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Your pregnancy - week 6

Your pregnancy - week 6


EmbryoDevelopmentWeek6-(1).jpg

What is happening now?

At 6 weeks of pregnancy (or 28 days after conception) you are now at the beginning of week 7. Your baby is curled up and measures about 5mm (0.2 of an inch) from the crown of their head to their rump (or bottom). Your baby's facial features are now gradually forming, starting with a wide mouth. Their lower jaw forms first, shortly followed by their upper jaw, with their head and forehead being comparatively large and their brain now forming within. Your baby starts to develop bulging eyes on each side of their head. Some scientists have compared the look of unborn babies at this stage of pregnancy to the movie character E.T. (a loveable alien)!
 
During the next week your baby's limbs start to lengthen to form arms and then legs. Their hands and feet resemble ridged paddles that eventually become fingers and toes. Internal organs are also taking shape. Your baby's gullet (oesophagus), stomach, kidneys and bowel are being defined, as well as 2 small buds which will form their lungs. Your baby's heart now has four chambers and is beating away efficiently between 90 and 200 beats per minute!
 
An ultrasound at this stage can detect your unborn baby's heartbeat relatively easily, unless your pregnancy is less advanced than expected. Ultrasounds can also be used to date your pregnancy after about 7 to 8 weeks, if you are unsure when your baby was conceived (or their due date). You can read more about ultrasounds here.
 
Chances are that you'll be experiencing some form of morning sickness (or, as we like to call it - all day sickness) with your pregnancy. It's not the greatest experience, but there are some things you can do to ease the quease. Read here for more information. Or, for our midwife's top tips on stamping out the sickness, read here.
 
As every week progresses you'll find yourself getting more and more excited, and you may have more questions too. Don't forget that our experienced midwife Melissa is here to answer your pregnancy questions here.
 

Physical changes

Passing urine

You may notice the need to pass urine more frequently. This is mainly due to an increased blood flow to your kidneys (35 to 60%), making them produce around 25% more urine. Increased urine production peaks by 9 to 16 weeks of pregnancy and then settles, but urinating more often can also be caused by slight pressure from your growing uterus on the bladder, continuing throughout pregnancy.
 
You can read about other physical changes during early pregnancy here and here.
 

Bleeding

Some women experience bleeding during the early weeks of pregnancy. This may appear as bright spotting (fresh bleeding) or be brownish in colour (bleeding that happened a day or so ago). Any form of bleeding during pregnancy can be concerning. However, bear in mind that bleeding of some type during the first 12 weeks is a fairly common occurrence, which may or may not indicate there is a problem. You can read more about bleeding during early pregnancy here.
 

Emotional reactions

For many women early pregnancy brings concerns about the possibility of miscarriage. This may stem from a past experience or perhaps because it has happened to a friend or family member. You may feel anxious or in an emotional limbo, until your pregnancy reaches the 12th week (when the chances of miscarriage lessen). If you are feeling concerned about miscarriage you can read more about this here.
 
Emotions can also feel heightened with some of the early physical changes of pregnancy. It is important to look after yourself by resting and sleeping when you can. You can find out more about some common emotions here.
 
Partners may also feel anxious or concerned about miscarriage and perhaps this is something you should both talk about. You and your partner may wish to explore these and other emotions here.
 
If you feel your relationship is undergoing adjustments because of the pregnancy, you may wish to read more here and here.
 
Pregnancy's such an amazing time, one that's such a special experience. Read more about that here.
 

Physical signs

Decisions, choices and health insurance. The caregiver you choose to provide your pregnancy care and the place where you decide to give birth and spend your early postnatal days with your newborn baby, will very much depend on your personal preferences, where you live and the type of services available to you, as well as heath insurance. 
 

Maternity caregivers

There are many caregivers in the maternity health care system, all playing unique roles in caring for women and their babies. Knowing about their roles and how they may become involved in your care is not always clear. Read more about maternity health care providers here.
 

Birthplace choices

Choosing where to have your baby can involve weighing up all your options and determining what is important for you and your partner, so your preferred birthplace can best meet your needs. To read more about birthplace options click here.
 
For some birthplaces an important consideration is the possibility of transferring to a hospital more equipped to care for you (or your baby after being born), if complications arise. This may be an issue when choosing a private hospital, a smaller metropolitan or rural hospital, birth centre or a homebirth. Read more about these considerations here.
 

Lifestyle changes

Besides making adjustments to your diet and possibly your physical activity, you and your partner may wish to look at certain lifestyle habits such as caffeine intake, alcoholcigarette smoking, marijuana or other recreational drugs. You may also have questions if you need to take prescription drugs during pregnancy. If you are worried about substances you have already used during early pregnancy, you can read about keeping lifestyle changes in perspective here.
 

Natural therapies during pregnancy

Autogenic training and biofeedback

Autogenic training is a form of relaxation therapy that was developed in Germany in the late 1800's. The trainer usually teaches six exercises to help relax the nerves and muscles, increase circulation and regulate the heart rate, using conscious breathing and creating warmth in the abdomen and coolness in the forehead. The aim of this technique is to reach a state of near hypnosis and deep relaxation to allow the body to deal with stress, tension, migraines, concerns and trauma. You can read more here.

 

 

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