Week 6 of Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 6

Verywell / Bailey Mariner

While the reality of pregnancy may still be sinking in, your body and your baby are changing quickly. At week 6, more of your baby's organs are starting to form, and you may be beginning to feel the full force of your pregnancy hormones.

5:52

Things You Give Up During Pregnancy

6 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months? 1 month and 2 weeks

Which Trimester? First trimester

How Many Weeks to Go? 34 weeks

Your Baby's Development at 6 Weeks

At 6 weeks, your baby has a crown-rump length (CRL) of approximately 5 millimeters (almost a 1/4 inch). That's about the size of a grain of rice.

Organ Development

Your embryo doesn’t look much like a baby yet, but there's a lot going on inside that tiny early life.

  • Although your baby's heart is still developing, it's the first organ to function. During week 6, the little heart begins to beat.
  • The neural tube closes this week. The neural tube goes on to become your baby's brain and spinal cord.
  • The embryo now has an optic ventricle, which will later form the eyes.
  • Other distinguishing features, such as the nose, ears, and jaw, are beginning to take shape.
  • Limb buds that will become the arms and legs are sprouting.
  • The digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems are in the very early stages of development.

Explore a few of your baby’s week 6 milestones in this interactive experience.

Your Common Symptoms This Week

On the outside, you may not look different, but you're probably feeling a bit different this week. Pregnancy hormones often kick in around week 6.

Pregnancy symptoms are unpredictable. They may be really strong for some but mild or not too noticeable for others. They may stick around the entire day, or they may come and go. They can definitely be a source of worry. So, if you have questions or concerns about symptoms, it's OK to call your doctor.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a normal part of early pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones, especially progesterone, can make you feel tired. Your body is also working hard, adjusting to all the physical and emotional changes that pregnancy brings. Lack of sleep, not eating well, excessive stress, and anemia can also contribute to a lack of energy.

Morning Sickness

Up to 80% of pregnant women have first-trimester nausea and vomiting. That queazy, sick to your stomach feeling may be dubbed morning sickness, but for many, it's really "all-day sickness" since it can hit at any time of day—including in the middle of the night.

The exact cause is not known, but the surge of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) coursing through your body is a likely culprit.

What Experts Say

"Two to three weeks after conception—which is about week 6 of your pregnancy—is often when morning sickness starts."

Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

Frequent Urination

Nausea and vomiting aren’t the only things causing you to run to the bathroom. During pregnancy, the amount of blood pumped by the heart each minute increases by 30% to 50%. As the amount of blood and fluid flowing through your body increases, your kidneys begin to work more efficiently, leading to more urination.

Changes in your kidneys start right away and peak between week 16 and week 28. On top of that, your bladder sits directly in front of your uterus. As your uterus grows, it pushes against the bladder, which means you’ll feel the urge to urinate more frequently.

Self-Care Tips

Just as different people experience different pregnancy symptoms, they handle them differently as well. You may have to try a few different things before you find what works best for you.

Dealing With Fatigue

Feeling tired is your body's way of telling you it wants to rest. If you can, take a short nap. But, if responsibilities during the day prevent you from sneaking away to get some extra sleep, you can try to deal with fatigue in other ways, including:

  • Going to bed a little earlier at night.
  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
  • Avoiding caffeine.
  • Getting in a little daily exercise.
  • Eating nutritious meals and snacks during the day.
  • Drinking enough fluids, but limiting beverages in the evening to decrease nighttime bathroom trips.

Dealing With Frequent Urination

If you are frequently using the bathroom to urinate, that’s good news. You’re likely getting enough water, and staying hydrated is vital for your health and the health of your developing baby. It doesn't mean the frequent urination isn't a bit annoying, though.

  • Don't hold it in—go when you have to go.
  • Try to empty your bladder fully by leaning forward while you pee.
  • Don't limit your fluids to try to go less often.
  • You can limit evening fluids to prevent having to go so much at night if you get enough during the day.

What Experts Say

"While it can be inconvenient, it’s so important not to hold your urine for long periods of time."

—Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

Likewise, if you’re not urinating more than usual, this could be a sign that you may need more fluids—or that you may be ignoring your body’s cues.

  • Aim for least 10 to 12 glasses a day.
  • Drink to quench your thirst.
  • Increase fluids if you're exercising or you're out in hot weather.

Dealing With Nausea

To keep nausea and vomiting at bay (or at least try to tame it):

  • Eat small, frequent snacks throughout the day instead of three big meals.
  • Nibble on bland soda crackers about 15 minutes before getting out of bed.
  • Avoid warm places, as being hot tends to increase feelings of nausea.
  • Don’t lie down immediately after eating.

What Experts Say

"If you’re feeling very nauseous and have no appetite, it’s OK to skip a meal. You’re not going to harm your growing baby. Instead, simply focus on staying hydrated and feeling better."

—Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

Also, research in Integrative Medicine Insights notes that ginger is a safe, effective, and inexpensive treatment for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. You can consume raw or crystallized ginger, ginger capsules or lollipops, or ginger tea. But if nothing is working for you, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider to prescribe a safe anti-nausea medication.

Asking for Help

Beyond the obvious physical unpleasantries of nausea and vomiting, there’s an emotional toll, too. Early pregnancy symptoms can be tough, and if you're not ready to share the news just yet, you may not have much support.

What Experts Say

"Unfortunately, nausea usually starts during the window when women are encouraged to keep a lid on their pregnancy news, making asking for help and understanding much trickier. If you’re feeling sick, it’s important for your mental health to ask for support when you need it. And don't try to minimize how lousy you feel."

—Nitzia Logothetis, MSc, MA, MHC-LP

You can always reach out to your doctor and share how you feel. Or, talk to a trusted friend or family member you can count on to help you through while keeping your secret. You may get some tips to help you feel physically better, and some support to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.

Your Week 6 Checklist

Advice for Partners

Exercise is important during the first trimester and throughout pregnancy. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that most pregnant women participate in moderate exercise for 20 to 30 minutes on most days.

Perhaps, you can start an after-dinner or early-morning walk routine to help your partner get some exercise and spend quality time together. Research shows that couples are more likely to stick with healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise when they participate in them together. Plus, it will give you both a chance to de-stress.

That said, be understanding if she chooses to rest over exercise in these early weeks.

What Experts Say

"Even though exercise has been shown to help with nausea by releasing natural endorphins, some women feel too fatigued to do it."

—Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

At Your Doctor’s Office

You may not see your doctor until week 8 or even a little later, but some women will have their first prenatal appointment as early as week 6.

Prepare yourself by gathering some vital information that your healthcare provider will likely ask for during the first visit. (You may even want a designated pregnancy notebook to jot everything down in, so your notes and questions are always in the same spot.)

Some things you may want to record before the initial visit include:

At the same time, write down any questions or concerns you’d like to go over. Reviewing popular questions asked by other moms-to-be is an excellent way to get started.

Early Ultrasound

Not all prenatal appointments will include an ultrasound. You are more likely to have an early ultrasound if you took fertility medication, have a history of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, or if there are concerns such as pain or bleeding.

At 6 weeks pregnant, the doctor may use an early ultrasound to:

  • See the gestational sac, yolk sac, and tiny embryo (the fetal pole) to verify a pregnancy inside the uterus
  • Measure the size of the gestational sac and embryo to get a more accurate estimate of how far along you are and your due date
  • Determine if there is more than one baby
  • Get a glimpse of a tiny heart beating at between 90–120 beats per minute

Upcoming Doctor's Visits

You’ll be seeing your healthcare provider a lot for the duration of your pregnancy. In general, you can expect to go in every month until you are 28 weeks along. From weeks 28 to 36, your visits will likely increase to two appointments a month. Once you hit the ​36-week mark, plan on a weekly check-up.

(While typical, this schedule is not true for all pregnancies. If you are considered high risk, for example, you may be seeing your healthcare provider more often.)

Special Considerations

During pregnancy, symptoms such as urinary frequency and spotting can be perfectly normal or a sign that something else is going on. It's always OK to call your doctor to ask about a new symptom, especially if you're concerned.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common bacterial infection in pregnancy. But since the traditional signs of a UTI—like urgency and frequency of urination—are typical in pregnancy, you may not realize that you even have an infection.

Because of this, it’s important to be aware of other UTI symptoms, like pain, burning, or discomfort when urinating; blood or mucus in the urine; and cloudy or foul-smelling urine. If you experience any of these, contact your healthcare provider who can confirm and treat any infection with antibiotics.

What Experts Say

"Although UTIs don't cause birth defects like some other infections, they can turn into a more serious kidney infection if left untreated. And, they can put you at an increased risk for preterm labor."

Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

Miscarriage

Many expecting parents put off sharing the big news for fear of miscarriage, which is a common concern in the first trimester. You may be analyzing every little twinge or ache. But, minor cramps and even a little a bit of bleeding can be perfectly normal.

On the other hand, if you experience spotting that lasts more than a day or two, heavy bleeding, or painful cramps, call your doctor or go to the emergency room. An ultrasound can help the health care team figure out what's going on.

What Experts Say

"I’ve had patients who’ve had a significant amount of bleeding in their first trimester go on to have perfectly normal pregnancies. However, it’s hard to distinguish what’s normal and what’s not without getting an ultrasound."

Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

A Word From Verywell

Your baby’s heart begins beating this week, and you may even have the opportunity to see it if you're scheduled to see your healthcare provider. There is still a long way to go, but your little embryo is growing and developing more and more each day. Next week, the baby continues to grow as you continue to feel the effects of your changing body and hormones. 

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Article Sources
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