Your Pregnancy Week 8
Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Your BabyDuring pregnancy week 8 your baby may be as large as 20mm long! This is roughly the size of a large kidney bean! Your baby continues to look more and more human every day.
Changes in Your Growing BabyWhile you may be feeling ill your little bean is thriving! The small tail your baby developed in early pregnancy slowly evaporates. In the upcoming weeks your baby will develop eyelids. Now your babies legs and arms grow longer and longer, helping your baby look more proportional inside your womb. During this time your baby's brain also continues to mature and grow, as nerve cells start connecting or talking to one another. These nerve cells will allow your baby to communicate after birth.
Your baby's lungs are also working diligently to mature. It will take a minimum of 37 weeks however for your baby's lungs to develop well enough to allow your baby to breathe comfortably on his own. One of the more serious complications premature infants face is immature lungs. Fortunately modern medicine has afforded doctors many treatments that can help stimulate lung development if mothers experience premature labor.
Your Body's DevelopmentYou are definitely growing and expanding, though your tummy may still look more bloated than pregnant. Many women complain they look more chubby than pregnant. Take pride in knowing however that you are creating life within you. Consider your bloated belly a proud reminder of the life you have inside you.
Most women's uterus expands to roughly the size of a large orange or small grapefruit now. That's quite a leap considering your uterus started out smaller than the size of an avocado seed! Keep in mind if you are carrying twins your uterus will grow much faster than that of a mom carrying one baby. Because of this you may start showing sooner. Women who have had more than one pregnancy will also generally start showing sooner because their stomach muscles have had time to relax. Regardless, most women will still look pretty small compared to what their tummies will look like later during pregnancy.
Changes in Your BodyBy now you may be anxious to share your precious miracle with the world around you. You are probably feeling very pregnant now. One symptom many women start noticing at 8 weeks pregnant is increasing breast growth. It is not uncommon for women's breasts to increase in sizes between one and several cup sizes during pregnancy. This happens particularly toward the end of pregnancy when your body starts preparing to nurture your baby with breast milk. Many women consider breast growth one of the most positive side effects of pregnancy. If your breasts are growing considerably you might consider buying a new bra a size or two bigger than your normal bras, to accommodate your expanding chest and ensure extra room for growth throughout your pregnancy.
Some women worry that breastfeeding will ruin their breasts. Stop worrying. Most of the changes that occur in your breasts occur while you are pregnant. That said if your breasts are going to change you might as well consider breastfeeding for all the wonderful benefits it offers your baby. Breastfeeding also provides new moms a host of health benefits and helps create a strong bond between mother and newborn. Now is a good time to start looking into your baby's feeding options after delivery. Your healthcare provider an refer you to a qualified lactation consultant if you have questions or concerns about feeding your baby after delivery.
Sleep ProblemsAt 8 weeks pregnant, you are halfway through your first trimester. Though your pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness and fatigue, continue in full swing, it won't be long until you start to feel better. Along with your first trimester symptoms, you might find that it's getting increasingly difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
Insomnia and sleep problems can be contributed to the many discomforts of the first trimester - such as queasiness, heartburn and indigestion, leg cramps, and frequent urination. Emotional changes can also lead to insomnia and sleep problems, especially if you're worried about your pregnancy.
Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do about insomnia or sleep problems during pregnancy. Tossing and turning is often just part of the experience of having a baby. You can, however, get some comfort by investing in a pregnancy pillow. These special pillows are usually designed to conform to the unique shape of a pregnant woman's body, and they may give you a good night's sleep.
If you are constantly waking up to run to urinate, it may help if you empty your bladder immediately before you go to bed. You should also avoid drinking any water right before you go to sleep. This may help cut down on those midnight runs to the restroom, and you can sleep at night.
Video: What to Expect from the 8th Week of Pregnancy
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