartbeat. How cool is that?
During week 8 of your pregnancy, baby is as big as a raspberry and weighs about .04 ounces and measures about .63 inches. Baby's growing about a millimeter each day.
You're two months pregnant at 8 weeks, although doctors generally refer to pregnancy by week instead of month.
Wondering what stinks? Probably anything and everything. Your hormones are doing some wild things at week 8, giving you a superhuman-like sense of smell and making your stomach do flip-flops. At 8 weeks pregnant, there are a host of pregnancy symptoms you could experience (don’t get us started on those wacky pregnancy dreams!), including:
- Sore breasts. Your breasts may feel bigger, heavier, and let’s face it, sore. That’s because milk-producing lobules in your breasts are starting to expand. It’s all for a good reason: they’re prepping for breastfeeding.
- Fatigue. #Thestruggleisreal to nap at 8 weeks pregnant. Why? As your hormones fluctuate, your body produces more blood for baby, and your blood pressure and blood sugar levels may be lower than they were pre-pregnancy. Your body is also using energy to grow this tiny fetus. The best fix? Get more sleep. We know it sounds easier than it really is, but make it your number one priority to get to bed early or to sneak in a nap (or four) on the weekends.
- Morning sickness. Nausea could be really strong at 8 weeks, again related to those pregnancy hormones. Stay hydrated and graze on healthy snacks throughout the day. If you’re experiencing severe pregnancy nausea at 8 weeks, it might be tough to keep food down, let alone eat right, so finding options you can actually stomach is key. Some moms-to-be swear by ginger, Vitamin B6 and acupressure wristbands to help with morning sickness—all worth a shot.
- Heightened sense of smell. Along with morning sickness comes another fun symptom: an uncanny sense of smell. Catching a whiff of an offensive odor—perhaps something that’s totally innocuous or never bothered you before—could trigger nausea, so it’s best to try to avoid the smells you’ve become sensitive to.
- Pregnancy cramps. At 8 weeks pregnant, cramping is normal. That’s because the ligaments in your abdomen are stretching as your uterus expands. If your cramping is severe or you’re worried in any way, let your doctor know.
- Constipation. If you’re having trouble going number two, you’re not alone. Constipation during pregnancy happens to about 50 percent of us. To deal, drink lots of water, eat fiber-rich fruits and veggies, avoid constipating foods like white grains and rice and take lots of walks. If you’re still stopped up, talk to your doctor about other remedies.
- Weird dreams. If you’re having vivid and strange dreams, guess what? They’re totally normal throughout pregnancy. It’s not clear what causes these dreams—it could partly be due to new thoughts and anxieties. You’ve certainly got a lot on your mind these days!
- Spotting. It can be alarming to find that you’re spotting at 8 weeks pregnant because, yes, blood can be a sign of miscarriage. But there are some other causes of spotting in the first trimester, including sex (since your cervix may be more sensitive these days). Let your doctor know, so they can rule out any problems.
If you’re 8 weeks pregnant with twins, you may feel extra tired and nauseous, since you’ve likely got a higher level of those pregnancy hormones that are needed to create two babies.
Remember: If you’re feeling nauseated, extra hungry or extra tired, it’s all because baby’s growth is in overdrive—and because your body’s still adjusting to all those hormonal changes. Try to remind yourself it will be worth it. (Especially once you reach the second trimester, when most moms-to-be bounce back and feel more energized.)
Also, know that having no pregnancy symptoms at 8 weeks is totally normal too. So don’t worry if you’re not feeling too different yet. We promise—soon you will!
How far along am I in my pregnancy symptoms?
Here’s the honest truth: You’ll have pregnancy symptoms all through your pregnancy. The (usually) good news is, those symptoms will change as your pregnancy progresses and your belly and baby continue to grow. For most people, the second trimester brings relief from the worst of the nausea, and you’ll feel your energy return until you get closer to the end of your pregnancy. And if you’re still symptom-free at 8 weeks pregnant, no symptoms may soon progress to plenty of symptoms. So take heart—whatever you’re tired of, it’ll change soon.
