8 weeks pregnant: symptoms, development and advice

8 weeks pregnant

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

Medically reviewed by Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Ms Ayanthi Gunasekera

At 8 weeks pregnant, you're around two months pregnant. Your baby is growing and plenty is going on inside your belly. This week, they'll even get their eye colour!

Here’s everything you can expect from symptoms to changes in your body and baby in your eighth week of pregnancy.

Your baby at 8 weeks pregnant

"At 8 weeks, your baby is about 16 mm long. That is about the size of a raspberry," says Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Ayanthi Gunasekera.


Your baby's development at 8 weeks pregnant

Your little embryo has made a lot of progress during the last week, growing at a rate of 1mm per day. There’s been a growth spurt in your baby’s arms and legs and there’s now more definition where the knees, elbows, wrists, and ankles will be.

"Eight weeks into your pregnancy, your baby’s major organs and systems are forming, including the heart, brain, and spinal cord," says Ayanthi. "The baby's heart is beating and can often be detected through ultrasound, providing a reassuring sign of development."

"Small swellings outlining the future shell-shaped parts of your baby's ears develop and the eyes become obvious. The trunk and neck have also began to straighten."

Your placenta is also getting ready to start looking after your baby. It's forming ‘chorionic villi’, or little branches which help it attach to the wall of the womb, to enable your blood supply to feed your baby over the coming months, as well as taking away any waste products.

As your baby now has a little upper lip, a nose and tiny eyelids too, they are looking a lot more baby-like this week. Their legs are getting longer too and their tiny fingers and toes are also starting to form.

Your body at 8 weeks pregnant

At 8 weeks pregnant, your blood volume increases by almost 50 per cent, as it's pumped around your body, particularly to your womb.

"Your blood volume is increasing to support the growing pregnancy, which may result in changes in blood pressure," says Ayanthi.

The increased blood volume, mixed with those pregnancy hormones can cause headaches, so remember to stay hydrated and rest when you can.

A hormone called progesterone helps this process by relaxing the tissues in the heart and blood vessels, which helps keep your blood pressure down.

"Hormonal changes can affect digestion, leading to symptoms like nausea and changes in appetite," Ayanthi explains.

It's also very normal to feel constipated, as your digestive system relaxes, which could lead to piles. If you're suffering, it's important to talk to your doctor about any health problems you have.

Your uterus has also grown by now, and your bump might show a little when your belly is bloated. If your clothes are feeling a little tight around the tummy it’s because your uterus, which is normally about the size of your fist, has stretched to the size of a grapefruit. "The growing uterus can exert pressure on the bladder, leading to increased frequency of urination," says Ayanthi.

You should spend some time in the fruit aisle. We already know fruit is a good thing but it’s your best friend now you’re growing a baby. With all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs, it also helps keep you regular.

8 weeks pregnancy symptoms

It is around 8 weeks pregnant you might start noticing the first symptoms of pregnancy. These could include...

Morning sickness

If you haven't had it already, there's still a chance morning sickness might start this month. Morning sickness is extremely common in pregnancy, but sometimes you can experience these symptoms all day! Although we’re not exactly sure what causes that queasy feeling, it’s thought to be down to those pregnancy hormones you’re learning to live with.

Remember to try and eat little and often, and rest assured even if you are being sick, your baby feels just fine.

Also, it does tend to ease off around weeks 12-14, so not too long to go! That said, if you’re in the unlucky 1% of women who suffer from extreme vomiting and sickness, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum (the condition Kate Middleton suffered with during both her pregnancies) it’s not something to ignore.

If you’re unable to eat or drink anything, your lips and mouth are dry and your urine is dark, contact your GP immediately.


Yep, it’s been on this list for the past few weeks, but fatigue is still a super common symptom. Remember, to cut your body some slack and listen to it - after all, you are growing a baby!


Another one that is caused by the pregnancy hormone estrogen. This white milky discharge (medically referred to as leukorrhea) protects that important part of your body from infection, by maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria, so don’t worry about it.

Bloating, gas and constipation

You might begin to feel changes in your tummy at this stage, with many women experiencing bloating, gas and the dreaded constipation. To help your food digest quicker, make sure you're eating plenty of fibre and be sure to relax when you eat.


You'll have probably heard of the different food cravings women can experience during pregnancy, but if you're finding you're craving strange substances such as clay, this could be a sign of iron deficiency and you should speak to your GP.

Frequent urination

Yep, you may still find yourself having to run out of the room mid-conversation as you need to pee. It’s due to your uterus expanding, which puts extra pressure on your bladder. This symptom will continue to come and go throughout your pregnancy.

What to do at 8 weeks pregnant

• Avoid smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs: "These can have harmful effects on your developing baby. You should also discuss any prescription or over-the-counter medications with your healthcare provider," says Ayanthi.

• Invest in a supportive bra: Your boobs are going to feel a lot heavier from now on, so invest in a well-fitted maternity bra that will support you properly.

Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important, especially if you don't fancy eating. Try adding a bit of lemon or mint flavouring to your water, or try sparkling water.

Take a trip to the supermarket: "Maintain a balanced diet. Focus on foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients," says Ayanthi. You want to stock up on all the healthy foods you need for pregnancy plus any prenatal vitamins to give yourself a healthy start to your pregnancy journey.

Start doing your squats: Another example of something we know we should be doing anyway but not only do squats help tone your thighs, but they can also help during labour! What are you waiting for?

Announcement plans: You and your partner may want to start planning how you'll announce your pregnancy to your friends and family.

Book a dentist appointment: "Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect oral health, so it's important to maintain good dental hygiene," says Ayanthi. So now is a good time to check in with your dentist to make sure you keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition.

• Read up on paternity and maternity pay: It's good to be fully aware of what you're entitled to, as well as other benefits. A Mat B1 form is what you will need to apply for your leave but you won't get this until around 20 weeks.

"You should pay attention to any unusual symptoms or signs of complications, such as severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, or severe nausea and vomiting," says Ayanthi. "Contact your doctor if you have concerns."

8 weeks pregnant scan

If you experience any bleeding or if you've previously had a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, you may be offered an 8-week scan ahead of the usual first scan at 12 weeks. Alternatively, if you feel like something isn't quite right and it's causing anxiety, you can book one privately. You may even be lucky enough to hear your baby's heartbeat!

A journalist since 2015, Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for seven years. Emily writes about everything from the top baby products to pregnancy, fertility and maternal mental health. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

About the expert

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Ms Ayanthi Gunasekera is the Medical information lead at London Gynaecology

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