Welcome to Week 8

8 Week Old Fetus

Your Baby: In a Heartbeat

It's been 6 weeks since conception and the embryo is just over 3/4 of an inch long (20 to 24 millimeters). Its head is quite large compared with the rest of the body, but the body will catch up in a couple of months. Its ears and eyelids are starting to develop, as are its fingers and toes. Its arms are growing and wrists and elbows are visible. Its heartbeat is fast -- about 150 beats a minute -- twice that of an adult's.

Your Body: Think Twice

Now that you're pregnant, be sure to pay extra attention to your lifestyle. Much of what you do - good or bad - affects your growing baby. For most women, that means giving up some simple pleasures - a glass of wine at dinner, foods such as sushi (raw fish), or sitting in a hot tub. Like most mothers-to-be, you probably wonder what activities, are safe for the new life inside you.

If you haven't already, you should give up alcohol, smoking, and using recreational drugs. For everything else, your best bet is to talk with your health care provider and read up on the do's and don'ts during pregnancy. For example, moderate caffeine use likely won't harm your growing fetus. Some studies list caffeine as a potential cause for miscarriages and others don't. Until more is known, it's best to limit your intake to one or two cups of coffee a day. More than that may increase your risk of problems.

On That Note: Talk to Your Doctor About Medicines

Another big question you might have is if you can take any over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed medications. In general, don't take OTC medicines unless you really need them. Talk with your provider about what medicines have the lowest risk of causing problems for your pregnancy.

Weekly Tip

Pamper yourself while you can. Put your feet up, take a bath (but not too hot), read a book, get a manicure, rent your favorite romantic comedy, or go away for the weekend with your spouse. A little self-indulgence never hurt anyone.

Review Date: 8/20/2019
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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