6 weeks pregnant: your pregnancy week by week - Medical News Today
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MNT - Hourly medical news since 2003 Search Opinions Pregnancy / Obstetrics Fertility Women's Health / Gynecology Pediatrics / Children's Health 6 weeks pregnant: your pregnancy week by week Written by Lori Smith BSN MSN CRNP Knowledge center Last updated: Mon 18 January 2016 Last updated: Mon 18 Jan 2016 email 4.51
During week 6 of pregnancy, your baby will be taking huge developmental strides; your baby's vital organ systems begin forming or are continuing to grow.1-4
The heart can sometimes be seen beating on a vaginal ultrasound scan at this stage - it will currently be beating at around 160 beats per minute - almost twice as fast as your heart.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a series of articles on pregnancy. It provides a summary of each stage of pregnancy, what to expect, and insights into how your baby is developing. Take a look at the other articles in the series:
First trimester: fertilization, implantation, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9, week 10, week 11, week 12.
Second trimester: week 13, week 14, week 15, week 16, week 17, week 18, week 19, week 20, week 21, week 22, week 23, week 24, week 25, week 26.
You will also see introductions at the end of some sections to any recent developments that have been covered by MNT's news stories. Also look out for links to information about related conditions. Symptoms at 6 weeks pregnant
At this stage of your pregnancy, you may not feel very pregnant because there are little if any visible physical body changes. You may, however, begin to experience physical pregnancy symptoms such as:2,3 Nausea usually starts around 6 weeks of pregnancy, but it can begin as early as 4 weeks. Morning sickness, feeling of being queasy with or without weight gain or loss Nausea and vomiting Fatigue Bloating Gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, heartburn and indigestion Breast tenderness Food cravings Increased sense of smell Urinary frequency and nighttime urination.
(Note: pregnancy increases the risk of urinary tract infections from weeks 6-24, so if your symptoms are not simply from the pregnancy and you suspect an infection, speak with your health care provider about treatment.)3 Your hormones at 6 weeks pregnant
Throughout your pregnancy, you will experience variations in certain hormones, which contribute to many of the pregnancy symptoms you may experience.
Following implantation of the fertilized egg, your body begins to secrete the hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) which is the hormone used to detect pregnancy. HCG is responsible for regulating estrogen and progesterone and contributes to frequent urination.5
Progesterone, which is initially produced by the corpus luteum, rises throughout your pregnancy and continues to do so until the birth of your baby.
In early pregnancy, progesterone is responsible for increasing uterine blood flow, establishing the placenta and stimulating the growth and nutrient production of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Additionally, progesterone plays a vital role in fetal development, preventing premature labor and lactation, as well as strengthening the pelvic wall muscles to prepare your body for labor.5
In addition to progesterone, the placenta is vital in secreting vital hormones during your pregnancy such as:5 Human placental lactogen: this hormone is believed to handle mammary gland growth, which will be important for lactation following the birth of your baby. Additionally, it plays a role in increasing nutrient levels in your blood, which is vital to the growth and development of your baby Corticotrophin-releasing hormone: this hormone is not only responsible for determining how long you will be pregnant, but it is also responsible for your baby's growth and development. Later in pregnancy, the rise in both corticotrophin-releasing hormone and cortisol not only complete fetal organ development but also provide the mother with a surge of cortisol which has been linked with maternal attentiveness, increasing the mother-baby bond.
Another vital hormone in pregnancy is estrogen, which is responsible for fetal organ development, placental growth and function and mammary gland growth, which will be important for lactation following the birth of your baby.
Because of the rise in progesterone and estrogen, you may experience some not so pleasant pregnancy symptoms such as mood swings and morning sickness.
