6th Week of Pregnancy
All Systems Go!
Baby's Growth and Development at 6 Weeks Pregnant
During your 6th week of pregnancy, your baby grows at a phenomenal rate and his systems develop significantly. Here’s what’s happening at 6 weeks pregnant:
- Your baby, now called an embryo, is clearly visible on ultrasound. He is about the size of a grain of rice.
- When you’re 6 weeks pregnant, his nervous system and all major body organs — heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs — are the first to form.
- Facial features — jaw, cheeks, chin, ear canals, nose, and eyes — begin to develop around the 6th week of pregnancy.
- You baby’s heart beats about 80 times per minute and gets faster each day.
Your Changing Body at 6 Weeks Pregnant
Like your developing baby, your body experiences many changes during your 6th week of pregnancy.
- Hormones begin to increase. They include elevated levels of oestrogen and progesterone, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) — the hormone that indicates pregnancy, and HPL (human placental lactogen) — the hormone that promotes baby’s growth.
- As hormones increase during your 6th week of pregnancy, your body might react both physically and emotionally.
- By your 6th week of pregnancy, common pregnancy symptoms include nausea and vomiting, a.k.a. morning sickness, which for many might not be limited to the morning. You also might experience mood swings.
- At 6 weeks pregnant, some women also notice other symptoms when they’re pregnant. These could include changes in your breasts, headaches, faintness or dizziness, increased urination, insomnia, fatigue, excess saliva, constipation, food aversions or cravings, and emotional changes.
- If any pregnancy symptoms feel extreme, it’s a good idea to speak with your Healthcare Professional. Also, don’t be concerned if you aren’t experiencing any of these symptoms or don’t “feel” pregnant. Every woman’s body is different.
- Spotting or vaginal bleeding can also occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. As many as 40% of pregnant women may experience some bleeding. Check with your Healthcare Professional if you’re concerned about spotting or bleeding.
Wellness and Nutrition at 6 Weeks Pregnant
What’s your due date? How is your pregnancy progressing? What can you expect in the coming weeks? There are many questions at this early stage of pregnancy. That’s why it’s time to begin prenatal visits with your Healthcare Professional.
This prenatal visit checklist can help you get ready.
1st Prenatal Visit Checklist: What to Expect
You and your Healthcare Professional will probably go over:
- Your medical history:
- Date of last period
- Contraceptive use
- Medical conditions
- Nutrition habits
- Your due date. Knowing your due date helps your Healthcare Professional more accurately monitor your progress and baby's growth.
- Baseline tests:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Urine and blood lab work
- A pelvic exam and possibly a Pap test
- Your questions: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________
Exercising During Pregnancy
The benefits of exercise go beyond you and your baby's overall health. Exercise during pregnancy has been shown to:
- Offset varicose veins, leg cramps, fatigue, bloating, swelling, and constipation
- Maintain muscle tone
- Minimise lower-back pain and improve posture
- Increase energy
- Help you relax and sleep
Using Nutrition to Manage Morning Sickness
If you have nausea and vomiting, you can find relief. Here are a few things to try:
- Eating small meals or snacks frequently throughout the day
- Limiting or avoiding greasy, spicy, or fried foods
- Drinking fluids to stay hydrated, especially if you are vomiting
- Indulging healthy cravings
It also might help to:
- Avoid those odours in your daily routine that make you queasy.
- Get enough sleep and rest.