6 Weeks Pregnant: Your Body, Your Baby and What to Expect

(10 minute read)

6 Weeks Pregnant: Your Body, Your Baby and What to Expect

As you enter the 6th week of pregnancy, your baby is growing rapidly, and your body is undergoing significant changes. This week is again crucial for your baby's development, and you might start experiencing new pregnancy symptoms.

How Big is Baby at 6 Weeks?

At 6 weeks, your baby is about the size of a lentil or a small pea, measuring approximately 0.25 inches. Despite being tiny, your baby is developing very quickly. The major organs, including the heart, lungs and kidneys are beginning to form. The neural tube, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, is also developing. Also, this week marks the beginning of what will become your baby's face, with small indentations where the eyes and nostrils will grow.

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Your Body at Week 6

Your body is preparing to support your growing baby. You might not see a baby bump yet, but hormonal changes are happening. The hormone progesterone is increasing, which is essential for maintaining the pregnancy. Physically, you might not notice much difference, but internally, your uterus is gradually expanding. The increase in blood volume to support your developing baby might cause you to feel more tired than usual. It's also common to experience slight cramping as your uterus adjusts.

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 6

Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Often referred to as morning sickness, although this can occur at any time of the day, and is one of the more unpleasant symptoms to deal with.
  • Fatigue: The increased progesterone levels can make you feel unusually tired and make you want to take frequent naps.
  • Breast Changes: Your breasts may feel tender and swollen due to hormonal shifts.
  • Mood Swings: Hormonal changes can cause emotional ups and downs.
  • Frequent Urination: As your uterus grows, it begins to press on your bladder, leading to more frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • Food Aversions and Cravings: You might start noticing strong aversions to certain smells and tastes, along with cravings for specific foods.
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The mood swings can be difficult to cope with, and communicating with your partner about them is essential, as is seeking support from friends, family, or a professional if needed.

For frequent urination, try to reduce fluid intake before bedtime but ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

If your food cravings are for healthy foods then great! More often than not they will be for something not so healthy such as ice cream or chocolate. If this is the case, try to make healthier substitutes, like a small amount of dark chocolate, for example.

It is better to eat small, frequent meals, rest as much as possible, and wear supportive bras.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips

Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Stay hydrated and consider prenatal vitamins. Some are better than others, so now might be a good time to visit your local health food shop. Folate is particularly important at this stage for the baby's neural tube development, so ensure your prenatal vitamins contain an adequate amount.

It's important to avoid certain foods that pose risks during pregnancy, such as unpasteurised dairy, undercooked meats, and certain types of fish high in mercury, such as tuna.

Moderate exercise like walking can be beneficial, but avoid strenuous activities. Exercise can still be part of your routine, but it's crucial to listen to your body and avoid overexertion. Yoga and swimming are excellent low-impact options.

Medical Care and Check-ups

Regular prenatal check-ups are essential. During these visits, your healthcare provider will monitor your health and your baby's development. You might have your first ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and check for twins.

You may also discuss genetic screening options with your doctor. These tests can assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities like Down's Syndrome, though they are usually performed a bit later in the pregnancy. It's also a good time to discuss any medications you're taking to ensure they are safe during pregnancy.

Emotional Well-Being

It's normal to experience a range of emotions during this time. Feelings of excitement, anxiety, or even fear are common. Seek support from loved ones, and don't hesitate to discuss your feelings with your healthcare provider.

Pregnancy can be overwhelming, and it's important to prioritise your mental health. Consider joining a support group for pregnant women, where you can share experiences and gain insights from others going through similar changes. Meditation and mindfulness can also be helpful in managing stress and anxiety.

 

Click here to read all about week 7 of pregnancy.

 

7 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby Has Eyes and Ears
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