Wondering what is causing your nausea?
your baby this week:
By the end of week six, your baby has a distinguishable head and trunk and is fully protected by amniotic fluid. Your little one's facial features are beginning to develop, appearing as indentations that will become eyes, ears, and mouth later on. The larynx, or voice box, will also begin to form this week.
Another fun fact? This week, an ultrasound would be able to detect your baby's heartbeat, just a tiny dot in the middle of this beautiful sweet pea you've grown, beating at a rate twice as fast (about 150 - 180 beats per minute) as the average adult's heart. And an electroencephalogram (EEG) would be able to monitor and detect your baby's brain activity now that the brain hemispheres are taking shape.
In addition to all of these amazing changes the week has produced, your little one's circulatory system is well established, and their digestive and respiratory systems are beginning to form. Arms and legs are beginning to form and looking like tiny, little paddles, and your baby's backbone has a small tail. (Don't worry, the tail will disappear in a few weeks.)
This week, you may discover you've been horribly bamboozled by this "morning sickness" business, which does not adhere to the morning hours. Many women discover their morning sickness is replaced by an afternoon or evening sickness. But if you find yourself growing more and more conversant with a forevermore sickness, a second cousin of morning sickness (thrice removed), there's a chance you might be pregnant with twins and experiencing twice the fun. To help you manage the morning sickness, try eating something bland, drinking ginger tea, or taking certain doctor-approved medicines. Experienced moms say it may help if you snack throughout your day because an empty stomach can and often will trigger nauseousness.
Are you craving a specific type of food?
Are new foods, or odd combinations of foods, suddenly calling out to you? This is normal, as are any newfangled aversions for the taste or scent of certain foods. It's even possible for your partner's various smells to unexpectedly set off a bout of dry heaving.
At 6 weeks pregnant, all throughout early pregnancy, its normal to experience light spotting or cramping. Do not worry about complications, like miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, unless you're experiencing brutal abdominal pain or if you discover the spotting has turned into more of a heavy period, as both are legitimate reasons to contact your midwife or doctor immediately.
Other common changes to your body include swollen, tender breasts, due to your ducts preparing for milk production, and constipation, brought on dehydration and increased hormones. To minimize these changes, wear a more supportive bra, increase the amount of fiber in your diet, and drink fluids - especially water - throughout the day. No matter what, do not take laxatives to achieve a bowel movement without getting your midwife or doctor's approval first.
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
Have you heard that pregnant women should not change cat litter? It may sound strange, but it's true. Changing cat litter may put you at risk for a parasitic disease, called toxoplasmosis, which can cause pregnancy problems and serious birth defects. The solution isn't to get rid of your cat! The most important thing to do is get someone else to change the litter box (we know how much you'll miss the daily scooping). If there isn't anyone else to do it for you, wear rubber gloves while you scoop and change it. And when you are done... wash. your. hands.
Another thing to pay particular attention to is this, Eating uncooked meat and unwashed vegetables can cause toxoplasmosis, too. To ensure you and your baby avoid toxoplasmosis, cook all meats thoroughly, wash every cutting board and utensils that come in contact with the raw meat, and scrub your vegetables well before eating them.
It's time to prepare for your first prenatal doctor visit.
It will probably take place at some point between weeks 8 and 10 of pregnancy. It doesn't matter if you are seeing a new doctor or remaining with your regular OB, as long as you're receiving regular prenatal care. Your health should be one of your highest priorities. Ask questions and do your research to ensure you enjoy the healthiest pregnancy possible. Expect the midwife or doctor's office to ask you for a lot of information, such as your personal and family history of any past conditions or problems that could threaten your pregnancy.
They will want to know when you last had your period and any pregnancy symptoms you're experiencing. They may take a urine sample, or a blood sample if procedure calls for it. They will give you a routine exam, and possibly an ultrasound (which is a painless and noninvasive). If they use an early ultrasound, it will be performed trans-vaginally. This means a wand is inserted into your vagina and emits sound waves. These waves then bounce off the fetus to create a beautifully clear image, which is normally displayed on a ultrasound monitor. The ultrasound will help your midwife or doctor confirm a normal pregnancy – or multiple pregnancies! – and identify the age, heart rate, and due date of your little one(s). The ultrasound will help them to rule out potential complications, like an ectopic pregnancy, and examine the health of your pelvis, placenta, and uterus.
At some point during this first appointment, your midwife or OB doctor should provide you with information about the various screening tests available. These tests detect certain complications, diseases, and abnormalities. Don't make any on-the-spot decisions about which tests you do or don't want. Instead, go home and think about it. Talk with your partner. Do more research. Talk to experienced moms and other moms-to-be. This appointment is also an opportunity to ask your doctor which foods, activities, and medications are safe, and which are not, during pregnancy. If you have questions about your diet and weight gain, want a prescription for prenatal vitamins, or think of any other questions and concerns, ask them while you are there. If you forget and think of more afterwards, simply keep a tiny notebook in your purse and jot down each question as it comes to you, for your next appointment. If the question is urgent, call your midwife or doctor's office. They want to help you.
If you're still waiting for your body to give you some of the telltale signs of pregnancy, try to relax, because you won't be waiting much longer. By week six, your body is likely experiencing any or all of the symptoms:
- Positive home pregnancy test result
- Morning sickness, nausea, or vomiting
- Food cravings
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Mood Swings
- Increased need to urinate
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Strange dreams
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Bloating, gas, or constipation
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