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8-Week pregnant: Development and diet

About the size of a robin’s egg, your little one measures about 30 mm long. Learn more about this week.

3 mins to read Jan 6, 2021


It’s around week 8 that you may start to notice your figure changing. Some women may lose a little weight while others are already starting to gain some. Pregnancy often shows surprisingly early. You stand on the scales and see that you have not gained any weight, even though there is a child on the way? Weight gain recommendations assume that during the first trimester women gain only about 0.5 – 2.0 kg. And, if you begin your pregnancy at a healthy weight, there is no need to add any extra calories to your diet during the first trimester. Weight gain recommendations are based on your body height and weight before you became pregnant.

Your child is getting to be quite the human being! His fingers and toes are fully formed and he is starting to move his limbs on purpose now. His small intestine is still growing - it will reach 2.75 metres at birth, which is pretty impressive in someone so small, and his genitourinary tract is on its way as well. As for the sex of your child, although it is already genetically defined, it isn’t visible yet. At the end of the eighth week, junior’s heart and vascular systems will be in place. By the time you get your next ultrasound, the pounding of his heart should be audible, beating at an impressive rate of 160 bpm (beats per minute)!


Time to get drinking! You should be putting away plenty of water while pregnant.

It is an essential component of your blood, of which the volume has increased significantly since the beginning of your pregnancy to ensure you pass on the necessary nutrition for your child. It is therefore essential to avoid dehydration while maintaining this increased blood volume. Limiting the amount of caffeine you drink is a wise choice during pregnancy. Scientific studies have shown that high levels of caffeine can be a potential contributing factor in miscarriage. Instead, stock your cupboards with a range of tempting caffeine-free options. And, if you’re not yet in the habit of drinking water with meals and throughout the day, now is a good time to start.


“I am 8 weeks pregnant and I've put on 5 kilos. What’s up with that?” Whether that’s your story or not, it’s good to know that weight gain varies among women in pregnancy. That said, an early, rapid weight gain should be reported to your doctor. If your weight before pregnancy was lower than average, you may have no reason to worry. If you were a normal or heavy weight before pregnancy, your doctor might want to learn more about your diet and activity to help you prevent gaining excess weight during the rest of your pregnancy.


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