By Neus Ferrando Gilabert BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 07/28/2014

In the 8th week of pregnancy the uterus relaxes and the belly is practically covered by it. You may not feel anything remarkable yet, as the belly is not swollen, although some women refer discomfort during that week. The gynecologist can notice the enlargement of the uterus through a abdominal palpation.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

The most important change taking place this week is the skin formation of the embryo. The eyes are hid by skin that later will become the eyelids.

Development of the embryo in the 8th week

The primordium of what will the its musculature is formed below the breasts. The heart has already four chambers and pumps blood energetically.

By the end of the week the nose and upper lip will be formed. The ears start their formation, they are misplaced and not completely shaped (they are now below their final location).

The digital rays of the hand are formed, growing progressively to eventually develop the fingers.
The development of the lower limbs goes on, forming the footplate, which now looks like a stump.
At the end of the 8th week the embryo is approximately 13 mm long.

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Authors and contributors

 Neus Ferrando Gilabert
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (UV). Postgraduate Course in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH). Experience managing Embryology and Andrology Labs at Centro Médico Manzanera (Logroño, Spain). More information