Author of “What to Expect When Expecting” and the “What to Expect” series Heidi Murkoff reveals what’s happening to your baby at week 8 of pregnancy.
Your baby is growing at an amazing rate — about a millimeter every day and is about the size of a raspberry. What else is changing at 8 weeks pregnant? Your baby now has lips, a nose, and eyelids forming.
Grow, grow, grow. That’s what your baby’s doing around the clock at a pretty spectacular rate. By week 8, your baby measures just over half an inch long and has grown from blueberry size to the size of a big juicy raspberry. Much of baby’s bulk is taken up by its big head, where all that brain building activity is going on. Nerve cells are multiplying and connecting with each other – the beginnings of a neural network that will later transmit messages from brain to body.
But it’s not just the brain that’s bulking up. Growth spurts are happening all over baby’s body now. One place you’ll notice a big change: the arms and legs. Those limbs are getting longer and stronger thanks to newly developing cartilage and bones. Joint formation is also on the agenda this week, which means shoulders, elbows, and knees are just around the bend.
Fortunately, your baby’s tadpole tail isn’t part of these growth spurts. It’s completely gone now and your embryo finally looks less reptilian and more human. He’s got the beginnings of a neck, the upper lip is forming, and there’s the sweet suggestion of a button nose. Tiny eyelids cover tiny eyes, and fingers and toes are developing, though they’re still webbed.
Your baby’s umbilical cord is visible now, and the intestines are starting to develop inside of it. Don’t worry! Those intestines will migrate into baby’s belly soon enough. Baby’s heart has divided into the right and left chambers and is beating around 150 beats per minute now. That’s more than twice the rate of yours!
It’s not just baby who’s getting bigger by the day. His cozy quarters are also getting bigger. Your amniotic fluid increases by about two tablespoons a week so your roomie’s got room to move and to keep on growing. It won’t be long before your bigger-by-the-minute baby and uterus start making your bump look bigger by the minute, too.