So far we’ve talked about what you can expect to experience during the first five weeks of pregnancy and until now, most of it has been pretty small stuff with most of the action taking place in your womb. Pregnancy week six is a bit different. Women in the sixth week of pregnancy are starting to experience more emotional changes as well as a few other changes in their bodies. Your baby is still where most of the activity is centered because week six is a big week for your budding baby.
What’s Happening with Your Baby
Pregnancy week six is a time of a lot of activity for your unborn baby. The first steps toward the development of your baby’s face are taking place with the tiny cheeks, chin, ears, eyes, jaw and nose beginning to form. Your baby’s heart, which started pumping blood last week, is now beating roughly eighty times each minute. Soon it will start beating even more often than that. In addition, baby’s tiny kidneys, liver and lungs are continuing to develop. Pretty exciting stuff. What’s really fascinating about all of this though is the fact that your developing child is still no larger than a lentil. If you’re able to see the baby on an ultrasound, you’ll probably notice he or she kind of looks like a little bean.
Let’s take an imaginary look inside your uterus and check out what your little one really looks like. Right now, your head is the largest part of your baby’s developing form but again, it’s still very tiny. It still sort of resembles a tadpole with the large top part and the little tail but that’s starting to change. Looking closer, there is a tiny indentation on the left side of your baby’s head and a second tiny indentation on the right side. These little impressions will become your baby’s ears. There will also be two dark spots on the front of your baby’s head that will eventually develop into your baby’s eyes. The bumps below these dark spots will become your baby’s cheeks, chin and nose. Of course, all of this is far too see on an ultrasound but rest assured, if you could see inside your womb, this is what you would see.
So that’s your baby’s head, but what about the body? It can be hard to tell how long your baby is at this point because it is still being measured from the crown of its head to its rump. Your baby’s legs are still not developed but what will become the legs is bent and tucked toward the head. This is where the term “fetal position” comes from. At this stage, your baby’s brain is also beginning to take shape with the pituitary gland forming and the rest of the brain developing along with it. It’s still quite a ways from being an actual developed baby but it’s making a lot of progress.
How You’re Feeling
Pregnancy week six is not only bringing a lot of developments with your baby but with you as well. By now there is no denying you’re pregnant with a lot of the most common pregnancy symptoms hitting you full force. You’re still not showing but that doesn’t mean other people are starting to wonder whether or not you have a bun in the oven, and not just because you’re passing up on a glass of wine with dinner or have put down your cigarettes for good. You’re starting to get moody. You can credit this to a lot of crazy things happening with your hormones. At this point in your pregnancy, your body is producing higher levels of hCG and that is going to do more than make you moody.
The higher levels of hCG is your body isn’t just making you a little all over the place in the mood department. This hormone can also be partially blamed for your frequent bathroom trips because it increases the flow of blood to your pelvic area. Combine this with the fact that your kidneys are working harder to get rid of the waste in your body and you now have a little lentil sized baby pushing down on your bladder and you’re going to be peeing a lot more than usual. It really is a good thing though. It’s helping you provide a healthier environment for your growing baby to develop in.
You’re not just going to be running to the bathroom to pee though. Morning sickness is just starting to kick into full swing at this point. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid severe morning sickness you are likely to vomit at least a little bit nearly every day. Again though, this is a good thing even if it doesn’t feel like it. Vomiting is just another way to get rid of the bad stuff in your body. You can also thank the increased levels of hCG for contributing to your upset stomach. You’re also going to start experiencing those trademark food cravings about pregnancy week six. Don’t worry if you’re not craving anything weird though. Not ever mother-to-be does. You might crave something completely normal – pizza, burgers, etc – or you might be one of the women who craves pickles and ice cream. Sometimes pregnant women will find they crave foods they normally like. Just go with it. You want what you want.
Just like you may start craving certain foods you may also start having food aversions during your sixth week of pregnancy. Some women find certain foods make morning sickness work. Some women find that some of their favorite foods suddenly seem like the last thing they’d want to eat. Just like with food cravings, it’s really best to just go with what your body is telling you it doesn’t want. It’s just one of those things about being pregnant and most people will understand you don’t really have a whole lot of control over the subject.
What else is happening with you this week? Lots, actually. You’re going to start noticing a little bloating. Jeans that used to fit are starting to become just a little too snug. Many women will also experience light cramping and even some spotting. Both of these things are normal but can cause pregnant women to fear the worse, especially if it’s a woman’s first pregnancy. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you exactly what is normal. Generally speaking, a little light spotting is nothing to worry about but if you’re bleeding or the spotting is heavier than what you expect, your doctor can set your mind at ease or help you figure out if there is a problem. Many complications can arise at this point. If you feel like something’s wrong or even if you’re not sure what you’re experiencing is normal, get to the doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and don’t worry – your doctor will understand.
Some of the other pregnancy symptoms you can expect at this point include:
- Sore, tender and swollen breasts
- Heightened sense of smell (which can occasionally exacerbate morning sickness)
Again, these things are all normal. If your breasts are especially tender consider wearing a sports bra. They can help reduce “jiggle” that can sometimes make breasts even more sore. Talk to your doctor about “pregnancy safe” heartburn or indigestion remedies. Finally, listen to your body. It’s in control. If your body is objecting to a specific smell, avoid that smell as much as you can. If smells are bothering you while you’re cooking (which is incredibly common), open windows or turn on a fan – anything you can do to allow that smell to escape.
What You Should Be Focusing On
Right now, the most important thing is making sure you’re taking your prenatal vitamins and visiting with your doctor for all your scheduled prenatal appointments. This is a very touching time in your pregnancy. You need to make sure you’re getting all the help you need. If you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will expect questions and concerns if this is your first child.
Beyond your doctor’s visits and your vitamins, you’re going to want to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. You need to relax and let the miracle taking place inside your body take place. You are you’re baby’s best chance of developing properly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared or unprepared, talk to someone that has been through this. There are lots of internet forums out there dedicated to helping mothers prepare for pregnancy and childbirth that are filled with mothers who only want to help.
This is also a good time to start your pregnancy exercise routine (after discussing it with your doctor). Staying active can help you recover more quickly after you give birth but it can also help you deal with many of the pregnancy symptoms you’re experiencing, especially morning sickness. Exercise can also help your overall sense of well being and help put you in a positive state of mind which is far more important than a lot of people think.