Your pregnancy - week 8

At 8 weeks of pregnancy (or 42 days after conception) you are now at the beginning of week 9.

Your baby has grown to measure 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) and their head is now more rounded, making up about 25% of their entire body.

Your baby's face is becoming recognisably human. Their cheeks, mouth, lips and chin are more defined and they now have nasal passages creating the tip of their nose. Your baby develops eyelids this week, which remain fused (closed) until they reach 24 weeks of development.

The internal and external parts of your baby's ears begin to form, including their middle ear, which is responsible for their hearing and balance. However, your baby will not be able to hear sounds until sometime between 19 to 24 weeks. Your baby now has immature taste buds on their tongue and under their smooth translucent skin, many tiny blood vessels can be seen networking through their body.

Your baby's skeleton is starting to form and their arms and legs are longer, extending forwards and across their body, appearing slightly bent. Your baby's hands and feet now have 5 ridges on each, separated by narrow grooves, making them appear webbed.

Did you know? To form separate fingers and toes, the webbing between them undergoes degeneration, or the dying off of cells. This is part of your baby's normal programming that allows the sculpturing of their body parts. For a baby's normal development to unfold, both cell growth and cell death are necessary. A supreme adaptation of nature!



Physical changes

Nose bleeds

It is common for pregnant women to experience sudden nose bleeds. This is due to increased progesterone hormone, making the tiny blood vessels (called capillaries) in the nasal passages dilate and become fuller, as well as increased blood circulating the body (up to 50% more). Your nose may also produce more mucus and feel blocked or stuffy. You may also notice you suffer from allergy and/or sinus problems more readily and colds may be more difficult to recover from.

Bleeding gums

An increase in blood volume and pregnancy hormones can also make your gums bleed at times, which is a normal. This should improve after your baby is born. It is important to look after your teeth and have a dental check-up, especially if your gums become sore and inflamed.


Emotional reactions

Your emotions may still feel very up and down or perhaps they have begun to level out. If you find your emotions are still erratic, make sure you rest and nurture yourself to help support you at this time. Talking with your partner or someone you trust may also help you feel less isolated with your feelings.

Sometimes talking to another mum-to-be can help, or listening to their advice.  

Your pregnancy - week 10

At 10 weeks of pregnancy, it is now 56 days since your baby was conceived and you are now starting week 11.

Your baby measures around 3.5 cm (1.4 inches) from crown to rump and weighs about 5 grams (0.18 of an ounce). By the end of this week all your baby's major organs will be in place!

Your baby's legs are now longer than their arms and large muscles have developed, forming thick bands of padding between their skin and underlying bones. Your baby's brain and nervous system are maturing and their muscles and nerves now work together to facilitate their first movements. Your baby has primitive reflexes and can respond to touch if stroked on the palm of their hands or the soles of their feet. Initially your baby's movements are small, jerky and uncoordinated and far too small for you to feel them just yet.

Your baby can open their jaw and stretch. Their body is now straighter and small ribs can be seen through their chest. Their digestive system is developing rapidly, and their anus is now fully developed.

Did you know? The earliest recording of electrical brain activity in an unborn baby is at 7 weeks, although the impulses are scant and disorganised. By 11 weeks, your baby's brain waves are increasingly regular, corresponding with the timing of their first real movements.


Physical changes

Wind and constipation

"Whoops, excuse me!" Pregnant women often notice their bowel producing more gas through passing wind more frequently, sometimes associated with wind pain. Peppermint tea or peppermint water can help.

You may also suffer with constipation (difficulty passing motions), because the hormone progesterone slows the movement (or motility) of the gut, combined with pressure from the growing baby, especially during the final weeks of pregnancy.

With so many changes taking place in your body you'll have many questions to ask your caregiver. Take a notepad with you so you can jot them down wherever you go, rather than relying on your memory when you're in your appointment.

Emotional reactions


If working, you may need to look into your maternity leave entitlements. Partners may also want to consider paternity leave. Bear in mind that laws and entitlements vary between organisations, states and different countries.

Occupational and environmental hazards

Pregnant women often express concerns about how their surrounding environment could affect their pregnancy and unborn child. Issues may relate to toxins, radiation, chemicals, infectious diseases, pesticides, electronic equipment and air pollution in either their work environment, or in their homes and neighbourhood.

Other considerations

Coughs, colds and sinus

Dealing with colds and flu during pregnancy is usually just a matter of resting, drinking fluids and putting up with your symptoms until your body recovers. However, sometimes you may need to take something if you have a fever or sinus. You can read more about dealing with colds, flu and sinus here.

Lice and nits

For women with older children in preschool or at school, nits and lice tend to be something that is unavoidable at some point. The concern is that most outbreaks of nits and lice can be passed on to other family members very quickly. Some women try non-chemical control measures as safer alternatives to chemical solutions, particularly during pregnancy and/or while breastfeeding.

Intestinal worms

Intestinal worms are not as common in industrialised countries as they are in developing countries, but they can be experienced by pregnant women, particularly if they have other children in childcare or at school.

Finding out you are pregnant can be a very exciting and nervous time. There are lots of things to consider and plan and you’ll need to know some key things to help you do that. Read about your baby’s development and your pregnancy week by week, by clicking on the links below.

First Trimester

Week 1 to Week 12

Week 1               Week 5               Week 9


Week 2               Week 6               Week 10


Week 3               Week 7               Week 11


Week 4               Week 8               Week 12

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