This week is vital for the brain development of the fetus as the nerve cells branch out and connect with each other to form primitive neural pathways . The taste buds also start to form  with the spinal cord also continuing to develop during the 8th week .
This is the week when your baby’s facial features (eyes, nose and lips) begin to develop . Pigment starts to form within his eyes along with the eyebrows, which may make them appear to be open .
His arms and legs are also getting longer  with the hands folding at the wrists and elbows while his body begins to straighten. However, the thighs, knees and toes are not formed yet . The tiny tail visible last week is almost gone along with the thin webbing of the fingers and toes . Your baby has actually started moving this week, but it is still too early for you to feel it.
The heart divides into the left and right chambers, developing distinct aortic and pulmonary valves , beating about 150-160 times per minute (twice the heart rate of adults) . The developing lungs start growing branches that connect with the breathing tubes extending from your baby’s throat . The pituitary gland, liver and kidneys start developing while the muscle fibers, bones and cartilage begin to grow as well. This is also the week when the blood type of your baby is determined and the liver takes over the job of producing the blood cells (previously done by the yolk sac) .
Your baby is now around 1.6 cm in length, about the size of a medium raspberry. 
You may have started noticing certain changes in your body by this time. Your body has already started to prepare for breastfeeding your baby, which causes your breasts to appear larger than normal .
Your belly may be expanding a little while you may even feel the enlarging uterus (it is as big as a softball by this time) if you gently press your abdomen . But, you will not start showing just yet .
A hint of the upper lip, the tip of the nose and the eyelids become visible on ultrasound along with two tiny ears. . In most cases, the beating heart can also be seen by this stage. But, it is still too early to determine the baby’s gender through ultrasound .
All the symptoms of early pregnancy and morning sickness continue in the eighth week with nausea, vomiting, headache and dizziness being the most common. Having the symptoms of morning sickness generally indicates a healthy pregnancy ; however, it is also normal to have no symptoms at this stage. The main symptoms at week 8 are:
Make sure to call the doctor in case you experience any of the following symptoms as they may result from complications like ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia (high blood pressure), loss of pregnancy and a kidney or yeast infection:
Published on April 4th 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.