What to Expect When 6 Weeks Pregnant: A Week-by-Week Guide

Discovering you’re 6 weeks pregnant can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time. Your body is going through major changes as your baby starts developing. Knowing what to expect each week can help you stay informed and prepared. This week-by-week guide covers the key developmental milestones and symptoms to look out for from 6 to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Key Takeaways: What Happens at 6 Weeks Pregnant

  • The embryo is rapidly developing basic body parts and organs.
  • HCG levels continue rising, which may cause nausea, breast tenderness, and fatigue.
  • Vaginal spotting and cramping are common as the uterus expands.
  • An intrauterine pregnancy should be visible on ultrasound.
  • The embryonic stage lasts from weeks 5 to 10. Major development occurs.
  • Morning sickness, food aversions, and mood swings may start as hormones fluctuate.
  • Your first prenatal visit will likely happen around 6 to 8 weeks.

Week 6

At week 6, your baby is going through a major growth spurt as an embryo. Here’s a look at some key developments:

  • Size: The embryo is about 1/4 inch long, the size of a lentil bean.
  • Development: Basic body parts are forming, including small buds that will become arms and legs. Rudimentary eyes and nasal pits are visible on the embryonic face. The neural tube forming the brain, spinal cord, and backbone continues developing. The heart is bulging and beating at a regular rhythm. Blood begins to circulate.
  • Symptoms: Hormone changes may cause breast tenderness, nausea, frequent urination, and mood swings this week as your body adjusts to pregnancy. Light vaginal spotting and mild cramping are also common as your uterus starts expanding.
  • Tips: Schedule your first prenatal visit for around 6 to 8 weeks. Start taking a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 mcg of folic acid before and throughout pregnancy. Eat small, frequent meals to ease nausea. Get extra rest when possible.

Week 7

Your pregnancy symptoms may increase in week 7 as hormone levels rise. Here are some highlights:

  • Size: The embryo is now 1/3 inch long, about the size of a blueberry.
  • Development: Elbows, toes, and eyelids are forming. The mouth, cheeks, eyelids, tongue, and palate are developing. The umbilical cord delivers nutrients and oxygen to the embryo.
  • Symptoms: Fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea, food aversions, and frequent urination continue due to pregnancy hormone surges. Light spotting is still common.
  • Tips: Drink plenty of fluids and snack often to ease nausea. Get adequate sleep and rest. Consider gently stretching or prenatal yoga to stay active. Communicate with your partner about physical and emotional changes.

Week 8

Pregnancy symptoms may worsen at 8 weeks as your hormones peak. An ultrasound can confirm the pregnancy.

  • Size: Your baby is 1/2 inch long, around the size of a kidney bean.
  • Development: Fingers and toes are starting to develop and joints are forming. External ears take shape. Organs like the liver, lungs, and brain continue maturing. Bones begin hardening.
  • Symptoms: Nausea, breast tenderness, frequent urination, mood swings, and fatigue are common. Some women have food aversions or cravings.
  • Tips: Make sure you’re getting enough fluids and nutrition. Take your prenatal vitamin daily. Rest when tired. Try ginger, lemon, preggie pops, or seabands for nausea relief.

Week 9

Your baby’s organs and muscles start functioning at week 9. An ultrasound can pick up the fetal heartbeat.

  • Size: Measuring about 3/4 inch long, your baby is the size of a cherry now.
  • Development: The head is nearly half the embryo’s size. Limb movements start as muscles develop, but you won’t feel them yet. All vital organs are present. The heart chambers divide and valves form. The brain rapidly develops. Eyelids close to protect developing eyes.
  • Symptoms: Morning sickness, fatigue, food aversions, and mood swings are common. Your breasts may feel very tender. Constipation or bloating may increase.
  • Tips: Give in to food cravings when reasonable to ease morning sickness. Try lemon water, ginger ale, mint tea, or bland carbs for nausea relief. Get adequate rest. Stay hydrated with water and electrolytes.

Week 10

At 10 weeks pregnant, your baby graduates from embryo to fetus developmentally.

  • Size: Measuring 1 to 1 1⁄4 inches long, your baby is the size of a prune now.
  • Development: The fetus has distinct human characteristics. Limbs are long and defined with fingers and toes. Bones continue hardening. Genitals starts developing. The brain is complex with distinct regions. All vital organs are present and starting to function.
  • Symptoms: Your nausea may improve around 10 weeks as hCG levels plateau. Breasts are still tender. Headaches, dizziness, and heartburn are common too.
  • Tips: Focus on nutrition and hydration as nausea improves. Ask your doctor about safe OTC medication options for headaches and heartburn. Start regular light exercise like walking or prenatal yoga if approved.

Common Questions About 6 Weeks Pregnant:

How big is the baby at 6 weeks pregnant?

At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby is about 1/4 inch long, roughly the size of a lentil bean. The embryonic stage of rapid development continues from weeks 5 to 10 of pregnancy.

What are the first symptoms of pregnancy at 6 weeks?

Common early pregnancy symptoms around 6 weeks include breast tenderness, nausea, fatigue, frequent urination, mood swings, light vaginal spotting, and mild cramping. These are caused by hormonal changes and uterine expansion.

What happens at the first prenatal visit?

Your first prenatal visit usually happens between 6-8 weeks. The doctor confirms your pregnancy with a pelvic exam and ultrasound. They also check your vitals, take your health history, estimate your due date, and prescribe prenatal vitamins.

When does morning sickness start and end?

Nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy hormones tends to start around week 6 for many women. It peaks around weeks 8-10 and improves for most women by weeks 12-14. However, some women deal with it longer.

Is spotting normal at 6 weeks pregnant?

Light spotting and mild cramping are common around 6 weeks as your uterus starts expanding rapidly. But heavy bleeding with severe cramps could signal an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, so alert your doctor right away.

Can you see the baby at 6 weeks on ultrasound?

At 6 weeks pregnant, an intrauterine pregnancy should be visible on transvaginal ultrasound showing a gestational sac and yolk sac. The fetal pole and heartbeat may be detectable starting around week 6 too.

In Conclusion:

The first weeks of pregnancy from 6 to 10 mark an incredible time of growth and development as your baby transforms from a small embryo to a fetus with detectible human characteristics. Understanding the changes your body goes through along with your baby’s milestones week-by-week can help you embrace each new phase of the journey. Make sure to schedule that first prenatal visit, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about any concerning symptoms. Before you know it, the first trimester will be behind you and your pregnancy will continue blossoming.

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