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Graphic of Week 8 of pregnancy. An illustration of a baby at week 8 in the gestational sac.

Week 8 of your Pregnancy

Discovering your baby’s progress since week 7

Published
15. February 2024
Last Modified
15. March 2024

Embark on the captivating journey from Week 7 to Week 8 of your pregnancy with the London Pregnancy Clinic. Witness the awe-inspiring progress of your baby’s development with our private early pregnancy scans. Week 8 is a milestone where your baby begins to move and grow at an astonishing rate, from tiny limb movements to the development of internal organs. Embrace the changes and find reassurance in observing your baby’s advancement.

As you step into Week 8 of your pregnancy, you’re entering a crucial phase of development. Your baby, now rapidly evolving, is preparing for the next significant steps in prenatal growth. At London Pregnancy Clinic, we share in your excitement and curiosity during this time. This week is often when expectant mothers, seek reassurance and connection to their growing baby through our private early pregnancy scans.

Key Concepts: fetal development

Movement and Growth: By Week 8, your baby, now the size of a raspberry (around 15mm), begins to move, although you might not feel it yet. These early movements are a sign of muscle development and coordination. The ultrasound may capture some of these movements, providing a heartwarming glimpse for expectant parents.

Organ and Brain Development: Major organs, muscles, and nerves start functioning, with the brain forming primitive connections between nerve cells, laying down the first neural pathways. This week also allows us to measure brain waves for the first time, a testament to the burgeoning complexity of your baby’s development.

Physical Features: The facial features of your baby become more defined, with the formation of the upper lip, the tip of the nose, and the eyelids. The limbs extend, and fingers and toes start to emerge from their webbed structure, marking a significant step towards their final shape.

Pregnancy Checklist at 8 Weeks

  • Book and attend your private early pregnancy scan: Capturing clear images during the 6-9 week Viability Scan is crucial for assessing your baby’s development and health. These dating Scans are pivotal, offering crystal-clear imagery that plays a crucial role in monitoring your baby’s development and ensuring their health. Beyond the clinical benefits, these scans foster a profound emotional bond, providing expectant parents with a reassuring glimpse into their baby’s growth and vitality. Our transvaginal scans employ advanced 3D/4D ultrasound technology, enabling us to capture high-resolution images of your baby’s earliest movements, bringing you closer to the miracle of life unfolding within you.
  • Focus on your health and wellness: Your baby’s development relies on your well-being. Ensure you maintain a balanced diet, get regular, gentle exercise, and follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
  • Communication with healthcare professionals: Maintaining open and consistent communication with your healthcare professionals is paramount during this transformative period. Whether navigating the physical changes sweeping through your body or adjusting to the hormonal shifts, having a trusted medical advisor by your side can make all the difference. They are your primary source of support, guidance, and reassurance, dedicated to ensuring your pregnancy journey is as smooth and informed as possible.
  • Booking Appointment: If you haven’t yet scheduled your first antenatal appointment, now is the time to consider this essential step. The NHS offers comprehensive antenatal care starting with the booking appointment, which is a cornerstone of your prenatal care. Alternatively, our private midwife services at London Pregnancy Clinic provide a personalised care experience, ensuring you receive tailored advice and support that resonates with your unique pregnancy needs. This initial consultation is an invaluable opportunity to ask questions, express concerns, and set the foundation for a healthy pregnancy.

Developmental Milestones: Week 8

Embryonic Growth: The rapid growth, your little one measures approximately 15 to 20 mm in length, also known as the crown to rump or CRL. The embryonic form transforms, with fingers and toes delineating further, shedding their webbed guise for a more distinct appearance. 

Gestational and Yolk Sac Development: At 8 weeks the gestational sac typically ranges from 27 to 33 mm. The yolk sac is about 3.3 mm. The nurturing environment of your baby, the gestational sac, demonstrates healthy growth, enveloping your baby in a protective embrace. The yolk sac, though still visible, will soon pass the baton to the placenta, becoming the primary source of nourishment for your developing baby.

Heart Development: Fetal heart rate slightly increases to an average of 140-170 beats per minute (BPM) and will gradually stabilise around 12 weeks.

Other Development: By the week’s close, the blueprint for all essential organs and body systems is firmly laid out. The foundations for your baby’s gender are being set, though the grand revelation remains a few weeks away (too soon to see on ultrasound). Meanwhile, the eyes begin their journey with the retinas starting to form.

Umbilical cord: Formed by week 7, this vital cord acts as a highway, connecting your baby to the placenta. It facilitates a critical exchange: oxygen and nutrients flow in via the umbilical vein, while waste products exit through the umbilical arteries. At this stage, the cord measures approximately 50-60cm, possibly exhibiting up to 40 helical turns for added strength and flexibility.

