6 Weeks Pregnant
6 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development
Now that you're six weeks pregnant, your little one is developing new features. This week's most important milestone: The neural tube begins to close over what will become your baby's spinal cord.
There's more! This week, the areas that will become the eyes and ears have started to project as bumps, and other tiny buds are forming that will eventually grow into arms and legs.
A tiny heartbeat of about 105 beats per minute may be detectable in an ultrasound when you're six weeks pregnant, and the brain and nervous system are also developing quickly. In fact, the nose, mouth, and inner and outer ears are just starting to take shape, along with the lungs. In just a few weeks, breathing tubes will form between the throat and the lungs, getting ready for your little one's first breath of air (and maybe a loud wail) at birth. Wondering when you might be able to meet your baby? Try our Due Date Calculator to find out!
How Big Is Your Baby at 6 Weeks?
At six weeks, your embryo measures an average of 0.08 to 0.2 inches (0.2 to 0.5 centimetres) — about the size of a pomegranate seed!
Mom's Body at 6 Weeks Pregnant
This week, your breasts may feel tender or achy because of increased blood flow; this is a normal part of your body preparing for breastfeeding. Wearing a supportive bra can help with discomfort. You may also experience constipation because of an increase in progesterone, which slows down the digestive tract. To deal with this, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet with high-fibre foods, and drink plenty of water.
If you've been losing your lunch lately, you're in good company! As many as 85 percent of pregnant women experience some morning sickness, most frequently during the first trimester. Nausea may be connected to increasing levels of hCG, the hormone your body produces when you are pregnant, as well as other hormonal changes. Though you can't prevent morning sickness, you can take some comfort in the fact that the symptoms you may be feeling at six weeks pregnant usually subside after the first trimester.
6 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Spotting. It's not unusual to see some spotting at six weeks, but it should be light, not even enough to cover a small pantyliner. This implantation bleeding is normal, but if you see a lot of blood, if the spotting lasts longer than two days, or you have any concerns, be sure to see your doctor right away.
Cramping**.** At six weeks pregnant, slight cramping can be normal. It's a sign your uterus and the surrounding tissues are expanding to make room for your baby. If you feel pain more severe than usual period cramping, especially if accompanied by a fever or diarrhea, contact your doctor immediately.
Morning sickness. If you haven't yet had morning sickness, this may be the week it arrives. Morning sickness can happen any time of day or night. It may be triggered by certain movements, smells, an empty stomach, or nothing at all. Crackers and other simple, starchy foods can help, so keep a little something on hand for those random bouts of nausea.
Exhaustion. You may feel completely exhausted due to pregnancy fatigue, and that's OK. As your levels of the pregnancy hormone progesterone are increasing, making you more and more tired, you may find taking naps can help; some women also say that little snacks and some light exercise are effective in fighting off fatigue. Be sure that you're getting plenty of iron, because too little can cause anemia and lead to tiredness.
Frequent urination**.** It's also normal to run to the bathroom more often than usual. Your kidneys are working overtime to process the extra fluid in your body now.
Mood swings**.** You may be in for some emotional highs and lows between now and the end of your pregnancy. Mood swings are common in the first trimester, often subside in the second, and sometimes return toward the end of the third trimester. Eating well, chatting with friends, taking naps, and engaging in light exercise are some easy ways to help yourself feel a bit better.
No symptoms. That's right, it's possible to be six weeks pregnant with no symptoms whatsoever! Every pregnancy and every woman is different. For example, some women never experience morning sickness, so if you're one of the lucky few, enjoy these nausea-free days without worry.
6 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider
One of the first things you may notice early in your pregnancy is an increase in the size of your breasts, and the surge of pregnancy hormones you're experiencing now may also lead to some skin changes, like an increase in oil production. Your nipples may turn a shade or two darker thanks to hyperpigmentation.
Check out your closet to make sure you'll have some stretchy or roomy clothing to wear during the coming weeks. Your body will soon start to grow, and you'll want to stay comfy even if you're not yet ready to transition into maternity clothes. You may want to avoid tight-fitting pants from this point on, and choose cotton underwear. Also, don't forget to increase your bra size when needed for your comfort.
It's natural for there to be times when you have lots of concerns and when you feel overwhelmed. If your mind is racing, write down your thoughts in a pregnancy journal – it might help you feel a little better. You could also make a list of questions to share with your doctor. This might help you feel a little more in control, as you'll know that you'll be able to get answers at your next prenatal visit.
Around this time, you may also want to start a week-by-week photo journal or a pregnancy scrapbook full of your notes, photos, and mementos, as a nice way to celebrate your pregnancy. This is also a lovely keepsake you can share with your baby in a few years' time.
Download our Pregnancy Guide, which has all the information you need to navigate the first trimester of your pregnancy and beyond.
If you yet don't have health insurance in Canada, visit Canada.ca where you can learn about how to become registered for public health insurance in your specific provincial and territorial ministry of health.
6 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor
What are some safe options for exercising while pregnant?
Where will you give birth, and what should you know in advance about the facility and its procedures?
If you have a chronic condition (like diabetes or high blood pressure) for which you take medication, how can you manage your condition safely during pregnancy?
6 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
To help with tender breasts, wear a supportive bra, even at night.
Drink plenty of water, eat high-fibre foods, and exercise regularly to help avoid constipation.
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