8 weeks pregnant lady holding her belly


Welcome to the enchanting world of being 8 weeks pregnant!¹ You will go through a storm of emotions and transformations in the first two months of this magnificent trip. This is a time of great wonder, from the earliest signs of pregnancy symptoms through the amazing milestones your child will attain. Your baby needs all the help it can get to develop at the right speed and begin its first movements with proper nutrition. In this post, we will 

  • walk you through the changes that are taking place in your body to help you manage this transforming stage of motherhood. 

  • provide an understanding of the developmental milestones occurring during the 8th week of pregnancy. 

  • include information on the formation of major organs and body systems, the transition of the embryo into a foetus, and common symptoms experienced by expectant mothers. 

1. Overview 2. Baby at 8 weeks: What's happening? 3. What can you expect? 4. What can you do to support your pregnancy? 5. Frequently Asked Questions

8 weeks pregnant lady looking at a toy, while decorating her baby room


Baby at 8 weeks: What's happening?¹

Your baby grows and develops significantly, reaching about 11 to 14mm long at the end of the 8 weeks of pregnancy. Now called a foetus, your baby is continuing to get nourishment from the yolk sac as the placenta continues to develop. Most of the vital organs and bodily systems have begun to develop at this point. The embryo is currently roughly the size of a raspberry.

The baby's facial characteristics become more developed at this phase with the development of the nose, lips, and eyelids¹. The limbs continue to develop, and small fingers and toes begin to form. The heart has completed its development and is beating regularly, pumping blood throughout the small body.

Furthermore, the reproductive organs begin to differentiate, defining the gender of the infant. The brain is quickly growing, and nerve cells are beginning to connect, laying the groundwork for future learning and memory. While your little one’s body is starting to unfurl, his or her head is still very large in comparison to the rest of the body², a trait that continues after birth.


What can you expect?²

At 8 weeks pregnant, your body continues to undergo extraordinary changes in order to sustain the growing life within you. Here are some significant changes you may encounter:

8 weeks pregnant symptoms: Some common symptoms at 8 weeks pregnant are morning sickness (nausea and vomiting), frequent urination, food cravings or aversions, and a heightened sense of smell.

Increased blood volume: Your blood volume is on the rise, supporting the increased demands of your developing baby. This can result in more blood flow to your organs and a slightly higher heart rate.

Breast changes: Breast soreness is one of the early indicators of pregnancy and can linger throughout the first trimester. However, as with many aspects of pregnancy, these may vary widely from woman to woman. Consult your HCP on creams and balms to soothe sore nipples.

Changes in hormones: During pregnancy, hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone surge through your body, causing a variety of effects. These can include mood fluctuations, weariness, and appetite problems.

Ligament and joint changes: As your uterus grows, the ligaments that support it start to stretch and relax, sometimes causing slight cramping or discomfort.

Changes in digestion: Pregnancy hormones can impede digestion, causing constipation or bloating. Heartburn and indigestion may also develop as a result of the muscles that ordinarily prevent stomach acid from running back up the oesophagus relaxing.

Growing abdomen: Your uterus is expanding to make room for the developing baby, and you may sense a little bulge in your lower belly.

This may result in back pain³, especially in the lower region, and is definitely part of an 8 weeks pregnant symptom. This is due to hormonal changes and the strain of your growing baby bump. Learn to manage the pain and enjoy your pregnancy by watching your posture, exercising, and using a pillow to reduce stress on your back while seated or sleeping. Please keep in mind that if the pain is severe, you should consult your doctor without delay.


What can you do to support your pregnancy?

At 8 weeks pregnant, neuron (brain cell) production begins⁴. The cerebral cortex of your baby’s brain is beginning to form⁵, the brain area that will be responsible for advanced brain activity such as processing information, and cognitive functions like memory and motor skills. DHA⁶ is still one of your hero nutrients when it comes to supporting your baby’s brain development, so do keep up with your intake of it, along with an iron and folic acid supplement.

Your baby’s brain is also the centre of language, emotions, and memories – all important when it comes to his or her overall wellbeing. So when you boost your baby’s brain development with essential nutrients, remember that you are also supporting emotional growth. Remember that each pregnancy is unique, so seek personalised advice and suggestions from your healthcare professional. Enjoy this precious moment and embrace your journey as an 8 week pregnant mom.

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Here are some other frequently asked questions from mothers to be on their 8th week pregnancy journey. 

  1. What are the common symptoms and changes experienced during the 8th week of pregnancy? 
    You may experience symptoms such as morning sickness (nausea and vomiting), breast tenderness, fatigue, increased urination, and food cravings or aversions, as well as changes in your body, including a slight weight gain and a growing belly.⁷

  2. Are there any precautions I should take during the 8th week of pregnancy?
    Avoid smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs, as they can harm the developing baby. It's also advisable to limit your caffeine intake. Seek your physician’s counsel before you take on an exercise programme through pregnancy.¹⁰ Be sure to attend your prenatal healthcare appointments.⁹

  3. What are the developmental milestones for the baby at 8 weeks pregnant?
    Your baby is rapidly growing and developing and by this time, the major organs and body systems have begun to form as the embryo is transitioning into a foetus. The baby's heart is fully developed and beating, and facial features are starting to take shape. The limbs continue to grow, and tiny fingers and toes are beginning to form. However, keep in mind that each pregnancy is unique, and the specific milestones and development can vary slightly from person to person.¹¹

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  6. Relaxation techniques for pain management in labour. 2018; 2018(3): CD009514. Published online 2018 Mar 28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494625/.

  7. The Relationship of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) with Learning and Behavior in Healthy Children: A Review. Retrieved from NIH. National Library of Medicine. 2013 Jul 19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3738999/.

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  9. Abdominal cramps during pregnancy. Retrieved from American Pregnancy Association. Copyright 2023. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-concerns/abdominal-pain-during-pregnancy/.

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