What is seen on the Ultrasound: Week 8?

The heartbeat is now stronger and more rhythmic, it serves as a profound indicator of your baby’s health and vitality. For expectant parents of twins, this week may unveil the presence of two heartbeats, doubling the joy and anticipation. The ultrasound meticulously charts the development of each embryo, ensuring both are progressing beautifully on their journey.

A subtle opening in the baby’s head marks the space where the brain will continue to grow and flourish. Far from alarming, this natural process is a testament to the body’s remarkable capacity to adapt and prepare for the months ahead. The ultrasound captures this phase with care, offering a glimpse into the brain’s early stages of development in a way that’s both reassuring and awe-inspiring. 

Another fascinating aspect of this scan is the appearance of two parallel lines, a preliminary indication of the fetal spine’s formation. This early sign of structural development underscores the incredible precision with which life unfolds. Both the umbilical cord and amniotic sac, vital to your baby’s development, will be seen during the scan. The umbilical cord, a lifeline to nourishment and oxygen, and the amniotic sac, a protective cocoon, are both visible. Together, they create an environment where your baby can grow, move, and thrive – which you may witness during the scan.

To ensure the most accurate observation, we may utilise transvaginal ultrasounds during these early stages. This method allows us to obtain high-resolution images and a clearer view of your baby’s early movements, compared to the traditional abdominal ultrasound. All pregnancies are unique but what happens during the ultrasound scan is similar for everyone.

Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 7 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac - for educational purpose.
Gestational sac, fetal pole and yolk sac at 7 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.
Image showing what would an ultrasound show at 8 weeks of pregnancy. It shows an Ultrasound image by London Pregnancy Clinic that shows the gestational sac, fetal pole, amniotic sac and yolk sac - for educational purpose.
Gestational sac, fetal pole and amniotic sac at 8 weeks of pregnancy as seen on ultrasound scan.

Thinking ahead: Week 9?

Looking forward to Week 9, anticipate witnessing continued growth and development during your next scan. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and prepare for your upcoming prenatal appointments. Consider discussing prenatal screening options (like NIPT, which we offer complimentary counselling for during our Viability Scan) and dietary adjustments with your healthcare provider to support this vital growth phase.

Morning sickness may persist during Week 8, but it’s a common and typically harmless part of pregnancy. It’s often a result of hormonal changes and is expected to improve as you approach the second trimester. For severe cases, seek professional advice for management strategies.

Week 8 of Pregnancy FAQs


8 week pregnancy is how many months?

At 8 weeks pregnant, you’re right around 2 months along, though doctors usually track pregnancy progress by week for more precise development details. This means you have roughly 7 months until your amazing arrival! Remember, this is just an estimate, and your little one might choose to come a bit earlier or later. Exciting times ahead!

what’s happening during week 8 of pregnancy?

At 8 weeks pregnant, your little one is making incredible progress! Here’s the summary:

  • Grows rapidly to 15-20mm (crown-to-rump).
  • Fingers and toes become more distinct, losing their webbed appearance.
  • Heart rate increases to 140-170 BPM and will stabilize soon.
  • Blueprint for all organs and body systems is established.
  • Gender starts to develop, but still too early to reveal on ultrasound.
  • Eyes begin to form with developing retinas.
  • Gestational sac grows to 27-33mm, protecting the baby.
  • Yolk sac still visible but becoming less important as the placenta takes over as the main source of nourishment.
  • Umbilical cord (formed in week 7) transports oxygen and nutrients to the baby and removes waste. It’s about 50-60cm long and might have twists for stability.
week 8 of pregnancy and no morning sickness?

At 8 weeks pregnant, you might be surprised to be experiencing no morning sickness, especially if it’s a common concern among expectant parents. Rest assured, the absence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy does not necessarily indicate any underlying issues.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Individual Response: The experience of pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness varies greatly among individuals. While it affects 70-80% of pregnant people, the remaining 20-30% may report minimal to no symptoms.
  • Fluctuating Symptoms: Even within the same individual, symptom intensity can fluctuate throughout pregnancy. While you might feel good now, mild nausea could still develop later.
  • Spectrum of Severity: “Morning sickness” encompasses a range of experiences, from occasional mild nausea to frequent vomiting. You might be falling on the less intense end of the spectrum.

Therefore, the absence of morning sickness at 8 weeks is not a cause for concern. However, if you have any questions or worries about your pregnancy, or experience other concerning symptoms, always consult your healthcare provider for personalised guidance and reassurance.

Common symptoms during eight weeks pregnant

Feeling the early flutters? Here’s what to expect at 8 weeks:

  • Fatigue: Your body’s working overtime, so exhaustion is common. Prioritise rest and listen to your needs.
  • Frequent urination: The growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder, leading to more bathroom trips.
  • Morning sickness (and maybe not just in the mornings): Nausea, vomiting, and food aversions are a rollercoaster for many. Stay hydrated and find remedies that work for you.
  • A symphony of sensations: From metallic tastes to heightened smells, your senses might be on overdrive. Embrace the unique experience!
  • Mood swings: The hormonal dance can stir up emotions. Be kind to yourself and seek support if needed.
  • Sore breasts: This is all thanks to hormonal changes preparing for milk production.
  • Bloating and cramping: Your uterus is expanding, which can cause these temporary discomforts.
  • Light spotting: While uncommon, it can happen. If concerned, consult your doctor.
  • Other changes: You might notice thicker hair, skin pigmentation changes, or a milky discharge – all normal pregnancy variations.

Every pregnancy is unique. Some women experience all these symptoms, while others have none. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider.

Note: The information provided in this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

I am bleeding when I’m 8 weeks pregnant – what do i do?

Bleeding during pregnancy, even at 8 weeks, requires immediate medical attention. While occasional light spotting can be harmless, it’s crucial to seek professional guidance right away, as bleeding can also be a sign of a more serious issue. Early pregnancy can experience bleeding due to various factors, including implantation, cervical changes, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy.

To ensure the well-being of both you and your baby, contact your midwife or GP without delay, especially if the bleeding is persistent or accompanied by symptoms like severe pain or dizziness. They may conduct an examination, ultrasound, or blood tests to determine the cause and provide appropriate care.

Remember, prioritising your health and seeking prompt medical attention is vital when experiencing any unexpected bleeding during pregnancy.

Note: This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pregnancy, especially if you experience any bleeding.

8 weeks pregnant. Twins?

At 8 weeks, twin miracles are developing! Their tiny bodies, about 15m cm long and 1 gram each, showcase rapid progress. Limbs and kidneys form and human features become distinct. Beating hearts, now divided into chambers, race at 150 BPM.

Ultrasound magic at 8 weeks might reveal twin gestational sacs, fetal poles, and even fluttering heartbeats, confirming your double joy. However, it’s vital to be aware of vanishing twin syndrome, where one twin stops developing in early pregnancy. While symptoms like morning sickness and fatigue could be more intense with twins, discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. They can guide you through this unique pregnancy journey and ensure optimal care for you and your remaining little miracle.

Week 8 pregnancy bump…

At 8 weeks pregnant, don’t expect a visible bump just yet! Your little one is still tiny! While you might feel bloated or have slightly swollen breasts due to hormonal changes, a true baby bump typically appears closer to 12-16 weeks, when your uterus grows enough to peek out of your pelvis.

Here’s what’s happening instead:

  • Rapid internal growth: Your baby is forming all their essential organs and systems at lightning speed!
  • Uterine expansion: Your uterus starts expanding to make room for your growing baby, but it’s still tucked inside your pelvis.
  • Bloating: Bloating and gas due to hormonal changes are common early pregnancy symptoms, causing a temporary “puffy” feeling.

So, relax and enjoy this early stage of pregnancy! Remember, every woman’s body experiences pregnancy differently, and a visible bump can appear earlier or later depending on various factors.

NIPT? what’s that?

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a groundbreaking screening tool offering peace of mind during pregnancy. This simple blood test examines cell-free fetal DNA in your blood to assess the risk of specific chromosomal abnormalities in your baby:

Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21): Detected with >99% accuracy.
Edward’s syndrome (Trisomy 18): Detected with 97.4% accuracy.
Patau’s syndrome (Trisomy 13): Detected with 93.8% accuracy.

These figures represent detection rates reported by Harmony NIPT. Additionally, NIPT boasts a remarkable <0.1% false positive rate for all three trisomies, calculated at a 1/100 risk cutoff.

And there’s more! NIPT can also determine your baby’s sex with >99% accuracy, offering an early glimpse into your growing family.

Key benefits of NIPT:

  • Non-invasive: No needles or risks to your baby.
    Highly accurate: Provides valuable information about your baby’s health.
  • Early detection: Offers time for informed decision-making if needed.
  • Optional sex determination: Satisfies your curiosity early on.


Remember: NIPT is a screening test, not a definitive diagnosis. Consult your healthcare provider for further information and personalised guidance. We at LPC offer multiple NIPTs (PrenatalSafe, Panorama, Unity, SMART TEST, Illumina, Harmony) and out specialists will help you choose the best option for you!


Conclusion

At Week 8, while some challenges may arise, such as the potential for hyperemesis gravidarum or the need for reassurance regarding pregnancy progression, London Pregnancy Clinic is here to support you. Our expertise and advanced scanning technology provide the care and answers you need during this transformative time.

Stay tuned for more updates as you progress through this incredible journey, and remember, our team is always here to support you every step of the way.


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