Your baby's shifting body parts
Week 8: Toes and fingers develop, while the face gets more defined
When you're between 7 and 8 weeks pregnant, your baby's body parts and proportions continue to develop and change quickly. Here's what's going on during your 8th week of pregnancy:
- At 8 weeks pregnant, your baby is more than 1/2 of an inch long - around the length of a lima bean.
- Your baby's tiny fingers and toes develop.
- His arms and legs grow longer.
- By the 8th week of your pregnancy, his wrists, elbows, and ankles are visible.
- His eyelids form, and his ears, upper lip, and nose tip become more defined.
Your Week 8 nutrition and health
Focus on wellness
As your body changes throughout pregnancy, it's important to adjust your exercise regimen and diet. As always, speak to your doctor about the right changes for you and your growing baby.
There are many things you should do more of throughout your pregnancy ó from eating different foods to participating in new activities. However, there are also certain things youíll want to do less of as well.
Most doctors agree that the consumption of foods and drinks containing caffeine should be limited.
- This includes limiting sugar-sweetened sodas containing caffeine (which also contain empty calories from added sugar).
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests limiting caffeine intake to 200 mg per day. This is equivalent to two 8-fl-oz cups of brewed coffee.
Ask your doctor about how much caffeine you can have daily.
According to ACOG 2010 guidelines and the Position Paper of the American Dietetic Association and FDA, artificial sweeteners are safe to use in moderation. The list includes the following: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-K, and stevia. If you normally consume diet soda containing nonnutritive sweeteners, the caffeine content still needs to be considered.
Incorporate certain foods into your diet safely
Some foods can help you and your baby get the essential nutrients you need during pregnancy, but not all varieties are good for you.
- Eating fish is a great way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important component for your baby's brain and neurological development. But you need to avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury that may potentially harm your unborn baby.
- Refrigerated pate or meat spreads from a meat counter can also cause health problems if eaten, as can salads made in the store: ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, or seafood salad.
- Raw (unpasteurized) milk, along with any food products that contain unpasteurized milk, might contain listeria and are capable of crossing the placenta and infecting your baby.
- Soft cheeses such as feta, queso blanco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, and Panela that are clearly labeled "made with pasteurized milk" are safe.
- An alcohol and tobacco-free lifestyle will reduce the risk of disease and health defects in your unborn baby, and can improve your health during and after pregnancy.
In addition, you should also try to limit the following:
- Activities that could cause you to fall, or that put pressure or force on your belly
- Overly vigorous, intense exercise - if you're too out of breath to talk, you're probably exercising too hard.
- Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications (talk with your doctor about what's safe during pregnancy)
- Exposure to chemicals and fumes from paints, cleaning products, and solvents. Latex, or acrylic, paint generally is considered to be safe. But check with your doctor so you can safely and confidently help with preparing the nursery or with completing other projects around the house.
- Saunas and hot tubs
Get ready for increased flexibility
When you're pregnant, hormones cause your joints to become more flexible and even cause ligaments to stretch. These changes will help you during labor and delivery.