Week 8 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 8 of Pregnancy
Your baby is growing at an amazing rate — about a millimeter every day — and now is the size of a large raspberry. Your little berry is looking a lot less reptilian (even though she has webbed fingers and toes, her tail is just about gone) and a lot more baby-like these days, as her lips, nose, eyelids, legs, and back continue to take shape. Her heart is beating at the incredible rate of 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours! And even though you can’t yet feel it, she’s now making spontaneous movements as she twitches her tiny trunk and limb buds.
Learn more about your baby and baby’s growth this week.
Your Body in Week 8 of Pregnancy
While your raspberry-sized babe isn’t exactly causing you to show yet, chances are your clothes are feeling a little tight around the tummy and you might need a bigger bra. You may also be feeling perpetually queasy. But take heart — your baby feels just fine even while you’re hugging the bowl with morning sickness. Try to eat often, but only a little at a time. That should also help your body battle another stubborn woe coming your way soon: pregnancy heartburn. Most likely, you’ll find relief as you move into your second trimester, but for now, try to focus on the positive: Morning sickness is usually a sign that your pregnancy is going well.
Learn more about your body this week and morning sickness.
Week 8 Pregnancy Tip: Eating Fruit During Pregnancy
Fruit is always your friend — but consider it your best friend while you’re expecting. Not only does nature’s sweetest bounty contain essential vitamins and other nutrients that are good for you and your baby, but it plays a starring role in keeping you regular (pass the prunes, please!). More sweet news: The right fruit can stand in for just about any vegetable you’re shunning when pregnancy aversions and nausea may be keeping you from bellying up to the salad bar. (For instance, opt for dried apricots when you can’t stomach broccoli.) A good rule of nutritional thumb when it comes to fruits (and veggies): Stronger colors spell better nutrition. But more often than not, it’s what’s inside that counts. So while a cantaloupe pales in comparison with a red apple on the outside, the inside tells a different story; the deeply hued flesh of the melon way outscores the white apple in vitamin and mineral content. Select your produce, then, by the color of its “inner” rainbow when shopping and you’ll find nutrients worth their weight in gold.
Learn more about eating well in the first trimester.
Week 8 Pregnancy Symptoms
Fatigue: What’s making you so tired these days? Try everything! Pregnancy is hard work, and you should ask for help — from your partner, from your family, and from your friends. Having your partner (or a pal) lend a hand means you might have enough energy to go out for a walk (and then go to bed!).
Nausea and vomiting: Those queasy feelings may still be sticking around this week. Try eating foods with ginger (many studies show it works for reducing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy) — ginger cookies, real ginger ale, or ginger candies. And try taking your prenatal vitamin during dinner rather than on an empty stomach. The chewable kind might also make you feel less queasy.
Food cravings and aversions: Craving weird substances such as clay or laundry starch? Call your practitioner. These types of cravings are called pica and could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, especially of iron.
Flatulence: Along with the bloating and constipation comes that other common scourge of pregnancy: flatulence (aka farting). The (aptly named) hormone relaxin, along with progesterone, is working to relax the muscles in your body, including those in your gastrointestinal tract. This causes food to move along more slowly, which leads to indigestion and gassiness. What can you do about it (except apologize to those around you)? Try to relax when you eat — tension can cause you to swallow air along with your food, which can form gas pockets in your belly.
Bloating: Those swell pregnancy hormones may cause you to swell as they slow down your metabolism. Try to drink lots of fluid and follow a healthy diet to avoid constipation, which only aggravates your bloated feeling.
Constipation: Fiber can be your BFF in the fight against those sluggish intestines, so add some fiber to every meal. But pace yourself if you’re not used to a fiber-rich diet or you’ll find yourself gassier than ever before: For instance, replace that white rice with brown and serve it along with your roasted chicken and veggies but don’t overload your system with a dish of brown rice, tofu, and broccoli.
Increased sense of smell: If your heightened sense of smell is making mealtime preparation unbearable, switch to foods that you don’t have to cook or, better yet, have your partner pitch in. If there’s a window in the kitchen, leave it open. Or just cook the foods you can stand to eat.
Increased vaginal discharge: Yet another bodily fluid introduced to you courtesy of estrogen — leukorrhea, a thin, milky vaginal discharge. (When estrogen increases blood flow to the pelvic area, it stimulates the body’s mucous membranes.) Leukorrhea protects the birth canal from infection by maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria, so don’t try to douche or wash it away.
Occasional headaches: All that exhaustion, stress, and hunger (or nausea) you’re experiencing (plus those pesky hormones) can make your head ache — literally. Some women get headaches more often during pregnancy, and others don’t. Make sure you’re getting enough rest to ward off fatigue-triggered headaches and keep eating to prevent your blood sugar from dropping and triggering them as well.
Occasional faintness or dizziness: You might find yourself light-headed these days. That’s because your body isn’t producing enough blood to fill your rapidly expanding circulatory system, which is gearing up to meet the needs of that other (little) body. Let your practitioner know if it happens a lot; otherwise, lie down as soon as you feel light-headed. If that’s not possible, then sit and bend as far forward as you can and put your head between your knees.