Your baby is growing and this week, they'll even get their eye colour! Here’s everything you can expect from both your body and your baby in your eighth week of pregnancy.
How big is my baby at eight weeks pregnant?
Your little one is growing about 1mm a day, and at eight weeks she'll be around the size of a raspberry or a grape!
What’s my baby doing at eight weeks pregnant?
Your little embryo has made a lot of progress during the last week – growing at a rate of 1mm per day, she is now forming a spinal cord, bones and intestines. There’s definitely been a growth spurt in your baby’s arms and legs and there’s now definition for where the knees, elbows, wrists and ankle will be.
Your baby’s chin will still be tucked in and attached to his chest, and a close-up view would revel your baby has now got lips, nose and eyelids. This week, her retinas will also begin to develop their pigment. At eight weeks, you’ll be pleased to know your little embryo is now looking a lot less like a reptile and has almost lost her tail.
All this growing is incredible, and to keep up with it all your baby’s heart is beating at an incredible rate of 150 to 170 times per minute – that’s nearly twice as fast as yours is reading this.
What is my body doing at eight weeks pregnant?
- Your blood volume increases by almost 50%: The blood being pumped around your body, particularly to your womb, is still increasing and your heart rate is also slightly raised. A hormone called progesterone helps this process by relaxing the tissues in the heart and blood vessels – which keeps your blood pressure down. The downside to that isn’t so pleasant. It’s very normal to feel constipated, as your digestive system also relaxes. This constipation can lead to piles. Read more about those unexpected body changes during pregnancy here. This increasing blood volume, mixed with those pregnancy hormones, can also cause headaches. If you’re suffering, talk to your doctor about baby-safe painkillers.
- Your uterus has grown: If your clothes are feeling a little tight around the tummy, it’s because your uterus, which is normally about the size of your fist, has stretched to the size of a grapefruit.
Common symptoms to look out for at the eight week mark:
- Morning sickness: If you’re among the 75% of pregnant woman experiencing morning sickness (although it can last all day) in these first few weeks, rest assured you’re not alone. Although we’re not exactly sure what causes that queasy feeling, it’s thought to be down to those pregnancy hormones you’re learning to live with. Remember to try and eat little and often, and rest assured even if you are being sick, your baby feels just fine. Also, it does tend to ease off around weeks 12-14, so not too long to go! That said, if you’re in the unlucky 1% of women who suffer from extreme vomiting and sickness, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum (the condition Kate Middleton suffered with in both her pregnancies) it’s not something to ignore. If you’re unable to eat or drink anything, your lips and mouth are dry and your urine is dark, contact you GP immediately.
- Fatigue: Yep, it’s been on this list for the past few weeks, but it’s still a super common symptom. Remember, to cut your body some slack and listen to it – after all, it is growing a baby!
- A thin, white milky discharge: Another one caused by pregnancy hormone estrogen, this white milky discharge (medically referred to as leukorrhea) protects that important part of your body from infection, by maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria, so don’t worry about it.
What you should be doing this week
- Spend some time in the fruit isle: Sure, we’ve always known fruit is a good thing, but it’s your best friend now you’re growing a baby. With all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs, it also helps keep you regular.
- Do your squats: Another one we’ve always known we should be doing, not only do squats help tone your thighs, they can help during labour! What are you waiting for?
Next: how big is my baby? Your baby's growth in fruit and veg: