8 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of a


You’re already 8 weeks pregnant – how time flies! Perhaps you’ve noticed more symptoms arise this week, but what you may not have noticed is all the growth and development your baby is making. Keep reading for more information on your baby’s development at 8 weeks pregnant, your symptoms and some important things to consider, such as your upcoming antenatal appointments and ultrasound scan.

Highlights at 8 Weeks Pregnant

Before we get into all the details, here are some exciting and important highlights from 8 weeks pregnant for you to check out:

  • At 8 weeks pregnant, your little embryo is now a foetus!

  • Your little one is starting to uncurl, and their legs are getting longer.

  • You’ll likely have an antenatal appointment with your doctor or midwife this week, or in the coming weeks – the perfect time to bring up questions.

  • Now might be the time to make some pregnancy announcements to those closest to you! The end of the first trimester is on the horizon, which is when many people tell others that they are pregnant.

  • Be prepared for some new symptoms, like lower back pain. The muscles are working harder to support your growing uterus.

Confirming You’re Pregnant at 8 Weeks

It’s likely that you received a positive pregnancy test at 8 weeks pregnant, and if so, you may want to confirm it with your GP. Pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your urine, which starts to be produced around 6 days after fertilisation. A positive test is usually accurate when done correctly, whereas a negative pregnancy test may not be as reliable and you might be pregnant! To know for certain, make an appointment with your GP.

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you might start wondering when your due date will be. Your GP will be able to confirm that date, but in the meantime, try our Due Date Calculator.


How Many Months Is 8 Weeks Pregnant?

Weeks or months? You may have heard pregnancy being referred to in both ways, but weeks is more common. Although there’s not a single, standard way to group the 40 weeks of pregnancy into months, at 8 weeks pregnant, you’re likely nearing the end of your second month of pregnancy, even if you haven’t noticed any belly bump or symptoms yet!

Your Baby's Development at 8 Weeks Pregnant

During your pregnancy, you may wonder, when does an embryo become a foetus, and when does a foetus become a baby. At 8 weeks pregnant, your little one is now a foetus (offspring in Latin), and they’re no longer called an embryo. Let’s check out your baby’s developments inside your belly at 8 weeks old:

  • While the embryo has been in a curled-up tadpole shape, the foetus starts to uncurl this week.

  • The legs are getting longer but it will be a little while before there are distinct features like the knees and toes.

  • Even though the legs are catching up, the foetus’s arms are still longer as the upper body grows faster than the lower half.

  • The foetus gets nourishment from the yolk sac while the placenta develops and slowly attaches to the uterus wall. When the placenta is ready, it will take over the job of providing nutrients and oxygen to the foetus.

It’s still too soon at 8 weeks pregnant to know what gender your baby will be, but you may be able to find out at your mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan, often held between 18 to 21 weeks. If you feel like taking a guess in the meantime, have some completely unscientific fun with our Chinese Gender Predictor.


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Your Baby’s Size at 8 Weeks Pregnant

It’s common to wonder how big a baby is at 8 weeks, and it’s exciting to see your little one grow and develop each week. At 8 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a raspberry – just 16 millimetres long, crown to rump. You may be surprised to learn that your baby will make a big leap in their size next week.

Your Baby: What Does 8 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

At 8 weeks of pregnancy, here’s a glimpse of what the foetus may look like:

what an embryo at 8 weeks pregnant looks like

Your Body at 8 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy symptoms may be more noticeable at 8 weeks pregnant, and perhaps some new symptoms are creeping in. You may even notice that your clothes are starting to feel a bit snug, especially if this is your second pregnancy. This is because the uterus and abdominal muscles are already stretched out from your previous pregnancy, so your bump may show earlier than in a first time pregnancy.

Related pregnancy tool

Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator

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Your Symptoms at 8 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some of the symptoms that you may experience at 8 weeks pregnant:

  • Morning sickness. You may be dealing with nausea and

    even vomiting right about now. The good news is morning sickness symptoms usually subside during the second trimester, and you’ll be there before you know it! For now, try nibbling on something plain like toast before you get out of bed in the morning, and aim for six small meals a day, rather than three large ones.

  • Food and smell aversions. Certain tastes and odours that have never bothered you before may now seem overbearing or repugnant. Increased hormone levels may amplify your sense of smell and make your stomach feel as if you’re on a wild roller coaster ride. It's OK to avoid these foods and smells; the key is to stick to a healthy, balanced diet of lots of fruits, vegetables and protein.

  • Dark patches of skin. You might now notice brown patches of skin on your face. This pigmentation change is called chloasma or the ‘mask of pregnancy.' Don't worry, these patches will usually fade away after you give birth when your hormones return to normal. In the meantime, sun exposure can make this condition worse, so stay out of the sun or wear a hat when outdoors.

  • Frequent urination. Yes, you may still be making lots of extra trips to the bathroom. This symptom will come and go throughout the rest of your pregnancy as your baby grows and your uterus expands, both of which put pressure on your bladder. What should you do? Aim to stick close by to a toilet. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, but try not to drink too much before bedtime so that you’re not making bathroom runs through the night.

  • Abdominal cramping. This symptom might be associated with the continued growth of your uterus. If the cramping is severe, call your midwife or doctor to rule out problems.

  • Back pain. Even at eight weeks pregnant, your muscles and ligaments are stretching as they prepare for when you give birth. This can place strain on your back and pelvic muscles, causing aches and pains during pregnancy. To help, avoid lifting heavy objects, wear flat and comfortable shoes, practice good posture, get good back support from cushions when you sit, and head to a back care class if you can. If the pain persists, see your doctor.

  • Light spotting. Spotting (a few drops of blood at a time) can be normal. However, be sure to talk to your midwife if you feel at all concerned and call right away if you notice heavier bleeding.

  • Fatigue. Hormonal changes can leave you feeling especially exhausted in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The best advice we can give is to go ahead and grab some extra snooze time whenever you can.

  • Bleeding or sore gums. You can blame those hormonal changes for some dental issues, too! During pregnancy you may be more susceptible to plaque build-up, and this can lead to sore and bleeding gums. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a soft bristle brush and avoid sugary food and drinks. If you are vomiting due to morning sickness, rinse your mouth out with water after each time. Arrange a dental check-up early on in your pregnancy. You may be eligible for free dental care while pregnant, so ask your dentist about how to take advantage of this when you call to make an appointment.

What Size Is a Pregnant Belly at 8 Weeks?

Every pregnancy is unique, but it’s safe to say that you probably won’t see any difference in your belly’s size at 8 weeks pregnant. Remember, your little one is only the size of a raspberry! If you do notice a small belly around this time, it’s usually due to common pregnancy symptoms such as bloating. You may not start looking pregnant until around week 12 to 16, as your uterus grows out of your pelvis area.

What Does 8 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

To get a better idea of what your belly might look like around 8 weeks pregnant, when you’re in your second month of pregnancy, check out the image below.

Things to Consider at 8 Weeks Pregnant

As your pregnancy progresses, there are plenty of important things to do and think about at 8 weeks pregnant and in the coming weeks, from taking care of your body to sharing the news with loved ones. Check out our list below.

  • Take care of yourself by exercising. If you were fairly active before your pregnancy, it’s usually safe to continue with your exercise routine while it still feels comfortable. (Just check with your midwife to be sure). If you’re new to exercise, it’s not too late to get moving. Take a look at our article on exercise during pregnancy and get the all-clear from your doctor before you get started. Regular exercise has lots of benefits, including helping you stay physically fit, helping to regulate your mood, and allowing you some ‘me time’. The key is not to exhaust yourself. Try half an hour of walking each day, doing a little prenatal yoga, or going for a swim.

