The six-week millstone can bring a lot of changes into your life when you’re pregnant. Your baby will barely be the size of your palm, but it’s already starting growing proper limbs – unfortunately, your body’s going to feel drained of energy from this point forward. You might even run into some of the temporary pregnancy-related changes that can alter how you feel every day.
How big is the Baby?
For most women, their baby will be less than an inch across – 0.15 inches, in fact. That’s just over a third of a centimeter, and smaller than little gummies or candies you might have had in the past. However, it’s still growing – it’ll already have a small pulse and a circulatory system, and it won’t be long before it gets even bigger.
There are very few cases where there’ll be a huge difference to the size. While it’s common for babies to be born with quite a wide weight range, there’s barely any variation at this stage of the pregnancy.
How Has The Baby Developed?
Right now, your baby will look a little bit like a tadpole. Don’t worry – the small tail and scrunched-up body will go away soon, and it’s just a natural part of their development. Not only will it have a heartbeat, but you’ll be able to pick it up on ultrasound machines in a week or two. The baby itself will develop some tiny little buds on its body, which are the starting points of its limbs: they’re not much to look at yet, but they’ll get larger and more defined as the pregnancy continues.
The baby isn’t the only thing that’s growing, though. Your body will be preparing your new umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic sac for future use, which will all be undergoing their own changes and developments. This will be taking more energy and nutrients from your body too, but not as much as your young, growing baby.
How Will My Body Change?
6 weeks is around the time you’ll want to start scheduling proper prenatal appointments, although you won’t have to actually visit them until you’re further into your pregnancy. There’s nothing immediate you’ll need to worry about, but there’s also no harm in visiting your doctor if you want to check on the health and development speed of the baby.
You’ll notice a few overt changes with your body, especially with how you feel on a day-to-day basis:
- Cravings will start to be a problem, although they don’t affect every person. You’ll find yourself suddenly wanting a specific kind of food, even if it’s not something you’re normally that interested in. While you won’t usually suffer much if you don’t satisfy them, your body is often asking for a specific kind of nutrition in those foods, so try to sate your cravings as often as possible without eating too much.
- Aversions are also likely, and are basically reverse-cravings: your hormones will affect your sense of smell (and sometimes taste), which can make it hard to stomach foods you normally enjoy. You’ll sometimes be able to eat them just fine if you ignore the smell, but won’t be as good of an experience.
- Blood spots might seem worrying at first, but they don’t always lead to a larger problem. Around one-fifth of all pregnant women will notice this “spotting” early in their pregnancy, and it’s generally barely enough to even notice. If it’s anything heavier, you should get checked by a doctor.
- Physical fatigue is one of the most obvious side-effects of a pregnancy, and for a good reason: your body is using up a lot of energy to create a brand new human. Just rest and relax for now – you won’t need to worry about energy until further in the pregnancy, since it’s a mostly passive process right now.
- Strange dreams are quite common, as are problems like insomnia or bizarre REM cycles and circadian rhythms. Thankfully, the fatigue will help deal with this, since it’ll be easier to fall asleep naturally.
- Morning sickness is another extremely likely issue, and you’ll find yourself waking up feeling sick far more than usual. It can vary in intensity and will usually vanish in a few weeks, so there’s not a single way to treat or reduce it – you’ll just have to try things until you find a food or drink that keeps the sickness down.
- Embarrassingly, sore boobs can be a temporary issue, especially if you don’t wear a very comfortable style of bra. Your breasts will be developing a better milk gland to feed your baby once it’s born, so they’ll probably feel more tender than usual.
- If you’re really lucky, you might actually have no changes at all. Some pregnant women don’t have any of these problems, and many will only suffer from one or two of the issues on this list. Obviously, some of them (like the cravings) are quite vague and can be quite mild, so can potentially feel cravings or fatigue without actually realizing that something’s changed.
What will life be like?
The first six weeks can be so mild that you might barely even feel like you’re pregnant – that’ll change eventually, so enjoy the time you’ve got.
Make sure to try and distract yourself as often as possible, since the fatigue can still make it hard to keep your normal routine. If you need help dealing with the changes, make sure to talk with a close friend or family member – it’s easier than being alone. Don’t stress yourself out too much, and relax as much as possible by reading or binge-watching television shows.
Also, keep in mind that 6 weeks pregnant is the start of your fatigue build-up, so you’ll find it harder to do physical activities later on in the pregnancy. If you’ve got a to-do list or set of jobs you really want to finish off, make sure to do it soon, before the baby gets larger and you’ll have to focus more on keeping yourself safe. On the other hand, if you don’t have anything like that to worry about, just relax and take it easy for a while.
Your belly won’t be big yet, but it can still start to bloat thanks to all the extra chemicals your body is forcing into your system. This’ll go away eventually, but you’ll still have to deal with a larger pregnancy tummy later on, so now’s a good time to track down some loose, comfortable clothes that you’ll be able to rely on much later.