Pregnancy calendar

weeks pregnant

8 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Here comes a growth spurt: Your little one will double in size this week.

Week 8 infographic

What does my baby look like?

They will start to look more like a little person (and less like a creature from another planet).

Your baby’s head uncurls a little. They have longer arms than legs because their head and upper body is growing faster than the rest of them.

Your baby is snug and protected in their amniotic sac. The placenta is getting ready to take on the job of looking after your baby, forming ‘chronic villi’ which will help it attach to the wall of the womb. At this stage of development your baby is still getting nutrients from the yolk sac.

By eight weeks, your baby is called a 'fetus' rather than an embryo.

Your symptoms - what to expect

Pregnancy tiredness and morning sickness in the first trimester can really knock you. Put up your feet and read our tips to help you get through the day (if you can stay awake).

Feeling thirsty?

The volume of blood in your body is increasing and this can make you feel thirstier than usual. Aim to drink eight medium glasses of fluid a day (sip if you are feeling sick).

Constantly needing a wee?

You may notice that you need to wee more often. This often starts in early pregnancy thanks to hormones and continues as your growing womb presses on your bladder.

Are your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth?

That’ll be the hormones making your gums inflamed. You need to take extra care of your pearly whites and make sure you book an appointment with your dentist, which is free during pregnancy.

Find out more about how to care for your teeth and gums in 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them.)

Exercise... are you kidding?

Still feeling exhausted? There’s nothing quite like pregnancy tiredness. It can feel like you’re drudging through thick fog and be utterly debilitating.

It might sound bonkers but the best antidote to tiredness can be exercise. Don’t worry about being active while you’re pregnant - it’s great for both you and your baby (unless your doc tells you otherwise).

“I was so excited to be pregnant, but it also made me feel very tired. I could have slept all day and then still be tired when I woke up. It’s an exhaustion like nothing you've ever felt before.”

Louisa, mum of two

Find out more about the types of exercise you can do in pregnancy here.

And if you’re not used to exercising, read our ten tips for staying active here.

Actions to take

Pack a snack

Stave off pregnancy anaemia by cranking up your iron stores with these golden goodies. Dried apricots also contain folic acid, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and will kick-start sluggish pregnancy digestion.

Find out more about nutrition in pregnancy here.

Healthy Start programme

It’s a good time to ask about the government Healthy Start programme. You might be eligible for free pregnancy vitamin supplements and food vouchers.

Find out more about vital supplements in pregnancy here.

Sources

1. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape, p.205

2. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape, pp. 205-6

3. You and your baby at 0–8 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx [accessed 28 February 2015] (last reviewed: 9 February 2015; next review due: 9 February 2017).

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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