8th Week Pregnancy - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes


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As you step into week 8, you are still at the mercy of hormones which have increased your sense of smell, your bust size, and have compelled you to run to empty your bladder quite often; sometimes also making you want to throw up almost everything.

By now, the mood swings may have come down a bit, however, it differs from woman to woman. If you are one those women who do not coast through their pregnancies as though they were on a luxury cruise, you are not going to be a happy woman dealing with these bodily changes taking place. The only comfort for you must be that these symptoms are a proof that you are going to be mommy soon, and fortunately they do not have any adverse effects on your baby.

Changes in your Body When 8 Weeks Pregnant:

You may start feeling the pressure and a tightness around your lower abdomen during the eighth week as the uterus is fast growing to accommodate all the needs of your baby. The uterus will be at present pressing against your bladder, which makes you urinate often. It may also cause a cramping pain in your abdomen which may scare you initially. In addition, your breasts are growing and getting ready for lactation, though your baby is just the size of raspberry at this stage. Most women increase a cup size or two during their first pregnancy. Do not panic if you see dark veins known as varicose veins show on the skin of your breasts. This happens as a result of increased blood supply to the arteries of your breasts.

You can see the change in the skin color of the areolas as well, which darken due to increased blood circulation. The nipples and small glands on the areola become quite prominent and may begin to secrete colostrums – a yellowish thick substance which is also referred to as ‘high octane milk’.

8 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms and Signs:

The list of symptoms you may experience in the 8th week of pregnancy may go as below:

  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Growth and changes visible in your breasts
  • Cramping pain in lower abdomen
  • Food craving and food aversions
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Flatulence and bloating
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Anaemia

We have discussed in detail some of the symptoms occurring during week 6 and 7. Let us look into some more 8 weeks pregnancy symptoms.

[ Read: 9 Weeks Pregnant ]

1. Anaemia:

  • A type of anaemia that occurs only in pregnancy, known as physiologic anaemia is considered normal; it’s not really a true anaemia in the traditional way. Even if it’s normal, the symptom cannot be ignored.
  • The cause of anaemia during pregnancy is the increase in blood plasma volume in the expectant mother’s body. Often, the RBCs (Red Blood Cells) fail to keep up with the increase which leads to the dilution effect in the blood. This sends signals to the brain that you are anaemic, which in turn responds by making you feel tired. Taking the prescribed vitamin supplements can help you cope with this.

2. Constipation:

  • The intestines lose their motility during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes taking place in your body. The faecal matter will not be pushed through the intestines as effectively as it was being done before. The water in the stools gets reabsorbed in the intestines and it becomes hard and dry making its movements more difficult. The feeling of constipations sets in causing making you very uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can tackle this problem head-on if you take in enough fluids and fibre.

3. Headaches:

  • Headaches are a common feature of first trimester of pregnancy. Women who have had problems with migraines before pregnancy may find them flaring up often. Find out the causes which are triggering your headache. It could be disturbed sleep, not taking in enough water or being on a wrong diet that could lead to headaches. Do not use over the counter medicines without consulting your doctor.

[ Read: Second Month Of Pregnancy Diet ]

4. Increased Vaginal Discharge:

  • The hormonal changes taking place in your body involves your reproductive organs; hence it is not unusual for you to have increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy. It is important to find out whether the discharge is only due to pregnancy and not some infection. Precaution should be taken when you see any of the following signs of infection in the vaginal discharge-
  • Pain
  • Irritation
  • Foul odour
  • Presence of blood
  • Itchiness
  • If you do not have some or any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not worry. The occurrence of the symptoms varies from woman to woman; what’s more, some women barely feel the effects of pregnancy.

Your Baby:

You would be glad to know that your lovely baby is fast losing its tail and no more resembles a tadpole. The neural pathways are forming in the brain and her nerve cells are branching out to form connections with other nerve cells.

The stubs of limbs now have webbed fingers and toes to show. The eyelids have developed fully and protect her beautiful eyes. Her lips, taste buds, nose, legs and back continue to develop fast approaching the human shape and form. The trachea and the lungs are developing to aid in breathing of your baby.

Your baby’s heart is fully functional and beating at the rate of 150/pm. This is nearly double the heartbeat of a normal adult human.

By now your baby has all the functional organs and tissues it requires to function as a human, though they have to develop further. You are the end of the embryonic stage of your pregnancy and entering the fetal stage now. The baby will be addressed as a foetus hereafter and not an embryo.

