Week 6

How big is your baby?

Your baby is still very, very tiny. If you can imagine a miniscule poppy seed, this will be about the size of your baby’s now-beating heart.

How big is your baby?

Your baby is still very, very tiny. If you can imagine a miniscule poppy seed, this will be about the size of your baby’s now-beating heart.

What does your baby look like?

At week 6, your baby is still in the embryo stage. His body is developing rapidly, but at the moment he still has his embryonic tail and his limb buds are not visible yet.

Changes in your body this week

There’s really only one major change that your body will be going through this week and that’s coping with the introduction of Beta hCG. This pregnancy hormone is thought to be largely responsible for the sickness and tiredness experienced in the early days of pregnancy, although experts also believe that lack of vitamin B6 has a part to play too. The good news is that hCG tends to peak around week 8-10 so you haven’t got too long to go before you’re through the worst… hopefully.

How your baby is developing

His heart is developing very rapidly this week from a single, simple tube into a complex, four-chamber structure. His other vital organs (lungs, liver, kidneys) are all in place – but they have a lot of developing to do yet. About now the embryonic limb buds will be forming, but there would be virtually nothing to see on an early scan at this stage.

How your baby is developing

His heart is developing very rapidly this week from a single, simple tube into a complex, four-chamber structure. His other vital organs (lungs, liver, kidneys) are all in place – but they have a lot of developing to do yet. About now the embryonic limb buds will be forming, but there would be virtually nothing to see on an early scan at this stage.

Health concerns

Ever heard of ‘vanishing twin syndrome’? This is a phenomenon where an early scan reveals a two sac, twin pregnancy, but a later scan around week 12 (for most normal pregnancies this will be the first ultrasound scan offered) shows just one foetus. This happens in some pregnancies because it will have initially been a twin pregnancy, but one embryo is reabsorbed into the woman’s body. This isn’t classed as a miscarriage as you don’t ‘lose’ the baby, it just vanishes – hence the name of the syndrome. This is why health practitioners prefer not to confirm a twin pregnancy until week 12 or later.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

Small amounts of blood on your underwear, or on toilet tissue, is known as ‘spotting’ and is not unusual in early pregnancy. However, if there is lots of fresh, red blood (old blood is brown) accompanied by pain, then you should be checked out by your GP in case it’s a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Safety first

Most people are accustomed to celebrating special events, or unwinding on a Friday evening, with a glass or two of wine. If this is you, then you’ll probably wonder if a small glass of something alcoholic at a birthday party would really be so bad? However, experts agree that avoiding alcohol for the whole pregnancy is recommended. It’s especially important in the first three months when the major neural and physical development of the embryo takes place. Thereafter, the ‘safe’ limit is 1-2 units of alcohol per week according to the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists). And yet, to be on the safe side, it’s probably wise to give alcohol a wide berth completely while your body is busily growing your baby.

Important issues this week

It’s time to concentrate on your diet. As well as ensuring that you’re eating enough of the right nutritious, energy-giving foods you should also make sure that you’re avoiding the foods which could be harmful to your baby. These include shellfish, rare meats, pates, shop-made sandwiches and soft ice cream. For more on healthy eating in the first trimester of pregnancy visit our nutrition page.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

Getting as much fresh air as you can handle is a great idea. As well as exercise, our bodies only produce vitamin D in response to sunlight so getting out and about is important for your health. Why not take a long walk, or a gentle jog if you feel up to it. If nausea and fatigue mean you really don’t feel like it, just sitting in the garden for an hour or two (adequately protected from the sun’s harmful rays, of course) will be beneficial.

Looking forward; planning ahead

Six weeks is still very early and, sadly, some pregnancies don’t progress properly. These may well end in miscarriage. This is why many women prefer to wait until after their twelve week scan to announce that they’re expecting. You’re free to tell whomever you like, when you like, but for your wider social circle, or people at work perhaps, it might be worth hanging onto the “tummy upset” line for a few more weeks. If you do suffer a miscarriage, there is plenty of support available to help you cope.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
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