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Being pregnant

Your pregnancy: 8 weeks

It may be hard to believe, but your developing baby's organs, such as her heart and liver, are already in place inside her tiny body.

By Today's Parent
Your pregnancy: 8 weeks

PHOTO: MANDY MILKS, ERIK PUTZ, ANTHONY SWANEVELD. FELT: THEFELTSTORE.COM

Eight weeks pregnant: What's going on in there

Your baby is about the size of a Swedish berry now and bean-shaped. And as that little bean grows longer this week (the end of the embryonic period), it will begin to straighten out. Biology and the awesome superpowers of a pregnant woman’s body are pretty crazy: Your baby has grown from a single cell to nearly one billion cells. By the time you're eight weeks pregnant, your baby’s outer and inner ears are developing and her eyelids are forming over her eyes as the tip of her nose, her fingers and her toes take on a much more distinct shape. It may be hard to believe, but her teeny-tiny heart and liver, as well as other major organs, are already in place, too.

Woman holding stomach PaulMaguire / Getty Images

Eight weeks pregnant symptoms

Morning sickness

Maybe you didn’t feel truly pregnant for the first few weeks after that positive pregnancy test. It’s kind of hard to believe, especially if you haven’t seen your developing baby on an ultrasound scan or heard her heartbeat yet. But if you weren’t feeling queasy before, week 8 of pregnancy might be when morning sickness, which is caused by surging pregnancy hormones, will really kick in. (Sh*t’s getting real—sorry!) About 70 to 80 percent of women experience morning sickness during the first trimester and 50 percent experience vomiting (and, yes, it’s an unfortunate misnomer because some women suffer from it all day long and even at night). While recent studies have concluded that there’s no medical evidence that eating small meals and snacks throughout the day helps, many women swear by it. Other strategies to try include not taking your prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach or taking it at bedtime instead of in the morning. If this giant, all-in-one horse pill makes you gag, ask your doctor about taking a folic-acid-only supplement temporarily, and be sure to check out our five tips for coping with morning sickness here. If you’re really struggling to keep anything down, talk to your doctor about safe prescription options and the latest research.

Between nausea and pregnancy fatigue, it’s definitely a tough trimester. To keep your spirits up, remember that you’ve already got eight weeks under your belt (literally!) and that there’s actually an upside to morning sickness. There are also lots of longer-term health benefits and perks for women who've been pregnant. Science says so!

woman lying down on coach and touching her forehead VioletaStoimenova / Getty Images

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What's on your mind when you're 8 weeks pregnant

Keeping mum

Eight weeks pregnant is a tricky point. If you’re waiting for the traditional 12 weeks to share your news (not everyone does!), it’s still too early to tell everyone why you’re feeling icky. Try to think of it as a special secret that you’re sharing with only a few people: your partner, your mom and your best friend. You may want to wait until your first ultrasound to make a pregnancy announcement, the timing of which can vary depending on your healthcare provider and medical history. (Some doctors might send you for a dating ultrasound as early as week 6 to confirm or adjust your due date, while others might wait until you’re 12 weeks along for the first ultrasound.) Once you announce that you’re expecting and once your bump shows, you’ll be getting a lot of attention (from colleagues and strangers alike!) and fielding questions daily, so enjoy the relative peace and quiet while you can. For more pros and cons about sharing the news early versus keeping it under wraps, read this.

young couple hand by hand dragana991 / Getty Images

Miscarriage myths

It’s common during the early weeks of pregnancy to have nagging concerns about miscarriage, as well as misunderstandings about what causes miscarriage. Doing moderate exercise, having sex, dancing, eating junk food and moving heavy furniture will not cause miscarriage. So what does? It’s hard to know. Sometimes miscarriage is nature’s way of ending a pregnancy that isn’t going well for any number of reasons, such as chromosomal abnormalities or existing maternal health problems (like thyroid disease or hormonal issues). In fact, an estimated one in four confirmed pregnancies ends in miscarriage—it’s a lot more common than you think, even though many women don’t talk openly about it. But that doesn't make it any easier. Usually, the first sign of miscarriage is bleeding (as if your period is starting), which may be followed by cramps. If you experience any bleeding, call your doctor immediately. Keep in mind that some worrisome symptoms don’t necessarily mean that you’re going to miscarry and there is no way to prevent miscarriage. Many women assume that it was caused by something they did the day before they started bleeding, but an actual miscarriage usually occurs a number of days before heavier bleeding starts. It’s a very tough topic, but if you’re going through this, it’s important to seek support.

Upset woman sitting on couch alone at home fizkes / Getty Images

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Just for kicks

You probably don’t know if you’re having a boy or a girl yet (most women don’t find this out until the 18- to 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound), but you can try out this Chinese gender predictor calculator. There’s a 50 percent chance it’s accurate, right?

Young woman reading from the computer and taking notes at her notebook MStudioImages / Getty Images

Baby names: 100 years of popular choices

It’s never too early to start familiarizing yourself with the latest baby naming trends. (Do you want to avoid the most popular names or join the pack?) Here are the most popular baby names for the last hundred years. 

Popular names

When it comes to naming your baby, there are many things to consider: origin, popularity, meaning and even family legacy. Many parents-to-be believe their baby's name says a lot about their child and the type of person they will become.

Over the last 100 years, the baby names that have been the most popular in North America were often rooted in religion. While these names still remain popular today, secular names have become more common over the last 20 years.

Don't forget to check out our Baby Namer tool to see what your favorite names mean!

