Your baby is now growing at an alarming rate…

At 6 weeks pregnant, you should begin to feel the full effect of early pregnancy symptoms from morning sickness to mood swings. Your baby is now growing at an alarming rate and your body is going through many changes. This article will discuss what you can expect in your 6th week of pregnancy.

Your baby at 6 weeks

6 weeks pregnantFrom “crown to rump” your baby is now about a fifth to a quarter of an inch. That’s roughly the size of a sweet pea. Measurements are done in this manner since your baby is in the “fetal” position and it is difficult get an accurate measure of the full body length. During the next few weeks, your baby will be growing at an alarming rate. By the end of this week your baby will have almost tripled in size. And your baby is now starting to have a somewhat recognizable face as his/her ears, eyes, nose, chin and cheeks are beginning to form.

Your baby’s heart is now beating up to 150 times a minute, which is twice as fast as the heart rate of the average adult. At this time brainwaves can also be recorded as your baby’s brain hemispheres are starting to form. There is now blood pumping through his/her circulatory system as it is becoming increasingly more developed during this time.

A thin transparent layer of skin is now covering your baby’s already developed vital organs. This includes the kidneys, lungs and liver, which will still not fully developed, are in their proper placement. The intestines are starting to form as well as tiny buds of tissues that will later develop into lungs and also pituitary glands are starting to form.  There are primitive germ cells now present that will be responsible for the formation of your baby’s genitals. The diaphragm is now starting to form as well as the trachea, larynx and bronchi.

Your body at 6 weeks pregnant

By this point, you are probably starting to feel early pregnancy symptoms in full swing, including morning sickness. This should pass in time, although some women experience morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy. And morning sickness is  not just limited to morning, so do not be alarmed if you experience symptoms any time of day.  You may be feeling a bit moody and “hormonal” by now as well as fatigued.

Some hints for easing morning sickness include eating smaller meals and/or snacks frequently during the day. Keeping healthy snacks nearby to avoid nausea and an empty stomach and limiting or completely avoiding fried, greasy and spicy foods. It also helps to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.

Other symptoms you may experience include gas, bloating, heartburn and indigestion, tender and swollen breasts, heightened sense of smell, increased urination and night-time urination, food cravings and/or aversions and sensitivity, implantation bleeding or spotting, headaches, leg and back pain and of course mood swings, thanks to increasing levels of pregnancy hormones.

Weeks pregnantBaby development

As your baby is developing is crucial that you take care of your health. You need to maintain a healthy diet that consists foods that are high in calcium, iron, B vitamins and folic acid. You should be eating plenty of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, lean, thoroughly cooked meats and fish that are low in mercury, as well as pasteurized dairy and legumes such as beans and black-eyed peas.  Avoid foods such as soft cheese, processed meats, unpasteurized foods,  raw seafood or fish that are have high levels of mercury. You should also avoid caffeine, alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking at all costs as they are detrimental to your baby’s health and could cause major pregnancy complications such as miscarriage and birth defects. Ask your doctor about any prescription or over the counter medications, vitamins or supplements that you are taking.

You must exercise

Light to moderate exercise is not only allowed, but also encouraged, as it can help prepare you for labor. You can take part in low to medium aerobic activities such as walking, yoga, pilates or swimming. Weightlifting, skiing and other extreme forms of exercise are not recommended during pregnancy.

It is also crucial that you protect your body against infection. Wash your hands often with hot soap and water. Avoid being exposed to others who are ill. And you might want to ask your significant other to empty the litter box, and clean out the fish tank or bird cage while you are pregnant. Your body is now more prone to infection so you want to avoid any risks or exposure at all costs.

First prenatal appointment

You should schedule your first prenatal appointment between six and eight weeks. The doctor will give you a blood test to confirm that you are pregnant. They will also discuss your pregnancy and schedule your other prenatal appointments.  Your doctor will most likely perform a pap smear, pelvic exam and a complete blood panel as well as a urine sample.

You will be asked for a detailed medical history, including any medications you are currently taking. They will ask of any habits or health issues, family history of physical and mental illness. This includes for both you and your partner. They will take note of any drug allergies you may have and if you have undergone any surgeries or other medical procedures. Be completely open and honest with your doctor as your baby’s health and well-being is at stake and be as thorough as possible when answering questions or giving any information.

Make notes

As you think of questions and concerns before your visit, you might want to write them down. No question is too silly, your doctor has seen and heard it all. It is important that you discuss any and every issue or concern with your doctor. Be prepared that this may be an extensive visit. Your other visits will not be this long, unless  you are experiencing complications.

Your doctor will discuss any changes you need to make in your diet, health and daily routine and will prescribe any prenatal vitamins and supplements, such as iron and/or folic acid. It is imperative that you follow your doctor’s orders and keep in touch with your prenatal doctor throughout your pregnancy. Contact them at the first sign of any unusual symptoms or complications.  Your doctor is there to help you throughout your pregnancy so make sure you form a good relationship and have a doctor whom you can trust.

Check on your next weeks pregnancy

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