At week eight of pregnancy, you’ll soon learn why many parents-to-be call their kiddos “little beans”. If you see your baby on ultrasound this week, it’s roughly the same size and shape as a kidney bean. Though it might not seem like much, your embryo has developed from a teeny poppy seed fleck into a legume in four short weeks. Missed out on our week 7 article? Take a look here!
The early life inside of you is changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up (but we’ll try our best to provide you with all the info you need).
The challenges and unfamiliar experiences are increasing by the day as your body accommodates your expanding baby. Feeling robbed of the cute bump and pregnant radiance you were promised? Hate not looking pregnant but feeling pregnant? Don’t worry – the glow-up of trimester two is coming!
If you’ve been with us since week one, stay tuned for in-depth weekly updates on your baby and progress. We’re talking about all things pregnancy, including body changes and everything to help you through every stage of this new chapter.
Here’s what to expect this week.
At a Glance: Week Eight of Pregnancy
- Hurrah – your baby looks nearly human this week.
- Your baby has grown again and is now the size of a kidney bean, having shot up another half a centimetre and boasting a length of 1.5 -1.6 centimetres.
- Not only the size of one, but it also looks like a legume.
- Every body part and body system is a work in progress, including reproductive organs.
- There’s no bump yet, but your uterus is growing and providing your little one with a spacious home.
- Nausea and exhaustion are standard fixtures in your life. We’ve included other unusual prego symptoms and why you get them.
- How to cope with this week’s body changes and emotional challenges? Glimpses of your baby will improve your mood and head space.
Week Eight of Pregnancy Overview
It’s hard to keep track of the exact size of your baby due to the speed at which it’s expanding, but they grow at a rate of one millimetre daily.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg concerning fetal development. Incredibly, nearly all organs and body systems are developing, including the placenta, which is weeks off from attaching itself to the uterus wall. In the meantime, the yolk sac continues to feed your baby and remove its waste.
Determined by chromosomes upon conception, your baby’s sex characteristics differentiate into ovaries or testes. You’ll have to wait, however, until your second baby scan to identify the external organs!
Your uterus is also gradually growing to make room for your baby. Nearly the size of a lemon, it’s still small enough to fit inside your pelvis, so there are no significant changes to your belly yet. It won’t fit where it is once it gets bigger. When that day comes, you’ll have a bump to display.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Eight of Pregnancy
This week spells for another mini-growth spurt. Approximately the size of a kidney bean, your baby has sprouted another 5 or 6 millimetres.
It’s been another big week for your growing and changing little resident. Take a look at the below for the latest.
- Nearly all the body parts are growing, but on a much smaller scale than adults. Many aren’t fully functional, and some aren’t in their correct and final location. For example, there’s not enough space in the embryo’s body to grow the intestines, so instead, they’ll connect on the base of the umbilical cord until there’s enough room.
- Your baby’s body is straightening out, looking less like a tadpole and distinctly more human. This includes the stretching of both arms and legs and the uncurling of its big head.
- The upper torso develops faster than the lower torso, which gives your baby a slightly unbalanced appearance. This unbalanced growth eventually evens out.
- That cute little tail is disappearing.
- Your baby’s paddle-like hands and feet are now growing webbed fingers and toes.
- Your baby’s on the move! Not really, but electrical activity in the brain allows your little one to move around in the womb, making spontaneous motions and twitches with their limbs. Once the baby starts moving, they barely stop! Right now, the movements are simple and barely perceptible, but soon they’ll perform complex actions, like sucking their thumb, stretching and swallowing.
- Quickening, the gentle, butterfly-like sensation you feel when your baby moves around in the womb, won’t happen for weeks. They are too tiny to cause a physical impact outside of the womb.
- Your baby has an almost complete face – with a chin, jaw, mouth and nose. The inner part of their ears is nearly developed while the outer part is emerging. Tiny folds of the eyelids are almost formed, while the seeing parts of the eyes – think the iris, retina, and cornea, are growing.
Because every pregnancy is unique, the above description generalises early embryonic development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes For Week Eight of Pregnancy
As your baby grows and reaches milestones, we can imagine you’ve seen better days.
By now, you recognise the telltale pregnancy signs and hope they’ll leave soon. It’s an unglamorous time in your pregnancy, to say the least, but remind yourself how strong and powerful your body is for making a baby.
You might only be experiencing a few or many of the below-listed symptoms. Still, two dominant ailments you’d like to see the back of are morning sickness and fatigue, followed by unrelenting heartburn, persistent bloating, increased flatulence, and uncomfortable constipation.
But are there other pregnancy signs that you should know about? Ones that aren’t as widely experienced but are perfectly normal indicators of pregnancy? Look below for a list of less familiar features of early pregnancy.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
The extra estrogen circulating in your body creates a pregnancy discharge called leukorrhea. This clear to milky-coloured, mild-smelling fluid is sometimes released during early pregnancy and is no cause for concern.
But green discharge with a strong odour indicates a vaginal infection that may affect your babt negatively. Premature births and low birth weights are linked to these types of conditions. We would advise you to speak to your doctor if concerned.
During pregnancy, your blood vessels relax and widen, sometimes causing dizziness or low blood pressure.
But lightheadedness could also result from not eating enough, dehydration or a lack of iron in your diet. Best chat with your doctor if it’s a common occurrence, as it may require treatment or intervention.
3. Vivid Pregnancy Dreams
Are you having crazier dreams than usual? There’s nothing wrong with you. Big changes are coming, and having pregnancy dreams is your mind’s way of processing complex emotions. Apprehensive? Anxious? Scared? Excited? Your dreams are a chaotic manifestation of your hopes, dreams, concerns and worries for the future.
Pregnancy hormones might also have something to do with the intensity and themes of your dreams.
