What happens in week 8 of pregnancy
You are now two months into your pregnancy – and even though we are counting in weeks, celebrate this milestone! You have been growing your baby and adapting to changes for many weeks now and whilst we know it is exhausting work, you and your baby are on a truly magical journey of growth and development.
This is probably the week you have your booking in appointment – the first contact with your midwife if you are based in the UK. Midwives are the lead healthcare professionals in pregnancy in the UK and you will see a midwife throughout your pregnancy, during labour and birth and after the birth of your baby. Your midwife will refer you to see an obstetrician – a pregnancy specialist doctor, if you or your baby need any additional care, but will still be there to support you, help you understand what is happening and advocate for you if you need.
During your booking appointment your midwife will find out about you, your medical history, your families and baby’s fathers’ medical history and background. Some questions may seem intrusive such as your ethnic background or your occupation – but the questions are to determine if you need any additional care or support. If you’re not sure why your midwife needs to know – just ask, they will be happy to explain.
You will also have blood tests to find out what your blood group and rhesus factor is, what your iron or vitamin d levels are like and test for various infections such as HIV or Hepatitis B. Your height and weight will also be checked to find out your BMI, as well as your blood pressure and urine for any infections. Your midwife will also arrange your first scan for you at this appointment if you haven’t already had one.
It’s quite a long appointment with lots of questions asked and things happening, so make sure you take water with you and something to snack on to keep any pregnancy sickness at bay. You can go alone or take your partner/friend with you too. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek advice – your midwife is there to help and support you.
You are entitled to under NHS care, free dental care and prescriptions in pregnancy and for up to a year after the birth of your baby. You will need your midwife to complete a FW8 form for you online to get this and your maternity exemption certificate will either be emailed to you or sent to in the post to you (you can choose).
At the end of the appointment, you will be given your maternity notes – either a folder of notes that you bring to every appointment or advised on how to access them electronically. Your maternity notes will also contain contact numbers for your midwife and maternity unit, as well a schedule of when you will usually have appointments.
How big is my baby?
The baby fruit size comparison continues and now your blueberry is the size of a juicy raspberry! Measuring about 16 mm form top to bottom, your baby is growing rapidly now. At eight weeks baby will start unfurling from the cute tadpole shape and is now referred to as a fetus – not an embryo anymore. On closer inspection, your baby has tiny, webbed hands and feet, with their fingers and toes beginning to appear, lips starting to form and the teeny tip of their button nose is now visible.
And even more amazingly, baby’s heart is now beating away at around a 150 to 170 times per minute — which is twice as fast as yours. With all this development also comes movements and whilst you can’t feel it yet, baby is somersaulting around inside you, getting to know their home for the next 32 weeks or so!
What’s happening to my body?
You might be starting to feel a little less bloated now and wondering when the bump may appear. It’s still early days – but if you’ve had a baby before you may be finding your jeans a little snug on the tummy. It’s not too early to start thinking about more comfy and stretchy clothes at this stage – most maternity clothing adapts with you, so you can buy your normal size and wear in early pregnancy, with a bump and even after baby has arrived.
You may also have had some mild twinges or cramps that come and go. As your pregnancy hormones rise, it not uncommon to experience this but if you are at all worried speak to your GP or midwife.
Week 8 pregnancy tips
What can I do this week?
- It’s a busy time with your first midwife appointment and checks – so make sure to take some time to relax too.
- Have you thought about how you are going to break the news to family and friends – it’s a fun thing to plan for when you feel ready to do so, lots of inventive ideas around!
- Keep taking your folic acid and vitamin D – it can be hard if you are struggling with nausea and vomiting.
- Have a look through your maternity notes – they usually contain lots of helpful information and advice about where you are having your baby.
Written by: Amina Hatia.