8 weeks pregnant, your baby’s heart has already been beating for 4 weeks! Fetal development is rapid, and a lot is happening with your belly and body too.
Can you still button your jeans? Many women won’t feel like their baby bump is showing up now, but not all pregnancies are the same. Some moms may find it difficult now to button their jeans because of bloating.
This article will cover both your baby’s development, how big your baby is, pregnancy symptoms, what’s happening with mom’s body and belly, and what a pregnancy diary may look like this week.
When you are 8 weeks pregnant, your baby’s toes and fingers start to form, as you can see in the photo below.
Your uterus is expanding rapidly, which may lead to some cramping. Mild cramping is normal, as well as some light spotting, bbut if you notice any bleeding, contact your health care provider!
What to Expect When 8 Weeks Pregnant
In this article:
How Many Months is 8 Weeks Pregnant?
When you are 8 weeks pregnant, you are still in your first trimester and month 2 of pregnancy. You still have 7 months to go.
There is often confusion when it comes to counting the weeks and the months of the pregnancy.
As you know, a full pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (or 280 days). To make things simpler, we usually say that it lasts for 9 months.
There is a discrepancy if you think that one month has 4 weeks. A month doesn’t last for exactly 4 weeks, because every month (except for February) has 30 or 31 days.
That is why we say that pregnancy lasts 9 months, although it lasts a bit longer, something between 9 months and one week, up to ten months in total (which is around 40 weeks).
The other source of confusion is the difference between how many weeks/months pregnant you are and what week/month of pregnancy you are in.
Let’s try to explain it this way:
Imagine yourself literally walking through your weeks (day 1, day 2, …, day 7). Let’s say you are now exactly 7 weeks and 3 days pregnant. That means you are currently pregnant for the full 7 weeks plus 3 more days, which means you are in your eighth week. Once you reach 7 weeks and 7 days, you reached the finish line for week 8. You are now full 8 weeks pregnant and are entering your ninth week.
The same is with months. To reach a certain month of pregnancy, you need to complete all the weeks in it fully. If you are in your 5th month of pregnancy, it means you are pregnant for the full 4 months (the months you fully completed), plus a certain number of weeks. After you complete all the weeks in month 5 (4 months + 1/2/3/4 weeks), you will be 5 months pregnant and enter your sixth month.
To make it easier for you to understand, we wrote a post on counting pregnancy weeks and months.
Your Baby’s Development
How Big is my Baby at 8 Weeks?
The little embryo is now the size of a pinto bean or a raspberry, measuring around 0.45-0.8 inches (1.2-2.2 cm) in length.
He or she weighs a whopping 0.04 ounce (1 gram).
Although this may not seem large even at 2 months of pregnancy, your body is rapidly expanding to try and accommodate the growing child inside of you.
What Does my Baby Look Like at 8 Weeks Pregnant?
As you can see in the picture above, your baby still does not look completely like a human, but he or she sure is getting there! The baby’s body is becoming more defined, and the embryonic tail is almost gone.
You can now clearly see arms and legs, while fingers are beginning to form.
And cool – the nose tip is being formed!
This week, an ultrasound would reveal if you are carrying twins or not – as in the picture to the left. However, it’ll be too early to determine how many placentas and amniotic sacs are present. More ultrasound are needed in the next few weeks to confirm a twin pregnancy. Only 3 in 100 lead to a multiple pregnancy, but heredity and mom’s age may increase your chances of a twin pregnancy.
Your first ultrasound scan will let you know. If you are pregnant with twins, or suspect you are, you might enjoy reading this interview with a twin mom.
Fetal Development in Week 8
Besides looking a bit more like a human, other amazing things are happening this week with your baby’s development.
A fascinating milestone is that your little embryo’s brain can now send out signals to move their arms and legs.
As the ears are still forming, the retinas in the baby’s eyes are beginning to form and the eyes start to have some color.
Fingers and toes have now begun to branch off of those arm and leg buds that have been developing these past few weeks, even though you would see more of a webbed look to them for now. Both the arms and legs can now move and bend at the elbow.
The upper part of your baby’s body is expanding in order to make room for all of the activity that is going on.
The intestines are starting to develop, but because there is not enough room for them in the baby’s abdomen, they move into the umbilical cord. They will move into the abdomen when there is enough room. Sometimes, this is seen as early as the 6th week of pregnancy.
The tubes that lead from the throat to the lungs branch out. Your baby’s heart is beating at a rate of about 150 to 170 times per minute, and the chambers of the heart are now nearly completely formed.
