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8 weeks pregnant - all you need to know

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.

Your baby’s head uncurls a little in the womb. 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 ‘chorionic 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.

Get weekly updates on your baby's development from our expert midwives straight to your inbox.

What to do in week 8

To tell or not to tell

Telling people is such a personal thing for you and your partner to decide. Many people decide not to go public with their pregnancy until they have their gone past 12 weeks. This is because after three months the risk of having a miscarriage goes down.

If you do have an early miscarriage, though, you are likely to need the support of close family and friends, so you could consider telling just a few people before the end of the first three months. You can read more about the symptoms of early miscarriage here.

“I told my parents at six weeks, mainly because if anything had gone wrong at that point I would have wanted their support without having to explain that I was pregnant in the first place. We told everyone else after the 12-week scan.”
Abby, mum of one

If you do have a miscarriage, though, you are likely to need the support of close family and friends, so you could consider telling just a few people before the end of the first three months.

Having a safer pregnancy

There are certain things you can do and avoid doing that can bring down your risk of pregnancy loss and complications. Read about the dos and don’ts of pregnancy here.

Are you at risk at work?

If you’re worried your job could be a risk to your health, tell your manager you’re pregnant. Your work will need to remove these risks, or perhaps offer you different work.

Things that could cause a risk might include:

  • heavy lifting or carrying
  • standing or sitting for long periods without enough breaks
  • being exposed to toxic substances
  • long working hours

If your employer can't remove any risks, they should suspend you on full pay. You can read more about your rights at work as a pregnant woman on this government website.

Find out more about having a working pregnancy.

Your first midwife appointment

In the next few weeks, you will have your booking appointment. This is your first antenatal appointment with a midwife. You’ll be asked for lots of information about your physical and emotional health, your family’s health, any medical conditions you have and your lifestyle. This first visit may take up to an hour, so allow plenty of time.

Your answers can help make sure the antenatal team offers the right support for you. After all, their job is to ensure you have the best possible care during your pregnancy!

Your booking appointment is also a great chance for you to ask any questions you may have about your pregnancy and birth. For example, you might want to know about the screening and diagnostic tests you’d like to have or to discuss where you’d like to give birth.

It is also a chance to ask your midwife for your free prescriptions form (FW8) which enables you to apply for an NHS 'maternity exemption' certificate. Your midwife will need to sign it so you can get your prescriptions free of charge.

Read more about your booking appointment.

Sources

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

3. NHS Choices. You and your baby at 0–8 weeks pregnant http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2017 Next review due: 28/02/2020).

2. NHS Choices. Miscarriage overview, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/ (Page last reviewed: 01/06/2018  Next review due: 01/06/2021)

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Last reviewed on June 25th, 2018. Next review date June 25th, 2021.

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Comments

  • By Thandeka (not verified) on 2 Nov 2018 - 12:36

    I am 8 weeks pregnant already I feel pelvic pain and It too Sharp im scared because it still early

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Nov 2018 - 14:07

    Hi Thandeka. You need to go to your GP to ask to be referred to your local early pregnancy assessment unit. There they will review you and perhaps perform an early scan. If your pain becomes very bad, and it is out of hoirs, you can attend your A&E minors walk in centre
    All the best. Tommy's Midwife

  • By Eva (not verified) on 25 Oct 2018 - 19:59

    am 7weeks pregnant no symptom at all I don't feel any little pains I only feel little tired some time even me myself I don't understand my self pls do u think every thing is okk wit my baby?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Oct 2018 - 10:20

    Hi Eva,
    Please try not to worry, symptoms vary hugely from pregnancy to pregnancy for everyone. For some women, they do not find they have any real pregnancy symptoms and this can be very normal. If you previously had symptoms and had a sudden loss off them, or any pain or bleeding then we would advise for to to contact your GP for a review.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Rebecca (not verified) on 24 Oct 2018 - 09:13

    Hi I'm 8 weeks pregnant going by what hospital said as I had to go in around about 6 weeks pregnant due to bleeding all fine but had abit of sickness for 3 days and now I don't feel any symptoms at the moment part from I sleep a lot tired and recently started having a little blury vision 3 times so far I feel fine should it be a conserne? As I'm not feeling massively hungry ever?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Oct 2018 - 12:24

    Hi Rebecca
    Feeling tired, having a lack of appetite and being nauseous is very normal in pregnancy.
    Although the blurry vision is more of a concern. Please go to your hospital early pregnancy unit/pregnancy triage/a&e for urgent review as this can be a sign of early onset pre-eclampsia. They may need to take some bloods from you whilst you are there
    Please be seen as you soon as you can be! It is very important!
    All the best
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Jun 2018 - 17:10

    Isn't is chorionic villi?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Jun 2018 - 15:01

    Hi,
    I am not sure what you are referring to. Chorionic villi are the blood vessels within the placenta.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Dinesh kumar (not verified) on 16 Apr 2018 - 10:52

    My wife is planning to travel by bus and train for 2 nights and 1 day. She will be in 7th week. Is it safe to travel

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Apr 2018 - 16:31

    Hi Dinesh
    As long as your wife has no pre-existing medical conditions which makes it unsafe for her to travel, then bus and train will be just fine for her. Remind her to wiggle her toes and ankles and to stand at regular intervals to help the blood flow around her legs. If you have any more questions, please call us on 0800 0147800
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Jun 2017 - 09:39

    Hi there.
    I can understand your concern about this. I would think that to err on the side of caution would be sensible with infections in pregnancy. E-coli is the leading cause of Urinary Tract Infections, and UTI's in pregnancy can cause premature labour. I would go back to your GP and ask for a course of antibiotics to be started regardless of the microbiologists opinion. Any UTI's in pregnancy are treated with antibiotics, so i don't see why you cannot be given a course "prophylactically". If your GP is still not keen to issue you with antibiotics, then you could go via a&e minors to get treated too as a Plan B at the hospital where you will have your maternity care. In the meantime, without sounding patronizing, to reduce your risk of E-coli, please ensure that you wipe front to back when using the bathroom and wash your hands thoroughly after too. Please take good care of yourself!

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