Week 8 is here! You’re two months pregnant now and many wondrous things are happening inside your body. Your baby is doubling in size each week and developing unique features. Week 8 will also bring about some changes to your body and perhaps, a few new symptoms as well.
Your Baby This Week
Your baby is now around the size of a raspberry, or about 1.6cm (0.6 of an inch), and weighs in at a cool 1 gramme (0.04oz).
Week 8 brings some exciting changes for your baby. Your baby’s facial features are now becoming even more defined as the lips, the nostrils, the tip of the nose and the tongue all take shape. The ears are starting to form from folds of skin, and your baby’s nipples are now present. Even at this very early stage in your pregnancy, your baby already has the start of what will become the twenty baby teeth!
One of the biggest milestones that your baby will reach this 8th week is called ossification. This means that the bones that are present, such as the spine, pelvis, legs, arms, and skull, are starting the process of hardening during growth. This process will continue as your baby develops new bones throughout your pregnancy. In fact, the process of ossification actually continues until your child is grown.
Muscles are now growing in the back and along the spine and it’s only about a week away until your baby’s reproductive organs will become either testes or ovaries. Elbow and knee joints are now present and the arms and legs are growing longer. Toes and fingers are forming but will remain webbed for some time.
Both sides of the brain are developing rapidly in the 8th week of pregnancy creating up to a quarter of a million new neurons per minute. This rapid development of the brain allows critical reflexes and movement to occur at this time.
Your Body This Week
Your 8th week of pregnancy is all about breast changes - at least this is the thing you will probably notice most this week. You may find that the veins in your breasts are more visible through the skin now, and your areolas are getting darker in colour. Your bras may also be feeling a bit tighter than they did a few weeks ago. This is due to the added hormones that your body is producing. These hormones cause your breasts to grow larger and feel heavier. This growth will continue throughout your pregnancy. It is not uncommon to gain a couple of cup sizes during your pregnancy.
Changes to your breasts are happening in preparation for breast feeding. At 8 weeks, you may only notice a slight increase in size and a fuller feeling, but many women report itching as the skin starts to stretch, and the occurrence of Montgomery tubercles, or those little bumps on the areolas that produce oil. They are actually glands and are thought to secrete oils during pregnancy and while breast feeding which will prohibit bacterial growth on the nipples, and will keep the skin of the nipple pliable. To lessen the discomfort of breast changes during your pregnancy, make sure to wear very supportive bras that are made of material that is not irritating.
As the nipples are so tender during pregnancy, make sure that your bras do not have seams across the nipple area. There are several maternity bras on the market including bras made especially for sleeping and exercising. Since you will no doubt gain cup size and circumference over the next few months, you may want to purchase bras that will give you some room to grow. Select bras that fit well when they are on the tightest clasp, and are made of material that is supportive but yet has some stretch.
Depending on your location in the country, your chosen hospital and your pregnancy care choices, you’ll have an early booking appointment (which can include a scan) anywhere between now and 14 weeks into your pregnancy. You may also have a further scan around 20 weeks in. Depending on how your pregnancy progresses, you can expect to be meeting your doctor or nurse on an increasingly regular basis for the next 6 or 7 months.