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8 Weeks pregnant: hormonal changes in pregnancy

Baby has done a lot of growing this week. Baby’s head has formed, their optic nerve is developing, and baby even has skin. But while they’re taking these big steps, don’t forget to keep taking a few yourself.

    3-minutes read


    Heartburn? Nausea? Fatigue? You might not feel very normal. But that’s completely normal at 8 weeks pregnant. If you’re starting to feel more tired these days, snacking on starchy (complex) carbs keeps energy levels up. However, don’t bin those trainers! Exercise is more important now than ever. Just try a gentler version. Read more on what to expect at 8 weeks pregnant.

    What happens at 8 weeks pregnant?

    Baby is about the size of a raspberry and literally growing into their new skin at 8 weeks pregnant. The optic nerves are developing to help them see, all their tiny organs are in place, while their head and spine have also formed. That little tail (the coccyx) has disappeared, so they look less like a tadpole. And guess what? Your baby has skin. And in the next couple of weeks, those webbed hands and feet will be fingers and toes.

    Arms and legs are lengthening, and the elbows, wrists and ankles are beginning too. What a busy week for such a little person.

    What happens to your body at 8 weeks pregnant?

    You’re 8 weeks pregnant although you’re probably not showing much, so it’s hard to believe that in about 32 weeks there’ll be a cuddly little bundle in your arms. Crazy isn’t it? It’s around now that tiredness and the other downsides of pregnancy start to kick in for some women. Think how you can make life less hectic for yourself, as pregnancy puts additional strain on your body. Also, put your feet up whenever you can.

    There could be sleeping problems, mood changes, heartburn and cravings on the horizon. One consolation is that these are all really good signs of a healthy pregnancy. They mean important hormonal changes in pregnancy are happening in your body, which are vital for the growth of your little sleep thief.


    What to eat at 8 weeks pregnant?

    If you find yourself nodding off into your soup or falling asleep before the opening credits of your favourite series, it’s likely that pregnancy fatigue has begun already. Try adjusting your diet to keep energy levels up. Complex carbohydrates (starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals and pulses) are an important source of energy and should be included in your pregnancy diet. Many women find eating more ‘baby sized’ meals throughout the day, rather than three big meals, can help keep tiredness at bay.

    Eat lots of fruit and veg too, as these provide important vitamins and minerals. Constipation in pregnancy is normal (another thing to thank those hormones for), so try munching on celery, berries and watermelon as they contain loads of fibre and moisture, which can help with digestion. Remember to wash your fruits and vegetables carefully though.

    What are the symptoms of 8 weeks pregnant?

    Week 8 pregnancy symptoms - enhanced sense of smell and taste, which sounds like a pregnancy superpower but it could also be your Kryptonite.

    All those hormones mixed with nausea mean you might not react too well to certain smells or foods. The cause is unconfirmed, but one theory is that it’s mum’s way of protecting baby from potential threats. Everyone goes on about cravings, but food aversions are very common early signs of pregnancy too – you may even find your favourites are off the menu for a while.

    What exercise is safe during pregnancy?

    Some women worry that they’ll have to give up their favourite gym class once they’re pregnant. But don’t pack those trendy trainers away just yet. If you've been doing regular exercise already, chances are you can continue for as long as it feels good. It’s always worth checking with your doctor first, as each pregnancy is different.

    If you get the go-ahead, low-impact, pregnancy safe exercises include yoga, Pilates and swimming. As long as you stay tuned to your body you’ll probably know best when it’s time to take things easy. And if you’re going to the gym or taking a class it is recommended that you let the instructor know that you are 8 weeks pregnant, they may be able to make the workout more bump-friendly.

    Why not take a look at our tips and advice as well as tailored pregnancy exercises to help you stay active during your pregnancy.

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