Week by Week

What pregnant women need to know in week 8 of pregnancy?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

msBahasa Malaysia

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 is increasing to about 30 milliliters per week.

Body & Life Changes

How is my body changing?

As you 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 with more support. Your pregnancy hormones are preparing your breasts to make 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 includes a hormone called progesterone, which is resposible for making you feel drowsy. When you feel tired, you should take time rest. Sometimes a mini nap can give you the energy burst you need to get through your day. Don’t try to push your body. It’s important to listen to your body’s signals. Remember you’re 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 eat your three meals a day. Eating smaller and more frequent meals will help with your nausea. Instead of three meals, you can have try five meals a day. This may 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 try ginger ale or ginger tea.
  • Avoid foods that make you feel discomfort and nausea. Avoid foods or smells that make you nauseated. Keep the room ventilated and odorless to prevent any possibility of worsening your your nausea.
  • Breathe in more fresh air. If the weather permits, open your windows when you’re at home or at work. Daily walks outdoors will also help improve your nausea.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins with food. Your prenatal vitamins may make you feel nauseated. You should always take your vitamins on a full stomach. This can be after your snack. You can try sucking on a ginger candy after taking your vitamins.
  • Try acupressure and acupuncture: Although it’s still not yet proven to be effective, some women may find relief by 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 expected to reduce nausea. Acupuncture involves thin needles inserted at certain pressure points on your body. Make sure to find a specialist who is professionally trained and have experience with pregnant women. Also, you should always let your doctor know before starting any new therapy. Your doctor may also give you 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. Your blood volume has increased by 40 to 50 percent and can trigger headaches. You should talk to your doctor what treatments are safe for you. Your doctor may suggest some natural remedies to relieve your headache without medications.

What tests pregnant women should know?

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 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 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 natural mother instincts are developing. The reason for your worry is that you want to protect 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 you baby. Here are some sport activities you should avoid:

  • Cycling: Cycling is not a good idea for beginners to ride but experienced riders can continue cycling until the sixth successive month – when the move will affect balance and makes cycling becomes dangerous.
  • Sports antagonists, collision or strong athletes: football, basketball will make you have a high risk of injury when practicing or collisions, falls during play.
  • Exercise: The exercise also puts you at risk of falling level while playing the sport with highly interact and increase the risk of abdominal trauma. So be careful!
  • Horseback riding: Even if you are a good rider, this is not worth risking your life of the mother and child. You should stop riding immediately while knowing that you’re pregnant.
  • Bathing and sauna before exercise: Soaking in the hot tub or sit in a sauna can be dangerous for the baby, because the temperature is too high can cause birth defects in the baby.
  • Running: If you are not a runner before pregnancy, now is not the right time to start this hobby. If you have the habit of running from earlier, this activity will be quite good for you. From the sixth month of pregnancy, your risk of falls increases; so run carefully! You should also pay attention to avoid exposure to outdoor when air temperature is too hot and drink plenty of water to replace the water lost as sweat.
  • Diving: This activity absolutely should not be taken when you are pregnant. When you come to the surface, gas bubbles will form in your blood and can be dangerous for both you and the baby’s development.
  • Tennis: A game with a moderate pace as tennis would be okay if you play before pregnancy. But at the time of pregnancy, you may have problems with balance and sudden activity, so be careful.
  • Waterslide: If there is an activity that the risk of falls and increased abdominal trauma, it is a waterslide.

Even when you are really enjoy playing sports before pregnancy, you should reduce physical activity from the sixth month of pregnancy, if you are at risk of preterm birth or fetal growth restriction.  Your doctor can help you to schedule or give advice to the exercise routine that suits you and your 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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