Your baby is getting to be quite the human being! Webbed fingers and toes are visible and your little one is starting to move their limbs on purpose now. The small intestine is still growing - it will reach 2.85 metres at birth, which is pretty impressive in someone so small. As for the sex of your baby, although it is already genetically defined, it isn’t visible yet. At the end of the eighth week, baby’s heart and vascular systems will be in place. By the time you get your next ultrasound, the pounding of their heart should be audible, beating at an impressive rate of 150-180 bpm (beats per minute)!
At 8 weeks, your baby is around the size of a kidney bean and is growing their reproductive organs. Although you’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out the sex.
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 and weight gain during pregnancy is very individual. Recommendations are based on your body height and weight before you became pregnant. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your weight gain, or lack thereof. If you began your pregnancy at a healthy weight, there is no need to add any extra kilojoules to your diet during the first trimester.
Time to get drinking (water)! You should be drinking plenty of water while pregnant. It’s an essential component of your blood, of which the volume has increased significantly since the beginning of your pregnancy. So it’s important to avoid dehydration while maintaining this increased blood volume. Limiting the amount of caffeine you drink is a smart choice during pregnancy. Instead, stock your cupboards with a range of caffeine-free options. 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 drank a beer when I didn’t know I was pregnant. Have I put the baby in danger?”
It’s a common question. If you had a beer or a glass of wine at a barbecue before you realised you were pregnant, talk to your healthcare professional if you are concerned. It is advisable that you don’t drink alcohol for the rest of your pregnancy as you increase the risk of foetal alcohol syndrome, miscarriage, premature delivery as well as low birth weight.