Baby size & development
Your babies will measure about 1,6 centimetres (0,63 inch) at the end of this pregnancy week – that’s the size of a pinky nail. Skeletal structures are developing with the formation of spines, arms and legs. In the beginning, the skeletal structures start out as flexible cartilage, but already in week 8 they begin to ossify, turning into harder bone. The paddle-formed buds, that are developing into arms, have grown. Wrists and fingers can be glimpsed. The paddle-formed buds, that are developing into legs, will form into thighs, lower legs, feet and toes. The babies bodies are becoming more erect, and their arms and legs drift apart to reach their final positions.
8 weeks pregnant with identical or fraternal twins?
You’ve probably already thought about whether your having identical or fraternal twins. Identical twins stem from the same fertilized egg that split in two. Fraternal twins stem from two different eggs fertilized by two different sperm cells. While this is interesting to know, it’s crucial to know your twins chorionicity. Chorionicity relates to whether or not your twins share a placenta.
Twin chorionicity ultrasound & pictures at 8 weeks
You need to have an ultrasound scan to determine whether or not your twins share a placenta. All fraternal twins have separate placentas. About 1/3 of identical twins have separate placentas as well. This type of twin pregnancy with separate placentas is named dichorionic diamniotic. It’s the type of twin pregnancy that carries the lowest rate of complications amongst twin pregnancies. Twins who share a placenta are called monochorionic twins. About 2/3 of identical twins are monochorionic twins. They are more at risk of complications compared with dichorionic twins, and they need to be monitored more frequently. You need to make sure that your twins chorionicity is correctly determined, the sooner the better. Read more about how a chorionicity ultrasound scan is done.
Three different monochorionic-diamniotic twin pregnancies.
Pregnancy symptoms & belly pictures at 8 weeks
When you’re 8 weeks pregnant with twins, you’ll most likely have a twin belly bump to show off. The size of your belly depends on whether you’ve been pregnant before, your genes, what shape you’re in and your weight before you got pregnant. You may already have experienced several pregnancy related symptoms like:
- Morning sickness
- Feeling bloated and tired
- Sore or tense breasts
You may also begin to notice pain or tenderness in your abdomen. This is called round ligament pain. Round ligaments surround your uterus in your pelvis. As your uterus grows during pregnancy, the ligaments stretch and thicken to accommodate and support it. These changes may occasionally cause pain. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you experience severe pain, cramping, bleeding or an increase in pressure in the pelvic area, you should call your health care provider immediately as this has nothing to do with round ligament pain. Be aware that you – were you not pregnant – were suppose to have your second period around this time. You may therefore experience minor spotting without anything being wrong.
Pregnancy diet, nutrition & prenatal vitamins
Keep taking your folic acid supplement. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects.
You need to eat a balanced, healthy diet when you’re pregnant. Many women get enough protein, but if you don’t – maybe because you suffer from morning sickness – you should consider upping your intake. The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your body’s cells – and of your babies bodies as well. You can get protein shakes if you’re having a hard time keeping food down. Make sure to buy high quality shakes with as little sugar as possible.
Diet for women expecting monochorionic twins
Some research suggests that mothers with pregnancies complicated by Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) may have lower protein levels in their blood than other pregnant women. That’s also why some doctors have started recommending mothers with TTTS pregnancies to consider additional protein through nutrition supplements such as protein shakes. There’s no research that shows that a high protein diet can prevent TTTS, but there’s still a lot of research to be done in that area. TTTS can only happen to identical twins that share a placenta.