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Eighth Week of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a significant phase in our lives. It warrants that the expectant mother thinks not only of her own safety/wellbeing but also that of the developing fetus. In fact, there are laws stipulating/mandating that woman and fetus undergo routine medical checks and care, to ensure the well-being of both mother and child. These are primed to culminate in the safe delivery of the child and the good health of the mother. The ultimate goal centers on foreclosing any chances of infant and/or maternal fatalities.

Physical signs
Depending on factors such as whether it is a first-time pregnancy or not, the chances are that there no tangible signs that you are pregnant! However, the concept of being pregnant is taking root in your mind and body as well! There are physical, emotional, and physiological changes that mother and fetus undergo, and these form part of expected conditions associated with conception at this stage.

Changes with the baby at eight weeks of pregnancy
By the eighth week of pregnancy, the baby in the womb has grown to the size of a kidney bean, weighs approximately 0.001 kilograms, and spans about 0.63 inches. Note that estimates show that the baby grows at the rate of 1 mm every day.

That’s not all! The baby undergoes other physical changes. For starters, the fetus’ hands and feet are developing webbed fingers and toes. With its eyelids almost covering its eyes, breathing tubes project from its throat to the pair of formative lungs. At this stage, the baby has lost most of its ‘tail’, while nerve cells begin to branch out from its brain, to form neural pathways. Heartbeats of up to 160 per minute occur in the baby, to accommodate the rapid growth taking place.

Notice that the gender of the baby is designated with an ‘it’… For good reason. At eight weeks of pregnancy, it is hard to determine if it is a boy or girl because the external genitals haven't developed enough to reveal the baby's sex. Although the mother does not feel anything, the baby makes constant shifting movements during this period.

Changes in the woman at eight weeks of pregnancy
Changes with the baby mean that the mother undergoes new experiences herself. The earliest signs center on the mother’s breasts growing larger. Rising levels of hormones cause breast growth and other tissue changes, all acting as forerunners for lactation/breastfeeding the child after birth. Take note that the breast may actually continue to grow for the duration of the conception, especially if this is a first-time mother.
There are other symptoms. They include nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. These symptoms should not raise any unnecessary alarms, as they are a part of the process. In fact, hormonal changes, specifically a steep rise in progesterone, account for the symptoms and mood swings. 

At this stage, many women experience a sharpening in their sense of smell. They are able to pick out the most nuanced odors, which partly contributes to the state of nauseousness. Sleepytime may also be short and uncomfortable owing to an overarching need to pee often at night. Constipation also features strongly as more than fifty percent of women complain of having little or no bowel movements for long bouts during the period.

Tips, Tricks, and Recommendations
1. Purchase bras and other pieces of clothing a size or two above one’s normal size, to accommodate changes associated with pregnancy.
2. Get plenty of sleep whenever possible
3. Engage inadequate exercise routines
4. Avoid strenuous lifting
5. Eat balanced meals
6. Join support groups (offline and online)
7. Have regular consultations with qualified medical personnel.

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