Week 6 of Pregnancy: Symptoms, Development, and Recommendations

While the doctor tells you that you are in week 6 of pregnancy, your baby is actually four weeks old. Even so, the origins of its arms and legs are already beginning to show. It's beautiful!
Week 6 of Pregnancy: Symptoms, Development, and Recommendations

Last update: 18 February, 2022

Congratulations, you’re going to be a mom! You’ve probably just confirmed your suspicions after missing your last period. And you know what? As you’re taking in the news, you’re already in week 6 of pregnancy!

Now, even though it’s considered week 6 of pregnancy, your baby is actually four weeks old. That’s because the calculation of the weeks of gestation is made starting from the first day of your last menstrual period, and it was two weeks later, approximately, when the baby was conceived.

Your baby’s development during week 6 of pregnancy

During these first weeks, your baby’s development is nonstop; every day, very important changes occur in its body that will lead it to become an organism more similar to the one we know as children and adults.

A 6-week fetus.

In week 6, your baby’s already 2 to 5 millimeters long; Almost the same size as a lentil . Their limbs begin to lengthen, so they’re no longer incipient at the side of the trunk, as in week 5, but take the shape of arms and legs; even feet and hands can already be differentiated.

Their little heart beats with enough force to be observable with an intravaginal ultrasound, so if you perform this test during this week, you can hear the heartbeat of your baby. This will be a moment to cherish forever.

The brain continues to develop, while the lungs and a number of muscles and bones begin to form, as well as the optic vesicles, which will later become your baby’s eyes. The same is true for the ducts of its inner ears.

This is what your baby will look like on an ultrasound during weeks 6 and 7 of pregnancy:

An ultrasound at 6 weeks of pregnancy.

What are the symptoms during week 6 of pregnancy?

During week 6 of pregnancy, your body may give you a little more concrete indication that something very important is happening. This is due to the hormonal changes that are happening to allow your baby to grow.

However, the specific signs vary from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy, so don’t panic if you don’t experience any of the characteristics listed here:

  • Burning in the stomach: Many women begin to experience burning in the pit of the stomach, as if it were gastritis. This is because the intestinal transit becomes slower and, therefore, the discomfort may worsen after each meal. It takes longer for what you eat to pass through the upper digestive tract.
  • Swollen abdomen: Ybaby is still too small for the abdomen to be very pronounced. So you shouldn’t yet attribute belly swelling to the uterus. Rather, the swelling is due to the digestive system slowing down, so you’ll notice an increase in intestinal gas production.
  • Breast tenderness: This symptom will continue throughout most of your pregnancy. Your breasts will become larger and a little sore; also, the skin on your nipples may become darker and you may notice traces of milk at times.
  • Smoother skin and thicker hair: This week, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and see yourself differently; a little more radiant. This is because your skin will be smoother and your hair will be thicker, although it may also fall out a little more than usual. The time of the year when you become pregnant also has a great influence, as there are times of greater hair loss, such as autumn.
  • Fatigue or tiredness: As your pregnancy progresses, your body uses a lot of energy to align all the processes that allow your baby to develop healthily. This undoubtedly makes you feel fatigued and tired. On top of that, progesterone causes drowsiness. So don’t worry too much if you start to notice that you’re sleeping more than usual.
  • Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, as well as the continuous need to urinate and mood swings, are already in effect this week.
A digital illustration of the inside of a woman's body at 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Tips and recommendations in week 6 of pregnancy

In week 6 of pregnancy, the embryo continues to change, but it’s still very fragile and sometimes the pregnancy doesn’t succeed. For this reason, you may have doubts about the most appropriate time to share this news. It’s perfectly respectable if you don’t want to communicate it yet.

During this first stage, it’s a good idea to start prenatal check-ups and take the measures recommended by your doctor to maintain your health and that of your baby. But, as we’ve already mentioned, you can wait a little longer to tell the news publicly. Some women wait until the second trimester to tell others about their pregnancy.

