Week 8

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Baby Development

How is my baby growing?

This week your baby is about the size of a baked bean with a height of 2.7 cm. The baby is constantly moving and changing inside your body.

One of these changes include the development of fingers and toes. Your embryo is starting to look more like a baby. Before the fingers and toes were fused together, now they are starting to separate. Your baby’s upper lip, little nose and tiny eyelids are starting to also form. All these changes are exciting for you and your baby. To accommodate for all these changes, the amniotic fluid will be increasing to about 30 milliliters per week.

Body & Life Changes

How is my body changing?

As mentioned last week, your breasts are starting to swell and become tender. In some cases, it can be quite painful. Your bra will start to get tight and uncomfortable. It may be a good idea to find a different type of bra that is larger in size and provides more support. Your pregnancy hormones are preparing your breasts to produce milk for your baby. The discomfort will become less painful in the coming weeks.

Are you feeling more tired? This will happen if it hasn’t happened already. Your pregnancy hormones include a hormone called progesterone, which causes you to feel drowsy. When you feel tired, you should take time to rest. Sometimes, a power nap can give you the energy burst you need to get through the day. Don’t attempt to push your body beyond its current limitations. It’s important to listen to your body’s signals. Remember your body is working extra hard to support you and your growing baby.

What should I be concerned about?

Morning sickness can make you feel exhausted. Here are some helpful tips to manage your morning sickness:

  • Choose foods carefully. Choose foods with carbohydrates, low in fat and easy to digest. Snacks are sometimes very useful, such as ginger candy. You should avoid eating foods that are oily, spicy and fatty.
  • Eat smaller and frequent snacks and meals. It may be hard to have three meals a day. Eating smaller and more frequent meals will help with nausea. Instead of three meals, you can try having five meals a day. This can also help you digest more food and absorb more nutrients.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Make sure you drink lots of fluids. To help with nausea, you can opt for ginger ale or ginger tea.
  • Avoid foods that cause discomfort and nausea. Avoid foods or smells that make you feel nauseated. Keep the room ventilated and odorless to prevent any possibility of worsening your state of nausea.
  • Breathe in lots of fresh air. If the weather permits, open your windows when you’re at home or at work. Daily walks outdoors will also help improve nausea.
  • Take prenatal vitamins with food. Prenatal vitamins may make you feel nauseated. You should always take these vitamins on a full stomach, and can even be right after a snack. Also try sucking on ginger candy after taking your vitamins to help with taste.
  • Try acupressure and acupuncture: Although it’s still not proven to be effective, some women may find relief in using acupressure or acupuncture. Acupressure stimulates certain points on the body with pressure. You can buy acupressure bracelets, which may be available at your local pharmacy. It is designed to stimulate points on the wrist and is believed to help reduce nausea. Acupuncture on the other hand, involves thin needles being inserted at certain pressure points on your body. Be sure to seek a professionally trained  specialist who has experience dealing with pregnant women. You should also always inform your doctor before beginning a new therapy. Your doctor may be able to provide you with a a referral.

Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

You should let your doctor know if you are experiencing any headaches. Pregnancy headaches are common but can cause discomfort. At this point, your blood volume has increased by about 40 to 50% and can trigger headaches. You should speak to your doctor to determine the treatments that are safe for you. Your doctor may suggest natural remedies to relieve your headache without the use of medications.

What are the tests that pregnant women should know about?

Your doctor may request a pap smear, which is a routine test to detect any sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women be tested during the early stage of pregnancy. There are many STIs that can easily be treated with antibiotics. The earlier you get treated, the less risk you bear for any potential harm to your growing baby.

Health & Safety

What should I know about being healthy and safe while pregnant?

When you are pregnant, it is normal to worry about everything. It is a sign that your innate maternal instincts are developing. The reason for your growing worry is a natural protection mechanism to keep your baby from any preventable harm. If you are physically active, you may wonder if you can still continue certain sport activities. Being active is always healthy but there are some activities that can harm your baby. Here are some sports activities that you should avoid:

  • Cycling: Cycling is not really a good idea for beginners, however experienced riders can continue cycling until the sixth successive month, after which the movements can affect balance and make cycling a dangerous activity.
  • Contact sports: sports like football and basketball increases your risk of injury especially when collisions or falls occur.
  • Rigorous exercise: Rough exercises can also put you at risk of falling which increases the risk of abdominal trauma. So be careful!
  • Horseback riding: Even if you are a good rider, it is not worth risking your baby’s life. It would be strongly advised to stop riding immediately if you are pregnant.
  • Bathing and sauna before exercise: Soaking in a hot tub or sitting in a sauna can be dangerous for the baby as temperatures are too high and can cause birth defects.
  • Running: If you never used to run before pregnancy, now is not a good time to start. If you were in the habit of running before, this would be a great outdoor activity for you. However, your risk of falling increases from the sixth month onward; so run carefully! You should also avoid exposure to high outdoor temperatures, but if you do end up in it, be sure to drink plenty of water to replace loss liquids.
  • Diving: This activity should avoided completely when you are pregnant. When you surface from beneath, gas bubbles begin to form in your blood and can be dangerous for both you and the baby’s development.
  • Tennis: A game with moderate pace such as tennis would be acceptable before pregnancy, or even in its early stages. As pregnancy progresses to later stages, you may experience problems with balance, so be careful so as to not fall.
  • Waterslide: If there is an activity that increases the risk of falls and abdominal trauma, it is definitely water-sliding. Avoid it at all cost!

It is completely normal to want to have fun playing sports or indulging in certain physical activities before pregnancy. Do bear in mind that you should be reducing physical activity gradually through pregnancy progression, especially from the sixth month point to eliminate the risk of preterm birth or fetal growth restriction. Consult your doctor to receive a recommended schedule for the best exercise routine suited to your body and baby.

Join us next week, week 9, to see how your baby is growing!

Hello Health Group does not offer any advice, diagnosis or medical treatment.

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