The 6th week of pregnancy

A lot happens to your body and your baby in the 6th week of pregnancy. Here you can find out more about the changes in the early weeks of pregnancy and how best to deal with them. 

Baby evolving in mother's womb

During week 6, your uterus is growing steadily, and the placenta continues to develop the blood vessels that will give your baby the oxygen and nutrition she needs to grow.

What are some signs and symptoms you may be experiencing now?

Your breasts may start to feel different, sensitive to the touch as your hormones adjust to the pregnancy. Your breasts may also change in size and shape as the milk-making cells multiply and the milk ducts begin to elongate and branch. Other typical symptoms in the 6th week of pregnancy are nausea, which often lasts through the first trimester, you may find this feeling is not confined to the morning but stays with you all day. Read our post for tips to help manage morning sickness. The signs of pregnancy vary from woman to woman.

The baby and its development in week 6

The embryo is now 4 weeks old. It is still tiny, but its development is progressing rapidly.

In the 6th week of pregnancy, the embryo is the size of a pomegranate seed and about 4 mm long.* As in the 5th week, the embryo in the 6th week of pregnancy still could be described as looking like a tadpole, because the head takes up more than half of the body!

The baby's heart is among the first organs to develop. Unlike your body, the oxygen supply does not yet work through the lungs. Instead, the embryo is supplied with oxygen from the placenta through the umbilical cord. In addition, there are already small signs on the embryo's body where little arms and legs will later grow. Small bones have formed on the neural tube, which will soon give rise to the baby's brain, spine, spinal cord and ribs.1

What should I watch out for in the 6th week of pregnancy?

  • You should still make sure you take folic acid2 and any additional supplements advised by your doctor.
  • There are a few simple tricks to counteract morning sickness: Try to have a piece of dry bread or a few sips of unsweetened tea before you get up. Fatty, spicy foods can make you feel sick. Try to eat regularly with lighter, smaller portions than usually.

Note: The information on length and weight are average values that cannot be applied to individual cases. Every baby develops individually.

References

1 Moore KL et al., editors. The developing human: Clinically oriented embryology. Eleventh edition. Edinburgh: Elsevier; 2020.

2 World Health Organization (WHO). Integrated Management of pregnancy and birth: Standards for Maternal and Neonatal Care. Geneva, Switzerland; 2007 [cited 2021 Nov 16].