8 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week?
You’re now 8 weeks pregnant. Learn why there’s an increased risk of having a miscarriage during the first trimester.
How is my baby developing?
You’re 8 weeks pregnant and now your baby is starting to look more human. The face continues to form, with eyes, nostrils, lips and a mouth with a tongue and 20 buds for baby teeth already present.
The brain develops fast this week, now with two distinct hemispheres. The spinal column is formed and back muscles are beginning to develop.
The bones also continue to grow and the process of ossification (hardening of the bones) has started at the hands and feet.
Limbs are lengthening and there are knee and elbow joints, which allow your baby to bend arms and legs. Fingers and toes are present but still webbed.
All internal organs have started to develop and are now in the right position. This week, your baby is about 8 to 11mm long.
8 weeks pregnant symptoms and how is my body changing?
You’re 8 weeks pregnant and you’re feeling very tired because your body is working hard to support your baby’s development.
You may also have noticed that your nipples are darker and some women develop a dark line from the navel to pubic hair, called linea Negra.
Your breasts feel swollen and there’s an increase in discharge because your vaginal walls are softening and produce a watery substance. You may want to start looking for maternity clothes, as you’ll need them soon.
Indeed you may be showing already if this is your second pregnancy or more, as previous pregnancies have loosened your muscles allowing the growing uterus to be noticeable before.
Increased risk of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks
Unfortunately, there’s still a high risk of miscarriage until 12 weeks, and there’s little you can do to prevent it.
Most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, and the fetus wouldn’t be able to survive outside the womb.
Some environmental factors may also cause miscarriage, so you should avoid any contact with toxins or environmental hazards.
Signs of a miscarriage include bleeding during pregnancy and cramping and you should contact your doctor immediately.
Sadly, in some cases, your doctor won’t be able to find a heartbeat with an ultrasound examination. You may have a complete spontaneous miscarriage, with no medical intervention.
However, some women will not expel the fetus entirely and need urgent medical attention.
Although this can be devastating, you must remember that most women will go on to have normal pregnancies afterward.
However, if you have a history of miscarriages, tell your doctor so that a cause can be determined and treated.