Pregnancy Calendar Week 8 – It’s Time For The First Prenatal Checkup

Pregnancy Calendar Week 8 – It’s Time For The First Prenatal Checkup

You are about to wrap up the second month of your pregnancy. However, the gestational age of your baby is 6 weeks since pregnancy date is counted from the last first day of your last period. At this point of time, the embryo is graduating towards fetus. Keep reading to know what changes you would expect by the end of this week.

Week 8

This is the week when you would be able to see your baby first time on an ultrasound. This will determine the progress of your pregnancy. You are just completing the two-third of your first trimester. There has been tremendous amount of progress since last week. Your uterus is expanding to accommodate the tenant aka baby which is growing rapidly while the hormones continue to cause various changes to your body.

Your body this week

Uterus

While your body might not be showing up any physical pregnancy signs, you are now feeling more pregnant than past few weeks. At 8 weeks of pregnancy, your uterus is expanding and if you are pregnant with twin babies, the physical signs may be more apparent. Before pregnancy, the uterus was approx. the size of your fist, but now it’s steadily becoming as large as a grapefruit.

The expansion of the womb also stretches your muscles and ligaments which supports the womb. In terms of weight gain during first trimester, you would experience about half a kg each week. So by the end of 8 weeks, you might have gained 2-3 kgs of weight unless you are experiencing morning sickness. You might notice that your clothes are fitting more tightly as you progress towards the end of your first trimester.

Typical symptoms

All the growth till date and the ever increasing hormone levels hCG can wreak havoc on your body. The hCG levels typically peaks in between 8-12 week. This can result in cramp that might mimic that of period cramps. Although, it’s completely normal and there is nothing to concern about.

The changing hormone levels also causes increase in the blood volume. They may also cause the blood vessels to relax and widen which can result in dizziness, some call it light-headedness. For some others, it might be feeling cold and nauseated simultaneously.

Other symptoms will continue this week also with some new ones. These include:

At this point of time, if you are spotting blood, it can be an alarming situation as it’s a sign of miscarriage. However, sex might be the other reason behind spotting as cervix may be sensitive during these days. So, its better to call the doctor to rule out any unwanted situation.

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Your baby this week

By the time you reach 8 weeks of pregnancy, your baby feature the organs or body parts of a human, but on a smaller scale. Of course, everything is not ready yet as the progress is still going on.

Bones and facial features

The bones of the baby have started to form while at the same time, the unique facial features continue to develop. The tail is almost gone and the baby now looks less reptilian.

Testes or ovaries

Also, this week the gonads (sex glands) will turn into either testes or ovaries but don’t jump the gun, it still won’t be detected by an ultrasound. The sex is typically determined at around 18 weeks.

Heartbeat and movements

The heartbeat which you probably heard last week is now beating at an unbelievable rate of about 150-170 beats per minute, twice that of an adult. While you may not be able to notice the baby moving yet but he or she is making random movements inside.

Size and appearance

The development of the baby is running full-fledged and he or she might already be around an inch in length. It now has grown to the size of a kidney bean or raspberry. It may look like a tadpole as his body parts begins to straighten and those small paddle-like hands and feet will start budding fingers and toes.

Healthy eating

You might not be hankering after pickles or ice cream, but the pregnancy cravings could be impacting your healthy eating habits. As you are eating for two, you only need to have extra 300 calories every day or 600 calories if you are pregnant with twins. And if you hear those chocolate cakes and potato chips calling your name, try to avoid that route and choose a healthier alternative instead. These include:

  1. Have a 400 gram mango smoothies
  2. A cup of cottage cheese or a big glass of milk daily
  3. Eat whole foods to satisfy your hunger
  4. Include cereals and grains into your diet
  5. 3-4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables
  6. Protein-rich foods such as lean meat, eggs and fish
  7. Grab foods such as apple or peanut butter for quick snack

Expecting dads

Your wife might be experiencing challenges or concerns spinning around her body image. You as a responsible to-be-dad should stretch your support to your partner. Secondly, as this is the time when she experience breast enlargement, you need to be cautious where and how to touch during lovemaking.

Your wife might not be sporting a baby belly, but this is the right time you start capturing the progression on a monthly or weekly basis. Pick up your camera and start snapping those moments.

Screening

This time around, you will probably have your first prenatal appointment. You will be able to catch a glimpse of your 8-week baby and you will be really astonished to see his or her arms and legs moving around in a crazy manner.

At the first appointment, your doctor will draw your blood to know a number of things including the blood type, hormone levels and white blood count. The blood might also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, hepatitis B as well as for checking chromosomal abnormalities. The doc can also conduct Pap smear test to evaluate you for infections or abnormalities.

Your protein levels and glucose may also be checked to rule out preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

Tips for the week

You are battling with a lot of things, so try to daily lifestyle. Below tips can help you in addressing your symptoms and prepare for a healthy baby.

  1. Don’t eat packed or preserved foods as they contain high content of sugar and salt
  2. Continue taking vitaminand folic acid supplement recommended by your doctor
  3. Eat light and frequent meals to keep off nausea
  4. Buy some comfortable bras to ease soreness and tenderness in breasts
  5. It’s a good idea to start adding squats to your exercise routine as it strengthens and tones your thighs

To conclude the article at a good note, research says that at reaching eight weeks, the chances of miscarriage lowers to 1.5 percent. However, you still need to be careful as most cases occur in the first trimester only. Anything from vaginal bleeding or spotting to painful cramps and passing tissue from the vagina, is a cause of concern.

Call the doctor without delay if you experience any unusual signs mentioned above.

Sources

1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Miscarriage: Definition. read more
2. The Nemours Foundation. Kidshealth.org. Pregnancy Calendar, Week 8 read more
3. Stages of pregnancy. (2017). 
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