This week, your baby is starting to look more like, well, a baby — your little one’s head is taking shape, while the cheeks, chin and jaws are also beginning to form.
In week 6 of pregnancy, you may be feeling well and truly pregnant too, thanks to symptoms like heartburn, nausea and frequent urination.
Your Baby at Week 6
2:10Your Pregnancy Week 6Don’t have headphones?
At a Glance
Smile!Your little one’s face is taking shape this week, with cheeks, chin and jaws beginning to form.
Baby’s heart is beating!Your baby’s heart has started to beat sometime between week 5 and now. You may even be able to see the tell-tale thump-thump on an ultrasound this week.
Fetal positionIt’s not called the fetal position for nothing: Your baby-to-be, who looks like a tiny tadpole complete with teeny “tail,” is curled up with the leg buds tucked in toward the torso. No plans to move soon!
6 weeks pregnant is how many months?
If you’re 6 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 2 of your pregnancy. Only 7 months left to go! Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
How big is my baby at 6 weeks?
When you’re 6 weeks pregnant, your baby’s crown-to-rump measurement (more on this below) is anywhere from a fifth to a quarter of an inch and growing — making it the size of a nailhead or a sweet pea (your little sweet pea!).
Baby’s head takes shape
You might be coping with full-blown pregnancy symptoms, but there’s plenty of good news too. The folds of tissue in the prominent bump on top — the head — are developing into your baby’s jaw, cheeks and chin, which will eventually become one adorable face.
And are those little indentations on both sides of the head the sweet dimples you always hoped your baby would inherit from your mom’s side of the family? No, they’re ear canals in the making. Small dots on the face will form the eyes and button nose in a few weeks.
Also taking shape this week: your baby’s kidneys, liver and lungs, along with his little heart, which is now beating about 110 times a minute (and getting faster every day).
Measuring your embryo
During embryo and fetal development, practitioners measure babies as small as yours from precious little crown to cute little rump. That’s because as your baby grows, her legs will be bent, making it hard to get an accurate read on the full length of the body.
Your Body at Week 6
Your body may not yet have changed on the outside, but you’ll be reminded you’re 6 weeks pregnant every time you feel queasy or bloated or dive head-first into your sixth grapefruit of the day — funny, because you never craved grapefruit before.
Another clue? You’re in the bathroom more than you’re out of it. Frequent urination is a symptom no pregnant woman enjoys, especially when it breaks up the sleep you really need right now, but it’s one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, especially early on.
Why? For one thing, the pregnancy hormone hCG is causing an increase of blood flow to your pelvic area — good for increased sexual pleasure, not so good when you’re one hour into a two-hour movie at the theater.
What’s more, your kidneys are becoming more efficient at ridding your body of waste. Add to that the fact that your growing uterus is beginning to push down on your bladder, leaving less storage space for urine, and you’ve got a perfect (pee) storm. Luckily, this pressure is often relieved once the uterus rises into the abdominal cavity in the second trimester.
Here’s a quick tip: Lean forward when you pee to ensure that your bladder is completely emptied each time. Then, when you think you’re done, pee again. This way, you might need fewer trips to the bathroom. But don’t be tempted to cut back on liquids — your body needs a steady supply of fluids.
Heartburn and indigestion
Here’s the not-so-great news — the chances of getting through the next nine months heartburn-free are nearly zero. That’s because the band of muscle at the top of the stomach that usually prevents digestive juices from backing up relaxes.
But here’s better news: You can minimize the symptoms if you avoid foods like citruses and tomatoes — and yes, that includes pizza and pasta sauce — steer clear of greasy and spicy foods, don’t rush through your meals and avoid clothes that constrict your belly. It’s also a good idea to finish dinner at least four hours before going to bed and keeping your head elevated on a pillow while you sleep.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 6
Tips for You This Week
Don’t skip all seafood
For the pregnant set, not all fish is created equal. While you should avoid high-mercury fish like tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, orange roughy, bigeye tuna, marlin and king mackerel, don’t steer clear of all good-for-you seafood.
Fish is one of the best sources of DHA (a healthy omega-3 fatty acid), so try to eat two to three servings of well-cooked shellfish, canned light tuna, salmon (wild-caught is best) or cod a week.Look out for UTI symptoms
If it hurts to pee or if you gotta go but nothing comes, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Talk to your doctor to find out for sure.
If you do have a UTI, you’ll likely be prescribed a baby-safe antibiotic. You’re at a higher risk of getting this kind of infection after week 6 of pregnancy.Go bland
Still suffering from morning sickness? Sadly, it isn’t limited to the mornings at all — unless you count mornings in every time zone.
If you feel like screaming whenever you look at a saltine, don’t panic. You have more options than you might think.
Dry and bland are still the key here, but that describes more than a cracker. Dry cereal, pretzels, rice cakes, well-toasted bread and bread sticks are all suitable to stash in your purse or keep on the bedside table.Get your steps in
It’s one thing to make the commitment to exercise — it’s another thing to make time for it, particularly if you’re often feeling nauseous.
The best strategy is to block out a specific time in your day for working out — rather than waiting until you find half an hour to get around to it (hint: You never will).Choose healthy treats
For every sweet or salty junk food you’re craving now, there’s a healthier choice that, coupled with some willpower, can keep your taste buds — and your baby — happy.
Substitute soy chips or baked chips for the greasy varieties. Or munch your way through some air-popped popcorn (tossed with some Parmesan for that salty kick you crave), rice cakes or pretzels.
If your inner chocoholic is clamoring to come out, satisfy it with a cup of hot chocolate or a single-serving Fudgsicle instead of that king-sized Snickers bar.
Screaming for ice cream? Fall for frozen yogurt instead — and top yours with fresh berries to score nutritional brownie points.Pamper yourself
Relax — it’s perfectly safe to paint your nails. Take advantage now, since pregnancy hormones can make them grow faster and stronger than ever.
As for acrylics, there’s no proof that the chemicals are harmful to you or your fetus, but to be absolutely safe, you might want to forgo those tips until your baby arrives.
Non-toxic and water-based ingredients in polish might also be a good idea, as is a well-ventilated salon (this is true whether you’re pregnant or not).
If your hormones didn’t get the memo and you find that your nails have become weak or brittle, try a clear nail hardener and reapply often (plus make sure you’re getting enough calcium).Prepare for your first prenatal visit
Sure, you already got the news from your home pregnancy test — but it doesn’t hurt to hear it confirmed by a doctor, which is one reason you’re probably looking forward to your very first prenatal doctor’s appointment. Expect this checkup to be exciting…and long.
Ask your practitioner whether there are any COVID-19 rules you should know about and follow before coming in for your appointment.
Once you arrive, you’ll have a thorough physical, including a pelvic exam, Pap smear and initial blood tests to determine your blood type, Rh factor, whether you’re iron-deficient and whether your baby is at risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
You’ll also be tested for sexually transmitted infections, immunity to rubella (German measles) and ethnic-specific genetic diseases. And you’ll need to pee into a cup so your urine can be tested for glucose, protein, red and white blood cells, and bacteria.
Be prepared to answer lots of questions — health histories can take a while — but more importantly, bring a list of some of your own. Wondering whether you and Joe (aka your beloved extra-foamy mocha cappuccino) will have to part ways now that you’re expecting? Why your chest suddenly resembles a map of an interstate highway? If having sex can hurt your baby? Don’t just sit there — ask!
Remember, no question is silly now. While you’re at it, talk to your doctor about whether you should get noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) — a screening for chromosomal abnormalities recommended for some at-risk moms that’s given as early as week 10 of pregnancy.