[ Read: Baby Boy Growth Chart ]

a. Size Of The Baby:

  • Your baby measures just over ½ an inch or 1.6 cm long and is about the size of a kidney bean or raspberry at week 8. She is constantly shifting herself and moving in your womb, twitching her hands and legs, but you may not notice this just because she is so tiny.

b. The Connection:

  • At week 8, the umbilical cord of your baby has developed and formed a living link between you and your baby. You are now feeding your baby and removing its waste through this connection your baby has formed with you.
  • If you consider the umbilical cord to be some kind of a pipeline, think twice. This connection also works as a transmitter of the communication taking place between you and your baby. The hormones of your bodies are exchanging signals to make necessary changes. The two arteries and one vein of the umbilical cord are embedded in Wharton’s Jelly which is a slippery connective tissue. The arteries spiral around the one vein making the umbilical cord very strong. Your baby is at one end of this cord, and the placenta on the other.

c. The Foetal Pole:

  • The mass of cells which separates itself from the yolk sac is known as the foetal pole. This becomes visible on the transvaginal ultrasound scanning as you enter your 6th week and with abdominal ultrasound imaging at 8 weeks of your gestation. A foetal pole is somite stage of would be foetus.
  • Of the best ways to calculate the due date would be to add 1 mm a day to the foetal pole + 6 weeks, because it grows at that rate starting from week 6 of pregnancy. At week 8 the measurement of foetal pole would be 14 mm.

Care and Tips for 8th Week Pregnancy:

Your body is the protective case in which your baby grows. Though you are destined to be two separate individuals in future, at preset your bodies are intricately intertwined and connected to each other. What goes into your mind or body enters your tiny foetus. You may at times consciously or unconsciously expose your baby to harmful substances. Habits die hard.

Let us discuss the ill effects of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine on your baby this week. Awareness will make it easy for you to give up those bad habits, especially if you that your baby is involved in the risk you take.

1. How Tobacco Affects Your Baby:

  • Studies and extensive research conducted on the effects of tobacco on the foetus has clearly proven that it has adverse effects on the foetus and can create developmental problems in your child. Women who smoke often give birth to children with low birth weight which is also known as intra-uterine growth restriction. It also increases the risk of still birth. Smoking is known increase abnormal development of the baby leading to foetal anomalies.
  • Babies born to women who smoke have at a higher risk of being born with developmental or cognitive disabilities, problem with their vision and prone to chronic lung disease. Furthermore, the toxins in the blood of the smoking woman will reduce the oxygen supply to the baby.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can make symptoms like shortness of breath or congestion worse than it would normally be. Since smoking is known to affect your immune system, you will more prone to infections.

2. Effects Of Alcohol On Your Baby:

  • Drinking is bad for your health at any stage of life, but it is more lethal during your pregnancy. Alcohol intake during the first trimester can greatly undermine your health, as well as causing a lot of ill effects on the growing foetus. A pregnant woman who consumes alcohol will often suffer from folic acid and thiamine deficiency in her body, which in turn affects the foetus. Many women have falls or accidents following a drinking bout leading to miscarriage or serious trauma to the abdomen and uterus. The chances of liver disease, bone marrow suppression and pneumonia are higher in women prone to alcoholism.
  • The alcohol you drink, does not stay in your body alone, it will enter the tiny body of your baby through the placenta. An increased blood level for alcohol in the foetus can leave behind permanent damage in the baby. The baby will be born with foetal alcohol syndrome due to the exposure it had to alcohol in the uterus. These babies will have higher risk of developing mental retardation, problems in their central nervous system, deformed facial features, malfunctioning of kidneys and their heart.
  • If you want to know how much of alcohol is safe for you, I would say none. There is no proof as to how much of alcohol can a pregnant woman consume without affecting the baby in anyway. It may also lead your baby to death. So, to be on the safer side, it is better to follow abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy.

3. What Coffee Does to your Baby:

  • Pregnant women who consume more than 300 mg of caffeine in a day will have higher risk of miscarriage. This does not mean it is good for you to consume coffee moderately, because it still possesses the potential to carry on the harmful chemical process in your body. The stimulant in the coffee can lead to insomnia, dehydration, headaches, higher metabolism rate and heartburn. Apart from causing inconvenience to you, this will have adverse effect on the development and growth of your baby.
  • Caffeine consumption is known to cause low birth weight, preterm delivery and birth defects in babies. Caffeine like alcohol passes into the body of your foetus through placenta and remains active in the tiny body for nearly 11 hours. Did you know that your baby will take more than 100 hours to produce enzymes that will break it down and detoxify its body? Avoid consumption of coffee during your pregnancy as much as possible.

Tips for Dad:

As you have just gone through some adverse effects of tobacco, alcohol and caffeine on your baby, try to avoid that as much as possible in your home. Even though you are not carrying the baby in your womb, you can cause harm by making your partner a passive smoker; in addition you are tempting her to smoke a cigarette or two.

If your wife is trying to give up on coffee and alcohol, try to be there and support her by giving up the habits yourself. This is not just good for you baby but will help you maintain your own health as well.

Hope now you are aware of 8 weeks pregnant symptoms and you will take care of yourself and your baby. Do share your comments.

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