Week 8 of Your Pregnancy

week 8 pregnancy highlights

Verywell 

You are two months pregnant! At 8 weeks pregnant, your baby's arms and legs are growing as their facial features are beginning to take shape. And, while the world can't yet see your growing baby bump, you may be noticing that your clothes are starting to feel a tad tight in the waist.

8 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months? 2 months

Which Trimester? First trimester

How Many Weeks to Go? 32 weeks

Your Baby's Development at 8 Weeks

At 8 weeks, a baby is typically between 1/2–3/4 inch long (1.5–2 centimeters), about the size and shape of kidney bean. Some parents even nickname their baby "the little bean" around this time, especially after catching a glimpse of the baby on an early ultrasound.

This week, your baby's physical features are becoming more noticeable, body systems and organs are continuing to develop, and the baby is starting to look more and more like a little human.

Body Changes

  • Your baby's tadpole-like appearance is fading (embryonic tail included) as the body starts to straighten out.
  • Arm and leg buds are getting longer while fingers and toes are forming inside the nubby, paddle-like hands and feet.
  • Baby's digestive system including the intestines are developing. But, there isn't enough room inside the little embryo for the intestines, so they move into the umbilical cord. Once there is room, they will move into place in the baby's abdomen.

Facial Features

  • The baby's nose and upper lip are becoming noticeable.
  • The tiny folds of the eyelids are developing.
  • The ears are beginning to form on the outside of the baby's head as they continue to develop on the inside.

Reproductive Organs

  • Your baby's genitals are becoming ovaries or testes, but they aren't visible just yet. It will be a little longer before you can have an ultrasound or other prenatal testing to learn the sex.

Explore a few of your baby’s week 8 milestones in this interactive experience.

Your Common Symptoms This Week

As you may have already heard, pregnancy symptoms are inconsistent from one person to the next and from one pregnancy to the next. So, these are not symptoms you should definitely have at this time. They may have started last week, they may start next week, or you may be lucky and not experience them at all.

Morning sickness and fatigue are likely to continue this week, but you may (or may not) also experience mild cramping, dizziness, and breast changes.

Cramps

Even though you can't quite see much of a difference, your uterus is started to grow. This normal and natural uterine expansion can lead to some mild stretching and cramping pain. Constipation, gas, and diarrhea can also cause a bit of abdominal discomfort in early pregnancy.

Occasional, mild twinges are usually not a concern. However, if cramps and pain are severe, happen often, or are constant, call your doctor or go to the emergency room to get it checked out.

Dizziness

There are a few issues that can lead to dizziness during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones that cause your blood vessels to relax and widen can bring about low blood pressure and a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness. Hormones can also affect the inner ear, which can interfere with your balance or hearing and lead to dizziness and vomiting.

Other causes of dizziness include low blood sugar from not eating, dehydration from not drinking enough fluids, moving suddenly from sitting or lying down to standing, or having a low level of iron in your blood (anemia). If you feel dizzy, lie down. Rest, food, and a drink of water should help. However, if the dizziness continues, call your doctor.

Breast Changes

Breast changes begin in early pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones affect your breasts right away as they begin preparing your body for the arrival of your baby. As the milk-making tissue in your breast grows, you may notice your breasts getting larger.

You may also notice veins on the surface skin of your breasts as more blood flows to the area, the nipple and areola may get darker, and your breast may feel full and sore.

Self-Care Tips

As the idea of pregnancy starts to settle in, you may be thinking about your weight and your changing body. But, with nausea, dizziness, and frequent urination distracting you, it can be challenging just to stay comfortable and keep some food and fluids down.

Eat (If You Can)

After the official weigh-in at your first prenatal visit, you may be wondering about pregnancy weight gain. It’s healthy, natural, and expected for pregnant women to gain about two to four pounds during the first trimester. Of course, everyone is different, and it’s also normal for women to lose weight during the first trimester due to nausea and vomiting.

What Experts Say

"You may alternate between feeling nauseous—and having no appetite—and ravenous, especially early on, thanks to a complex interaction of hormones including progesterone, insulin, leptin, and ghrelin.”

Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

If you find you’re shunning a lot of food, make sure you stay hydrated and take those prenatal vitamins. (Down them with a food you can tolerate to help curb vitamin-related nausea.) And if you’re feeling hungrier than ever before, go ahead and answer your cravings with nutritious, whole foods that will satisfy.

Do a Little Shopping

Ah, retail therapy—and now you have a good reason. While you probably aren't quite "showing," you may notice your clothes fit a bit tighter. You don't have to shop in the maternity department yet (unless you want to), but a few pairs of pants with a stretchy waist will help you feel more comfortable.

