Fetal Development: Week 6

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Week 6 of your Pregnancy

Your little embryo ( average size of 5 to 8 mm or ¼ inch) is now swimming around inside its fully formed amniotic sac.

Curled up in a C shape and the size of a lentil, this is another rapid growth week for your teeny embryo.

This is the week that your baby’s facial features start developing with baby’s jaw, cheeks, chin, eyes, ears, and nose starting to take shape. Tiny ears are now small depressions on either side of the head. At first, the eyes are far apart, almost on either side of the head.

In addition, the kidneys, liver and lungs are also starting to develop.

Embryo at 6 weeks gestational age The “tail” is due to the fast growth of the spine and spinal cord and will disappear as your baby grows.

On ultrasound, you may be able to see your baby’s heartbeat.

The small protruding arm and leg buds are more visible now and look like paddles!

What To Expect

Many of your symptoms will be similar to last week, maybe just more intense: morning sickness, heightened by an increased sensitivity to smells, tiredness, feeling low on energy, bloating and moodiness.

Your kidneys are now super efficient at ridding body waste and combined with increased pressure on your bladder (from growing uterus), you will need to become the expert on where toilets are located!

Some women may also develop headaches due to rising hormones.

The changes that your body is going through may play havoc with your emotions too – perky and cheerful one minute and full of tears,cranky or ready to scream at someone the next! No, you have not turned into a Jekyll and Hyde – it’s just the hormones raging through your body.

But do not panic if you do not have any pregnancy symptoms – there are a few very lucky women who sail through the first trimester with only minor complaints.

Something else you may notice is that your nipples and the surrounding area (the areola) become darker in color.

Tips for Week 6

Combat queasiness by eating frequent small snacks (rather than large meals). Try combining protein and complex carbs such as cheese and multigrain crackers or yogurt and granola. Limit or avoid greasy, spicy, or fried foods. Stock up on dry savory biscuits. It will take some time to work out what your stomach can stomach.

Include lots of fiber and drink plenty of water to avoid getting constipated, which can aggravate bloating.

To calm your increased sensitivity to smells, try using scents like mint, ginger or lemon.

Although this is probably the last thing on your mind right now, it is safe to have sex during pregnancy unless your doctor has told you to avoid it.

Don’t worry if you have actually lost a little weight – the nausea and vomiting and food aversions may be to blame. You will gain weight once these symptoms settle.

To take your mind off all your pregnancy symptoms, why don’t you make a list of all the things you want to do before baby arrives and start planning.

Want to know when your tiny baby can start feeling, smelling, tasting, hearing and see?    In the womb: How your baby’s senses develop .

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