3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Pregnancy Week 8, 8th Week Pregnancy, Pregnant at 8 Weeks

Pregnancy Week 8

Medically speaking, the embryo is now officially called a fetus (meaning 'young'or 'little one'), although you have probably referred to it as'your baby'from the very beginning. Over the next 4 weeks development will be almost completed - with all major organs and systems working and features present, there will be rapid growth over the following months.

Development in 8th Week Pregnancy

The bones start to harden and lengthen, with distinguishable joints, such as wrists, shoulders and elbows.The pituitary giand, which is responsible for the production of hormones and growth, is developing. The kidneys now start to produce urine for the first time. The major organs are still developing but all of them are now in place. The intestines are long and some of them protrude into the umbilical cord. Your baby is living in warm amniotic fluid that consists mainly of water. This keeps her at a constant temperature, and protects and cushions her from any knocks or pressure, encouraging movement.

Appearance in 8th Week Pregnancy

Your baby is now recognizably human, with much more distinct features. Her body is losing its curved appearance and becoming straighter, and her limbs are more in proportion. Her skin is transparent, and blood vessels are visible beneath it. Eyelids continue to develop over her eyes, which are wide apart, on the sides of the head, rather like those of a bird. They will move to a more central position as her head and face develop further. The outer parts of her ears are developing on the side of her neck. Her fingers and toes are distinguishable, despite the webbing between them.

Movement in 8th Week Pregnancy

Messages are passing along the nerves to your baby's muscles, enabling her to make spontaneous movements, such as gentle kicking, rather than the previous'twitches'. At this stage, the messages are coming from the spinal cord rather than the brain.

Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid is the straw-coloured, watery substance that surrounds your baby, protecting her and enabling her to move freely, and keeps the temperature in the uterus constant.

  • At 37.5 degree centigrate, the temperature of amniotic fluid is higher than that of your body.
  • Until 14 weeks, amniotic fluid is absorbed by your baby's skin. Once her kidneys start to function and she develops a sucking reflex, she swallows the fluid and excretes it back into the amniotic sac. However, all her nutrients come from the placenta via the umbilical cord.
  • Amniotic fluid contains a range of substances, for example, glucose, fructose, salt, proteins, amino acids, citric acid, urea, lactic acids and fatty acids. However, most of the fluid in the amniotic sac is actually sterile urine.
  • Amniotic fluid is a good conductor of sound, although most of what your baby hears in the womb will be muffled.