Week 6 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 6 of Pregnancy
You might be coping with full-blown pregnancy symptoms (sorry), but there’s plenty of good news too. Your baby’s jaw, cheeks, chin, eyes, ears, and nose are beginning to form what will eventually become one adorable face. In addition, her kidneys, liver, and lungs are developing, and her heart is now beating 80 times a minute (and getting faster every day). All this and she’s still no bigger than the length of a nail head (about a quarter of an inch) from crown to rump!Learn more about your baby this week and your baby’s head shape.
Your Body in Week 6 of Pregnancy
Your body may not yet have changed on the outside, but there’s a lot happening on the inside. For one thing, the pregnancy hormone hCG is causing an increase of blood flow to your pelvic area, and your kidneys are becoming more efficient at ridding your body of waste; add to that the fact that your growing uterus is beginning to push down on your bladder and you’ve got a perfect (pee) storm. What else is going on in there? Bloating, queasiness, and cravings (or food aversions).
Learn more about your body this week and frequent urination during pregnancy.
Week 6 Pregnancy Tip: First Prenatal Visit
Sure, you already got the news from your home pregnancy test — but it doesn’t hurt to hear it confirmed by a doctor — one reason why you’re so psyched for that first practitioner visit. Expect this first of many prenatal checkups to be exciting…and long. You’ll have a thorough physical, including a pelvic exam, Pap smear (unless you’ve recently had one) and blood tests to determine your blood type, Rh factor, and whether you’re iron-deficient. You’ll also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, immunity to German measles (rubella), and ethnic-specific genetic diseases. Plus you’ll need to pee into a cup (no problem with that — right?) so your urine can be tested for glucose, protein, red and white blood cells, and bacteria. One more thing: Be prepared to answer lots of questions (health histories can take a while), but more importantly, to ask some of your own (bring a list so you won’t forget any). Wonder whether you and Joe (aka your beloved triple extra foamy mocha cappuccino) will have to part company now that you’re expecting? Why your chest suddenly resembles a map of an interstate highway? If your partner’s penis can poke the baby in the eye while you’re making love? Don’t just sit there — ask! Remember no question is silly now.
Week 6 Pregnancy Symptoms
Frequent urination: You’re eating for two and peeing for two these days, thanks to your kidneys, which are getting more efficient about ridding your body of waste (yours and your growing baby-to-be’s). You can blame your uterus too, which is putting pressure on your bladder now. To make sure you empty it all out (and save yourself another trip to the bathroom in ten minutes), lean forward when you pee. Then, when you think you’re done, pee again. (Might as well try — you’re there anyway!)
Fatigue: Building that baby (and the life support your growing fetus needs) is hard work, so it’s no wonder you feel exhausted. Listen to your body — if it’s screaming at you to take a break, then take five! But do fit in some exercise: Take a walk or a yoga class; the endorphins you release will lift your mood and help you sleep better. Just don’t overdo!
Breast tenderness and changes: No, it’s not your imagination — your nipples are sticking out more than usual. They may be tender too (so definitely warn your partner about what feels good to the touch and what doesn’t). Why the luscious look these days? All the better to see you with, my dear! Your body is gearing up to breastfeed, and the darker areolas (the skin around the nipples) turn your nipples into a bull’s-eye for your newborn, whose eyesight at birth won’t be very good.
Nausea and vomiting: Whether you are experiencing slight queasiness or hurling breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or all three), look on the bright side. (Though admittedly it’s hard to look at the bright side when your view is the porcelain goddess!) Women who experience some nausea are significantly less likely to miscarry than those who don’t. Combat queasiness by eating small snacks that combine protein and complex carbs — cheese and multigrain crackers, yogurt and granola, whatever your stomach can stomach.
Heartburn and indigestion: Here’s the not-so-great news — the chances of getting through the next nine months heartburn-free are nearly zero. That’s because the muscle at the top of the stomach that usually prevents digestive juices from backing up relaxes. But here’s better news: you can minimize the symptoms if you don’t rush through your meals and avoid clothes that constrict your belly.
Bloating: Blame the progesterone that’s coursing through your body as you read this — this delightful hormone is essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, but it also is responsible for your puff mommy-to-be look. Eat lots of fiber and drink plenty of water to avoid getting constipated, which can aggravate bloating.
Increased sense of smell: Now that you’re pregnant, you’ve got a bloodhound’s keen nose. You can smell your coworker’s lunch from across the room, the cologne your office-mate is wearing, and someone’s dirty sneakers (all at the same time!). What’s the deal with your supersensitive sniffer? Blame your hormones again. If your nose is making the queasies worse, surround yourself with some scents that may make you feel better (if there are any). Some to try: mint, ginger, and lemon.