Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 6

The baby’s skeletal system is developing.

More changes are occurring with your pregnancy and your tiny baby growing inside. Have you taken a pregnancy test yet? Find out how to cope with morning sickness.

By Week Sixthings are well underway in terms of the baby’s development. Let’s take a look at what happens during this period of pregnancy.

What is happening to your Baby?

Many of the baby’s organ systems are continuing to grow and develop including the baby’s stomach, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. One new event this week is that the antigen factor that determines blood type is present at the end of the sixth week.

The adrenal cortex forms during the six week, although it does not begin to start producing hormones (such as adrenaline) for several more weeks yet.

The babies skeletal system begins to develop during this week. Bones in the baby’s shoulders, arms, hips and legs make their appearance for the first time, but do not have any joints yet.

How is my baby developing?

You’re now 6 weeks pregnant and your baby is going through major developments. Facial features continue to form, showing dark spots where the eyes will be, and openings marking the nostrils, mouth and ears. Buds that will become arms and legs are noticeable and well as the beginnings of toes and fingers.

Also forming are liver, pancreas, lungs, and stomach. At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby will be about the size of a lentil (4-6 mm) and will be visible on an ultrasound. The umbilical cord is now fully operational, providing nutrients and oxygen to the baby and removing waste products. The placenta continues to develop, getting ready to take over at week 12.

What is happening with You?

Two signs of pregnancy could be seen by your provider at a prenatal visit this week. One is called Hegar’s sign. This is a softening of the lower part of your tummy where your uterus is. Another is Chadwick’s sign, which causes your cervix to have a bluish tinge. Both are caused by increased blood flow and circulation in your uterus.

It is common to have morning sickness begin during the sixth week. Fortunately, most women get some relief from nausea and vomiting after their first trimester is over.

You would likely test positive on a home pregnancy test this week.

You’re not eating for two!

When you’re 6 weeks pregnant, you don’t have to double your calorie intake as if you’re eating for two. In reality, you don’t need any additional calories until the second trimester, when you need to add about 300 calories per day. However, you do need to take certain precautions with your diet and there are certain foods you should avoid or limit intake, as they can cause food poisoning or harm your unborn baby. 

Foods to avoid include soft mouldy cheeses; uncooked meat, fish, shellfish or eggs, unpasteurized milk and pate of any kind due to potential infections by listeria or salmonella; which can cause miscarriages or stillbirths. You should also avoid vitamin A supplements or food rich in this vitamin, such as liver, as this can be harmful to your baby; and oily fishes such as tuna and shark; as high levels of mercury can harm your baby’s nervous system.

You should also limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Both these beverages in excess can cause low birth weight or even miscarriages. Furthermore, to avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis, make sure you wash vegetables and fruit before you eat them. For the same reason, you should avoid changing your cat’s litter box.

To Do

Continue taking prenatal vitamins.

Take a home pregnancy test.

See your care provider as soon as possible to confirm your pregnancy.

Eat a healthy pregnancy diet.

Avoid harmful substances during baby’s sensitive period.

Consider purchasing or borrowing some books on pregnancy.