8 weeks 


Highlights this week

Your baby's fingers and toes

Your baby's hands and feet – which look like paddles – are sprouting webbed fingers and toes. Nerves, bones, and muscles are developing inside your baby's tiny limbs.

Breast changes

Your breasts may be tender and swollen by now. If your old bras are feeling tight, buy a few good maternity bras for support.

Pregnancy and work

If you work with other expecting moms or people with young children, you may want to ask for their support and advice on being pregnant at work.

Your baby registry

It's not too soon to check out Registry Builder, which finds the best baby registries for you and helps you manage them in one place.

Baby development at 8 weeks

Baby movements

Your baby is moving! These first movements are more like spontaneous twitches and stretches. They start at about 7 to 8 weeks and are visible on ultrasound. You won't feel your baby move until sometime between 16 and 22 weeks, though. Until then, your baby's movements aren't strong enough for you to notice.

Getting ready to breathe

Your baby's respiratory system is forming. Breathing tubes extend from your baby's throat to the branches of their developing lungs.

Nerve network

A network of nerves is spreading through your baby's body, making connections not only with each other but also with muscles and other tissues, as well as organs like the eyes and ears.

Having twins?

Learn more about being 8 weeks pregnant with twins.

baby with webbed fingers and toes
Your baby at 8 weeks
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Your baby is about the size of a kidney bean

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head to bottom
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Pregnancy symptoms during week 8

White discharge

You may notice an increase in white creamy discharge early in pregnancy, due to higher levels of estrogen. White vaginal discharge (called leucorrhea) is nothing to worry about: This discharge is normal and can be clear to milky white, thin or thick, and mild-smelling or odorless. But vaginal discharge that's green, smells unpleasant, causes pain or itching, or seems unusual in any other way could be a sign of infection or another problem.

Growing breasts

Rising levels of hormones cause your breasts to grow in preparation for making breast milk. Don't be surprised if you go up a cup size or two, especially if it's your first baby. Other breast changes you may see include visible veins on your breasts, darker nipples, and more pronounced bumps on your areolas.

Abdominal bloating

Hormonal changes in early pregnancy may leave you feeling bloated, similar to the feeling some women have just before their period. That's why your clothes may feel more snug than usual at the waistline, even early on when your uterus is still relatively small.

Heightened sense of smell

You might feel like you have a superhuman sense of smell right now. Unfortunately, most of what you're smelling may make you want to throw up. A heightened sense of smell often goes hand in hand with food aversions – both are linked to surging levels of pregnancy hormones, and both tend to fade by the second trimester.

Weird pregnancy dreams

First you give birth to ... your partner. Then you make a speedy getaway in a school bus. Finally, you're engulfed by a tidal wave. Pregnancy dreams are all over the place, and can reflect the excitement you feel, as well as the fear and worries you may have about becoming a parent.


Headaches are common during pregnancy due to factors including increased blood flow and fatigue. Cutting back on caffeine during pregnancy, though important, can also lead to an aching head. Ask your provider before you take pain medicine for a headache. In general, acetaminophen is safe to take as directed during pregnancy, but aspirin, ibuprofen, and most prescription migraine drugs are not. You can also try a number of natural headache remedies to ease your discomfort, like getting a massage, using a compress, practicing relaxation techniques, exercising, and taking a shower.

Severe morning sickness

Most women feel nauseated during pregnancy at some point, and about half vomit. But an unlucky 3 percent of expecting moms experience hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), an extreme form of morning sickness that can lead to dehydration, weight loss, and other complications. Call your provider if you can't keep anything down (including fluids); vomit blood; have lost more than 5 pounds; feel weak, faint, or dizzy; have a fever or abdominal pain; or have dark and strong-smelling urine.

Don't see your symptom?

Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

baby in uterus at 8 weeks
Your body at 8 weeks
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Pregnancy checklist at 8 weeks pregnant

Start documenting your bump

Create a fun time lapse of your pregnancy by documenting your growing bump every week or so. Check out these tips on how to get the best bump photos week after week. Even if you don't see a noticeable bump yet, start taking photos now so you have a starting point for comparison.

Pay attention to your mental health

It's common to feel moody during pregnancy. But if you're feeling more than a little blue, or if these emotions persist for more than two weeks, take our prenatal depression quiz and discuss the results with your healthcare provider.

Focus on good pregnancy sleep

In early pregnancy you may be more exhausted than you ever imagined you could be. It takes a lot of energy to make a new life! Pregnancy also brings a host of sleep disturbances such as frequent urination, nausea, heartburn, leg cramps, and snoring. Get more rest by turning in early – you'll be glad when you wake up refreshed the next day. Practice the basics of good sleep during pregnancy by watching what and when you eat, using the right pillows, learning how to relax, and practicing good "sleep hygiene." Sleep hygiene means sticking to a sleep schedule, establishing a bedtime routine, and blocking light and noise in your bedroom.

Use sunscreen

It's always important to use sunscreen, but during pregnancy it can help you avoid a condition called melasma or chloasma – darker patches of skin on your face or body, which may be triggered by hormonal changes. Women with darker skin are more likely to experience melasma, but it can happen to any expecting mom. Melasma is also sometimes referred to as the mask of pregnancy because the splotches typically show up around your upper lip, nose, cheekbones, and forehead in the shape of a mask. These darker spots will eventually go away after pregnancy. Staying out of the sun and using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day (whether or not it's sunny) is the best way to prevent melasma.

Learn about pregnancy weight gain

Wondering how much pregnancy weight to gain? It depends on your pre-pregnancy body mass index and whether or not you're carrying twins or multiples. If you're at a healthy weight, aim to gain 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week after that. Check out our pregnancy weight gain calculator to find your target weight range.


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8 weeks pregnant bellies

For many expecting moms, it's still too early to have a true pregnancy bump. But it may be getting harder to hide the changes your body is undergoing. If you're not ready to share your news, you may have to get creative with loose clothing that hides your chest and belly. An oversized cardigan, button-down shirt, or sweatshirt over leggings may do the trick for now.

The first trimester isn't usually a beauty enhancer. Thanks to fatigue and nausea, you may have dark circles under your eyes and a pale or greenish tint to your skin. (Early pregnancy can bring new meaning to the phrase "green around the gills.") But never fear, it won't be too long before you're sporting a beautiful bump, thicker hair, and glowing skin. Pregnancy affects women differently, but many expecting moms feel (and look) amazing in the second trimester, so hang in there.

8 weeks pregnant bellies

This week's video



BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

ACOG. 2020. How your fetus grows during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. a new window [Accessed March 2022]

Mayo Clinic. 2020. Fetal development: The 1st trimester. a new window [Accessed March 2022]

MedlinePlus (ADAM). 2021. Fetal development. a new window [Accessed March 2022]

Marcella Gates

Marcella Gates is Director of Content Operations at BabyCenter, the world's number one digital parenting resource, and is an expert on pregnancy and parenting. As a mom of three, she loves that her professional life is focused on supporting and empowering parents and expecting parents. Gates lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

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