All About Baby
No wonder you’re excited to tell someone about your pregnancy. Your baby is no longer a mass of cells, but he’s looking more and more like a miniature baby-to-be. During your 8th week of pregnancy, your baby’s face is becoming more defined: eyelids have formed, his nose is beginning to protrude, and his upper lip is taking shape. Where there once were only stubs, fingers and toes are starting to develop from his arms and legs. His heart is beating quickly and strong inside his tiny body.
All About You
Your waistline may begin growing this week, though you’re probably not yet showing. If you press your abdomen, you may feel your enlarged uterus; it’s about the size of a softball.
You are probably feeling more effects from your pregnancy each day. Nausea may be a constant complaint. And your abdomen will most likely be sore. With all these complaints, you’re probably anxious to let family and friends in on the happy secret about why you’re feeling so miserable.
There are those stalwart moms-to-be who wait until the first trimester is over — or even until they’ve had their 20-week ultrasounds — before they break the news to friends and family. Then there are those women who wait with the pregnancy dipstick in one hand and a telephone in the other, ready to call as soon as the at-home test says positive. Deciding when to divulge your this secret can be difficult.
Concerns with Miscarriage
The prevailing wisdom is to wait until the end of the first trimester before announcing your pregnancy (a long 12 weeks!). Miscarriages most often happen during these first few weeks, so many women wait to tell family and friends until the miscarriage risk is minimal.
Infertility and Announcing Your Pregnancy:
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time, keeping your good news private can be difficult — if not impossible. Many couples have voiced their infertility struggles to family and friends who now may be almost as anxious as you are about the results of your test. With pregnancy after infertility, you may be even more impatient to revise the “don’t-tell-until-the-first-trimester-is-over” policy and let them in on the happy news.
You may be doing your best to keep your pregnancy a secret, but friends and family may notice subtle changes in your behavior and your appearance that may reveal your pregnancy.
- What you drink: Drinking alcohol is now a no-no, and your friends and family may see you pass the next time you’re offered wine and wonder why.
- What you eat: Most women experience some kind of food cravings, especially during the first part of their pregnancies. Friends and family may notice you downing an extra pickle or two at parties or uncharacteristically grabbing a big bowl of potato chips. They may also pick up that certain foods now make you queasy.
- What you wear: Your abdomen may be tender, making snug or tight-fitting clothes uncomfortable. You may be wearing looser fitting clothes even though your baby bump is weeks away from showing. While your bump may be tiny, your breasts probably won’t be. Even early in your pregnancy, breast size increases as your body readies itself for breastfeeding.
- What you do: You’re probably more tired than normal. Pregnancy hormones can have a sedative effect, making you sleepier than usual. Add to that the increased blood volume in your body which puts more pressure on your heart, causing fatigue. The greater blood volume also means you’ll be making more trips to the bathroom as your body tries to filter out impurities in your blood. Chances are your family may be suspicious about your frequent potty breaks.
- What you look like: You may have a pregnancy glow. One theory of why pregnant women’s faces look different to others is that the increased blood flow brings more color into the cheeks.
Whether you decide to tell your friends and family right away or wait until your pregnancy is further along, spilling the good news is fun. Consider having a video camera ready if you’re doing it in person — or at least a few extra tissues on hand.
Q & A
Got questions about Week 8? Here’s what other ladies like you have wondered …
Q: I’m already showing at 8 weeks. Is this normal?
It is pretty uncommon to be ‘showing’ at 8 weeks with a first baby, but not that unusual with subsequent ones. After the first, your abdominal muscles may not be as good at holding it all in, and your tummy can stick out sooner. Still, 8 weeks is pretty early to ‘show.’ Read more about showing early.
Q: I’m not feeling nauseous, what does this mean?
Nausea is a common symptom of pregnancy — but not the only one. Yes, many pregnant women experience nausea in their first trimester, and even beyond. The percentage of pregnant women who suffer from mild to severe nausea depends on the source you are reviewing; most estimate at least 50 to 80 percent of women have nausea during pregnancy. Read more about nausea and early stages of pregnancy.
Q: What can I do to manage morning sickness?
If you do feel nauseous, it is important to make sure that you are well-hydrated and nourished. There are a few tried-and-true tricks and tips that can help you through this unpleasant, but short-lived, part of your pregnancy. Read more about ways to manage morning sickness.
The Importance of Prenatal Appointments with Your Partner
Going with your partner to her healthcare visits is one of the most important things you can do as an expecting father. You don’t have to attend every appointment, but the more you do attend, the better it will be for you, your partner, and your baby.
There are four primary reasons why your presence is so important:
- Knowledge is power: The more you know about your new baby and about what your partner is experiencing, the better prepared you will be to support your partner’s pregnancy and for the dramatic moment of delivery.
- Bonding with Baby: Accompanying your wife to her appointments will help you connect to your unborn baby. Seeing your baby in ultrasounds and gaining an understanding of how your little one is growing and developing can help you get used to the idea of having a new baby and set you on the right path for becoming a good father. Your partner gets a head start on building a connection because your baby is growing inside of her. However, you will need to create a connection with your growing baby, and a big element of that is participating in as much of the pregnancy and delivery process as you can.
- Form a united front: Being involved in your partner’s visits to the doctor or midwife establishes a positive tone for how you and your partner plan on dealing with parenting issues. Yes, this is her body, but it is a baby you are having together. The more you get used to making decisions together about your child, the more prepared you will be to continue making those decisions once your newborn arrives.
- Getting to know you: Lastly, it’s important that your partner’s doctor or midwife gets to know you. Of course, attending appointments will give you a chance to ask questions and voice your own concerns, but it will also show your partner’s healthcare provider that you’re involved in this pregnancy every step of the way. This groundwork is crucial because labor and delivery doesn’t always goes as planned. Ensuring that you have an established relationship with the healthcare provider will help you effectively act as your partner’s advocate throughout labor and delivery.