Mom’s Body when 8 Weeks Pregnant
You might be able to notice a slight difference in how your clothes fit now. Exciting! Even though you can still probably fit into that favorite pair of jeans, they may be snugger, and you won’t be wearing them for much longer.
By strategically dressing, you could probably still hide the small life growing within you if you are still unsure about letting the world know of your exciting news. But it certainly gets more difficult with every pregnancy for most moms. The stomach muscles are more stretched in your second pregnancy (and on), and the baby bump is likely to show earlier.
At 8 weeks pregnant, it is perfectly normal to feel moderate cramping and discomfort from your expanding uterus, but if you start to notice vaginal bleeding, seek professional medical advice. Mild spotting can be perfectly normal, but if it persists, it could be a sign of problems.
You are probably aware of the risks of miscarriage during these first several weeks of pregnancy. However, if a live embryo has been seen in ultrasound at around 8-12 weeks pregnant, the risk of miscarriage is significantly reduced.
You might be experiencing one of the most known early pregnancy symptoms—morning sickness. Although the name suggests otherwise, morning sickness might appear at any time during the day. Try to eat smaller meals, but frequent. If you are experiencing severe nausea and it’s hard to keep the food down, try to find foods that work for you. Although you might stress about not eating a variety of healthy foods, at this point, it is most important that you eat something that won’t make you throw up.
Because of the hormones, some women also experience food and smell aversions.
You are probably fatigued, which is also normal. Try to rest as much as possible and sleep when you can. The good news is that this exhaustion usually goes away in the second trimester. But then it comes back near the end of the pregnancy…
Don’t be surprised if you feel bloated and experience gassiness. It is the result of changes in the body’s hormones and the pressure of a growing baby taking up space from the gastrointestinal tract. It is uncomfortable, we know, but it will pass.
Your breasts might have started to grow. It is different for every woman, and while some might continue wearing their pre-pregnancy bras almost the entire pregnancy, others will have to buy bigger ones as their breasts might go up a cup size or even two.
As we always emphasize, every pregnancy is different, and not every woman experiences the same symptoms. Some women experience certain symptoms earlier, some experience them later, while some won’t experience them at all. Every pregnancy and the way a woman’s body reacts to it is unique.
Things to do and buy this week
Eating healthy will help your baby develop well both now and in the future. To learn about how to eat to promote your baby’s health, click here.
At 8 weeks, it is time for your first prenatal doctor’s visit. You will probably give a urine sample, and your blood will be drawn to check the hormone levels. You will most likely also have your first ultrasound, where the doctor will check the baby’s growth and heart rate. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to your doctor about it.
Many new parents will wait 12 to 14 weeks before they announce their pregnancy, while others cannot hold their secret for long and let everyone know right away. When do you want to tell? With my first baby, we waited until after week 12. With our second, we told everyone the day after we had a positive pregnancy test! :-)
Your pregnancy can affect many decisions that you have previously not considered, such as taking holidays. Vacations out of the country often require immunizations, and some can be harmful to some expecting mothers. Make sure to check with your medical provider before planning any long trips to avoid unnecessary health risks.
If you haven’t bought any pregnancy books yet, now is a great time! I bought a pregnancy diary (and you can read what I wrote in it here below), as well as a general pregnancy health book and a picture book. (Links to Amazon so that you can check them out):
- The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer (The one I used was less detailed. I like this one!)
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting
- A Child Is Born: Fifth Edition of the Beloved Classic
Week 8 Pregnancy Video
Diary of a Daughter
What’s it really like being 8 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from an 8 weeks pregnant mom (Me..!)
I’m beginning to be very tired and nauseated in the evening. (Morning sickness – who came up with that name.) Frying food makes me feel like throwing up. My stomach is kind of large and bloated.
But none of this is really important because two days ago I had an ultrasound… I’ve seen my baby! It made me cry. A tiny little embryo with a beating heart. Such a miracle!
Are you also 8 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!
Read Next About the 1st Trimester
- Effective remedies for morning sickness (and not)
- What to eat and not during pregnancy
- Miscarriage statistics week by week
- Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
- Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD, The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
- Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. A Child Is Born
- Soderberg, L., Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
- Illustrated Review of the Embryology and Development of the Facial Region, Part 1: Early Face and Lateral Nasal Cavities
- Fetal Echocardiography / Your Unborn Baby’s Heart
Image of 8 weeks embryo: Photo credit to LunarCaustic