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Pregnancy at week 8

5-minute read

Your baby

Your baby will still look a bit like a tadpole, but their tail is getting shorter and will eventually disappear. The eyes and nose are visible, the inner ear and the tongue are developing, and the roof of the mouth is coming together with the upper jaw.

There are hands at the end of their arm buds, and fingers are starting to grow. The arms and legs are made of cartilage at this stage. Their reproductive organs are also developing, but it’s too early to tell whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

At this stage of your pregnancy your baby is relying on the yolk sac to get its nutrients. The placenta, a vital pregnancy organ, is still developing but will take over and start supporting your baby's oxygen and nutritional needs from about 10 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby is also surrounded by amniotic fluid. This fluid helps them ‘float’ in your uterus and protects your baby and the umbilical cord - the essential portal delivering their oxygen and nutrients.

Your body

Even though your baby is tiny, by week 8 your uterus has grown to the size of a tennis ball. It’s putting more pressure on your bladder, so you might need to go to the toilet more often than normal.

This is the week when morning sickness is often at its worst. Some women are glowing and have a lot of energy, but others are feeling tired and emotional. It’s normal to have mood swings when you’re pregnant, but chat to your doctor if you’re feeling very anxious or down.

At this time, you may start to notice problems with your teeth and gums. Hormones can make your gums bleed more easily. Vomiting a lot or eating sweet foods can also affect your teeth. Try gently flossing and using a soft toothbrush. It’s a good idea to see a dentist regularly throughout your pregnancy.

Things to remember

If you haven’t seen a doctor yet, now is the time to go. You will have a number of regular antenatal visits with your doctor, midwife or obstetrician regularly throughout your pregnancy.

It’s important to look after your own health when you’re pregnant. For example, if you catch the flu when you’re pregnant it can be more serious and result in you going to hospital. It’s a good idea to consider a flu vaccination - it’s free for pregnant women in Australia at any stage of their pregnancy, under the National Immunisation Program. You can read more about influenza vaccination in pregnancy on the Department of Health website.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 9 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023


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Need more information?

Antenatal Care during Pregnancy

Once you are pregnant, your first antenatal appointment will ideally take place when you are about 6 to 8 weeks pregnant.

Read more on RANZCOG - Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website

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Early pregnancy loss is an individual experience, and the treatment and procedures around it are different for everyone. If you’ve been for an ultrasound and it’s been determined that you have lost your baby, there are several treatment options available.

Read more on The Pink Elephants Support Network website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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