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Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
..where little means a lot

Note: The length, weight and size mentioned below are only a guideline, as these vary from baby to baby and from one pregnancy to another.

What is going on with your baby during week 8?

  • From crown to rump your baby measures at 1.4-2cm or ½-¾ inch, the size of a pinto bean.
  • From week 8 your baby graduates from being an embryo to being a fetus literally meaning the ‘little one’.
  • The rudiments of all the vital body parts are in place now - all the main internal organs are already present.
  • Baby now has the beginnings of a recognizably human face with nostrils, lips and a mouth with a tongue.
  • Your baby is now covered with a thin layer of skin cells but is still translucent.
  • Baby has already started moving around inside the uterus although you are not able to feel a thing.
  • Toes and fingers begin to form although they are webbed; paddle shaped foot and hand areas are clearly present.
  • Initially the arms develop faster than the legs - similarly after birth baby will develop hand and arm control faster than leg control.
  • Baby's eyelids are beginning to form and until that completes, the eyes will appear open.
  • The digestive tract especially the intestines are continuing to grow.
  • Ten dental buds have formed in each jaw - these will become baby teeth.
  • Heart function is now more fully developed with the heart pumping about 150 beats a minute (twice the adult rate).

Week 8 Fetus

Changes in you at this stage Week 8

  • The uterus is still only the size of a tennis ball
  • Hormonal changes can make you prone to mood swings, and weepiness quite similar to premenstrual tension, only longer.
  • Your metabolic rate is increasing by 10-25%; your heart rate by about 10 beats per minute.
  • The uterus tightens and contracts throughout pregnancy but you may not be feeling this right now.
  • You may experience gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea - it may be your body's way of quickly removing any food that isn't good for your system.
  • Even if your doctor reassures you with a weekly ultrasound and blood test to check your hormone levels, this plan won't prevent of stop an impending miscarriage. Do your best to relax and think positively and not worry unduly. You have made it this far and any more fussing won't do you any good.

Good to Know in Week 8

The developing Baby

  • Initially there are 3 layers of cells, all equally essential that go on to create the different systems of the body
  • The innermost layer develops into heart, lungs, liver, thyroid gland, pancreas and bladder
  • The middle layer becomes the skeleton, muscles, sex organs, blood cells and kidneys
  • The outer layer becomes the skin, sweat glands, hair, nails and tooth enamel It is that common…
  • 78% of all women experience insomnia during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester
  • 75% of women experience some form of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy at varying proportions.

Wholesome Advice in Week 8

  • Worry about the obvious dangers like smoking, drinking, saunas and raw meat and leave the rest as they are inconclusive and debatable. For concerns such as manicures, microwaves, cell phones, computers, hair dye, eating hot dog or tuna fish etcetera, approach your doctor for advice. Don't delve deeper into things and get all wired up in the process.
  • Weight gain in excess of 35 pounds makes you prone to gestational diabetes and high blood pressure - talk to your doctor if you are concerned. The average woman gains 30 pounds during a normal pregnancy; she should gain a little more if she was underweight to begin with and a little less if she was overweight.
  • Treat yourself to one piece of candy, chocolate or sweet every day unless you have diabetes or some medical condition where it is just not viable to do this. But if you are well a treat like this is good for your system.

Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage

Hormonal Stress

  • It is comforting to know that emotional stress does not seem to have a definite negative impact on pregnancy - the growing baby is very strong and resilient.
  • However stress does have its effects: the quickening heart rate or elevation of stress hormones
  • How you deal with stress is of key relevance; you have to keep your pregnancy in perspective and work on strategies to alleviate anxiety instead of making wrong choices and indulging in unhealthy habits. Stress easers include:
    1. Understand and accept your feelings are normal
    2. Trust your emotions and have confidence in yourself
    3. Don't bottle up; keeping sharing and talking about your feelings with your partner or a friend
    4. Do your best but always take care of yourself first
    5. Educate yourself on what is happening with your body and keep yourself posted on what to expect ahead
    6. Release your energy through safe exercises like walking, swimming etc
    7. Join a yoga class
    8. Give yourself an occasional treat such as a few squares of high quality chocolate or few scoops of ice cream
    9. Take a bubble bath
    10. Listen to soothing music or read an inspiring book
    11. Go for maternity massages once a month if not more
    12. Alone time is good but too much can be depressing especially if it is not well-occupied; chat with friends, surf the net, read the papers or watch TV
    13. Consider counseling if you cannot shake off pregnancy blues
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Common Concerns in in Week 8

What if I ate junk food yesterday?

  • Don't punish yourself over this - you are not as perfect as you would like to be. Just do your best to eat a balanced, healthy meal as much as possible, drink plenty of water and don't forget your prenatal vitamins. For any concerns/changes you are not too comfortable with consult your doctor for advice.

Should I avoid caffeine totally?

  • Caffeine found in tea, coffee, carbonated drinks and chocolate can have a detrimental effect on the digestive system and prevent the absorption of iron. Cut down to one cup a day or cut it out totally if you have it in you to do so.

What should I eat?

  • It is important to eat a variety of foods to ensure you get your nutrients. Foods are the best sources of nutrients because unlike vitamins and minerals supplements, food derived nutrients deliver nutrients in a natural balance. If you know the basics and were eating healthy before you became pregnant simply add an extra:
    1. 300-500 calories of nutritious foods daily
    2. 25 gm of protein
    3. 800 mg of calcium
    4. 0.4 mg of folic acid
    5. 40 mg of iron

What if I wish to color my hair?

  • It is advisable to dye your hair the original color. Pregnancy hormones may alter the hair texture causing your hair to respond differently to coloring agents. Although it is safe to dye your hair, you may not get the desired results.

Weekly Nutrition advice in Week 8

  • Dairy products are important to you during your pregnancy as they contain calcium and also vitamin D which aids in calcium absorption. Calcium helps keep your bones healthy, and your baby needs it to develop strong bones and teeth.
  • During pregnancy you need at least 1200 mg-1500 mg of calcium a day. That is equivalent to 3-4 glasses of skim milk. Calcium also helps prevent high blood pressure and may lower your risk of developing preeclampsia.
  • In addition your body stores calcium in the latter part of pregnancy to draw on if you breastfeed.
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and ice cream are good sources of calcium. Other foods include broccoli, bok-choy, spinach, salmon, sardines, chickpeas, sesame seeds, almonds, cooked dried beans, and tofu. Some foods are now calcium fortified such as orange juice, breads, cereals and grains.
  • If you plan to keep your calorie intake in check, choose low fat dairy products. Some choices include skim milk, low fat yoghurt and cheese and ice cream. Calcium content remains unaffected in low fat dairy products.
  • You can increase the amount of calcium in your diet in other ways. Add powdered nonfat milk to soups. Make fruit shakes with fresh fruit and milk. Cook rice and oats in skim or low-fat milk. Some foods interfere with calcium absorption such as tea, coffee.
  • For the lactose intolerant, you can still get your calcium from other sources outlined above. Some dairy products you may choose and their serving sizes outlined below:

Cottage cheese (Paneer) ¾cup

Hard cheese 1 oz

Custard or pudding 1 cup

Milk 8 oz

Natural cheese 1½ oz

Yoghurt 1 cup

Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.

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