Researchers argue that since they affect your mood during the day, chemicals follow you into your sleep and shape your dreams. Higher levels of progesterone could be why your dreams are so detailed, memorable, weird and overwhelming.
What do pregnant women dream about? The content might vary but is usually centred on their future baby, labour, feeling trapped or being in conflict with a partner, among other things.
4. Nose Bleeds
Nose bleeds can be pretty common even when you’re not pregnant. Having one might be distressing, especially if it’s your first time being pregnant and you weren’t warned that your nose could leak blood copiously.
But unless you lose a lot of blood, nose bleeds stop without medical attention.
And guess why you get them? Yup, it’s those pregnancy hormones terrorising you in countless different ways.
Runny nose? It might not be signs of a cold but pregnancy. Many people experience rhinitis while pregnant.
6. Out of Breath
Shortness of breath, the feeling of not having enough air to fill your lungs, is frightening and anxiety provoking. But it may only be a pregnancy symptom, rectified by improving your posture, slowing down or propping yourself up while at rest.
Pregnant women breathe faster because of the elevated quantities of progesterone in their bodies, which may lead to that out-of-breath feeling. But it could be a sign of a serious medical condition if it happens suddenly, severely or accompanied by pain or a slow pulse.
Shortness of breath or being unable to breathe properly could also be anxiety-related. You might suffer from anxiety attacks during pregnancy if you’re highly anxious or overwhelmed.
7. Voice Changes
“Does my voice sound different?” – it’s not your imagination; voice changes are another weird, hormone-causing symptom of pregnancy. Your vocal range will alter, so you won’t be able to hit those high notes while singing in the shower but might reach the low ones.
8. Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain becomes a common symptom that becomes more pronounced once your uterus starts growing. Your back muscles have to work harder to support the weight of the expanding organ.
Week Eight Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
Are you looking for a light at the end of the tunnel? Many pregnancy symptoms should subside in four to six weeks, including wretched morning sickness. But until that time comes, we’ve got some tips to help you feel more human and less focused on the negatives of pregnancy.
1. Acknowledge Your Progress
You’re two months pregnant – remind yourself every time you start catastrophising about everything that could go wrong, fixating on pregnancy symptoms, and wondering if you’ll ever feel better.
Your little one has come far since barreling toward the uterus as a fertilised egg, and so have you.
Give yourself credit; you might not feel great or harbour guilt about being mean to your spouse, but you are making and carrying a baby. That’s no mean feat.
If you’re having a particularly challenging week, reward yourself with something nice. Treat yourself to a day of pampering.
2. Document Your Bump (or bump-to-be)
Pregnant women start showing at different times for various reasons. Still, at week eight, it’s too early to see anything. At week eight, you could also mistake the beginnings of a bump for a bloated abdomen.
While you might not appear visibly pregnant (aside from bigger boobs and waistline), why not document your nearly-there bump? Take progress photos of you and the little one in front of a mirror to look back on.
3. On Being Body Positive
Right now, your body’s in that awkward in-between stage where your boobs know you’re pregnant, but your belly, although bloated, isn’t giving many hints away.
Although you might try to embrace your new body, it can be hard to accept it’s changing. Your clothes might not fit right, affecting your confidence and your self-perceived level of attractiveness.
Let’s be honest; you feel good when you look good. If you’re self-conscious about your looks and ill-fitting outfits, why not get some flattering, fashionable, larger clothes instead of donning stained t-shirts and holey yoga pants?
Of course, you might feel too sick to care about your looks right now, but this could be something to consider later.
4. Eat When You’re Hungry
Wondering if you’ll ever want to eat again? Pregnancy is unpredictable; moments of extreme nausea might follow feeling ravenous. Take advantage whenever you have an appetite with a snack or a healthy or nutritious meal.
If vegetables don’t agree with you, add some sweetness to your diet with fruit. They’re a healthy, delicious snack and stand-in for veggies, loaded with vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.
5. Use Sunscreen
Melasma is a skin condition affecting women, resulting in skin patches over the body. A high-SPF sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from melasma and sun damage in general. Lather it on liberally whenever you’re in the sun.
Do I Need an Ultrasound During Week Eight of Pregnancy?
This week could be exciting for you if your prenatal appointment and ultrasound are booked! You’ll forget about pregnancy symptoms after seeing your little one.
At this appointment, you’ll have your due date verified and learn if you’re having twins (or triplets)! The doctor will measure your baby from crown to rump, ensuring they’re growing normally, and look for the fetal heartbeat.
It’s important to note that your first ultrasound is done transvaginally because your baby, at less than 2 centimetres, is still tiny. A transducer wand wrapped in a condom is inserted into your vagina to get close to the uterus to see your baby. While this might sound invasive, it’s not that different to your standard gynae checkup.
This doctor’s visit isn’t all about your baby but about you too. You may undergo a series of examinations and be asked questions about your health and well-being.
Fun Facts for Pregnancy Week Eight
- Want to know the size of your baby’s head? About 25% of its body. That’s a big noggin!
- Think pregnancy lasts forever? That’s what Beulah Hunter thought when hers lasted 375 days before giving birth nearly 100 days overdue in 1945.
Week Eight of Pregnancy Checklist
- Presenting weird symptoms? Check our list for bloody noses, dizziness and vivid pregnancy dreams!
- Spoil yourself with pampering – buy new clothes, get a massage or have your hair done! Check out our Mum Pamper Hamper if you need a jump start!
- Love your body, even if it looks different.
- Be positive – your symptoms won’t last forever.
- Start a weekly bump date – soon, you’ll have something to show!
- It’s time for your scan – book one if you haven’t yet.
- Interested to learn more about your growing body and changing baby? Stay tuned for our week 9 article!