What to expect at 8 weeks pregnant
With constant exhaustion and nausea, an achy 8 week belly and emotional swings that won’t quit, it’s understandable that you might be tired of this pregnancy thing already, and it’s normal to wonder how you’ll get through the next eight months. If you feel this way, don’t worry. Things should start to get better in about a month, when the wondrous second trimester begins. Until then, take it easy and be gentle with yourself. Growing a person is hard!
Wondering if your belly is the right size at this stage? At 8 weeks pregnant, showing a bit can be normal, but not showing is, too! That’s because every mom and baby are different. Know that inside your 8 weeks pregnant belly your uterus is expanding, but it just takes longer for some to show it on the outside. If, say, you’re 8 weeks pregnant with twins, it may be easier to tell you’re pregnant than it is to tell that a singleton mom is expecting at this point.
Starting in the second trimester, your OB will likely begin measuring your pregnant belly, but for now, size really doesn’t matter. Healthy weight gain in the first trimester is about one to five pounds total, so at 8 weeks pregnant, you may have gained a few pounds already. If you’ve been dealing with morning sickness, though, you may have gained next to nothing—and that’s okay too. Diets and eating habits can change a lot in the first trimester to help with nausea, which can cause an increase or even decrease in weight as well. That’s okay. Your doctor will keep an eye on it and look for weight gain over the long term too. Let your doctor know if you have any concerns about your weight gain or belly size.
You might have your first prenatal checkup around this time (aka an 8-week pregnancy appointment), and if you do, you may get to catch a glimpse of your 8-week fetus on the ultrasound. Cue the awwws: You might be surprised to see baby’s arms and legs moving around like crazy in there. You can’t feel it yet, but it’s really happening!
At week 8 of pregnancy, baby's fingers and toes are now only slightly webbed, and their tail (yes, there was one) is gone. Fun fact: baby's taste buds are now forming, gearing up for their first meals. Get ready to coo over some 8 week ultrasound pictures, which you should get at this first appointment.
At your first prenatal appointment, you’ll likely have your blood drawn so your doctor can run tests. Your doctor will want to know your blood type and whether it’s Rh positive or negative (because if you’re negative and baby’s positive, you’ll need medication to prevent complications). Your hormone levels and red and white blood cell levels will also be checked to be sure they’re normal. Your blood will also be screened for Hepatitis B, STDs, HIV and certain immunities.
You may also get a pap smear to check for infections and abnormalities. And get ready to pee in a cup, because at this appointment—and possibly every appointment—you’ll have to give a urine sample to check for signs of a UTI and keep an eye on protein in your urine if you’re at risk of developing preeclampsia. Welcome to your new normal!
What does baby look like at 8 weeks?
Like a cute little bean! Can’t wait to get a look at baby at 8 weeks? You won’t have to wait long. Sometime this week or next, you’re likely to get your first look during your 8-week ultrasound. So what does a baby look like at 8 weeks? Baby’s arms, legs, fingers and toes are all becoming more defined, and baby is less curled up, so you can see their constant little twitches and bounces. There is now an identifiable nose and upper lip, and wee little eyelids and ears. There’s a lot happening!
Take advantage of hunger
For the next few weeks, you might swing between feeling barfy and feeling like you could eat everything in the fridge. Use the times when you do feel hungry to eat nutritious, healthy foods that might be hard for you to swallow (literally!) when the nausea kicks back in.
Fend off headaches
Because your blood volume has increased, you might start getting headaches (sigh). Try resting and drinking more water. If you can’t control your headaches without medication, talk to your doctor about taking acetaminophen (which is safer during pregnancy than aspirin or ibuprofen).
Getting outside and taking a 30 minute walk each day is great exercise and helps manage other pregnancy symptoms. Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing skin changes like chloasma or melasma, sun exposure can make the dark patches worse. Wear SPF 30+ everyday, plus a hat, to protect your skin and prevent worsening patches.
Don’t hold it in
You probably still have to pee a lot, and that’s normal. Just don’t hold it in! You have a higher risk of getting a UTI while pregnant, so make sure you pee when you need to, empty your bladder completely and wipe carefully to prevent infection.
Reminders for the week: