Your baby is the size of a raspberry

8 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

This week, hands and feet are forming tiny fingers and toes, and those arms are able to flex at the elbows and wrists. At this point, eyes begin to develop pigment, and genitals are forming too, although it's still too soon to know whether you're expecting a boy or a girl. If you feel like taking a guess though, have some fun with our Baby Gender Quiz. These external features aren’t the only things developing — the internal organs are making strides, too. As the intestines form, they start to take up space in the umbilical cord because there’s not enough room in your baby’s abdomen yet. 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.

The Size of the Embryo at 8 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby has already come a long way, and soon, growth will speed right up! Your little one is about the size of a raspberry this week — just 0.5 to 0.6 inches (1.3 to 1.5 centimetres) long, crown to rump. At eight weeks, here’s a glimpse of what the embryo may look like:

Embryo at 8 weeks pregnant
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Mom's Body at 8 Weeks Pregnant

By the time you're eight weeks pregnant, pregnancy symptoms may be in full swing. Your clothes are may start to pinch a little around your belly, but on the plus side, you may be able to hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time if you have an ultrasound at eight weeks pregnant — something to make up for the not-so-pleasant symptoms you may have been experiencing. You may be wondering when you will start showing. Keep in mind that every mom-to-be and every pregnancy is unique so when the bump starts to show varies from woman to woman and even pregnancy to pregnancy. Typically, though, you may notice that your jeans fit a little snugger sometime after 13 weeks of pregnancy. By the way, if this is not your first pregnancy you may be interested in reading about some of the ways a second pregnancy is different to the first.

8 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At eight weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Morning sickness. You may be dealing with nausea and even vomiting right about now. The good news is morning sickness symptoms usually subside during the second trimester, and you're almost there! For now, try nibbling on crackers before you get up, and aim for five or six small meals a day, rather than three large ones.

  • Food and smell aversions. Certain tastes and odours that have never bothered you before may seem overbearing or repugnant, thanks to increased hormones that amplify your sense of smell and make your stomach feel as if you’re on a wild roller coaster ride.

  • Diarrhea. Your digestive system may be far more sensitive now. Make sure you're practicing healthy eating habits and staying hydrated. Contact your healthcare provider if the diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours, or is accompanied by any other symptoms, and do not take anti-diarrheal medicine or any medication before checking with your provider.

  • Frequent urination. Yes, you may still be making lots of extra trips to the bathroom. This symptom will come and go throughout the rest of your pregnancy as your baby grows and your uterus expands, both of which put pressure on your bladder.

  • Abdominal cramping. This symptom can be associated with the continued growth of your uterus. If the cramping is severe at eight weeks pregnant, call your healthcare provider to rule out problems.

  • Back pain. By the time you are eight weeks pregnant, back pain may strike, particularly around the lower back. That's because the muscles in your back are working a bit harder than usual as your weight is redistributed to accommodate your growing uterus. Furthermore, your centre of gravity is changing, and those pregnancy hormones are working on relaxing ligaments in the joints of your pelvis.

  • Light spotting. Spotting (a few drops of blood at a time) can be normal. However, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you feel at all concerned and call right away if you notice heavier bleeding at eight weeks pregnant.

  • Fatigue. Your progesterone levels are increasing, which can often leave you feeling more tired than usual. Go ahead and grab some extra snooze time whenever you can. If you’re feeling exhausted, listen to your body, and try to take it easy.

  • Trouble sleeping. Changing hormone levels, discomfort, and extra trips to the restroom often add up to disturbed sleep. Try listening to peaceful music or reading a book if you’re feeling wide awake. You can also try drinking warm milk or taking a shower or bath before bed. Some women find lying on their left side is helpful, as it improves blood circulation. Placing a pillow between your knees may help you feel more comfortable too.

8 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Think about adding a few pieces of stretchy clothing to your wardrobe that will grow with you. From about eight weeks pregnant onward, your bump will start to grow, and you'll want to avoid tight pants from here on out. Don't forget to get fitted for the correct bra size throughout your pregnancy as your breasts grow.

  • Take care of yourself by exercising. If you were fairly active before your pregnancy, it’s usually considered safe to continue the activities you enjoyed (just check with your healthcare provider to be sure).

  • Getting good care is important! It’s time for your first visit with your healthcare provider, so if you haven’t chosen a provider, do this now. Your options may depend on where you live and what may be available in your area, but whoever you choose, it’s important that you’re comfortable with his or her philosophy and practices.

  • When to share the news of your pregnancy is the subject of much debate: Some couples tell close friends and family right away. Others choose to wait until they’re past the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage is much lower. When you’re ready, here are some fun pregnancy announcement ideas.

  • It’s still early and you won’t yet know the gender of your baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start having some fun thinking about baby names. Start making a list of names – you may even like to add them to your pregnancy memory book, if you have one, so your child can look back at the names you were considering in the years to come. You can keep adding to your shortlist before eventually making your choice – no pressure though you still have many months to decide…

  • Connect with other parents who are due around the same time as you, or other parents in your area. There may be a social media group you can find, or perhaps there are community support groups you can reach out to. Parents with babies or young children in your community can be a wealth of information and support.

  • If you have a little spare time this week, take a moment to read up on some of the pregnancy warning signs you shouldn’t ignore. Being aware of the symptoms of some of the potential complications might help you feel confident about what may be normal and what may not be. Remember, your healthcare provider is the expert, though, so if you’re ever in doubt or have concerns, contact him right away.

8 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

Your prenatal visits are usually scheduled once a month until the last two months of your pregnancy, when they will become more frequent until you give birth. These regular checkups give you the perfect opportunity to ask questions and bring up concerns.

  • What are some ways to get a better night’s sleep?

  • Is it safe to travel when pregnant, and when is the best time?

  • When and how to contact the healthcare provider between appointments?

  • What types of prenatal tests are needed or recommended, and when should they be scheduled?

8 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Find a healthcare provider you like and trust, whether that person is a physician, nurse-practitioner, or midwife.

  • Check with your chosen provider about when your next checkups will be and download our Pregnancy Guide for a handy prenatal visit calendar.

  • With your partner, start to plan how and when you’ll share the big news with family and friends.

  • Consider making an appointment with the dentist. Your dentist may be able to provide you with personalized information on taking care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy.

  • Take some time off this week! If you can, set aside half a day to do something you enjoy. Then make a habit of it. Set aside a few hours each week just for yourself.

  • Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips:

How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.