Pregnancy Week 8
The Pains of Early Abdominal Cramping
Your Baby's Growth and Development
By 8 weeks pregnant your baby may be as large as 20 mm long. That's about the size of a very large kidney bean! I know I started calling all of my children little "beans" at or around this time. It helps to picture your baby, even as tiny as they are while developing. It may seem hard to believe, but your tiny bean will eventually grow into a full baby!
During pregnancy week 8 your baby's arms and legs start growing and your baby starts losing the little tail that makes them look more like a small tadpole than a baby. Your baby's brain is starting to mature this week, with nerve cells connecting to each other. These early nerves will eventually form the framework for your baby's communication pathways.
By 8 weeks pregnant, the tip of your baby's nose has also formed and your baby's lungs start developing. Usually however, the lungs are the last organs in the body to mature in new babies. You may notice on looking closely your baby also has small, tiny elbows by pregnancy 8 weeks.
Changes In Your Body
I can admit during 8 weeks pregnant I certainly felt pregnant, even if I didn't look it. By 8 weeks pregnant your uterus has grown to about the size of a small grapefruit or large orange. Your doctor should be able to tell you are pregnant simply by feeling your uterus. Before becoming pregnant your uterus measured no larger than a small lemon.
Many women start noticing more breast enlargement, especially during their first pregnancy, around pregnancy week 8. Your waistline will continue to seem thick even though others won't be able to detect many changes. You may notice some mild abdominal cramping that waxes and wanes during early pregnancy. Usually this is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.
Breast enlargement, swelling and a growing waistline all are many of the discomforts you may experience during pregnancy. One way to help alleviate some of your discomfort, especially during sleep, is by investing in a
full body pregnancy pillow.
Apart from breast tenderness and enlargement, many women also experience back or neck pain during pregnancy. Some even experience shoulder pain. This may result from poor posture as a woman adjusts her normal stance to accommodate an expanding belly. Fortunately, pregnancy pillows are portable tools you can take anywhere to improve your comfort, whether sitting in a chair, resting in bed or relaxing on the couch. Made to conform to the contours of your body, you can enjoy your pregnancy pillow and take your mind of the discomforts of pregnancy, instead taking time out to enjoy your pregnancy.
Use a pregnancy pillow to support your neck, your head, your belly, your legs and even your back. Once you deliver, you can also use your pillow to nurse your newborn baby. Pregnancy pillows are a godsend no pregnant woman should live without.
Is Abdominal Pain Ok During Early Pregnancy?
During my first pregnancy I constantly worried about every twitch and twitter I felt in my abdomen. One thing I do remember that got worse with later pregnancies was some abdominal cramping during early pregnancy.
Many women experience abdominal cramping during pregnancy. For some this feels similar to the discomfort you might feel during your period or before your period, only it isn't accompanied by any bleeding. Other times you may feel cramping on one or the other side of your abdomen. This happens as your uterus continues to grow and stretch to accommodate your growing baby.
Keep in mind abdominal pain should not be severe enough to warrant medication use. If you experience severe abdominal pain you should contact your doctor immediately. The same is true if you experience other symptoms including vaginal bleeding or spotting, nausea, dizziness or other unusual symptoms.
Many women worry they will miscarry in early pregnancy. This is especially the case for women who have miscarried in the past. This was a concern for my husband and I, as we miscarried our first baby. You should know that miscarriages are quite common, occurring in roughly 15% of pregnancies. Fortunately however, most happen before women realize they are pregnant. Many times this happens because of chromosomal abnormalities or other genetic factors.
Environmental factors can sometimes influence your risk of miscarriage. The good news is women who do miscarry will often go on to conceive and carry a baby to full term. If you have a history of miscarriages in early pregnancy, you should contact your healthcare provider for more advice and information. Just keep in mind that not all abdominal pain leads to miscarriage. If you review the number of posts pregnant women have made to various baby forums, you'll find that mild and periodic abdominal pain during pregnancy is very normal for many women.
Read About Pregnancy Weeks 1-12