During week 8 of your pregnancy, the fetus is growing rapidly in all directions and has started to move. You may experience symptoms like mild pelvic cramping and morning sickness.

At this stage, your baby’s vital organ systems continue to grow, and the amniotic fluid increases.

In this article, learn more about what symptoms you can expect at 8 weeks pregnant, how your baby is developing, and things to do for a healthy pregnancy.

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At this stage, there are still few, if any, visible physical body changes for you.

However, your baby needs more and more support from your body, so your blood volume has increased. By 16-20 weeks, your heart is pumping 50 percent more blood per minute than before you conceived.

You may begin or continue to experience symptoms such as:

If you notice that your pregnancy symptoms change or disappear unexpectedly, it’s natural to feel concerned.

Although a sudden shift in pregnancy symptoms can indicate a miscarriage, it’s important to recognize that hormonal fluctuations may also be responsible and are normal in pregnancy. It’s not unusual for symptoms like morning sickness to lessen or evolve as the first trimester progresses.

If you are concerned about any of your symptoms, ask a health professional about it.

Hormonal changes mean that there is increased blood flow through your body.

This is necessary to enable the baby to grow, but if blood collects in weaker parts of the blood vessels, it can lead to bulges known as varicose veins.

Varicose veins sometimes cause discomfort. The legs may ache and feel heavy, and the skin around the vein may feel itchy or as if it is throbbing or burning. They can appear:

  • in the legs
  • around the rectum, where they are known as hemorrhoids or piles
  • around the genital area

To reduce the risk and impact of varicose veins, try to:

  • avoid standing still all day, if possible
  • avoid crossing your legs when sitting
  • put your feet up above the level of your heart whenever possible
  • get regular, moderate exercise, for example, walking
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • ask a health professional about wearing compression socks for pregnancy

At 8 weeks, or 2 months pregnant, there are many changes in your baby’s development.

These include:

  • the brain and spine begin to form
  • cardiac tissue starts to develop
  • muscles of the eyes, nose, and mouth form
  • webbed fingers and toes poke out from developing hands and feet
  • the lungs start to form the tubes that will carry air in and out after birth
  • the inner ear begins to develop

Your baby is now around 16mm long, which is about the size of a raspberry.

Your first prenatal checkup

If you still need to do so, make sure that you schedule your first prenatal visit.

This will involve talking with your healthcare professional. It’s important to answer all questions honestly and with as much detail as possible.

You can expect the following:

  • you may be asked the date of the first day of your last menstrual period (to estimate your baby’s due date)
  • you may have a complete physical exam, which may include a pelvic exam
  • you may have a urine test and blood tests
  • you may be tested for certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • you can ask any questions you may have

Exercise in the first trimester

It can also help to get 150 minutes per week of gentle exercise, such as yoga, walking, or swimming.

Speak with your health professional about any current or planned exercise regime to ensure it is safe.

Eating healthy throughout pregnancy

Make sure you follow a healthy diet and take a good prenatal vitamin, including folic acid. Your health professional will advise you on this.

Prenatal vitamins are available for purchase online, but only take supplements after checking with your doctor first.

Cravings and food

Carvings are a normal part of pregnancy, but some are considered abnormal and may be due to specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Craving things such as clay, ice, starch, or other non-food items can signify that you have something called pica. Discuss this with your health professional.

Your gut may be causing you trouble, and you may run to the bathroom with your hand over your mouth.

You can try some of the following tips to help alleviate some of the gastrointestinal symptoms you are experiencing, such as nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, and constipation.

  • Constipation: Add more fiber to your diet by including more fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Try eating foods with ginger, possibly some tummy-soothing, nonalcoholic ginger ale to help settle your stomach.

Products that may help relieve nausea during pregnancy are available for purchase online. You should check with your doctor to see if these are suitable.

Are there any things I should avoid?

You should avoid the following when pregnant:

  • drinking alcohol, smoking, vaping, and other recreational drugs
  • certain types of cooked fish, such as bigeye tuna, king mackerel, and swordfish
  • caffeine
  • raw fish
  • unpasteurized milk and cheese
  • some prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines – be sure to discuss this with your healthcare professional as soon as possible

When to call the doctor

You should call your doctor if there are symptoms that could indicate an ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy loss.

These include vaginal bleeding or passage of tissue, leaking vaginal fluid, feeling faint or dizzy, low blood pressure, rectal pressure, shoulder pain, and severe pelvic pain or cramping.

There is also a higher risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy.

If you notice symptoms that do not seem to come from pregnancy and may indicate an infection, or if you are concerned about any other changes, you should see your health professional.

Below are some commonly asked questions about being 8 weeks pregnant.

What should I be feeling at 8 weeks pregnant?

At 8 weeks pregnant, you are probably feeling tired. You may also have sore and enlarged breasts and need to pee more often than usual.

What is the hardest week of pregnancy?

The hardest week of pregnancy will vary according to the individual.

Some people find the first trimester difficult because they may experience extreme tiredness, mood swings, or morning sickness. Others find the third trimester hard because it can cause shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, and swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face.

Can your belly show at 8 weeks pregnant?

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, at 8 weeks pregnant, you might feel bloated and have slightly swollen breasts but probably won’t start looking pregnant for a few more weeks.

When do you start feeling uncomfortable during pregnancy?

According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, you will probably start to feel slightly more uncomfortable and tired around the third trimester. Indeed, you may experience the following:

  • heartburn and indigestion
  • back pain due to the extra weight
  • puffy ankles, feet, and face

At 8 weeks pregnant, your baby undergoes rapid growth and development. Their brain, spine, and heart will start to form, amongst other changes.

You may experience morning sickness, mood swings, and headaches.

If you are concerned about any of your symptoms, or lack of symptoms, ask a health professional about it.

Tips for maintaining a healthy pregnancy include scheduling prenatal checkups, exercising moderately, and following a nutritious diet. You should also avoid harmful substances, caffeine, and raw fish.