Pregnancy Week 6
With the start of week 6, you must have confirmed the news of being pregnant. Your baby is growing at a lightning speed adding about 1 mm each day. It may sound too small but compare it with you growing one third each day. Isn’t it big and tough task? You are happy, you are stressed and you are moody. You may feel like crying over a television commercial and the next moment give a hysterical laugh. Need not bother all these, just enjoy the symptoms and effects, your too tiny baby can cause you.
The most important thing during this week is your first visit to doctor for all the tests. You must have already decided your doctor, midwife or obstetrician. If not, do it now and do not delay in doctor’s visit.
The First Appointment
Get yourself ready to be examined physically, mentally and emotionally. There will be series of tests that your doctor would suggest you. These may include:
- Urine test: to know about blood sugar levels, red and white blood cells and any infections. Get prepared to pee into a cup and make a habit of the same as you will be repeatedly doing this throughout your pregnancy.
- Blood test: to check for HCG level and anemia. It also checks immunity to rubella virus, any sexually transmitted disease, your hemoglobin levels and your blood type.
You may get scared with so many tests especially if you are having these tests for the first time in your life. However, you need not worry as these are just one time tests to make sure that your baby is developing in safe and protected environment.
Besides these tests, you will be examined for your blood pressure every time you make a visit to your doctor. Among the physical tests, the doctor may examine your breasts and Pap smear. There will be pelvis examination too where doctor will palpitate your belly to feel the uterus.
Also, be prepared to answer lot of questions, your doctor may ask to know your medical and family history. At the same time, be prepared with your own list of any queries, questions and concerns regarding pregnancy like what medications to take, expectations regarding birth or anything you like. Do not hesitate and remember, no question is silly, useless or irrelevant at this time. Clarifying your queries will let you know more and more about you and your baby. Try to get little friendly with your doctor so that you can find a comfort zone every time you visit him/her.
Growth and Development of Baby
Your baby is growing through many visible changes. By now, the embryo is around the size of a lentil. The length of the embryo is measured from the little crown to rump as it is difficult to measure full length due to bent form of it. The length is around one fifth or quarter of an inch.
Earlier this week, the embryo was in the form of a tadpole with a prominent bump on top. Now, folds of tissues are developing on that bump to form baby’s cheeks, chin and jaws. All these will form the baby’s cute little adorable face which you will be kissing for the rest of your life.
If you could peep into your uterus, you will observe small grooves on the sides of head which are destined to form ear canals later. In your ultrasound, you can see small black dots which will convert into baby’s eyes and nostrils.
Apart from the facial development, there are small protrusions from the body which will form arms and legs of the baby.
The heart which developed as a tube like structure has started getting proper shape and is beating at an astounding speed of about 150 beats per second, double the rate of an adult. This heart is able to circulate blood throughout the baby’s body. Along with this, muscles and bone tissues are also building up. The lungs, intestines, pancreas, liver and pituitary are also developing alongside other developments.
The sixth week marks the baby’s first movement but they are too gentle to be felt by the mother.
Changes in Mother Body
By now, you must be fighting with the full-blown pregnancy symptoms. The outside world can never know the dramatic developments your body is undergoing especially if you have not informed anyone yet. These developments can cause many physical and emotional changes in you.
Frequent urination: As there is an increased blood flow to the kidneys, your kidneys work more and produce 25% extra urine. This makes you feel for urination more frequently. Apart from this factor, there is slight pressure on your bladder due to growing uterus which also generates a need to urinate.
Bleeding or spotting: Even after implantation bleeding, some women may experience slight either fresh or brownish blood spots. Though, any type of bleeding is a cause of concern but sometimes, there is normal bleeding during first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Whatsoever, it is important that you bring it to the notice of your doctor as it may trigger the chances of abortion also.
Fatigue: Building and supporting your baby growth is definitely a tough and hard task. So, no wonder you feel tired and exhausted all time. Just listen to your body signals and rest and relax when your body wants it. Try not to overdo anything. Don’t forget, you are living life for two and you have the whole right to pamper yourself.
Morning sickness: Nausea, vomiting and slight queasiness may make your pregnancy a less joyful journey but better look on the brighter side. According to studies, women who are more likely to feel morning sickness are less prone to miscarriage and abortions. Though, admittedly, this may seem less important point to consider when you hurl your meals. Talk to your obstetrician and ask her some tips to combat the queasiness.
Bloating and gas: Sounds icky but you have to bear with it. The so called delightful pregnancy hormones which are so important for your pregnancy are to blame for this.
Tender breasts: Yes, there they are! You will spend hours in bathroom looking at your breasts and wondering how sore and swollen they have become. You will notice your areoles getting darker day by day. Again the increased blood flow and higher levels of pregnancy hormones are to blame for this. All this is to prepare you for breastfeed.
However, get some relief by using supportive bras or sports bras.
Hypersensitive to smells: Recently, you must have noticed that you could smell anything from distance also. Some weird smells and overwhelming aromas are making you queasy all the time. As soon as your colleague opens his lunch in the cafeteria, you could sense what in there. All thanks to your pregnancy hormone for making you hypersensitive sniffer.
Keeping aside these physical symptoms, your pregnancy is also making you emotionally weak. Though, there is a big reason (soon to be a mommy) to smile and rejoice but the fears and insecurities often cloud it. Your concern about the possibility of miscarriage, feeling anxious to complete the sensitive first 12 weeks, thought of having a life inside you, your mood swings due to hormonal changes and last but not the least, your relationship concerns may keep you emotionally down.
Some Suggestions for the Week
- Hopefully, you have started your prenatal vitamins and folic acid for sure. If not yet, please do it right now.
- Eating more is always advisable for a pregnant woman but also watch what and how much you are eating. Eating for two does not mean that you can pick and eat anything in any quantity. You only need 300 extra calories to support your baby. Therefore, it is better that you consume good calories in extra rather than snacking on fried or fat foods.
- Eat lots of fiber and drink plenty of water so as to avoid constipation. Constipation can aggravate bloating and gas problem. Also, slow down as you eat to avoid excessive air into you.
- Eat small snacks consist of protein and complex carbs like multigrain crackers, yoghurt, cheese and granola. Always carry a hanky along with you so that you can avoid unwanted smells and aromas, this will help you hold your nausea.
- You must be having some bizarre cravings, but do not settle them by binging on junk and packaged foods. Instead pick healthy snacks like humus, fruit juices, soups etc.
- Tiredness is the major thing that you need to cope up during pregnancy. Baby making demands you to take rest and sleep so that the process can be efficiently and quietly done. So, take time off from your household chores or involve your partner and sleep more. In lunch hours in office, try to take a power nap of 10-15 minutes. Before getting in bed in the night, take a scented lavender bath, drink a warm glass of milk and avoid fluids. This will give you sound sleep for hours to help you get up fresh and energized.
- Any type of infections is dangerous for your baby. Avoid infections like rubella, chickenpox, parvovirus and toxoplasmosis by keeping yourself away from animals and environmental hazards.
- Get permission for your health care provider for exercise, follow a suitable exercise regime to stay active and fight fatigue.
Tips for Fathers-to-be
Congratulations to you all for this great news! However, just feeling pride and happy won’t to do. You need to support your partner in every possible ways if not share their pain. Help her with household chores by doing the kitchen, helping clean it or buying the groceries. Your wife must be struggling to cope with nausea and morning sickness. Help her by taking tasks which include weird smells or if any risks are involved.
As now you are confirmed of your pregnancy, you can start working on other big projects like preparing for baby, her products and other preparations, though, some people are skeptical to do it before the birth. Whatever, it is your baby and nobody can decide the best for her other than you.