When you are 6 weeks pregnant, more or less every healthy pregnancy should be detectible with a pregnancy test, since hCG levels have been on the rise for 4 weeks now. Other signs of pregnancy are often evident as well.
Your baby is still very small, but growing rapidly. A midwife can actually already determine that you are pregnant
by the softness of your uterus.
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 4 weeks. During this week, an ultrasound scan will actually already be able to show your baby, although not in much detail. Your baby is too tiny and also not very human-like in appearance yet either.
But even is you can’t see it, your uterus is full of life and activity. Development is furious right now to get everything is place. Already in week 10 of your pregnancy, all organs have been created.
Here is what is going on with your baby this week:
- Rapid growth and development are continuing on this week as your baby-to-be has grown from a sesame seed to the size of half of a small pea, .i.e just over 1/6-1/8th of an inch (2-4 mm). In only three weeks, i.e. when 9 weeks pregnant, your fetus will be 10 times taller than now.
- The baby’s organs and tissues continue to grow at a furious rate while new developments such as the antigen factor that will determine your offspring’s blood type will be present at the end of this week.
- One other new part of your child’s growth is the adrenal cortex that forms this week, although it will not start producing hormones for several more weeks.
- Your baby’s heart is beating furiously right now at anywhere between 100 and 140 beats per minute, helping to begin the circulation of blood through its body. The heartbeat can sometimes be detected at your medical practitioner’s office with a Doppler device, depending on the placement of your little one, or be seen through an ultrasound if you are lucky enough to have one this early in pregnancy. It is also possible to see if there is more than one embryo growing inside of you.
- There are predetermined dark spots that have emerged on your little embryo where the nostrils and eyes will soon develop as well as buds for the ears to come later.
If you are curious on what your baby looks like in this early stage of pregnancy, I really recommend the book A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson. I read it and looked at the pictures over and over again during my pregnancies.
As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice more symptoms than before. Nausea, fatigue and even a thickening around your middle may be apparent.
Be comforted that morning sickness will most likely ease up in your second trimester and before you know it your cravings for odd foods will return. You can read about the benefits of morning sickness here.
When 6 weeks pregnant, a midwife can determine your pregnancy by the softness of your uterus.
The color of your areolas may darken at this early stage of pregnancy. Different changes will happen at stages in each woman’s pregnancy, so do not fear if you are not experiencing one or all of these symptoms immediately. You can read more about your areolas during pregnancy here.
Slight weight gain may occur for you anywhere from 2-6 pounds in total during this short time, although some women may actually lose weight due to lack of appetite and even frequent vomiting.
The best way to battle nausea with pregnancy is to cut down your meal sizes into smaller, more frequent portions to help your stomach process more often rather than trying to digest a larger amount of food less frequently. Drinking an adequate amount of water is also essential for your body since you are increasing your blood volume and will need the extra fluids. You can read about more remedies for morning sickness here.
Soon you will want to start shopping for those much-needed maternity clothes for the months to come. Be sure to shop around and make sure that the clothes you choose are comfortable fitting and easy to take care of. You will not want to iron or take your new clothes to the cleaners each week; you have enough to think about and prepare for in the days to come!
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- Effective remedies for morning sickness (and not)
- The exciting signs of being pregnant
- Miscarriage statistics week by week
MayoClinic (2011), Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD (2008) The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. (2004) A Child Is Born.
Soderberg, L. (2010) Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Image: Image of 6 weeks belly by Mylissa