What to Expect?
Week 8 marks the two month period of pregnancy. Most expectant parents are excited about the news of the pregnancy and are anxiously awaiting the time that they can find out the gender of the baby. Mothers should, at this point, have already found a doctor that they feel comfortable with and set up regular appointments.
Mothers can expect this ultrasound to mostly be uneventful. The baby is looking more like a baby and is growing. The baby is about the size of a typical kidney bean at 8 weeks. Mothers will hear the embryo’s strong heartbeat, which should be beating at around 160 beats per minute. The doctor might start discussing potential testing to determine abnormalities in the developing baby.
What is Developing?
In week 7 the kidneys developed, so in week 8, the embryo is putting those kidneys to use. At 8 weeks, your baby is producing their own urine. The urine is excreted into the amniotic fluid, swallowed, and recycled through the body again in the same process. This might sound weird, but this process helps the kidneys learn how to filtrate. In addition, the urine doesn’t cause any harm to the embryo.
Week 8 embryos have eyelids. The breathing tube, which is the precursor to the respiratory system, extends down the throat and branches into the lungs. The bones that give embryos their trademark tail is almost completely gone. In the brain, nerve cells are starting to branch out and communicate with each other, forming very primitive neurological pathways. The upper part of the lip is starting to form. The nose is taking shape and even though the mother can’t feel it yet, the baby is starting to move. During week 8, the movements are nothing more than twitches, but they are movements.
Morning sickness haunts most mothers throughout their pregnancies. Many mothers have found an unlikely ally in fruit. Fruit provides a natural sweet treat that provides nutrients and essential vitamins that are beneficial for mother and baby. Fruit can also be used to alleviate some other symptoms of pregnancy, such as constipation. Many times, when mothers find certain foods revolting, they can turn to fruit for the answer. Simple alternatives such as dried apricots instead of broccoli, can give mothers the essential vitamins and nutrients that they need without causing too much excess nausea.
Headaches are very common during this time in the pregnancy. The body has to accommodate and additional member; therefore, the mothers blood volume has to increase up to 50% to accommodate both mother and embryo. This rise in blood volume can cause headaches. Take the time to discuss baby safe pain medications with the doctor. Aspirin should not be taken while pregnant.
Exercise is key. Mothers that exercised more during their pregnancies had easier labors. It is never too early to start exercising. In addition, during this week in development some women experience melasma, or darkened spots on the face. This condition is caused by hormone spikes associated with pregnancy and exposure to the sun. Mothers are advised to wear sunscreen while outside to lower their chances of melasma.