Although you have probably referred to the embryo as ‘your baby’ from the very beginning or gone one step ahead and added a gender to the phrase, speaking in medical terms rather layman ones, the embryo has by now evolved and grown into a much more distinct shape, and is referred to as the “fetus”. Not a baby just yet. But over the next 4 weeks of pregnancy, the process of development of the fetus into “your baby” officially, starts nearing completion. Organs are developed and begin to function – by which means that the inner body systems are starting to get into place, and the morphological features are much more comparable to a full-grown baby. Once nothing more than a lump of cells, the fetus now has now begun to elongate and look like the shape of a minute human body. This will be followed by rapid growth and maturing of the baby and then “fine-tuning” starts, which is much like the editing phase of this article, in a manner of speaking. More on that will follow, but all in due course.
Development in 8th Week Pregnancy
Physiological development of the fetus has begun. The bones’ structure as well as the joints is becoming distinguishable and elongating to a certain extent. Therefore, the embryo has started moving slowly and steadily. The assembling of the skeleton within the fetus, primarily the joints including wrists, shoulders and elbows first, has been initiated. The pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland situated adjacent to the brain (which begins development in the 7th week of pregnancy) within the head of a full-grown human being, which is responsible for the production of hormones as well as the growth of the human body, is developing as well. The development of an excretory system in the fetus has come to the stage where the small kidneys begin urine production for the first time, and the small evolving organs are all in place inside the little body. Inside the uterus of the female, the fetus is placed around a thick and warm fluid, referred to as “amniotic fluid”. This fluid, while keeping the fetus at a constant and growth-friendly temperature, also acts as a shock-absorber, protecting her from sharp jerks or increased pressure. All this encourages limited locomotion which, as mentioned above, begins for the first time during this week.
Appearance in 8th Week Pregnancy
You are now justified even medically, to call your baby “your baby”. The appearance of the fetus now resembles that of a human, with features much more defined. The curve of the body is on the decline, having been replaced by a lengthened human-like shape much more in proportion with the shape of a full-grown baby’s body than a fetus. The difference that lies here between a fetus and a baby is the fact that the fetus has a head and neck (the two are not quite distinct at this stage) much bigger than the rest of the body, eyes sticking at two sides of it, partially covered by developing eye-lids and very wide apart. They are reminiscent of the eyes of birds. With time, they are going to move closer and the eyelids will begin to fully cover them. The skin does not contain the pigments that give it its color at this stage, and is predominantly translucent. Therefore, the blood vessels running throughout the body as a network are quite prominent. The lobes of the ear are beginning to appear at the sides of its head, and the webbed fingers and toes are beginning to become discreet.
Movement in 8th Week Pregnancy
Early Signs of a nervous system within the baby have appeared by now, and the nerve impulses are carrying commands along the nerves. At this stage though, the commands are issued from the spinal cord because the brain is still developing. This brings about small movements in the baby, much more well-defined than the preceding “twitches”. These may include gentle kicking and fidgeting, but are still not similar to the movements of the fully-grown baby.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms:
You may experience the following symptoms when you are 8 weeks pregnant:
- Breast tenderness, fullness, darkening of the areola.
- Frequent Urination
- Fatigue and Morning Sickness
- Heartburn or Indigestion