By Cristina Mestre Ferrer BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 07/16/2015

When a woman is 2 months pregnant, there is a growing awareness that she is expecting a child. It is the moment when the mother tries to follow a healthier lifestyle and to eat a balanced diet.

The second month of pregnancy covers weeks 5-8. The following should explain the typical discomforts and body changes that every woman may experience as well as everything that happens week by week.

Body changes and discomforts

Sudden changes of mood and oversensitivity are very common among pregnant women due to the drastic impact of hormonal changes as well as every process that is developing within you. Besides, such hormone adjustments may cause you to feel nausea and sickness because of low blood sugar.

Exhaustion is another symptom that you may notice from the second month of pregnancy onwards. During the first trimester of pregnancy many women feel a continuous need for sleep as well as exhausted and drained all the time.

Pregnancy also affects the sense of taste (dysgeusia). Therefore it is likely that your meal preferences change and you have an increased or decreased appetite.

Moreover, you may experience an increase in breast growth, something that may be painful. You may begin to notice small nodules or pimples around your areola known as Montgomery tubercles.

However, it is still too early to notice these body changes at a glance. Usually, your stomach starts to get bigger from the third month of pregnancy and continues to do so up until childbirth. When you are 2 months pregnant, you still can’t notice it because the uterus keeps on growing and the uterine wall gets larger but it remains inside the pelvis yet.

Commonly, the initial medical visit takes place at the end of this month once pregnancy has been confirmed. Once there, the following medical testing will be performed: weight control, blood pressure measurement, abdominal girth measurement, breast examination, and ultrasound scan. It is possible that you are prescribed folic acid and/or a iodine supplementation.

Gastrulation and embryo development

Gastrulation occurs during this month. This process entails the development of the three layers from which all the embryo’s tissues will develop.

Throughout these weeks, the embryo’s spinal cord, brain, heart, intestine, and skin will develop. Obviously, such developments cannot be distinguished with an ultrasound scan yet. Nevertheless, fetal development is unstoppable now and thus many changes will occur. His/her eyes, ears, nose, and upper lip will develop as well.

5 weeks pregnant

The head also grows but its size is still out of proportion since it is larger than the trunk. The body is rather a sort of tail. Gastrulation, i.e. formation of the embryo’s three germ layers, occurs during the first few days of the week.

Epiblast stem cells continue its differentiation while the 3 germ layers, i.e. ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm are generated as well.

Likewise, the notochord starts developing from the mesoderm. The notochord is a flexible rod-shaped body whose main function is to serve as a support structure until the backbone or vertebral column is formed.

Besides, the ectoderm is responsible for the formation of the neural tube that creates the spinal cord, finishing this way the entire process of neurulation.

6 weeks pregnant

This week is a vitally important moment in the process of fetal development since it is when a woman is 6 weeks pregnant when the baby’s heart starts its development.

The central nervous system as well as the anterior brain develop at this stage as well. The curious way in which the embryo bends itself in a spiral-shaped way is derived from this process. In the middle part of the embryo, the intestine starts to be noticeable, which is the origin of the digestive system. Eye and ear formation starts at this stage as well as the first outlines of the arms.

7 weeks pregnant

The umbilical cord develops at this stage. From this moment on, it will supply the fetus with food. Apart from providing the fetus with multiple nutrients, it will supply the baby-to-be with the necessary blood so that embryo development occurs in the right way.

Likewise, the face, the neck, and the mouth start their formation at this stage.

8 weeks pregnant

This is the last week of the second month of pregnancy and therefore changes are more consistent at this point. For instance the heart, which started to develop at the beginning of this month, has now four chambers, has started to pump blood, and beats at 180 bpm (i.e. beats per minute), which is twice the frequency of an adult’s heart.

By the end of this week, the fetus already measures from 13 to 20 mm in length.

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Authors and contributors

 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information