Are you suddenly feeling the urge to eat weird foods? Or feeling like you need to pee every five seconds? You’re in good company, mama. Welcome to being 8 weeks pregnant!
It’s an exciting time. Your pregnancy is beginning to feel real. You might be just starting to show, and you may be visualizing your new baby growing inside you. It’s a feeling like no other.
While 8 weeks pregnant is still very early, there is a lot going on with you and your baby, and you’re at a fascinating stage of your pregnancy. Here’s what’s going on inside your body…
What should I expect at 8 weeks pregnant?
8 week fetus
At eight weeks, your baby is growing very quickly. How big is your baby at 8 weeks? At this point, they are about ½ to ¾ of an inch long, or about the size of a raspberry. And they are growing fast! In fact, your baby is growing about a millimeter in size each day.
They’re also changing shape. After starting off as a teeny tiny fertilized egg, the embryo at 8 weeks (yup, the technical term for your baby is “embryo” until the 11-week mark!) has grown different body parts from diversifying cells.
At this point, your baby already has a heart, the beginnings of arms and legs, a “neural tube” and… wait for it… a tail! Starting at 8 weeks, that “neural tube” will turn into the brain, spinal cord and major nerves. Webbed fingers and toes are developing (they’ll separate later) and your baby’s arms can bend at the elbows.
Also at this time, your baby’s facial features — such as their ear lobes, nose, eyelids and upper lip — are forming, as well as the retina (the layer of cells in the eye that processes light). Slowly but surely, they’re starting to look like a real baby.
It’s also around the 7th or 8th week that your baby starts to develop into a girl or boy. If they’re biologically male, a gene will trigger the development of testes around this time. Otherwise, your baby develops as a female.
And the tail? That’s almost gone by 8 weeks. Phew!
8 weeks pregnant symptoms
Your baby is going through a lot of changes, but what about you? Can you show at 8 weeks pregnant? And what other 8 weeks pregnant developments can you expect?
The truth is, an 8 weeks pregnant belly looks different for everyone. Some mamas begin to show, but others won’t for a while. It’ll still take another few weeks before you start to really look pregnant. Are you wondering, what size is my uterus at 8 weeks? Well, it’s gone from its usual size of a fist to about a large grapefruit.
Chances are, there are other things you’re noticing about your body right now. Some common 8 weeks pregnant symptoms include:
- A metallic taste in your mouth
- Cramping (a little like period pains)
- Feeling bloated
- Mood swings
- Unusual food cravings
- Heightened sense of smell
- A milky white discharge from your vagina
- Light spotting (although you should see your doctor if you get more bleeding than this)
- Thicker and shinier hair
- Patches of darkened skin on your face (known as “chloasma faciei”)
- Slightly swollen breasts
You may feel tired (unsurprising, given how much is going on inside you!), and you may need to hit the bathroom more than usual, as your womb pushes on your bladder. If you’re waking up in the night to pee, try to stay hydrated in the day but hold back on liquids in the evening.
You may have already experienced morning sickness, and some mamas find it fades around this point. Unfortunately, for others, this is when it begins. An estimated 75% of women experience morning sickness, though the cause isn’t known for sure. It could be due to the increased hormones in your body or the relaxation of muscles in your digestive system as they make room for your growing womb.
But even if you’re feeling rough, your baby feels just fine.
What else can I expect at 8 weeks pregnant?
So, we know what your baby and body is doing at eight weeks. But can you actually see what your baby is doing at 8 weeks? And what are the chances of miscarriage at 8 weeks?
- Can you have an ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant? If you’re not sure when you became pregnant, or previously experienced an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage, your doctor may recommend you get an early ultrasound. An 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound can detect the baby’s heartbeat and help work out your baby’s age and due date.
- What are the chances of miscarriage at 8 weeks? The chances of miscarriage at 8 weeks are still pretty low – roughly 2 - 4%.
If you do suffer a miscarriage, many people find that reaching out to others can be a big help. You’d be surprised at how many women share your experiences, and mutual support can make all the difference.
Whatever your experience of pregnancy at eight weeks, it’s something you’ll only go through once with this baby. It’s special — and weird at times. You’re doing amazing things, mama!