In Week 6, when the symptoms of pregnancy start to appear and your body starts to change, you might start feeling a little uneasy. As the heartbeat of the embryo (which will be called a fetus starting from the end of Week 10 of pregnancy) cannot be detected in Week 5, some mothers might be feeling a little uneasy. What kind of changes are actually taking place in the mother’s belly?
6 Weeks Pregnant: Positive result! EDD can be calculated
At around Week 6, even if your period is irregular, you’ll probably notice that your period is unusually late. Think about whether you could be pregnant, and if there are symptoms of pregnancy, use a pregnancy test kit or go to an ob-gyn for a check-up.
When you are 6 weeks pregnant, the baby’s figure can be confirmed via ultrasound scans. On top of that, your ob-gyn will be able to tell you your Estimated Delivery Date (EDD).
The EDD is calculated using the first day of your last menstrual period and the embryo’s crown-rump length (the length of embryo from the head to the bottom of the buttocks). Also, from the periods of Week 6-8, in instances where the embryo’s heartbeat can be detected, the risk of a pregnancy loss or an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurring outside the uterus) is lowered.
Symptoms of pregnancy start appearing
When one is pregnant, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, the hormone that causes the placenta to grow), progesterone (the hormone that causes the endometrium to thicken), and estrogen (the hormone that allows the state of pregnancy to continue) are secreted in large volumes. The change in the levels of hormones play important roles in the maintenance of pregnancy, and brings about the physical changes in one’s body that are called the early signs of pregnancy.
The early signs of pregnancy
● Lethargy and sleepiness
● Discomfort and tightness in the lower abdominal regions
● You feel sick to your stomach and you feel like vomiting
● Lower back pain
● Pollakiuria (frequent urination)
● You feel feverish
● You experience extreme changes in emotions
● You salivate more than before
Feeling the symptoms of pregnancy?
Feeling sick to your stomach, nauseated, drowsy and having more saliva are symptoms of pregnancy that one might start to feel more strongly in Week 6. Most women are affected by nausea, while some might find themselves in a bad mood whenever they do not eat. Other symptoms include having a heightened sense of smell which makes one feel nauseated more easily, feeling very drowsy, or ptyalism (an increase in saliva).
As the best methods to combating morning sickness and other symptoms of pregnancy differ from one to another, first make a check-list of the symptoms you have and determine what works for you. That might help you get through pregnancy more easily!
6 Weeks Pregnant: Internal organs in embryo (fetus) body form
The embryo, which resembles a tadpole with its tail, is changing each day. The tail becomes less and less conspicuous, the hands, legs and head start to form. Muscles start to form around bones, while nerve cells and various organs like the hypothalamus, kidney, mammary glands and reproductive organs start developing.
If the baby is female, the reproductive organs start developing from the ovaries; if the baby is male, this starts from the testicles. The embryo is about 5 to 9 mm long and weighs about 0.001g.
6 Weeks Pregnant: Bleeding could be a sign of pregnancy loss
During pregnancy, as the uterine mucosa (lining of the uterus) is filled with blood, it is common to experience some bleeding or “spotting”. Although it has been said that there is little risk of a pregnancy loss if the bleeding is painless, it is recommended that you do not come up with the diagnosis on your own.
About 10% of pregnant women experience a pregnancy loss during this period, and about 50% of all pregnancy losses occur during the 1st to 2nd month of pregnancy. A pregnancy loss in the early stage of pregnancy is usually the result of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo or the failure of the organs to develop normally. Such pregnancy losses are not preventable, but there are cases in which pregnancy losses can be prevented with early intervention.
Even though not all bleeding is a sign of a pregnancy loss, there is a possibility that the bleeding is a sign of a threatened abortion. This refers to a pregnancy loss during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy marked by cramps that may or may not be accompanied by bleeding. In some cases this results in the expulsion of the fetus.
Although many women are told that they are at risk of a threatened abortion at around Week 6, many do go on to carry the pregnancy to term. Therefore, if you detect bleeding or tightness in your belly and suspect something is amiss, take note of the amount and color of the blood, and go to your ob-gyn for a check-up.
Weight Gain: Watch your weight!
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the standard amount of calories a pregnant woman requires in the first trimester is about 1,800 calories and this is only 50 calories more than when one is not pregnant.
If you were in the healthy BMI range pre-pregnancy, healthy weight gain in the early stage of pregnancy should be in the range of 2 to 4lbs. Although some pregnant women have an increased appetite or keep wanting to eat due to stress, it is recommended that you do not increase the amount of food you consume by too much and that you proactively take in the iron, folic acid and vitamins you need.
Working Moms: When to let people know about my pregnancy?
For working moms, it might be difficult deciding when to let your colleagues at work know that you are pregnant. Is it best to let them know when the ob-gyn has confirmed the pregnancy, or wait till the pregnancy has stabilized?
Working moms usually notify their superiors after the pregnancy is confirmed or has stabilized, but some tell their colleagues and bosses earlier in order to seek understanding from those around them, especially if they are experiencing severe morning sickness.
Rest assured that there is no “right way” or “right time” to notify your superior or colleagues, and what is considered a “good timing” differs according to workplaces and circumstances. Let others around you know when you feel comfortable sharing about your pregnancy!
Baby in Your Belly: One more step towards delivery!
In Week 6, the pregnancy is confirmed, and it is another step towards delivery. Although many who are expecting are anticipating the impending birth of a new life, there are some who will feel uneasy, a little worried, or feel down because they do not feel well physically. It is inevitable that you worry a little, but the baby in your belly will continue to grow each day and an optimistic attitude will help you get through the day!