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6 Weeks Pregnant: Week by Week Pregnancy

Symptoms, Tips and Fetal Development


Six weeks pregnant is when many women begin to really feel pregnant because hello, morning sickness! The classic early pregnancy symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and food aversions often begin this week, and for the many mamas who experience morning sickness, it’s a hard-to-ignore sign that there’s a baby growing in that belly! Here’s what else you can expect at six weeks pregnant.

Baby at six weeks pregnant

Doctors and medical professionals use a kind of funny measurement for babies during the first half of pregnancy: crown to rump. Translated for the rest of us, that means the top of the head to their bottom. You’ll see and hear this in use during your first ultrasound, when the technician measures from your baby’s crown (head) to rump (bottom). Right now your baby’s measuring somewhere between 1/6th and 1/5th of an inch – that’s pretty tiny! But your baby’s definitely on the growth trajectory, with plans to double in size by the end of week seven.

Kicking off this week is the development of baby’s jaws, cheeks, and chin, as well as the very start of the indents, dots, and bump that will become baby’s ears, eyes, and nose, respectively. The kidneys, liver, and lungs are forming, and your little’s heart is pumping away at a brisk 110 beats per minute. That’s twice as fast as yours, mama. In fact, it’s now possible for your baby’s heartbeat to be detected on a transvaginal ultrasound. However, there’s no need to panic if it’s not detected at six weeks, as it is still very early in the first trimester. 

Your body at 6 weeks pregnant

Your belly is still flat, but you might be noticing some growth in other areas: namely, your breasts, which are likely sore, tender, and slightly swollen. 

Many expectant moms can tell they've reached the six-week mark because their body begins to go a bit haywire, with a steep increase in hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. This can result in bloating, mild cramping, and mood swings. Relaxation is vital to keeping those mood swings at bay; try these tips for using your own breathing to calm yourself.

week 6 pregnancy embryo
Weekly development of a human embryo at 6 weeks pregnant.

A slow digestive system is one of the symptoms at six weeks pregnant that surprise many women, but it shouldn't be a cause for alarm. Your body is slowing down digestion so that it has more time to absorb vital nutrients and pass them on to your baby.

Six weeks pregnant ultrasound

If you visit your medical practitioner this week, s/he might do a transvaginal ultrasound in order to detect the heartbeat and to date the pregnancy, which would provide you with an official due date. 

How big is your baby at 6 weeks pregnant?

blueberries, symbolizing the size of a 6 week embryo

At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a blueberry, on average measuring at 0.3 inches long and weighing on average at 40 milligrams. 

6 weeks is how many months pregnant? 

At this stage in your pregnancy, you're one month, two weeks (1m2w) pregnant, and almost halfway through the first trimester, woot! 

Common symptoms at six weeks pregnant

Get ready: this is the week that some women will begin to experience nausea, queasiness, and vomiting. This symptom is experienced differently by every woman, and it’s also misnamed:  many women experience the so-called morning sickness at all times of the day. One expectant mother may be so nauseated she has trouble keeping any food down while another may feel sick for only a few hours at different times of the day. There are women who don’t experience any nausea at all, so you could get lucky…. 

Experts aren’t certain what causes morning sickness, and there aren’t really any medical treatments or medicines available to lessen the symptoms. Approximately 1-3 percent of women, including the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and comedian Amy Schumer, experience a severe form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum and need to be hospitalized to receive IV fluids and nutrients. For all other women, it’s some combo of saltines, ginger ale, preggo pops, and accupressure wrist bands that get them through it. The good news: many women feel much, much better by week 14 and the start of the second trimester. 

Some of the other symptoms you might be feeling include:

  • Swollen, sore breasts and darkening areolas around the nipple
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation caused by dehydration, increased hormones, and blood-volume increase
  • Tiredness or exhaustion
  • A heightened sense of smell

You might find yourself developing an aversion or even a repulsion to some of your favorite foods at this point in your pregnancy. This distaste for certain foods might go away by the close of the first trimester, or it could stick with you throughout your pregnancy. And then there are the pregnancy cravings; we’ve all heard about the pregnant woman who craves pickles and ice cream. It’s true: you may experience strange cravings for specific foods that you may or may not normally enjoy. Some say this is your body's way of telling you that you need particular nutrients, but research doesn’t support that claim. It’s more likely that the hormonal shifts and changes in taste buds and sense of smell play a role in a pregnant woman’s cravings. 

Pregnancy checklist at 6 weeks pregnant 

If you haven't yet made your first prenatal appointment, now is the time. Be sure to bring a list of any questions you have and talk frankly about your symptoms at six weeks pregnant, as the doctor may give you suggestions for minimizing your discomfort. 

You’re probably not feeling like doing much cooking or cleaning, and being pregnant not only completely justifies this, it requires it in some cases! For example, cleaning cat litter could lead to a dangerous disease called toxoplasmosis, so hand that job off to someone else in your house for the next nine months. Toxoplasmosis can also be spread through unwashed fruits and veggies, so give them a thorough rinse before consuming. 

If you have a job that requires you to stand and be on your feet a lot, make sure that you are taking a break every few hours to prevent blood from pooling in your lower extremities, which could cause you to feel dizzy, experience clots, and mean less blood is available to the baby.

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