6 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Baby Development And Tips

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By the 6th week of pregnancy, most of the structures of your baby would have been developed or in the process of developing. Your doctor may be able to give you a visual of it through an ultrasound. Even though it is the early phase of your pregnancy, you may undergo a series of hormonal changes during this period.

In this post, we help you understand everything about week six, including the changes in your body and the developments in the baby. We also give you a few tips on ensuring a smooth pregnancy.

How Many Months Pregnant Are You At Six Weeks?

During the sixth week, you are in your second month of pregnancy. The second month is a part of the first trimester. The first trimester is between conception to 13 weeks (1).

How Big Is Your Baby At Six Weeks?

The fetus during the sixth week is around ¼ inch long (2). It is visible through the ultrasound scan when the doctor can evaluate the fetal size.

What Is The Baby Development At Six Weeks?

At this stage, the baby continues to develop at a faster rate. Most of the organs have begun to form by now.

1. Brain development

By the sixth week of pregnancy, the fetus develops the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain. The neurons also start to grow and form connections known as synapses. These connections enable communication between the neurons and, at a later stage, allow the fetus to make movements (3).

2. Heart development

The heart develops between the third and the sixth week. During the sixth week, cardiac activity develops, and you can hear the fetal heart sound during an ultrasound (4).

3. Other notable developments

Some other developing features of the fetus in the sixth week of pregnancy include (2) (3):

  • The ears begin to take shape, and the ear opening is visible.
  • The salivary glands form in the mouth.
  • The diaphragm, one of the main muscles that help to breathe, is now formed.
  • Eyes start to develop.
  • The limb buds begin to develop. Fingers form at this stage.
  • The endocrine system continues to develop this week. The parathyroid hormone starts to secrete this week, which controls the calcium levels in the fetus’ blood.
  • The kidneys start to function, and the stomach also produces digestive juices.

What Are The Symptoms During The Sixth Week Of Pregnancy?

Besides nausea and discomfort, there are some other symptoms that you may start to experience in week six of pregnancy.

  1. Morning sickness: Most pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting during the early weeks of pregnancy. These symptoms peak at week six and decline after week 18 (5).
  1. Indigestion and heartburn: Changes in the body’s hormonal levels and the pressure of the growing baby on the stomach could be responsible for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy (6).
Changes in hormonal levels and pressure of the baby can cause heartburn

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  1. Fatigue: The baby’s rapid growth leads to changes in your body, which can leave you tired even after resting.
  2. Other symptoms: Bloating, mild headache, mood swings, and frequent urination are some other symptoms that pregnant women might experience at week six.

What Body Changes Occur During The Sixth Week?

You are likely to notice the following body changes during the sixth week of pregnancy (7).

  • Changes in breasts, including breast soreness
  • Darkening of skin on the face and brown skin patches
  • Increased hair thickness
You may notice your hair thicken in the sixth week

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  • Changes in taste, including a metallic taste in the mouth
  • You may also develop a change in the sense of smell and food likes and dislikes

What Is Checked During The Six-Week Ultrasound?

The first scan of the first trimester is ideally scheduled in the sixth week. This ultrasound helps with the early assessment of the fetus and detection of any abnormalities.

  1. Fetal heart rate: The ultrasound helps to monitor the fetal heart by diagnosing the number of beats per minute. During the sixth week, the fetal heart beats an average of 120 beats per minute (8)
  2. Gestational age: The first-trimester ultrasound also helps to know the fetal pole (mass of cells) and crown-rump length (head to butt) of the fetus. These figures, in turn, help determine the gestational age.
  3. Twins or multiples: The sixth-week ultrasound also helps detect if it is a single fetus, twins, or multiples (9).
The ultrasound can help detect twins

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  1. Location of the pregnancy: Normal or abnormal positioning of the fetus in the uterus.

Can Twin Development Be Known At Week Six?

During an ultrasound at week six, you will not only know if you’re carrying twins, but you might also know if the twins would be identical. You will have identical twins if the ultrasound shows one placenta and two amniotic sacs (10). The development of the twins would be similar to that of a single baby until the third trimester (11).

Are There Tips To Remember In Week Six Of Pregnancy?

  1. Doctor’s visit: If you have missed the doctor’s appointment in the fifth week, now is the time to do it. Get your blood pressure, heart rate, and weight checked. If you’ve had a check-up the previous week, you can visit for the first-trimester ultrasound this week.
  2. Pregnancy diet plan: The doctor may create a pregnancy diet plan based on your health. The focus should be on a healthier menu, even if you crave junk or sugary foods. After all, your health is connected to your baby’s health. Also, drink enough water to keep constipation problems at bay.
Drinking plenty of water keeps constipation at bay

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  1. Light exercise: Even though you feel tired pretty soon, it is essential that you engage in some light exercises such as walking. This will help you to stay active and keep your body fit for more changes. Always ask your doctor about it.
  2. Small meals and naps: To deal with nausea, vomiting, and tiredness, you must eat your meals in small quantities and take frequent naps. These changes in your lifestyle will help you deal better with early pregnancy symptoms.

