8 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Find a physician, nurse-practitioner, or midwife you like and trust
- Once you’ve chosen a provider, schedule your monthly prenatal care appointments
- With your partner, plan how you’ll share the big news with family and friends
This week, hands and feet are forming tiny webbed fingers and toes. The tail your little one has been sporting starts to disappear. Right now the embryo’s shape is more cubical than round.
The extremities aren’t the only things developing – the middle is making strides, too. As the intestines form, a middle loop moves into the umbilical cord because there’s not enough room for it in the abdomen. Even at this early stage, the intestines are working to carry waste away from the body. A month from now, when there’s more room in your little one’s belly, the intestines will move out of the cord and back into the abdomen.
If you could give your little one’s body a nudge with your finger, you’d see it react with a reflexive jerk. The developing nervous system is already communicating with the muscles.
Your Baby’s Development
Marveling over a baby’s tiny fingers and toes is one of the joys of the first day of life. Those fingers and toes are just beginning to form this week, and the arms can even flex at the elbows and wrists. The eyes are becoming more obvious because they’ve begun to develop pigment (color) in the retina (back of the eye).
Watch Your Baby GrowAlso, the intestines are getting longer and there isn’t enough room for them in the baby’s abdomen, so they protrude into the umbilical cord until week 12.
By now, the beginnings of the buds that will develop into your baby’s genitals have made their appearance, although they’ve not yet developed enough to reveal whether your baby is a boy or a girl.
Pregnancy symptoms such as a missed period, nausea, extreme fatigue, or tight clothes due to the swelling of your uterus have probably prompted you to wonder whether you’re pregnant. Once you have confirmation of your pregnancy from a home pregnancy test or blood or urine test at the doctor’s office, schedule your first prenatal visit.
Good prenatal care is extremely important for the health and safe delivery of your baby, so be sure to make prenatal appointments a top priority. If your pregnancy is considered high-risk (for example, if you have had multiple miscarriages, are older than 35, or have a history of pregnancy complications), your doctor may want to see you as early as possible and more often during the course of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms at eight weeks
Your body is doing a wonderful job of helping your baby to grow, but increased blood flow, pregnancy hormones and your growing womb (uterus) can make you prone to varicose veins. These happen when blood collects in weak spots in your veins, causing them to bulge under your skin. Symptoms often start to appear in the first trimester.
Varicose veins will most likely appear on your legs, although it’s possible to get them around your rectal area (piles) or genitals (vulval varicose veins). It’s unlikely that varicose veins will cause you any serious problems. But you should mention them to your midwife at your first antenatal appointment, or see your GP before then if they cause you any discomfort.
What you need to know at eight weeks of pregnancy
- Though you’re unlikely to have gained much weight, parts of your body are certainly growing. You’ve probably noticed that your breasts seem bigger. This is because your pregnancy hormones have triggered the layer of fat in them to thicken and your milk ducts to multiply.
- If your pre-pregnancy bras are making your boobs uncomfortable, think about getting fitted for a couple of good, supportive maternity bras. Your breasts will continue to change throughout pregnancy, so choose bras that are soft and flexible, and avoid underwires.
- Do you need to drink more water now.
- Constipation is a common side effect of pregnancy.
- If you’re planning a holiday before your baby’s due, check out our top tips for pregnant travellers.
- If you’re struggling to keep any food or drink down, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).