pregnancy fetus week 8

Your baby, your body, your partner and the prenatal visit, plus tips for the 8th week of pregnancy.

Your baby

You are more than halfway through your first trimester and your baby will continue to grow rapidly. Last week, your baby measured 1/3 of an inch and now he has grown to 3/4 of an inch in length. The heart is beating and if an ultrasound is performed, a fluttering will be seen on screen. Joints, muscles, and bones are now forming and tiny fingers and toes gain length every day. The fingers and toes are webbed at this point. Teeth are growing under the gums. These are the baby teeth that will break through first. Multiples are growing at the same rate as singlets.

8 week fetus 3D ultrasound
An 8-week fetus 3D ultrasound

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Your body

The uterus continues to grow as the baby grows. By the time week 8 starts, the uterus is about the size of an orange. First pregnancies take longer to show, so first-time moms can keep the pregnancy hidden for quite a while. If this is not the first pregnancy, a pooch or small mound may start forming by week 8.

Skin changes also start occurring around week 8. Morning sickness may be subsiding a bit, but the body changes are not over. Acne and pimples are common during pregnancy and are attributed to pregnancy hormones. You may have to wait until the baby is born to get back that healthy-looking skin you had before pregnancy, but you may be lucky enough to see a significant change by the end of the first trimester.

At the prenatal visit

The first prenatal appointment should occur at this time if not already done earlier in the pregnancy. At each visit, you can expect to have your urine tested for glucose, heart rate and weight taken, and blood pressure measured.

At the first prenatal exam, the doctor or midwife will take a full medical history and give a general health check-up including an internal pelvic exam, cervical exam, first round of prenatal blood, and urine tests. You may discuss genetic testing and the changes that will take place over the next few months. You may also have an initial ultrasound if the doctor has an ultrasound machine in the office.

Your partner

The first prenatal appointment is approaching, and as a partner, you are one of the biggest support systems for your mom-to-be. Being at the appointments is essential and helps mom feel supported and not so alone.

Tips for this week

— Getting attached to your baby early on may be hard, but reading books about pregnancy may help you feel closer. Some books even include pictures of the baby in utero at given weeks. There is nothing better than looking at photos of unborn babies that are the same size as your baby. Pregnancy is truly a remarkable experience.

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