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Pregnancy Calendar Week 6

YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK:  WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 6

Your baby’s sweet face is developing and soon you’ll see it take on its full shape. Although no one can tell you’re pregnant, you’re feeling your body change more and more. Morning sickness and mood swings are becoming a pesky part of daily life now. But there’s a lot you can do to feel better and keep your baby healthy.

Your Body

At 6 weeks pregnant, there’s a lot happening in your body and you’ll likely be experiencing many symptoms that make life a little more challenging.

Nausea and Vomiting

Most pregnant women experience nausea and/or vomiting, commonly referred to as morning sickness. This uncomfortable symptom is caused by elevated hormones, but there’s a bright side; it typically goes away (or eases) after the 1st trimester and women who experience nausea miscarry significantly less.To feel better, try the following:

  • Eating foods that go easy on your stomach, such as multigrain crackers, toast, yogurt, granola, and fruit.
  • Keeping crackers at your bedside to eat before rising.
  • Eating small, frequent meals/snacks.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, especially if you’re vomiting.
  • Eliminating foods with strong smells (or any foods) that make you sick.
  • Drinking ginger ale or ginger tea to soothe queasiness.

Spotting

Spotting is very light bleeding that may appear in different colors from pink to red to brown. Spotting could be a sign of a serious problem, so you’ll want to call your doctor immediately if you notice spotting. After an examination, you may discover that the cause was something minor, such as spotting that commonly occurs after sex or getting a pap smear. But, possible causes also include a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Mood Swings

If you’ve been feeling a bit moody lately, you probably guessed it: your hormones are the cause. They’re affecting the levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in your brain that regulate mood. That, combined with the range of feelings you have about your changing body and being a mom-to-be, makes up a perfect storm of moodiness.If you’re full of joy one day and depressed the next, you can help combat this emotional roller coaster with these tips:

  • Reduce stress. Identify sources of stress for you and eliminate as many as you can. Add in stress-reducing activities like meditation and guided imagery.
  • Do more of what makes you feel good. Do massages help you relax? Do you need more one-on-one time with your partner? Do you crave more quiet time? Whatever it is for you, spend more of your time enjoying things that make you feel happy.
  • Start/increase healthy habits. These include eating well, daily exercise, keeping well-hydrated and getting enough sleep. Pregnancy yoga, in particular, may be of help to you.
  • Talk with your partner. Sharing your feelings can help strengthen your relationship and give your partner a chance to comfort you. If you’re single, try talking with a close, supportive friend.
  • Consult a professional counselor. Sometimes it can help to connect with a counselor who specializes in the many changes and challenges that comes with pregnancy. Seek out the help of a professional, especially if you’re experiencing intense feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety.

Remember, taking good care of your emotional health—and pampering yourself from time to time—is an essential part of good health for you and your baby.

Your Baby

In the 6th week of pregnancy, your baby is still very small (no bigger than a nail head – about ¼ of an inch). But your little one is now clearly visible on an ultrasound and s/he’s going through a big growth spurt this week:

Your baby’s face and body is forming.

All of your baby’s facial features—eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, jaw and chin—are rapidly taking shape into what will become that adorable little face you’ll soon be admiring. The lenses in your baby’s eyes are also developing with the iris color now visible.Body features also begin to take shape this week with your baby’s arms, hands, shoulders, legs and feet growing. More organ development is underway too, including your baby’s kidneys, intestines, liver and lungs.

Your baby’s neural tube is closed. The closing of your baby’s neural tube, which will become your little one’s brain and spinal cord, is a complex process influenced by genetic and environmental factors.You should be aware that neural tube defects (NTDs) are one of the most common birth defects. When the neural tube doesn’t close completely, an NTD develops. You can reduce your risk of delivering your baby with an NTD by supplementing your diet with folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12.

Your baby’s heart is beating faster. More blood is being pumped throughout your baby’s body with a heartbeat that’s at 100+ beats per minute now—nearly double the rate of yours—and it’s getting faster every day.

Diet and Exercise Tips You Should Follow

  • Ensure adequate intake of B-vitamins, folic acid and choline. With your baby’s nervous system formation in full swing, eat foods that are rich in B-vitamins, folic acid and choline. Some good sources are liver, eggs, milk, green leafy vegetables, almonds, and whole grain bread.  As a pregnant woman, you should boost your daily intake of folic acid to at least 600 mcg to help reduce risk of birth defects. If you’re not getting enough in the foods you eat, take a daily supplement.
  • Continue exercising and walking.Carve out time every day to get exercise and/or walk. This will do wonders for increasing the flow of beneficial nutrients and hormones that aid in your baby’s nervous system development.

Things You Should Do

Have your first prenatal visit.Guard against infection by washing your hands frequently and staying away from sick people.

Words You Should Know

Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy in which the fertilized egg grows in any location other than the inner lining of the uterus. Most (95%) of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube.

Folic Acid: One of the B vitamins that is important for the development of a baby’s DNA. Lack of adequate folic acid during pregnancy increases the risk for the baby to have a birth defect involving the spinal cord and brain, such as spina bifida.

Morning Sickness: Nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

Prenatal Care: Health care that a pregnant woman receives from an obstetrician that includes dietary and lifestyle advice, weighing to ensure proper weight gain and examination for problems of pregnancy such as preeclampsia, edema and gestational diabetes.

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