Welcome to Week 6
By week 6, you may start feeling pregnant and begin experiencing nausea and morning sickness in full swing. Morning sickness affects up to 70% of pregnant women and isn’t only restricted to the morning hours. It can appear at anytime of the day or night and can range in severity. You may experience anything from mild queasiness, nausea and loss of appetite to mild or severe vomiting. Nonetheless, remember that morning sickness is a good sign. It occurs due to hormonal changes that promote the development of the placenta. And the good news is that it should disappear by the time you’re in your twelfth week. Morning sickness aside, here’s what you should expect this week.
Update on Your Body
While it is healthy to gain a little weight, do not be alarmed if you find yourself losing weight as a result of vomiting and loss of appetite. As long as you are eating healthy, your baby will gain adequate nutrition. Besides, once you are past your first trimester and the morning sickness has subsided, your body will make up for the weight loss by consistently gaining weight. The breast tenderness, soreness, and darkening of your nipples will heighten this week, and your breasts may grow in size. Your breasts will begin storing fat from now on, as they prepare to produce milk for breastfeeding. You may experience more frequent urination, as well as constipation, as a result of your uterus descending. This is because your uterus puts added pressure on your bladder and intestines as it grows. Also, pregnancy hormones can make your intestines sluggish, compounding constipation.
Update on Your Baby
This week, your baby’s hands and feet look like buds, with webbed structures that will later develop into fingers and toes. The nose, palate, jaws and lungs have begun to form. The development of the brain into various regions is already underway. If your doctor performs a vaginal ultrasound this week, you may see a heartbeat, although it is likely still too early to hear it on an ultrasound. Nonetheless, your baby’s heart has been beating for some time now.
Your Baby’s Size
0.25 inches, or the size of a pomegranate seed.
Tips for an Expectant Mom
Have small bites at frequent intervals; divide your day into three wholesome meals and three snacks.
Combat morning sickness by opening the kitchen windows when you cook, having something dry to eat (such as dry toast, biscuits, breakfast cereals, muesli or crackers), sniffing lemon or ginger, or having a lemon- or ginger-infused drink.
Keep yourself well hydrated with water and juices.
If you develop hyperemesis gravidarum (explained in week 5) consult your doctor immediately.
Wear breathable clothes and underwear to keep as dry as possible; this can help ward off vaginal yeast infections.
Buy good-quality pregnancy bras to help relieve breast soreness and avoid future sagging.
Get 8-10 hours of sleep every night and if possible, 1-hour naps in the afternoons.
Eat lots of fibre-rich foods such as prunes, berries, oats, almonds and sweet potatoes. Fibre helps relieve and prevent constipation, a common problem during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Avoid skipping meals or eating oily, fried, overly sweet or salty foods.
Tips for an Expectant Dad
Be there for your partner to help her deal with morning sickness and any associated feelings of irritation and discomfort.
If you can cook, this is the right time to show off your culinary skills. Your partner might feel nauseous with the smell of food. Help her by cooking a few meals or maybe order her a special home delivery (check the quality and hygiene standards of the restaurant first).
Surprise your partner with a bunch of flowers to cheer her up. They don’t cost that much and the gesture will certainly be appreciated.