Up until now, only one weight has really mattered: yours.
Still waiting for your “baby bump”? You might have to wait a little longer. Your uterus now is about the size of a grapefruit and still below your pubic bone, so most of the physical changes you’re experiencing are likely due to hormonal changes.
In fact, your hormones are probably still causing all kinds of symptoms, from the wild mood swings of the first trimester, to bloating, constipation, morning sickness, and even the appearance of visible veins under your skin (although this can also be blamed on the increase in your blood volume!).
It’s important to keep up with your self-care. While no one is perfect, try to eat a healthy diet based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. You should be gaining weight slowly and steadily at this point—but not too quickly! And if you haven’t gained any yet because you’ve felt too ill to eat much, know that it can be normal to have no weight gain in the first trimester. You’ll catch up later. Just keep in mind that pregnancy isn’t an excuse to binge on daily ice cream and milkshakes. This is also a great time to keep up with that exercise program, even if that just means a walk every afternoon or evening.
Finally, if you happen to be pregnant during flu season, you should strongly consider getting a flu vaccine. This inactivated vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women, since they can get so much sicker from the flu and have complications such as miscarriage and the need to be hospitalized. The risk of serious health complications caused by the flu vastly outweighs any vaccine-related problems, and it has been deemed safe for pregnant women and their developing babies. Ask your health care provider about a flu vaccine if it’s that time of year.
Your baby’s fetal age is now 8 weeks, and the baby is about the size of a walnut. The good news is that, by around week 10, the odds of miscarriage begin to drop dramatically, and the odds of developing a new birth defect also drop. From a developmental point of view, the most nerve-racking parts of the pregnancy are the first few months when the organs are forming.
After this period, the risk of spontaneous birth defects goes down. However, be aware that exposure to drugs, certain high levels of radiation, alcohol, certain medications, and trauma can still have a negative effect on your baby.
With most of the major organ systems formed, now is the time your baby will start really packing on weight—considering that your baby only weighs about 0.2 ounces right now, there’s a long way to go!
At this time, many of the major changes going on are skeletal. The elbows, knees, and joints are forming, so your baby will be able to flex and bend his or her arms and legs (and there’s still plenty of room to move around while the baby is so small). And the first teeth buds are just forming under the skin of the gums.
“The flu vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women.”
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, November 2018