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Week 6 of Pregnancy

Written by Amina Hatia RM
Medically reviewed by Marley Hall BA RM Diphe
November 27, 2021

What happens in week 6 of pregnancy

There is no doubt that you are pregnant, you’ve missed your period, you’ve had a positive pregnancy test and may also be having pregnancy symptoms.  You are also now halfway through your first trimester of pregnancy – which is just a little bit mind blowing to think!

Whilst most people discuss and think about pregnancy in months – and that pregnancy lasts for 9 months, in reality your pregnancy is dated in weeks – with your estimated due date (more on this later) being at 40 weeks.  These 40 weeks are then divided into trimesters – so this means:

  1. First trimester     =    1-12 weeks
  2. Second trimester  =    13-27 weeks
  3. Third trimester     =    28-40+ weeks

Your first trimester is all about development of baby, which is why even though your baby is tiny right now, you are so tired and exhausted.  By the end of this trimester your baby will still be very small but fully formed.

So, if you’ve really been struggling with some of those pregnancy symptoms or are worried you are not feeling pregnant enough, give yourself a big pat on the back – you are half way through the most crucial development stage for your baby and you are a pretty amazing powerhouse growing a baby.

How big is my baby?

Your darling baby is now the size of baked bean – or a slightly nicer comparison a sweet pea.  Baby is about 6mm in size but don’t be fooled by size, so much has changed!

Your baby is continuing to grow their brain, neural tube and heart. Things are looking different – a bulge has now appeared in your baby’s body where the heart is and at the top of your baby is a bump where the neural tube ends.  Although baby right now looks more tadpole-ish shaped, more and more features such as little indentations where their eyes and ears will be eventually appear. 

What’s happening with my body?

Not much is changing externally, you may have some bloating but not a baby bump yet and unless you’ve told people, no one will notice you are pregnant.  

However, for some 6 weeks is when one of the difficult pregnancy symptoms can really kick in with a vengeance – if it hasn’t already – morning sickness.

Now morning sickness is the most commonly used term, in reality its not limited to just the mornings and for some it is morning, noon and night sickness!  Pregnancy related sickness is more accurate a term because it’s caused by the change in pregnancy hormones – hCG in particular, in early pregnancy.

It maybe that you feel queasy and nauseous at various times in the day or even all day, but not vomiting and able to eat a little, or that you are vomiting daily.  Regardless, it can leave you feeling very tired, very deflated and worried too about how your baby is going to grow if you aren’t eating all the healthy things you’d planned to.

Try not to worry -you baby is very good at getting and taking what they need from you, so they aren’t being affected by how rubbish you feel.

Experiment with what foods work for you – whilst there isn’t a cure for pregnancy/morning sickness, there is lots of anecdotal advice around of what has helped and worked.  

Common suggestions are:

  • Avoid dehydration – you need fluid, so even sips of water or crunching on ice cubes can help
  • Fizzy water or tonic water (leave out the gin!) can help 
  • Eating little and often – instead of 3 meals a day, try eating small amounts of food every few hours, so a handful of grapes, a half a piece of toast, a cracker or 2 with cheese etc
  • Foods or drinks with ginger – ginger biscuits, ginger tea, ginger sweets can help too
  • Don’t let yourself get hungry or too tired – easy to say we know but hard when you are feeling like this.  But hunger and exhaustion can make pregnancy sickness worse.

If you are really struggling to keep anything down, then you should contact your GP for advice. They can check you over, make sure you aren’t dehydrated and can also prescribe anti-sickness medication or refer you to the local early pregnancy unit for treatment such as IV fluids.

Don’t be afraid of asking for help and advice – your well-being is important and there is help available.

Week 6 pregnancy tips

What can I do this week?

  • If you are feeling up to it, gentle activity can help 
  • Ensure you are drinking enough water and staying hydrated
  • If you love the sauna and spa at the gym – give it a miss, the heat is not good for you or baby
  • If you have painful breasts – get a good pregnancy bra, the support will really help