Read more: How to name your baby...without the stress

Concept of choosing baby name. Pink and blue decorative straw cradles with thread hearts and text name? Iryna Imago / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 1920

Girls Mary; meaning "bitter" Dorothy; meaning "gift of God" Helen; meaning "light" Margaret; meaning "a pearl" Ruth; meaning "a companion"

Boys John; meaning "God is gracious" William; meaning "protector" Robert; meaning "bright fame" James; meaning "supplanter or heeler" Charles; meaning "manly, farmer"

Cute baby feet SeventyFour/ Getty Images

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Top 5 baby names: 1930

Girl Mary; meaning "bitter" Betty; meaning "God is my oath" Dorothy; meaning "Gift of God" Helen; meaning "Light" Margaret; meaning "a pearl"

Boy Robert; meaning "Bright fame" James; meaning "Supplanter or heeler" John; meaning "God is gracious" William; meaning "Protector" Richard; meaning "Powerful and rich in wealth"

names on notes fotografiche / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 1940

Girl Mary; meaning "bitter" Barbara; meaning "stranger" Patricia; meaning "of noble descent" Judith; meaning "from Judah" Betty; meaning "God is my oath"

Boy James; meaning "supplanter" or "heeler" Robert; meaning "bright fame" John; meaning "God is gracious" William; meaning "protector" Richard; meaning "powerful and rich in wealth"

Pregnant woman with baby names list sitting in armchair, closeup Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 1950

Girl Linda; meaning "pretty one" Mary; meaning "bitter" Patricia; meaning "of noble descent" Barbara; meaning "stranger" Susan; meaning "lily"

Boy James; meaning "supplanter" or "heeler" Robert; meaning "bright fame" John; meaning "God is gracious" Michael; meaning "like God" David; meaning "beloved"

Baby boy (9-12 months) sleeping with hospital bracelet on wrist, close-up Jose Luis Pelaez / Getty Images

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Top 5 baby names: 1960

Girl Mary; meaning "bitter" Susan; meaning "lily" Linda; meaning "pretty one" Karen; meaning "pure" Donna; meaning "lady"

Boy David; meaning "beloved" Michael; meaning "like God" James; meaning "supplanter" or "heeler" John; meaning "God is gracious" Robert; meaning "bright fame"

newborn baby girl with tag my name is Gary S Chapman / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 1970

Girl Jennifer; meaning "bitter" Lisa; meaning "consecrated to God" Kimberly; meaning "ruler" Michelle; meaning "like God" Amy; meaning "beloved"

Boy Michael; meaning "like God" James; meaning "supplanter" or "heeler" David; meaning "beloved" John; meaning "God is gracious" Robert; meaning "bright fame"

Close-up of blue baby shoes and a pacifier Ma-Ke / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 1980

Girl Jennifer; meaning "white wave" Amanda; meaning "worthy of love" Jessica; meaning "God is watching" Melissa; meaning "a honey bee" Sarah; meaning "princess"

Boy Michael; meaning "like God" Christopher; meaning "Christ-bearer" Jason; meaning "healer" David; meaning "beloved" James; meaning "supplanter"

Naming baby girl Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

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Top 5 baby names: 1990

Girl Jessica; meaning "God is watching" Ashley; meaning "from the ash tree" Brittany; meaning "from Britain" Amanda; meaning "worthy of love" Samantha; meaning "listener of God"

Boy Michael; meaning "like God" Christopher; meaning "Christ-bearer" Matthew; meaning "God's gift" Joshua; meaning "Jehova saves" Daniel; meaning "God is my judge"

List of names KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 2000

Girl Emily; meaning "admiring" Hannah; meaning "grace of God" Ashley; meaning "from the ash tree" Madison; meaning "son of Matthew" Sarah; meaning "princess"

Boy Joshua; meaning "Jehova saves" Matthew; meaning "God's gift" Jacob; meaning "supplanter" Ryan; meaning "young royalty" Nicholas; meaning "victorious people"

Man fills the Name label on children's jeans. Evgen_Prozhyrko / Getty Images

Top 5 baby names: 2010

Girl Isabella; meaning "devoted to God" Sophia; meaning "wisdom" Emma; meaning "universal" Olivia; meaning "peace of the olive tree" Ava; meaning "like a bird"

Boy Jacob; meaning "supplanter" Ethan; meaning "firm/strong" Michael; meaning "like God" Jayden; meaning "God has heard" William; meaning "protector" 

Personal records on a table. designer491 / Getty Images

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More baby names!

Name maps: 3 decades of top baby names in Canada, province by province

Enjoy our fun animated maps of the top boy and girl baby names in Canada from 1983 to 2013. See if your own name was No. 1 once upon a time.

Your pregnancy: 8 weeks

Pregnancy to-do list: 8 weeks pregnant

If you haven’t decided on your healthcare provider yet, now is the time to do your research, complete any intake forms that are needed and talk it through with your partner. Know that you can “double date” for a few weeks while you’re having your first OB/GYN appointment, as well as an initial midwife appointment. Meet them both, check out their offices and see which approach and type of care makes you feel most comfortable.

For all of you planners out there, here’s a rough trimester-by-trimester overview of the appointments and ultrasounds you’ll have. Share this with your partner or support person so that you both know what to expect from week to week.  

Read more: Does the morning sickness drug Diclectin really work? Natural cures for common pregnancy symptoms Next up: 9 weeks pregnant

Your pregnancy: 8 weeks

This article was originally published on Jul 02, 2019

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