Your Pregnancy Week 6

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Learn about 
your symptoms and changes during the 6th week of pregnancy.

Your Baby

By pregnancy week 6 your baby is anywhere from 2 to as much as 5 mm long! Your baby measures about the sizes of a kernel of corn. While this isn't big it is a lot of progress from last week!

Changes in Your Growing Baby

Your baby is growing very rapidly and starting to look more and more human. Currently, your baby is starting to develop dark spots around his eyes and where the nostrils will eventually form. Your baby will also have very tiny leg and arm buds right about now.

By pregnancy week 6 your baby's heart will be beating between 100 and roughly 140 beats every minute. While this is happening your baby's blood is circulating throughout her body. Your can see your baby's heartbeating now with a vaginal ultrasound.
Did you know as early as now your baby's reflexes begin to develop and may even respond to touch? During this time the central nervous system in your baby is developing at a mind boggling pace, linking your baby's nerves and muscles to various body parts. Babies happily start swimming about and moving in fact very early on in pregnancy, though most first time moms will not recognize their baby's movements until roughly 20 weeks pregnant. Many second time moms however report feeling their baby's first fluttering as early as 17 weeks pregnant!

Your Body's Development

By now you may have noticed some weight gain, you may have gained a pound or so. Most women will gain roughly 5 pounds during their first trimester of pregnancy, though some women will gain more and some women will gain less. Others gain no weight at all during their first trimester (largely due to terrible morning sickness) but make up for this much later in pregnancy. Don't fret if you do lose some weight during the first trimester. Chances are you and your baby will be just fine.

You may feel some mild abdominal cramping around this time. Be sure you consult with your healthcare provider if you are feeling any worrisome symptoms. Most women experience some tingling and mild cramping in early pregnancy, however cramping could always be a sign something is going on that needs to be investigated. Your healthcare provider should be able to put your worries at ease and ensure the health and well-being of your baby.

Changes in Your Body

You may notice by now your waist is growing a bit thicker. You may have difficulty snapping up your jeans, though you are still a long way from needing maternity clothes. Some women find that in the early weeks of pregnancy it helps to wear a pair of pants one or two sizes larger than normal. You probably won't need to buy maternity clothes until you are well into your second trimester (unless you have already had a baby, in which case you might start wearing your maternity clothes a lot sooner).

As you continue your pregnancy your uterus continues to grow to accommodate your growing baby. By now your baby is roughly the size of a small plum. At this time you may start to notice the veins in your chest and legs are more vibrant. Many women notice their nipples and breasts are uncomfortably sore and you may start also noticing the areolas of your breast start to darken.

While others still can't detect your pregnancy, by now you are definitely feeling pregnant. Be sure to get as much rest as possible in the upcoming weeks to help support your growing baby.

Spotting or Light Vaginal Bleeding

At any point during pregnancy, vaginal bleeding is concerning. At 6 weeks pregnant, spotting can be a normal symptom to expect. Spotting (very light bleeding, similar to the last day of your regular period) can be caused from implantation (the fertilized egg burrowing into your uterine wall), sexual intercourse, a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, or an infection. Because spotting has numerous causes, you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider to rule out anything harmful.

If you experience vaginal bleeding of any kind, it is always advisable to contact your midwife or physician. He or she will need to evaluate you with a physical exam, ultrasound, and blood tests to rule out any potential complications that may be causing your bleeding.

Spotting is usually normal and nothing to be worried about, but always be safe rather than sorry and contact your caregiver. Roughly one-fourth of all pregnant women suffer from spotting or vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy, and only half of these women (one-eighth) will miscarry. If an ultrasound exam shows that your baby has a normal heartbeat, you have a high chance of continuing your pregnancy unscathed.

If you are experiencing active bleeding, or you have pain of any kind and you can't get in touch with your doctor, go straight to the ER.

Video: What to Expect from the 6th Week of Pregnancy



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