  • Getting good care is important! It’s time for your first visit with your doctor or midwife, if you haven’t already been. In some cases, you may need an obstetrician, too. This is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and childbirth. You can get help on where to find the right care from your GP or your nearest Children’s Centre. It’s important you feel comfortable with your choice. If this is your first pregnancy you can expect about 10 antenatal appoints over the course of your pregnancy, 7 if this isn’t your first pregnancy and everything is normal. These regular check-ups give you the perfect opportunity to ask questions and bring up concerns with experts committed to helping you. You will also have at least two ultrasound scans, one around 8 to 14 weeks, and several other screening tests for your baby over the coming months. Your doctor or midwife will give you the dates for all of these appointments, scans and tests.

  • Should you share the news? When to tell people you’re pregnant is the subject of much debate: Some couples tell close friends and family right away. Others choose to wait until they’re past the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage is much lower. If you’re employed, you’ll also need to think about when you will tell your employer. If you’re feeling rather unwell it may be worth telling your boss sooner as this might make them more understanding of your situation. Legally you don’t have to share the news until 15 weeks before your due date, which is months away. Of course, by that time your bump will show clearly so it might make sense to share the news sooner than that. This choice is entirely yours, but you may want to seek advice from your midwife, too.

  • Read up on your possible paternity leave and maternity leave entitlements. You may be able to access leave, pay and other benefits. You still have time to get to the bottom of what you are eligible for, but it’s worth starting to enquire now about how, when and where you need to make any claims, who you need to notify and what support is available to you.

  • It’s still early and you won’t yet know the biological sex of your baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun thinking about baby names. Start making a list of names and keep adding to your short list before eventually making your choice – no pressure though, as you still have many months to decide.

  • Connect with other parents who are due around the same time as you, or other parents in your area. There may be a social media group you can find, or perhaps there are community support groups you can reach out to. Parents with babies or young children in your community can be a wealth of information and support.


Tip for Partners

On top of fatigue and stress, your pregnant partner might be experiencing lower backaches and pain. Help them relax and unwind by running them a warm bath or giving them a gentle massage. Massage their back, shoulders, arms and legs using gentle sweeping motions, and small circular motions to relax the temples.


Questions for Your Doctor at 8 Weeks Pregnant

Around 8 weeks pregnant is when you’ll have your first antenatal appointment and ultrasound. Your antenatal check-ups give you the perfect opportunity to ask your doctor or midwife any questions you might have. As you prepare for your appointment, consider the following questions.

  • What are some ways to get a better night’s sleep?

  • Is traveling or flying while pregnant safe? If so, when is the best time to take a trip and when should I stop traveling?

  • When and how to contact the doctor between appointments? What types of antenatal tests are needed or recommended for me, and when will they be scheduled? When will the first ultrasound scan be?


At 8 to 12 weeks pregnant, you will usually have an appointment with your doctor or midwife. During this appointment they will be able to check your health, your baby’s health and offer you advice. You will also be offered antenatal screening tests, such as screening for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia. If you have any concerns about your baby during your pregnancy, contact your doctor or midwife.

8 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Here is a little to-do list you may consider during this period in your pregnancy:

☐ If you haven’t already, find a doctor and midwife you like and trust. It could be that you need to speak to a few before you settle on one you feel comfortable with. Download our Pregnancy Guide for question to ask before selecting the right one. This guide also includes a handy antenatal visit calendar.

☐ Make an appointment with the dentist.

☐ Check if you will be eligible for free milk, fruit and vegetables, and infant formula under Healthy Start. To qualify you need to be at least 10 weeks pregnant and meet a few other criteria.

☐ Although antenatal classes only start around 28 weeks, it’s a good idea to do your research and find the right one for you now. Book a spot soonish as places can fill up early.

☐ With your partner, start to plan how and when you’ll share the big news with family and friends.

☐ Take some time off this week! If you can, set aside half a day to do something you enjoy. Then make a habit of it. Set aside a few hours each week just for yourself.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS). You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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