Keeping the news within the privacy of those close to you is a common practice and there’s nothing wrong with it. It may even be a logical precaution to keep it to yourself and your partner for the first 12 weeks. There’s a percentage (20%) of women who have spontaneous losses during the first trimester.

You shouldn’t be alarmed. It’s a matter of being cautious and taking the necessary precautions. In addition, living these moments in intimacy allows you to enjoy the bond you’re creating with your baby.

A life project

Now, the above doesn’t mean that you can’t start making plans regarding pregnancy and your baby. In fact, it’s a good time to start talking as a couple about changes in your lifestyle, sports, and work in the coming months.

A baby on the way is a unique opportunity to reevaluate your life projects to orient them and make them congruent with your new family conformation. And being more specific, surely you’ve already begun to imagine modifications to your house, in the rooms, and even in the yard.

Watch what you eat!

This is a recommendation that will continue throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Your baby’s well-being will depend a lot on what you eat. Green leafy vegetables, for example, provide a good amount of folic acid, which prevents the appearance of malformations such as spina bifida and others linked to the central nervous system.

In any case, it’s very likely that your doctor will prescribe a supplement of this vitamin in tablet form, as the amounts required in pregnancy aren’t usually covered by your diet alone.

In addition, eat lean meats, but not those that are raw or undercooked. It’s important to have an adequate iron intake throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy and in the weeks after your birth. And meat contains good quantities of iron, which helps prevent anemia.

Say goodbye to harmful habits such as smoking, coffee, and alcohol. According to studies, the latter increases the chances of miscarriage or premature birth. It also causes physical and cognitive abnormalities in babies.

Managing morning sickness

This is one of the most common and annoying symptoms for pregnant women. In week 6 of pregnancy, this sign starts to become more pronounced and may last for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In particular, nausea occurs in the early hours of the morning. You can manage it with some of the following tricks:

  • Eat soda cracker upon waking up, before getting out of bed.
  • Eat ice cubes.
  • Drink infusions with ginger. This substance is allowed during pregnancy and is known to be safe. It’s a safe natural medicine, proven by scientific studies, unlike other naturopathic herbs and supplements that shouldn’t be ingested.
  • Eat or smell citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, tangerines, and oranges.
  • Avoid eating in large quantities. It’s better to eat small portions several times a day rather than a big meal in the evening, for example.

Frequently Asked Questions

In week 6 of pregnancy, it’s normal for doubts to overwhelm you. Everything can seem dangerous, and you’re already going through a drastic life change. The important thing is that you don’t allow yourself to be overcome by fears and doubts and start enjoying this stage that’s just beginning and is wonderful.

1. Can I know what my due date is?

If you’ve already consulted with your doctor, most likely yes. By now, you should have a blood test to verify your pregnancy and you’ve probably had an intravaginal ultrasound to verify the health of your baby.

So, along with the date of your last menstrual period, your doctor has the data that will allow them to make an estimate of your due date. However, many factors come together to make it happen, so it’s only an estimate.

2. What measures should I take at work?

Everything will depend on the work you do because there are some jobs where the physical demands are extreme or you may be exposed to hazardous substances that put the baby’s life at risk. Depending on this, you’ll need to notify your boss so that the necessary measures can be taken.

3. Can I have tests to know the status of the baby?

Of course you can! In this sixth week, you’ll be able to have prenatal tests that will give you an idea of the state of health of your little baby. Some of them are ultrasounds and blood analysis.

If you perform prenatal checkups properly, your doctor will surely ask you for them. They’re part of the basic routine for monitoring gestational development.

There are other procedures that are best to perform later on, when you’re beyond the first trimester, such as amniocentesis, which is suggested for after the 16th week of pregnancy.

A strong and clear heartbeat!

In week 6 of pregnancy, your baby already has a defined and strong heart that beats 150 times in one minute. That’s almost twice as much as an adult. That sound is forever etched in your soul and is synonymous with a new life inside you.

Your baby is very small. Although it’s very well installed in the uterus, you must take care of it because it’s still susceptible to everything that happens around it. In this week, you shouldn’t experience bleeding, so if you do, seek medical attention.

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