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Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 8 (part 1)

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1. How Big Are You?

Your uterus is getting bigger, so you should be noticing a change in your waistline and the fit of your clothes. Your healthcare provider will see that your uterus is enlarged, if you have a pelvic exam.

2. How Your Baby Is Growing and Developing

Eyes are moving toward the middle of the face. Eyelid folds appear on the face, and nerve cells in the eye are beginning to develop.

The tip of the nose is present. Internal and external ears are forming. The body’s trunk area is getting longer and straightening out.

Image

Embryo at 8 weeks (fetal age—6 weeks).
Crown-to-rump length is about ¾ inch (20mm).
Arms are longer and bend at the elbows.

Arms are longer. Elbows are present, and arms now bend at the elbows and curve slightly over the heart. Arms and legs extend forward. The beginning of fingers and toes can be seen.

3. Changes in You

As your uterus grows, you may feel cramping or even pain in your lower abdomen or at your sides. Some women feel tightening of the uterus throughout pregnancy. If you don’t feel it, don’t worry. But if you also have bleeding from the vagina, call your healthcare provider immediately.

4. Headaches and Migraines

Some pregnant women have headaches during pregnancy. Tension headaches can be caused by stress, fatigue, heat, noise, thirst, hunger, loud music and bright lights. Be careful what you eat. Some foods can trigger a headache, including peanuts, chocolate, cheese and some meats. If your sinuses are clogged, that may also increase headaches.

Cluster headaches come in groups, last about an hour and can continue for weeks or months. Acetaminophen is OK to use for these types of headaches.

A headache or migraine that doesn’t go away in late pregnancy could signal problems. Call your healthcare provider immediately!

Don’t want to take medicine for a pounding headache? There are other things you can try. Exercise may help. Massage your neck and shoulders to help relax tight muscles. If you have a sinus headache, put a warm wash cloth over your nose and eyes. Or put a cold pack on the base of your neck. Fold a scarf lengthwise to make a 2-inch-wide band, tie it around your head and knot it at the point where pain is most intense. It can help.

Migraines. Migraine headaches are often an inherited problem. Nearly 20% of all pregnant women have a migraine at some point in pregnancy. A migraine can last for a few hours up to 3 days. Some women suffer more during pregnancy because of their changing hormone levels.

Ginger may help with migraines—a pinch of powdered ginger in water may be as good as prescription medicine. When you first feel symptoms, mix ⅓ teaspoon of powdered ginger in a cup of water. Drink this three or four times a day for 3 days.

Tip for Week 8

Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day, especially after handling raw meat or using the bathroom. This simple act can help prevent the spread of many bacteria and viruses that cause infection.

5. Sciatic-Nerve Pain and Sacroiliac-Joint Pain

Many women experience an occasional excruciating pain in their buttocks and down the back or side of their legs as pregnancy progresses. It is called sciatic-nerve pain or sciatica. Some people may mistakenly refer to it as sacroiliac pain. However, sciatica pain and sacroiliac pain are not the same thing.

Sciatica is a sharp, searing pain that travels down your buttocks, legs and thighs. The best treatment is to lie on your opposite side to help relieve pressure on the nerve. Sitting on a tennis ball on a hard surface may also help.

Sacroiliac joint pain (SJP) is joint related and feels like a sharp jolt of pain on either side of the back or hips. It may extend down your legs. Warm baths (not hot) and acetaminophen may help.

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