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Oct15

8 Weeks Pregnant

Overview

This is the end of the second month of pregnancy. You are more than half way through the first trimester. This is the period during

8weekspregnant which subtle changes might be noticed in the external physical structure of the women as she gains slight weight. The internal changes have progressed rapidly and the baby is at the end of its embryonic stage. Soon, it will officially be a fetus.

The chances of having a miscarriage also reduce significantly after this stage. The size of the uterus is now as big as a grapefruit and you might have expanded some around the waist. You may experience indigestion or heartburn due to acidity or a bloated feeling due to water retention. You can wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes and shoes to avoid tripping and falling.

You must remember to eat small and frequent healthy meals throughout the day. This helps to avoid acidity which can increase  morning sickness symptoms. In the eighth week, some women might experience the worst morning sickness symptoms and with external changes occurring in the body, they can become extremely uncomfortable and uneasy. Following a good pregnancy diet pattern in combination with a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the nausea and vomiting bouts.

Baby’s Development

Week 8

Your Symptoms: Breast enlargement, fatigue, nausea, vomiting.

Baby’s Development: Webbed fingers and toes are forming and the tail disappears.

Baby’s Size: 1.4 cm (size of a raspberry).

To Do: Research or talk to your doctor about prenatal testing. Decide which tests you want to have. Options include blood tests, ultrasounds, amniocentesis.

The embryo has all the features of an adult human at this stage. The ears are beginning to form internally as well as externally. The bones are developing and the muscles can contract easily. The toes and fingers, which are webbed, now tend to grow longer. The facial features become more prominent. The eyelids develop further and the tip of the nose can be seen easily. As the baby starts straightening out, the embryonic tail start disappearing.

The baby’s gender can be confirmed now. However, the external genitals are still forming and cannot be seen clearly. The embryo is at the end of the embryonic period and is about to start the fetal period. The baby’s framework is made up of cartilage. On the 47th day, the first bone cells start replacing the cartilage. The face and jaw is well formed with the teeth and facial muscles developing nicely. The bones for the legs and arms become hard and joints start developing. All the vital internal organs are well placed by now but are immature and will develop in the further weeks. The embryo is about 1 inch long and roughly the size of a bean. It weighs approximately 3 g or about a tenth of an ounce.

Changes with your body

The body now starts changing from the outside. Many changes have already taken place internally. The uterus grows to the size of a grapefruit at this stage. You might not be aware, but the blood volume increases by 40% to 50% at this stage. There might be noticeable changes in the breasts as they become more tender and sensitive to touch as the body starts preparing itself for lactation. Dark veins might develop around your breasts called varicose veins due to the increase in the blood supply. The areolas or the skin around the nipples tends to darken due to the changes in the hormones which cause pigmentation of the skin. Small glands called Montgomery tubercles develop on the surface of the areolas and the nipples tend to grow in size. Some might even discharge a thick yellow liquid known as colostrum.

The hormone changes vary from person to person. Women with large breasts can buy good supportive cotton bras which prevent rashes and help keep the breasts from sagging. You can also apply anti-stretch mark cream at this stage to avoid stretch marks from developing late in pregnancy. You may experience cramping or pain in the lower abdomen as the uterus continues to grow. Some women feel tightening or contractions in the uterus. An occasional pain down the legs from a restriction to the sciatica nerve is common.

What to expect

Some women who had lost weight up until this point of their pregnancy will see a reverse in that trend. The body has adjusted to the internal changes which means symptoms of morning sickness may start to subside.

By now, you have already enrolled with an obstetrician and might be going for your first prenatal visit. If this is the first visit to the doctor, be prepared to spend a long time as you will be required to give details about your medical history, medical problems if any, birth control methods you were using, history of abortions or miscarriages if any, medications you are taking or have allergies to as well as internal examination to check if everything is normal. The doctor can prescribe iron tablets and other vitamin dosages after checking if you have any deficiencies. A medical test with a pap smear might be conducted with an ultra sound test to confirm the proper development of the fetus. The doctor will ask you to undergo some medical tests such as a blood test to find the hemoglobin count, Rh factor and blood type, HIV tests, specific tests depending on the patient such as tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis screen, hematocrit levels and more.

The healthcare professionals might want to discuss advice concerning diet, exercise, weight gain, miscarriage precautions, environmental hazards, fevers and medications with you. You might also want to ask them questions regarding emergencies and labor and delivery issues that you are skeptical about. Records are maintained by the hospital. You will be asked to come for monthly check-ups to monitor your weight gain and benchmarks in the pregnancy.