Your Pregnancy: Week 6

Pregnancy week by week: You are six weeks pregnant


Your Body

The term “morning sickness” is misleading. Although some moms-to-be experience bouts of nausea and/or vomiting in the early part of the day that taper off, for many others queasiness is a constant companion. A quarter of pregnant women are lucky enough not to suffer at all.

The pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone encourage the formation of new milk-producing ducts in your breasts, and they may increase in size and feel tender. A bra with a larger cup size may help.

Your expanding uterus is pressing on your bladder, hence your frequent bathroom visits. Doing Kegel exercises will improve bladder control, shorten the pushing stage during labour and help prevent vaginal tearing. You can do them anywhere, at any time and no one will notice! Begin with an empty bladder. Contract your “pee” muscles like you’re trying to stop the flow of urine midstream and hold for five to 10 seconds. Try to do as many as 100 throughout the day.

Constipation is common in the early stages of pregnancy. The culprit is progesterone, which relaxes stomach and intestinal muscles and triggers slow digestion. Drink plenty of fluids and increase the amount of fibre in your diet.

This is a good time to schedule a dentist’s visit, as pregnancy can cause dental problems, including inflamed gums, bleeding and tooth decay. Research indicates there is a link between gum disease and premature births and low birth weights.

Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection which can cause birth defects, is found in cat feces so if you own a cat leave the cleaning duties to your partner, and be cautious if you are gardening where cats may roam. Don’t eat uncooked seafood, deli meats or unpasteurized dairy products as they can be contaminated with the bacteria Listeria, another potential cause of birth defects.

Baby’s World

Your baby is still smaller than a bean (2 - 4 mm/0.08 - 0.16 in), but developing rapidly. Her legs are usually bent, which makes gauging her size a challenge so she is measured from the top of her head to her bottom, instead of head to toe. Nostril and ear openings are now visible. A chin, elbows, wrists and fingers can be detected, and her heart, no bigger than a poppy seed, is audible on an ultrasound and pumps blood to other minute organs. She has her own blood type, and her growing intestines are temporarily housed inside the umbilical cord. She’s started to make her first, slight moves — perhaps her hands and feet are twitching — but you won’t feel those movements for many weeks. The neural tube, the precursor to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), closes.

Fun Fact

Baby’s heart rate is 100 to 150 beats per minute — twice as fast as yours!

Week 5    Week 7


Edited by Teresa Pittman

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