8 Weeks Pregnant: The 8th Week of Pregnancy
You have now completed almost two months! Here is what you can expect this week. If you have just found out that you are pregnant, you may want to read weeks 1-7.
How is pregnancy calculated?
This is just a reminder that pregnancy is calculated from the first date of your last menstrual period (LMP) and not when you conceived.
What changes are occurring with your body?
Although it may not look like your body has changed from the outside, many changes have occurred throughout your body. Before you were pregnant, your uterus was about the size of your fist, but it is now about the size of a grapefruit.
You may have noticed changes in your breasts as well. They may be more tender and sensitive. This is completely normal as your body is preparing for lactation.
Another change that has occurred that you may not be aware of is that your blood volume has increased by 40 to 50 percent.
What is happening with your baby?
Everything that is present in an adult human is now present in your baby. The ears are continuing to form externally and internally. The bones are beginning to develop, and the muscles can contract. Fingers and toes are webbed and are growing longer.
Your baby’s facial features continue to mature. The tip of the nose is present, and the eyelids are now more developed. The embryonic tail is also disappearing, and your baby’s body is beginning to straighten out. While your baby’s gender has already been determined, the external genitals are still forming and cannot be clearly seen.
How big is your baby?
The embryo is a little over an inch (2.54 centimeters) long and is approximately the size of a bean.
What should you plan for this week?
You might be going in for your first prenatal visit, or it may still be a couple of weeks away. (The first prenatal visit is usually between 8 and 12 weeks from your last menstrual period.) If you did not meet with your health care provider before you were pregnant, this may be a longer appointment.
Your doctor will ask for your medical history which includes:
- Medical problems
- The date of your last menstrual period
- Birth control methods
- History of abortions and/or miscarriages
- Medications you are taking and medication allergies
- Your family’s medical history
You can also expect:
- A medical exam with a pap smear, cervical cultures, and an ultrasound
- Opportunity to address any questions that you may have
Tips for making your pregnancy better
During pregnancy some women develop oily skin and suffer from acne. If you are using over-the-counter medications to treat this, it is important that you know what ingredients the products contain. If you have questions regarding the safety of a particular medication during pregnancy, it is best to consult with your health care provider or a pharmacist.
Tips for mom’s partner
If you have pets, you may need to take over their care while your partner is pregnant. A pregnant woman should be wary of changing cat litter due to the possibility of becoming infected with toxoplasmosis. You can also help her by shopping for dog and cat food so she can avoid the strain of lifting large bags.