What Is The Pregnancy Checklist For Week Six Of Pregnancy?

  1. Attend the ultrasound session.
  2. If you wish to reveal your pregnancy to your friends and relatives, prepare to break the happy news.
  3. Try home remedies certified by your doctor to alleviate morning sickness.
  4. Check for any concerning signs and report them to your doctor for prompt medical attention.

When To See A Doctor?

Check with your OB-GYN if you have fever and chills

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Consult a doctor if you notice any of the following signs (12):

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain while urinating
  • Dizziness
  • Weight loss

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does a six-week pregnant belly feel?

During the sixth week of pregnancy, you might be unable to spot the pregnant belly. Although you cannot see the bump visually, you might experience nausea, bloating, or cramping.

2. Can I lie on my stomach at six weeks pregnant?

It is safe to lie on the stomach during the early weeks. During the sixth week of pregnancy, you might not have a bump, so sleeping on your stomach could not be uncomfortable. However, as the pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus can make it difficult to sleep on your stomach (12).

3. Can I have a miscarriage at week six?

The first trimester poses a high risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. As per a study published in the National Library of Medicine, the risk of miscarriages may drop by 10% after the sixth week of pregnancy (13) (14).

4. Why are miscarriages so common at six weeks?

There could be an increased risk of miscarriage during the first trimester due to chromosomal abnormalities or ectopic pregnancies. Improper placenta development around the initial weeks may also increase the risk of a miscarriage (15).

5. Why is my belly so bloated at six weeks pregnant?

Hormonal fluctuations could cause bloating during the sixth week of pregnancy. Pregnant women at this stage may suffer from constipation, contributing to bloating.

The sixth week of pregnancy is when the fetus’ most body structures begin to develop or are in development. Fetal development rate is faster, and crucial parts of the brain such as the cerebral cortex and neuronal connections begin to develop in the sixth week of gestation. Some women may experience pregnancy symptoms, and there won’t be any changes in belly size. A six-week ultrasound examination helps determine fetal heart rate, location of the pregnancy, gestational age, and a singleton or multiple pregnancies, letting you be better prepared with what to expect with your pregnancy.

Key Pointers

  • During the sixth week of pregnancy, major organs such as the brain, heart, and gastrointestinal organs are still developing.
  • Ultrasound is first performed during this week.
  • The sixth week comes bearing exciting news as parents might get to listen to their baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
  • Remember to eat balanced meals and visit your doctor this week for a healthy pregnancy.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Pregnancy: The Three Trimesters.
    https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/pregnancy/trimesters
  2. Fetal Growth And Development.
    https://doh.sd.gov/abortion/assets/fetal.pdf
  3. Prenatal Form and Function – The Making of an Earth Suit.
    https://www.ehd.org/dev_article_unit6.php
  4. Oriana Valenti et al.; Fetal cardiac function during the first trimester of pregnancy (2011).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279166/
  5. Morning sickness is Mother Nature’s way of protecting mothers and their unborn Cornell biologists find.
    https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2000/05/morning-sickness-protects-mothers-and-their-unborn
  6. Indigestion and Heartburn in Pregnancy.
    https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/indigestion-and-heartburn/
  7. Week-by-week guide to pregnancy.
    https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-6/
  8. Fetal Heart Rate In The First and Second Trimester.
    https://radiopaedia.org/articles/fetal-heart-rate-in-the-first-and-second-trimester
  9. G. M. Graham III; Ultrasound Evaluation of Pregnancy in the First Trimester.
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/87d6/527623f0bf2b3ed0eea8bf5e32c001f0cf7c.pdf
  10. Twin Pregnancy; Answers From An Expert.
    https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/twin-pregnancy-answers-from-maternal-fetal-medicine-specialist
  11. Liran Hiersch et al; Differences In Fetal Growth Patterns Between Twins And Singletons.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30501543/
  12. Warning signs during pregnancy.
    https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/warning-signs-during-pregnancy
  13. Miscarriage Statistics.
    https://www.tommys.org/baby-loss-support/miscarriage-information-and-support/miscarriage-statistics
  14. Stephen Tong et al; Miscarriage Risk For Asymptomatic Women After A Normal First-Trimester Prenatal Visit (2008).
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18310375/
  15. What Causes A Miscarriage?
    https://www.tommys.org/baby-loss-support/miscarriage-information-and-support/causes-miscarriage
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Sindusha MS

Sindusha is a clinical nutritionist with over two years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She did her Masters in Food Science and Nutrition from Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women and has qualified UGC-NET. She interned as a quality control analyst and as a dietitian during her graduation. She was a part of several...
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Dr. Mozhgan Sayyad

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Dr. Mozhgan Sayyad specializes in obstetric and gynecological cases, and her area of interest includes cosmetic gynecology. An associated member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynecology, Dr. Sayyad’s focus area is cosmetic gynecology including intimate surgery. After completing her graduation from the Shiraz University in Iran, Dr. Sayyad...
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