You are 8 Weeks Exactly 224 days to go…

You’re probably already wondering if you’re carrying a boy or a girl, but the physical signs of gender aren’t apparent yet.

Although the sex of your baby was determined at the moment of fertilization, it will not yet be apparent whether the embryo is male or female.

At this stage of development, the external genitalia have exactly the same appearance (almost nonexistent). In a girl, no uterus or tubes have formed internally. The ovary in a female embryo and testes in a male embryo are currently just ridges of tissue, without any of the characteristics of either reproductive organ.

Incredibly, your baby’s heart has already developed, with four chambers beating at about 160 beats per minute. The common tube leaving the heart has divided into the two main blood vessels: the aorta takes your baby’s oxygen-carrying blood to his body and the pulmonary trunk takes his blood to the lungs. Valves within the heart ensure that the blood only travels one way and all of the major blood vessels are now established.

Your baby’s eyes appear open because the eyelids have just started to appear and have yet to fuse. In reality, they won’t properly open until week 26. Pigment is just starting to accumulate within the retina of the eye. The developing lens is supplied by a single blood vessel in the optic nerve, which will later disappear.

… Doctor

Q:I’m eight weeks pregnant and have an ear and throat infection. Will I be allowed to take antibiotics?
A:You may be prescribed antibiotics by your doctor since there are some that can be taken during pregnancy. Penicillin-based antibiotics are usually prescribed, or if you are allergic to these your doctor will be able to offer other safe alternatives.

Never take antibiotics that have not been prescribed for you specifically. The following antibiotics should not be taken during pregnancy:

  • Tetracyclines taken during pregnancy can adversely affect the development of an unborn baby’s bones, and may cause some discoloration of the enamel on the baby’s teeth.

  • Streptomycin can cause damage to the ears of the developing baby and result in hearing loss.

  • Sulphonamides can cause jaundice in the baby.

Actual size of your baby

At 8 weeks, your baby’s crown to rump length is 0.51 in (13 mm).

Your 9th Week

During this week, your baby starts to make tiny movements. You won’t be aware of this, but it’s exciting to think about. On the downside, you could be in the throes of nausea and sickness. However, many women find that the nausea starts to lessen from now on. There are various self-help measures you can take to relieve the sickness, but if it’s making life miserable, talk to your doctor.


Your baby has hands and feet, and his bones are growing

Embryo at 9 weeks

You are 8 Weeks and 1 Day 223 days to go…

Not all pregnant women have cravings, but many women do experience a change in their food preferences.

Your baby today

At this early stage in the pregnancy the placenta is much larger than the fetus. The fetus can just be seen within the amniotic sac. The fronds (white area) on the surface of the sac make up the placenta and at this stage surround nearly all of the amniotic sac.

When it comes to being pregnant, it seems your body instinctively knows what you like to eat. Experts are not sure how this can happen but it seems your body has natural protective mechanisms; certain foods are not good for the developing baby so your body turns you away from them; or your body is deficient in certain nutrients, so craves foods that will provide them.

Suddenly you can’t stand the thought of food and drinks that you have always loved and find yourself craving things you never previously liked, or you long for bizarre combinations of foods. Aversions and cravings are often associated with nausea. It’s common to be turned off by fatty foods since the smell alone can make you feel sick. You may start to dislike the taste or the smell of coffee or tea, cigarettes, and alcohol.

It is common to crave strong-tasting foods such as pickles, which may be due to the fact your taste buds change during pregnancy. What’s termed “pica” is an unhealthy craving for bizarre items .

You should try to eat healthily, but there are a few foods which should be avoided. Otherwise eat whatever combinations you desire—and don’t worry about the strange looks you might get in the sandwich shop!

… Dads
Satisfy her cravings

If it’s a mom-to-be’s responsibility to play host to baby for nine months, it most definitely falls within a your dad-to-be’s job description to see that your partner gets everything she needs. A word of warning: cravings usually occur the minute the local store has closed, or in the evening when you’re relaxing. Forget the pickles and ice cream you’ve been told to expect. Instead, be prepared for a last-minute dash to the local pizza place, a trek to a 24-hour supermarket that carries organic sour cream-flavored potato chips, beets, or a chocolate doughnut.

You can help by preparing meals and snacks some of the time: if your partner is presented with healthy food lovingly prepared by you, she may be less likely to reach for any unhealthy food she craves.

If an ice cream craving strikes, try to have one spoonful, not the whole container. Pair it with fresh fruit for a healthy combination.

… Nutritionist

Q:Should I stop adding salt to my food?
A:There is no need to limit salt intake but don’t have in excess of the recommended 0.2 oz (6 g) a day.

During pregnancy, your blood and other bodily fluids expand almost 50 percent, an expansion that requires extra water and salt. The majority of salt in the diet comes from processed foods, not from the salt shaker or the salt you add in cooking. To manage your intake, eat whole foods you cook yourself and add your own salt to taste.

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