As far as the growth of the embryo is concerned, this week belongs to the physical features – the baby’s arms and the legs. And, will any baby sit still when his arms and legs help him swim around? Never! There’s going to be movement too. But, sadly you won’t feel it so soon.
The embryo is only slightly bigger than the 7th week. It measures more than ½ inch in length. Its size is comparable to that of a raspberry. After this week, your little one records a consistent growth rate – a millimeter each day. The body also straightens out a bit. And, yes the small embryonic tail that perplexed you through the 6th and 7th weeks has almost disappeared.
The arms and the legs are the milestone development of the 8th week. The arms and legs emerging from the no longer look like stubs. They are longer and better formed. The bones have begun to harden also called ossification. Thus, the ankles, elbows and wrists are visible though not very distinct. The fingers and toes also come into focus. The hands and feet are still a slightly webbed, but if you look closely you will be able to count 20 separate digits.
Your little one uses her fast growing arms and legs to make spontaneous movements. However, they are very subtle and you will not be able to feel them. An ultrasound will definitely catch your baby live in action.
The embryo has started to look more baby-like (no offence). The eyelids have formed. The upper lip and nose tip will grab your attention. The ears are gradually gaining shape externally.
Changes to your body
Pregnancy hormones continue to get the better of you. In addition to the list of morning sickness, constipation, indigestion, heartburn, frequent urination over the past few weeks, you may now experience a heightened sense of smell. You can sense smells from afar. They make your stomach churn and could be the cause of increased morning sickness.
The 8th week also brings in wacky dreams – Some memorable, some crazy and some nightmarish, for a few expectant moms.
You may feel extra tired and extra hungry as body is still adjusting to the surge in the level of hormones. Besides, your baby has also started growing taste buds.
You may face a hard time with your breasts too. The milk producing lobules in the breast tissue expand in preparation for breastfeeding. The breasts appear bigger and feel heavy and sore.
Women in the 8th week of pregnancy also complain of mild cramps in the lower abdomen. The uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. it exerts pressure on the ligaments and muscles in the abdomen region and cause mild pain on either side of the pelvis. Light pink or brown discharge is also normal.
Tips for this week
- Schedule your first prenatal checkup if you still haven’t had one.
- It’s time you shop for maternity clothing especially new comfortable bras. You will need them soon.
- Pay attention to what you eat. Limit your intake of sugar sweetened sodas, high fat foods and those containing artificial sweeteners. You can have diary products made of pasteurized milk. Omega 3-fatty acids are essential for the development of your baby’s brain. However, you may have to limit the intake of certain fish for the fear of lead and mercury poisoning.
- Reduce the risk of pregnancy complication and birth defects by quit smoking, alcohol and the use of tobacco and recreational drugs.
- Avoid activities or exercise that are laborious or those that put excessive strain on the back and the belly.
- Report any unusual changes such as heavy bleeding to the doctor.
- Do not consume any medication without your doctor’s prescription.