6 Weeks pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development
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6 weeks pregnant is how many months?
Baby development at 6 weeks
How big is my baby? And, what does my baby look like?
Although only measuring around 2–4mm from the crown of their head to their bottom, your baby has grown significantly in size since last week. In this 6th week of pregnancy they have a tadpole-like appearance, but with the tiny buds of their arms and legs developing, this won’t last long. Once the limbs grow longer, your baby is still measured from head to bottom because the legs are often bent and difficult to gauge.
Your baby’s heart, which is no bigger than a poppy seed, is now beating at around 110 beats per minute , while the beginnings of their digestive tract are starting to form.
Pregnancy at 6 weeks (first trimester)
While it’s common to be bloated at 6 weeks pregnant, it’s unlikely that you’ll look pregnant yet or see any signs of a pregnancy belly.
Pregnancy symptoms at 6 weeks
Early pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. At 6 weeks, you may experience any of the following signs of pregnancy, or no symptoms at all:
Your breasts may become larger and feel sore. You may also find your nipples stick out more than usual and darken in colour as your body begins to prepare for breastfeeding.
Tiredness and fatigue
During the first 12 weeks, hormonal changes can leave you feeling tired or exhausted.
Nausea and vomiting
Morning sickness affects up to 80% of mums-to-be in the first trimester. It can strike at any time of the day or night and varies from mild nausea to sickness throughout the day.
Bloating and gas
The pregnancy hormone progesterone slows down your digestion which can lead to bloating and excess gas.
Cramping or bleeding
Light cramping and spotting are common in the early stages of pregnancy. If the pain becomes severe (stronger than period cramps) or if bleeding becomes heavy, you should talk to your GP.
Frequent trips to the bathroom are one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, as your growing uterus begins to put pressure on your bladder.
Pregnancy hormones, estrogen and progesterone, soar during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, affecting how you’re feeling emotionally. Get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling yourself.
Eating little and often may give some relief.
Many mums say a dry cracker in the morning before getting out of bed can help to settle the stomach.
Some mums-to-be find that ginger can help to ease pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
Even if you can’t tolerate your usual amount of food, try to stick to a healthy diet – it will give you and your baby the nutrients you both need.
The HSE recommends taking a daily folic acid supplement 3 months before conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
The naturally occurring food source of folic acid is called folate. It is present in green, leafy vegetables, lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans, and folic acid is also added to some breads and breakfast cereals. However, because your needs are so high during this stage of pregnancy, it is difficult to get enough from food sources alone. This is why a supplement is recommended.
Check that your prenatal multivitamin contains the recommended 400mcg of folic acid you need.
If you find out you’re pregnant and haven’t been taking folic acid supplements or a prenatal multivitamin containing folic acid, don’t worry: simply start taking them straight away and carry on until you reach 12 weeks.
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This important nutrient supports the development of the neural tube, which is already closing to form your baby’s spine and nervous system. Taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid as a supplement is the best way to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, and varies a great deal from mother to mother. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22–28lb) while pregnant, some of which is the weight of the growing baby. Learn everything you need to know about weight gain in pregnancy.
If you haven’t been to see your GP yet, you should make an appointment so they can start planning your antenatal care, including your first ultrasound scan.
Your baby, this week
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