Your mood may swing from high to low as hormones and emotions take hold
You’re probably beginning to feel different, even though you don’t look pregnant. You may feel a bit low and irritable at times; this is largely due to the changing levels of hormones in your body. You may sometimes have mixed feelings about being pregnant, however much you long for a baby. If the idea of going on holiday appeals, opt for short journeys and a safe climate, and take extra care of yourself.
Embryo at 8 weeks
1.The ears are just starting to develop; the small swellings will form part of the outer ear.
2.The embryo measures 1.6cm from crown to rump.
3.Elbows are now visible.
4.The baby’s spine is straightening up, although the large head still topples forwards.
5.Your uterus is starting to enlarge, but you won’t notice any changes in your shape yet.
6.The umbilical cord contains blood vessels that are beginning to transport nutrients to the embryo and remove waste products.
7.Digits begin to form on the hands and feet, although they are still fused together.
8.The eyes are getting larger and darkening with pigment.
9.The baby’s head is large relative to the trunk.
10.The yolk sac continues to shrink as the placenta now starts to take over nourishment of the embryo.
Now your baby is as big as raspberry. Now that’s amazing, isn’t it? It is now that your embryo has started moving in the womb, his or her taste buds is now forming, while you are just running in and out of bathroom, thanks to the morning sickness.
Your baby’s development
You might not be able to feel it yet, your baby’s fingers and toes are now webbed, and he or she is moving arms and legs like crazy. You baby is growing at an amazing rate, with about half an inch of size right now. He or she is no more blueberry-sized, he or she is more of a raspberry-sized now! Growing at a stupendous rate of one millimetre a day, your baby is now less of a reptilian and more of a real human baby. He or she might still be having webbed hands and feet, he or she also has an upper lip forming along with protruding of the button nose and extremely thin eyelids, which will perhaps cover his/her entire eyes.
Now, the baby has a heartbeat of 150 to 170 times per minutes – which is astonishingly twice as fast as yours. As your baby’s size is getting bigger, he or she has an increase in amniotic fluid while your womb is expanding to allow its growing tenant to reside.
In the 8th week of pregnancy, the breathing tube is extending from your baby’s throat to the branches of developing lungs. Your baby doesn’t have his tail now, it has gone. As far as the cognitive development is concerned, the nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, leading to the formation of primitive neural pathways. Your baby at this stage, is constantly shifting. As far as skin is concerned, your baby has paper thin skin and still bears the opaque, embryonic look. The pigment in his or her eyes is also starting to form, however, he or she will be able to only open their eyes at around 26th week of pregnancy.
After eight weeks of pregnancy, your baby is officially called a ‘foetus’ that means an ‘offspring’. But even now, the yolk sac is providing nutrition to your kid. Soon the placenta will develop structures, titled, ‘chorionic villi’, which will help attach the placenta to the womb wall.
Changes in you
Even though you might not have starkly visible bump yet, your womb inside has already doubled up in size. Your uterus, which is approximately the size of your fist has doubled up by 50% in size by now. Even though this might make you think it is still relatively small, but it is the biggest sign that you are about to start feel pregnant from inside. This would result in you peeing more often than usual, as this phenomenon presses down on your bladder.
Your breasts would continue to grow, and you might notice how your bra is getting tighter by the week and soon you are most likely to replace your old bra with a larger size. All in the preparation of lactation, your breast growth and other tissue changes might take place hurriedly now.
If you find yourself often fatigued most of the time, then by all means just rest it out! If your morning sickness is making it difficult for you to get up in the morning, then do make it a point to check with your gynaecologist regarding the same. It only happens because of the increased levels of hCG, estrogen and progesterone circulating in your body. Do note that this feeling is completely normal and your baby is just doing fine even when you are more often than not busy making washroom visits.
Nutrition for you
- Nailing the dilemma to eat or not to eat: This is a super important question to address as during this time, many mommies-to-be do not feel like eating, thanks to the ever-persistent nausea feeling. You must consume a healthy and well-balance diet during this time. Your diet should certainly be pleasing to your taste buds, so do give in to temptation often and relish your taste buds with a well-balanced diet.
- Limit the intake of caffeine during this period: Anything that contains caffeine from coffee to sugar-sweetened sodas should be totally stroked off from your diet. Basically limit your intake of caffeine to a mere amount of 200 mg per day. Also make it a point to consumer artificial sweeteners in moderation.
- Say a big ‘no’ to some variety of fishes: While eating lean fish is good for your baby’s brain and neurological development, eating fatty fishes like king mackerel, tilefish or swordfish can be extremely dangerous for your kid’s development.