Take a look through the intimates department, too. Your pre-pregnancy bras may also be getting tight and putting pressure on already sore breasts. A new, more comfortable size or style can make a difference.

Add Some Healthy Snacks

Eating a few healthy snacks during the day is one way to fight off some of the discomforts of pregnancy. Eating small meals and snacks more often can give more energy throughout the day, fend off dizziness associated with low blood sugar, and prevent that empty stomach nausea from sneaking up on you.

So, keep healthy, easy-to-grab snacks, like apples and peanut butter or hummus and whole wheat pita chips, within reach.

Your Week 8 Checklist

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking 10 to 12 glasses of water a day.
  • Talk with your partner about genetic testing.
  • Stock up on some go-to healthy snacks.
  • Seek comfort with stretchier pants and a better fitting bra.
  • Consider seeking the guidance of a mental health professional.

Advice for Partners

While your pregnant partner is probably not sporting a baby belly just yet, that won’t last much longer. If you’re hoping to document the bump progression, now’s a good time to start snapping those monthly pictures.

At the same time, know it’s OK if the two of you want some alone time to process all that’s going on. While you do that, take some time to pamper your partner and yourself. If you two soon-to-be parents spend time nurturing your own mental well-being, it can only be good for your baby.

At Your Doctor’s Office

You may have seen your doctor as early as week 6. But, week 8 is a common time for the first prenatal visit. It’s likely your longest and most comprehensive appointment.

History

  • The doctor will record the date of your last menstrual period to determine your due date.
  • You will share your complete medical, psychological, and menstrual history, including past hospitalizations, illnesses, and pregnancies.
  • You will also talk about your family’s health history, specifically regarding chronic illnesses, diseases, and genetic and chromosomal birth disorders.

Physical Exam

  • A physical exam will include measurements of your blood pressure, height, and weight.
  • You may also have a breast exam and a pelvic exam with a Pap test if you haven't had one recently.

Blood and Urine Tests

While you won't have to have a blood test at every prenatal visit, you will need to pee in a cup for a urine screen every single time.

An 8-week ultrasound is not a must, so you may or may not have one. Some insurance plans won’t cover more than a certain number of ultrasounds, so this one may be deemed unnecessary. Plus, not all healthcare providers feel early ultrasounds are necessary. Some women have many ultrasounds during pregnancy, while some don’t have any. There are no set standards or rules.

Upcoming Doctor's Visits

If you're healthy and there are no complicating factors, you can expect to see your healthcare provider in about a month, when you're 12 weeks pregnant. The typical every-four-week visits continue until week 28. After that, it's every two weeks until 36 weeks, then once a week until you deliver.

If you opt for prenatal testing, it usually begins in the next few weeks. First-trimester screening occurs between week 10 and week 13. It includes:

Screening tests tell you what the chances are that your baby may have a disorder. They cannot tell you if your baby actually has the condition. Whether these tests are right for you is a decision between you, your partner, and your healthcare provider.

Special Considerations

With all that's going on in your body during the first few weeks of pregnancy, it's important to know when it's time to ask for help or see a doctor. It's easy to put things in the back of your mind or think of them as normal. But, seeking help right away for issues as they come up, can make all the difference.

Body Image

If you've ever experienced concerns or challenges revolving around body image, weight, or control over your body, pregnancy has a way of bringing all those issues to light.

What Experts Say

“Know that it’s always OK to seek support from a mental health professional to navigate these potentially complicated issues and to engage in self-care."

Shara Marrero Brofman, PsyD

For help finding an appropriate mental health professional near you, consider reaching out to Postpartum Support International. Despite what the name implies, the group focuses on perinatal (pre-birth) issues as well.

When to Call the Doctor

Some pregnancy symptoms are reassuring because they make you feel pregnant. But, some symptoms can be scary. Strange aches and twinges or spotting can certainly cause worry.

You should always feel comfortable calling your healthcare provider's office to ask questions about your symptoms. However, you should definitely call or go to the hospital in the following circumstances:

You should also make that call if you can't keep anything down, you have a fever, you have pain when you urinate, or you just don't feel right.

A Word From Verywell

If you saw your healthcare provider this week, you most likely received a lot of information and had some of your questions answered. You may feel better about some of your concerns, or you may have even more questions now.

There's no need to worry. You will be seeing your doctor regularly from here on out. Plus, you can (and should) call the office if something can't wait.

Next week, your baby and your uterus continue to grow as you begin your third month of pregnancy. You may be feeling the full force of morning sickness, though, as it peaks around week 9.

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading
  • Allison Hill, MD. Email communication. October, November 2017.

  • Shara Marrero Brofman, PsyD. Email and Phone Communications. October, December 2017.