Another hormone, relaxin, can cause physical symptoms such as pelvic pain, balance difficulties and constipation, because of its role of relaxing maternal muscles, ligaments and joints. Baby's development at 6 weeks pregnant At 6 weeks pregnant there are many changes in your baby's development. Developments that are underway include: By the time you are 6 weeks pregnant, baby's heart will be beating around twice the rate of yours. Neural tube closure Facial feature formation including the eyes, nose, jaw, cheeks and chin Inner ears, limb and teeth bud formation Kidneys, liver and lungs development Pituitary gland formation Formation of the trachea, larynx and bronchi Heart begins dividing into four chambers and pumps blood Formation of the diaphragm Umbilical cord houses the intestines for now until they move permanently to the abdomen Presence of primitive germ cells responsible for the formation of male or female genitalia. Things to do in week 6 of pregnancy
Even though it is early on in your pregnancy, your task list is beginning to grow. This is a good time to schedule a prenatal visit at which time, your health care provider will examine you and obtain necessary tests to not only confirm your pregnancy but also evaluate your health.3
Testing that may be ordered include: Pap Smear (if necessary) Blood work such as blood type, Rh factor, iron levels and possibly genetic and ethnicity related genetic disease testing, German measles immunity, etc. Sexually transmitted disease testing Urine testing to evaluate for glucose (sugar), protein, bacteria and red and white blood cells. Lifestyle changes at 6 weeks pregnant
You will soon find out that there are many lifestyle modifications that need to be made during pregnancy and even after delivery. General health
During pregnancy, you will need to take care of yourself and your developing baby. Be sure not to drink alcohol or smoke during pregnancy, and avoid all other toxic substances such as drugs during this time. Be sure to discuss all medications you are taking with your health care provider to ensure that you should continue use during your pregnancy. To nourish yourself and your baby, make sure you eat a healthy diet and take a good prenatal vitamin.2 Beauty
Everyone wants to look their best but using permanent hair color is not recommended during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; instead consider using a semi-permanent dye.3 Food
While it is safe to eat fish during pregnancy, it is recommended that you limit your intake to 8-12 oz. of fish and shellfish per week.3,6
Some examples of fish that are safe to consume during pregnancy include shrimp, canned light tuna (note: mercury varies can to can), pollock, catfish, salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, trout, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel and cod. If you plan on eating albacore tuna and tuna steak, it is recommended to limit consuming this fish to 6 oz. per week.6 Baby's size at 6 weeks pregnant
Your baby closely resembles a tadpole and has also begun to exhibit a C-shaped curvature.1,2 At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a nail head.
To put this into perspective, your baby is about the size of a BB pellet or the length of a nail head.2,3
When measured, your health care provider will measure the baby from the crown to the rump, often referred to as crown-rump length.
Call your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage such as vaginal bleeding or passage of tissue, leaking vaginal fluid, feeling faint or dizzy, low blood pressure, rectal pressure, shoulder pain and severe pelvic pain or cramping.
University of Iowa researchers have discovered a biomarker that could give expecting mothers and their doctors the first simple blood test to reliably predict that a pregnant woman may develop preeclampsia, at least as early as 6 weeks into the pregnancy.
Morning sickness, also known as nausea gravidarum, nausea/vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), emesis gravidarum or pregnancy sickness is a condition that affects over 50% of all pregnant females. Written by Lori Smith BSN MSN CRNP Click the stars to rate this article 6 weeks pregnant: your pregnancy week by week Public / Patient 4.71 based on 7 ratings Health Professionals 3.36 based on 22 ratings 1 1 email email print Recommended related news Additional information References Citations
Article last updated on Mon 18 January 2016.Visit our Pregnancy / Obstetrics category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Pregnancy / Obstetrics.All references are available in the References tab.
Mayo Clinic, Fetal development: the 1st trimester, accessed 19 July 2015. WebMD, Your pregnancy week by week: weeks 5-8, accessed 19 July 2015. What to Expect, Your baby at week 6, accessed 19 July 2015. The Visible Embryo, A four chambered heart, accessed 21 July 2015. You and Your Hormones, Hormones of pregnancy and labour, accessed 24 July 2015. Mayo Clinic, Pregnancy and fish: What's safe to eat? accessed 21 July 2015.
MLALori Smith BSN MSN CRNP. "6 weeks pregnant: your pregnancy week by week." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 18 Jan. 2016. Web.18 Nov. 2016. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297616.php
APALori Smith BSN MSN CRNP. (2016, January 18). "6 weeks pregnant: your pregnancy week by week." Medical News Today. Retrieved fromhttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297616.php.
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Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details. Spotlight on: Pregnancy / Obstetrics Top Tips To Minimize Morning Sickness Morning sickness affects over half of all pregnant mothers. Our article contains a list of ideas you can put in to practice to minimize unpleasant morning sickness symptoms. Best exercises during pregnancy: the top 5 Exercise during pregnancy provides numerous health benefits to both the mother and baby. Maintaining fitness boosts mood, energy, sleep and prevents excess weight gain. Childbirth: how should women facing labor approach their birth plan? Whether by natural, drug-assisted or surgical means, women have a lot of options when it comes to how they want to bring their baby into the world. We investigate these methods. What To Eat During Pregnancy A pregnant woman needs to ensure that her diet provides enough nutrients and energy for her baby to develop and grow properly, and also to make sure that her body is healthy enough to deal with the changes that are occurring. Most popular in: Pregnancy / Obstetrics Prenatal stress alters gut bacteria to cause lifelong problems in offspring Black Widow Spider Bite: Symptoms and Treatment Leukocytes in Urine: A Sign of a Urinary Tract Infection? Antibody found to protect fetus against Zika What is a Multiple Gestation Pregnancy? Male birth control shot shows promise Low vitamin B12 in pregnancy may raise offspring's diabetes risk How DNA might affect our reproductive choices Knowledge Center
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