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Welcome To Week 8

8 Week Old Fetus

Your Baby: In A Heartbeat

It's been six weeks since conception and the embryo is just over 3/4 of an inch long or 20 - 24 millimeters. Its head is quite large compared with the rest of the body, but the body will catch up in another couple of months. Its ears and eyelids are beginning to develop, as are its fingers and toes. Its arms are growing and wrists and elbows are visible. Its heartbeat is fast -- about 150 a minute -- twice that of an adult's.

Your Body: Think Twice

Now that you're pregnant, it's important to pay extra attention to your daily activities. Much of what you do - good or bad - affects your growing baby. For most women, that means reconsidering some simple pleasures - drinking a glass of wine at dinner, downing more than one or two espressos, or dunking in a hot tub. Like most expectant mothers, you probably wonder which of these activities, among others, may or may not harm the new life inside you.

Without a doubt, if you haven't already, you should give up alcohol, smoking, and using recreational drugs. For everything else, your best bet is to check in with your health care provider and read up on the do's and don'ts during pregnancy. Caffeine, for instance, probably won't harm your growing fetus if you keep your intake moderate. However, a recent study has implicated excessive caffeine intake during the first trimester as a potential cause for miscarriages. One or two cups of coffee a day is probably fine, but more than that could increase your risk of problems.

On That Note:

Another big question you might have is whether you can take any over-the-counter or prescribed medications. In general, don’t take over-the-counter medicines unless you really need them. Talk with your health care provider about what medications have the lowest risk of causing problems for your pregnancy.

Weekly Tip

Pamper yourself while you can. Put your feet up, take a bath (but not too hot), read a book, get a manicure, rent your favorite romantic comedy, or go away for the weekend with your spouse. A little self-indulgence never hurt anyone!

Review Date: 12/9/2012
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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