- Be conscious of consuming raw foods: Raw (unpasteurised) milk and raw vegetables should be mostly avoided. This is because the bacterias in these foods might be capable of crossing the placenta while infecting your to-be-born baby.
- Be wary of pre-cooked or store-made meals: Refrigerated or frozen foods, such as cutlets, paranthas, chicken salad, egg and seafood should be avoided as they can cause health problems to pregnant mothers.
Nutrition for baby
- Make friends with fruits: Fruit is a great way to naturally consume sugar. Not to forget, how fruits are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, which will help in normal passing of stools. The best news is that a piece of your favourite kind of fruit is a great way to shun any kind of food aversions, while keeping your stomach full. For example, dried apricots might be a soothing choice for you in case of broccoli, or mangoes would be a better choice for you instead of a whole piece of cake. Keep in mind, the stronger the colour of the fruit, stronger is its nutrition value.
- Exercise cautiously: If you are a regular gym goer, you might want to just continue with gymming, but before doing so in a rigorous way it is advisable to check up on it with your doctor. This is essential because now as your heart rate is higher, hence you wouldn’t need to exert as much and you might get tired easily. Plus adding to the woes is the hCG hormone, which might overheat your body soon, hence forcing you to slow down your exercising rhythm while taking frequent water breaks.
- Can I see or hear my baby’s heartbeat: This is one of those things that fluctuates from women to women. While some women might be able to listen to the heartbeat during an ultrasound since the sixth week of pregnancy, others might not. Actually your baby’s heartbeat will look like a little flicker in your baby’s chest, if your ultrasound catches it. However, for women who still can’t experience it, it is nothing to worry as might have to wait another three to five days to see anything. Be patient and soon you will be surprised what difference a few days of patience can make!
- Bleeding during pregnancy: This experience is fairly common amidst women in their first trimester. In fact, according to an estimate around 25% of women experience some sort of spotting or heavy bleeding right in the first 13 weeks or so of pregnancy. However, if you have bleeding that is dark in colour and foul in smell, then you must contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- Should I exercise rigorously? This is not something that is advisable as your body’s temperature is rising and you might get fatigued sooner than you thought. Having said that, this would be a good time to add squats to your exercise mix. Squats will help in strengthening and toning your thighs, while helping the bay descend. Perform gradual squats by holding the position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeating this for 4-5 times.
- Spots on skin: During this time, your hormones surge uncontrollably and you might witness chloasma, or dark sport on your skin, especially your face, during pregnancy. This happens because of harsh sun exposure and can be controlled by applying dermatologist-prescribed sunscreen.
- First trimester screen is a must: This is the time when your doctor will arrange a series of tests on you to check whether your baby has Down syndrome or any such conditions. From simple blood tests to a special ultrasound scan called a nuchal translucency (NT) test to CVS (chorionic villus sampling) and NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing), which will test the baby’s risk of having a chromosomal condition.Soon, in some serious cases, mothers might also get tested for amniocentesis, to check whether you carry a slight risk of miscarriage.
- An increased level of vaginal discharge:Leaking courtesy estrogen, this body fluid happens when a thin, milky discharge is emitted from your vagina. Also known as leukorrhea, this discharge in fact is meant to protect the birth canal from infection hence maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria for your baby
What do the experts suggest?
“Week 8 is the last of your baby's embryonic stage. At this stage, mothers can suffer from an increase in fatigue and nausea, vomiting, along with weight gain, heart burning, frequent urination, difficulty in sleeping, aches and pains. Eating small and frequent meals are recommended at this stage. Having ginger tea is a good way to combat morning sickness. Light walk or exercise may be good for both the baby and the mother. Antenatal visit should be in planned.”
Dr.Sadhna Singhal, Sr consultant in Obs&Gynae at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Summer –Make sure to always carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Make sure to exercise at cooler points of the day and not to exercise till the point of overheating. Going out in the sunshine for 30-40 minutes in day is a great way to get the natural dose of Vitamin D as lack of it has been often linked to gestational diabetes, bacterial vaginosis and preeclampsia.
Monsoon –Surrounded by all the humidity and sweating, it is imperative to wear at least one size large clothes. Make sure to remain soled at all times, and be steer clear of roadside food items at all costs. Try taking a bath with neem water as it aids in fighting germs and bacteria.
Winter –Practice breathing techniques during winter as you cannot always go out in sunshine for long walks. Make sure to wear the softest of woollen clothes as the non-soft ones can be too itchy on your skin.
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