Pregnancy Week 8: It’s Time To Hear That Tiny Heartbeat!

5 min read

8 weeks pregnant
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Has it really been this long? Before you know it, week 7 has already turned into week 8 and two months have passed since the day a tiny life started growing inside of you. It can be hard to believe, especially because you probably have only known about your pregnancy for a month or so and have yet to feel the full brunt of symptoms.

To you, pregnancy may have seemed like an abstract concept that you wake up every day wondering if it is a dream. But being 8 weeks pregnant is where this becomes solidified, where you gain an actual proof of this wonderful miracle. 

Because after being 8 weeks pregnant, you will normally have your first prenatal appointment, where you will finally get to ask all those questions you have been holding inside. This is also the time when you may finally have that first ultrasound, where you may get to hear and see your baby’s tiny, but mighty heartbeat. Your embryo is becoming a fetus and the realisation of this will make you feel the full force of the happiness that has been put inside of you.

Pregnancy week: 8

8 weeks pregnant baby size is that of a raspberry, about 0.5 to 0.75 inches, weight about 0.04 ounces approximately. While this may be too small to give you a noticeable 8 weeks pregnant belly, there is actually a lot of development that has occurred. Your baby’s hands and toes are only slightly webbed and may actually be moving a lot, though you may not feel it.

Their taste buds have begun forming, soon to be in full shape to get those first nutrients. 8 weeks pregnant baby size may not be as much as the child you will soon bring home, but they are getting closer to it and looking more and more like themselves, with facial features continuing to develop, so much that their upper lips and nose have probably sprouted. 

8 weeks pregnant belly is still not with a proper bump, but you may have started noticing your clothes getting tighter. You are gaining weight steadily, but there could already be a slightly visible bump because of your expanding uterus.

However, if you aren’t showing yet, do not be disappointed and remind yourself that good things take time. Though your 8 weeks pregnant belly is not yet the gorgeous pregnancy bump you are longing to see, it is still a shelter for your growing child and deserves to be taken care of just as much for a healthy pregnancy. So, start going for looser clothes and pants.

8 weeks pregnant symptoms

Now that you’re getting further and further along in your pregnancy, your symptoms will begin to develop. While it is possible that you have not experienced any symptoms yet, it is also common for mild ones to show up. 8 weeks pregnant symptoms may not be fully discomforting as the ones to follow, but you may begin to feel the heat, even literally. It is okay to feel extra cranky due to all this, plus the stress of the pregnancy preparations. 

It can help to write these feelings down, talk to a friend or relative who has been through this or even see a pregnancy therapist. It is important to share your true feelings about these symptoms, without feeling guilty. Your dislike for the symptoms does not mean you dislike the child. It just means you are acknowledging the exhaustion, while also acknowledging that it is worth the end result.

Here are a few common 8 weeks pregnant symptoms that you may be experiencing:

1. A heightened sense of smell

If you have found yourself more sensitive to smells than usual, it is not just your imagination. In this week of pregnancy, you can find yourself more aware of the smells that surround you, to the point that the slight whiff of a scent too unappealing could trigger nausea. It is best to surround yourself with comfortable smells and keep away from ones that disturb.

2. Fatigue

With changing hormones and an increase in blood supply to the baby, you may find yourself feeling even more tired than usual. Even though it seems as if not a long time has passed, this is the moment to make changes in your life. The things you could do easily before can now be tiring for you. It is important to listen to your body and only do as much as it is comfortable with doing. Take naps and sleep for a longer, healthier time.

3. Sore breasts

As your breasts started getting ready for future breastfeeding, they may begin to feel bigger, tender and sore. Wear comfortable clothing that does not aggravate the feeling. 

4. Morning sickness

This is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms and can grow in intensity with each initial pregnancy week. As the pregnancy hormones race through your body, it can be hard to stomach food because of nausea. Eat foods that settle well in your stomach and use certain morning sickness alleviating methods such as Vitamin B6, ginger, etc.

5. Cramps

As your uterus adjusts for your baby, it is normal to experience mild cramps as one of the 8 weeks pregnant symptoms. However, if the cramps feel too severe or you find yourself concerned in any manner, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. It is always best to be safe, first and foremost.

6. Constipation

As uncomfortable as it feels, constipation is common during this time, too. You can find yourself struggling to empty your stomach. Try natural constipation relieving methods such as foods rich in fibre, vegetables, dates etc. Always confirm with your doctor if these are safe to take and also tell them if these do not work.

7. Spotting

Seeing spotting during your pregnancy can be alarming, but there may be other causes behind it, too, such as certain changes in your body. Tell your doctor so they pinpoint the actual cause and explain it to you.

8. Weird dreams

Pregnancy can also come with vivid, strange dreams that feel way more real than your usual ones. This could simply be a manifestation of your inner worries and anxieties due to stress since there is so much change happening both in and around you. You can try keeping a dream journal if it helps you to write those dreams down and release the emotions that come with them.

8 weeks pregnant ultrasound

The first prenatal appointment happens somewhere between the 8th and 12th weeks. So, you could be getting your first ultrasound this week. At 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound, the baby has grown to shed its tail and its limbs will be moving around, which could be sensed in the ultrasound. Along with that, the baby’s heartbeat may be heard, somewhere around this time or after. 

8 weeks pregnant

Along with the 8 weeks pregnant ultrasound, your doctor will run certain tests on you, such as one to confirm your blood type, one to check your hormone and blood cell levels, one to screen your for certain immunity based conditions like HIV, STDs etc. and a pap smear test to check for any abnormalities or infections, such as cervical cancer. A test for UTIs will be done as well, where you will be asked to deposit your urine in a cup, where it will be tested for infections and percentage of protein. 

Self-care tips for being 8 weeks pregnant

Keeping a few tips in mind could ease out the bumps in your journey, so you can have as comfortable a ride as possible.

1. Prenatal appointment

This could be the time for your scheduled prenatal appointment and even if it’s not, it’s always good to be prepared first hand. Make a note of all the questions you want to ask your doctor, such as what medication and supplements are safe to take, if your pregnancy is considered high risk, what options are available for the hospital where you will give birth in, if there are any activities you should avoid, etc.

Do not feel awkward or like you are annoying the doctor with too many questions because even the smallest doubts can turn into full-blown worries and hence, it is good to ask them first hand.

2. Food and diet

Your doctor will not start measuring your belly yet, but you can share any weight concerns with them. It is normal to gain around 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester of pregnancy, hence you could have gained weight because of that. If your morning sickness is severe, then you may gain less. Talk to your doctor about foods to take that will settle your stomach and help with nausea as well as prove healthy for the pregnancy. Continue with supplements that your doctor recommends for the baby.

3. Genetic testing

If you have a partner, discuss the idea of genetic testing with them. In genetic testing, you could find out the abnormalities in the genes of the baby, so you know firsthand if there are things you need to prepare yourself for. 

Sharing the news

You may not have shared the news with many people at this point, out of fear about something going wrong. While miscarriage is worrisome because 15% of known pregnancies result in it in the first trimester. But at 8 weeks pregnant, your chances of miscarriage are lowered to around 1.5% as shown in this study. Thus, after discussing any risks with the doctor, if you feel comfortable, you can find creative ways to reveal this special news to your loved ones.

You are slowly starting to find your footing in this 40-week long journey, having crossed the checkpoint of 8 weeks. Give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far and taking care of yourself so nicely.