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The eighth week of your pregnancy is a prenatal landmark that culminates in the end of your unborn child’s embryonic stage and begins his or her development into the physical human being he or she will become. During this last week of embryonic development, your baby will grow at a rate of one millimeter per day. This growth rate may seem minimal to you. However, it is actually scientifically impressive and will definitely make its impact on your own body as well. Further, in terms of what to expect at 8 weeks pregnant, this week may actually be the last one in which you can fit into your pre-pregnancy clothing.
By the eighth week of pregnancy, most women typically are aware that they are expecting as they may be a week to two weeks late having their period. Depending on your own cycle, you may have missed two periods by now. Missed periods, along with some other physical indications like swollen breasts and visible blue veins on your breasts and abdomen, are signs that preparations are being made in your body for the remaining 32 to 33 weeks of your pregnancy.
It is during this week as well that you should arrange for prenatal care with an obstetrician or midwife. You may not be very far along; nonetheless, your pregnancy is at a stage where a vaginal ultrasound can detect your baby’s physical development and the development of the placenta. Likewise, your doctor or midwife should be able to detect your unborn child’s heartbeat with a handheld doppler. These early prenatal procedures are crucial to detecting any possible pregnancy complications like a slow or missing heartbeat. You likewise can expect to undergo your first round of blood testing to confirm your pregnancy and to check you for conditions like anemia and HIV.
8 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Knowing what to expect at 8 weeks pregnant is important to putting your own mind at ease about your overall health. As noted, this week of pregnancy is a flurry of physical changes that will occur in your baby’s body and also your own body. Your hormone levels will increase to accommodate these changes, causing you to experience a host of physical and emotional side effects that could impact how well you can carry out your normal routine.
One of the most famous changes that women experience during this week involves overwhelming nausea. Dubbed “morning sickness,” this nausea tends to be more intense and can actually affect you anytime of day, not just in the morning. Pregnant women tend to be more nauseated in the morning because of their stomachs being empty and also because of hormone levels in their bodies being higher first thing in the morning. Surprisingly, eating can relieve the symptoms of morning sickness. As you ease your way through this eighth week of pregnancy, nibbling on saltines or sucking on peppermints may help you overcome the worst waves of morning sickness nausea.
This week also marks the increase of hormones in your body that may affect your emotions. You may find yourself crying more often or unable to control your emotional outbursts. You may also become more annoyed than usual. These emotional variations are normal and can be linked directly to the influx of pregnancy hormones overtaking your body during this week. If your emotional outbursts become bothersome, it is recommended that you take some time by yourself and even take a nap. Resting will be an invaluable resource on which to rely during this week and the remaining weeks of your pregnancy.
Your 8 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
Your eighth week of pregnancy can be the ideal time for your prenatal provider to perform an ultrasound. An ultrasound helps you and your doctor know what to expect at 8 weeks pregnant in terms of your own unborn child’s prenatal development. Despite the fact that babies ultimately develop their own unique appearances and sizes, your unborn baby should hit certain developmental milestones by the eighth week of pregnancy, milestones that should be detectable with an ultrasound. After you arrange for prenatal care, you may undergo one of these medical procedures during your first obstetrician or midwife appointment.
Your provider may try to perform the ultrasound using a handheld device that is scanned over your abdomen. If this attempt is unsuccessful in generating an image of your baby, the technician may then perform a vaginal ultrasound. The procedure typically only takes a few moments to carry out; however, it is important that your provider gets a clear view of your developing baby to determine what, if any, prenatal complications could exist. If your baby and the placenta are intact and thriving, you will be scheduled for your next appointment in about a month’s time.
Many expectant mothers fear the impact that an ultrasound will have on their early pregnancies. Scientific studies have proven that ultrasounds carried out during the eighth week, and even those carried out earlier in a pregnancy, are safe and pose little to no harm to the unborn baby. Once a procedure carried out only during cases of suspected prenatal complications, ultrasounds are now routine tests that every expectant mother can anticipate undergoing once, if not several times, before she delivers. This procedure also allows obstetricians and midwives to discover whether or not you are carrying more than one baby. Twin and multiple pregnancies call for more intensive care until you deliver.
8 Weeks Pregnancy Development
One of the most interesting discoveries in terms of what to expect at 8 weeks pregnant centers on learning how quickly your unborn baby develops during this important week. Your baby transforms from a tadpole-looking embryo into a fetus that looks more like what you would expect of a developing baby in this early stage of pregnancy. Some of the most marked physical changes occur in the baby’s face. It is during this week that your unborn child will develop facial features like eyebrows, eyelids, nose, lips, and even dimples.
Your baby also will develop fingers and toes as well as fingerprints that are unique to him or her. Your baby’s heart will grow bigger and start beating stronger. His or her ears will start to develop. By the end of the eighth week, your baby will have most of the physical features he or she will need to look like a human. Because your child’s legs are growing stronger during this week, he or she will start to kick and wave his or her arms. You will not be able to feel this movement for another three to four weeks, however.
As your baby grows, you likewise will experience some physical changes in your own body during this week. By knowing what to expect at 8 weeks pregnant, you can know with more certainty that you are pregnant. Along with missing your period, one of the more obvious pregnancy signs, you also may develop blue veins on your breasts and abdomen. Your nipples may become larger, rounder, and darker in color. You also may develop a noticeable dark line down the center of your abdomen. These physical changes correlate with the development of your unborn baby.