Week 8 of Pregnancy | How Big is Your Baby at 8 Weeks?
- Bambino Mio
- 13 / 06 / 2023
Inside this Article:
Pregnancy is a time of huge change for you, your body and your life. Our guide will help you through this amazing time, letting you know what to expect at each stage and, most excitingly, what your baby is up to each week.
Your baby is now the size of a kidney bean!
The average kidney bean is around 16mm (0.6 inches) long and your baby is also shaped a bit like one at this stage (1). Their head is larger than their torso and they’re bent into a gentle curve - like a bean!
Your baby’s facial features are becoming more defined, with the upper jaw and nose starting to form. There are also tiny bumps which will become ears and there’s some pigment being laid down in their eyes, which are partly covered with eyelids.
Just behind the eyes, the brain is very busy creating nerve cells which are branching out to form networks and your baby’s sense of smell is being established (2) already!
You can see ridges on your baby’s hands and these will form the fingers - toes start to come along around five days later and your baby’s tail is pretty much gone, with just the coccyx remaining.
The sex organs have “decided” to become male or female by now, although it’s too soon to determine, even with an ultrasound. You could try some of these crazy gender prediction methods while you wait, though…
Baby’s working on their moves already!
Week eight of pregnancy is when your baby starts to make small, somewhat jerky, movements (3) as their nerves and muscles develop and start to “talk” to each other. You won’t feel these tiny movements as they really are very tiny.
Your booking in appt
You’ll probably have your booking-in appointment (4) during your eighth week of pregnancy. This is when you see your community midwife for the first time and they take your medical history, check your general health and get you started on your antenatal care programme. Find out more about your booking-in appointment here.
To test or not to test
Pregnancy can involve a lot of tests (5) - blood tests for you, scans for the baby, tests for various chromosomal abnormalities and health conditions… It can seem scary, but most tests come back absolutely fine and if there is a problem you’ll be very well supported by your antenatal team.
You don’t have to have all the antenatal tests you’re offered, however, so this is something you can discuss at your booking-in appointment.
How you’re feeling at eight weeks pregnant
You’ll be feeling a lot of different things! Excited, tired, hungry one minute and sick the next. Pregnancy symptoms are many and varied and they also seem to take turns at being the most annoying or prominent one!
On the other hand, you may have very few or even none at all. That’s just the way it is!
The chances are, though, that you’ll have some measure of the more common pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and tiredness, especially at eight weeks pregnant.
You’ll see more changes in your breasts as they grow in size and become more tender. If you’re uncomfortable, it’s not too early to find a supportive maternity bra at this stage.
Cramping isn’t that unusual in early pregnancy as there’s a lot happening and your ligaments are starting to soften and stretch. If the pain becomes more than a twinge and is constant, you should call your GP or midwife for advice.
Dizziness is another common symptom for pregnant women and it’s usually caused by a combination of hormones, low blood sugar and dehydration, so it’s important to eat and drink regularly.
Staying healthy at eight weeks
It’s not unusual for pregnant women to develop food cravings and aversions, so don’t worry if you have a serious yearning for crisps or tomatoes (or both together).
Indulge a bit, but make sure you’re also eating good sources of protein, such as nuts, tofu, lean meats and dairy, as well as lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
At eight weeks of pregnancy you’ll still need your folic acid (6) to help your baby’s spine to develop properly and you can take this vitamin on its own or as part of a prenatal supplement.
What you need to think about at eight weeks of pregnancy
Many pregnant people prefer to keep the news under wraps until the 12-week scan (7), but you might want to tell a few very close friends and family, especially if you’re feeling very sick!
Women in certain jobs should tell their employers they’re pregnant so that HR can change their shift patterns or roles to keep them safe. You can discuss this with your midwife during your booking-in appointment.
Citations and References
(1) National Health Service (NHS). Better Health. Start4Life. ‘Week-by-week Guide to Pregnancy: Week 8.’ Web. www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-8
(2) National Institutes of Health (NIH). National Library of Medicine. ’The Gustatory and Olfactory Systems During Infancy: Implications for Development of Feeding Behaviors in the High Risk Neonate.’ 2011. Web. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3223371
(3) Wiley Online Library. ‘Fatal Movements: The Origin of Human Behaviour.’ 2021. Web. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dmcn.14918
(4) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Finding Out You’re Pregnant: Your First Midwife Appointment.’ 2022. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/finding-out/your-first-midwife-appointment
(5) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Your Pregnancy Care: Antenatal Checks and Tests.’ 2020. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/your-pregnancy-care/antenatal-checks-and-tests
(6) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Keeping Well in Pregnancy: Vitamins, Supplements and Nutrition in Pregnancy.’ 2020. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/vitamins-supplements-and-nutrition
(7) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Your Pregnancy Care: 12-week Scan.’ 2020. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/your-pregnancy-care/12-week-scan
Pregnancy by Week, What to Expect