Your Pregnancy: Week 8
Exciting news! You might be having your first OB/GYN appointment this week. It’s a good idea to write a list of questions for your doctor or midwife (we know you’ve laid awake at night dwelling on them) and be prepared with information like when your last period was and what symptoms you’ve been feeling.
The gyno isn’t the only kind of doctor you should be checking in with. If you didn’t before you were pregnant, it’s important to get a dental checkup as soon as you can. Although you won’t be able to have major dental procedures done now, a good cleaning will help minimize the bleeding gums and tooth problems that pregnancy hormones can cause. In fact, research shows that some gum diseases can even cause pregnancy complications, so maintain good dental hygiene throughout your pregnancy (as always, of course).
Shop for a maternity bra if your breasts are starting to feel sore and swollen.
Talk to your doctor about what kind of prenatal testing he or she recommends, and decide what you’re comfortable with.
Pick up a baby name book, browse the Internet, and search through your favorite literature and movies for baby names. Brainstorm with your partner and start compiling a list that you’ll whittle down as the weeks go on.
Your baby is moving up the produce aisle and is now the size of a raspberry. His or her arms and legs have grown longer, with elbows forming and ossification (the hardening of the bones) beginning.
Your baby now has five ridges on each hand and foot, separated by narrow grooves, making them appear webbed. Eyelids are forming and nerve cells in the retina are developing, and the heart’s aortic and pulmonary valves are present and distinct.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
Don’t ever substitute megavitamins for prenatal vitamins, as they can contain absurdly high amounts of things that can be harmful to pregnant women. (Sometimes, for example, they’re chock-full of vitamin A, which, in massive doses, has been linked to birth defects of the central nervous system and elsewhere.) If you can’t tolerate the prenatal vitamins (sometimes the large size can trigger the gag reflex if you’re already nauseated), I’d rather that you take a break from them for a week or two, then try again. And then, if you really can’t hold them down, you might switch to a children’s chewable vitamin and a folic acid supplement, which at least will give you some of what you need without too much bother. I know, you might feel a bit ridiculous chomping on Wilma Flintstone, but I think it’s a good idea. Once the nausea passes, you can try the prenatal vitamins again.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: The Horizontal Trimester
There have always been ideas and ideals about how to behave while pregnant, but contemporary pregnancy has become a multi-platform cultural phenomenon. Pregnant celebs beam from all the glossies. Prenatal yoga classes flood cities. We have access to more information than ever before. As pregnancy has blossomed in the public eye, so have our expectations: work performance must not drop, weight gain must be kept to a minimum, we must strive for healthy, active, happy, glowing, gorgeous, perfect pregnancies.
Problem is, the reality of pregnancy does not always work so well with these ambitious intentions. The first trimester can be particularly brutal. Nausea is hardly inspiring. And with the body on overdrive, building up blood supply and the placenta, your energy level can plummet to previously unimaginable depths. Exhaustion can be intense. Full-afternoon naps are not uncommon for those who can manage them. The rest of us just pass the early months of pregnancy in a haze of semi-consciousness, longing only for the couch.
Some suggest powering through, but that can be tough. We think there’s something to be said for heeding the body’s call to rest. And there’s definitely something to be said for cutting yourself a break. For the vast majority of women, the cloud of bone-tiredness lifts, at least slightly, after the first trimester. So, yeah, you’ve always imagined yourself being perky while pregnant, but pregnancy is long. There’s plenty of time for perkiness; this may be more of a time to be prone. (You’ll be missing that position soon enough, anyhow!)
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.