Fetal Development at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy

At 6 weeks of pregnancy, fetal development will occur more rapidly, especially the heart and brain. Usually, around this age, pregnant women can already hear the heartbeat of the fetus. For more details, here we will share information about fetal development at 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Fetal Development at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy

At 6 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus is the size of a pea with a length of about 2-5 mm from the top of the head to the buttocks. In this week, the brain and nervous system of the fetus develop very quickly. Also, the eyes have started to form on each side of the head and look like dark dots. Meanwhile, the ears appear to be shaped like small indentations on the sides of the head.

picture of fetal development at 6 weeks of pregnancy

picture of fetal shape at 6 weeks of pregnancy

Aside from that, the fetal heart has started beating and can be detected through an ultrasound examination of the womb. Normally, the fetal heart rate is around 105 to 110 beats per minute. When viewed through ultrasound, the body of the fetus is coated by a thin translucent layer. This makes its body look transparent. The baby’s digestive and respiratory systems will begin to form properly. Also, the budding cells develop into paddle-like arms and legs.

Read also: Ultrasound Pictures at 6 Weeks

Changes in the Mother’s Body at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy

Some pregnant women may notice weight gain at 6 weeks of fetal development. However, the abdomen does not yet appear prominent even though it is carrying twins. In other cases, some pregnant women lose weight. In addition, pregnant women may feel more signs of pregnancy than in previous weeks. Well, here is an explanation of each symptom.

1. Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is still often experienced by pregnant women until the first trimester is over. Although it is called morning sickness, it does not mean that nausea and vomiting only come in the morning. There are some pregnant women who can feel it throughout the day. Also, certain foods can affect nausea. According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50 percent of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting in the morning.

2. Headache

During the 6th week of pregnancy, there are some pregnant women who experience severe headaches. Hormonal changes and dehydration are the causes of headaches during pregnancy. According to a study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, 36% of pregnant women report feeling headaches during pregnancy. However, even though pregnant women often experience this, you should still ask your doctor during your monthly consultation. This is because headaches can be a sign of health problems, such as high blood pressure.

3. Easily Tired and Emotional

Usually, pregnant women will feel easily tired and more emotional during the first trimester of pregnancy. The main causes of fatigue during pregnancy at 6 weeks are hormonal changes and fetal development in the womb. However, there is no need to worry if this happens. This is a normal condition during the 6-week fetal development period. For this case, we recommend that you get enough rest and also maintain your mood so that you do not stay angry or sad for too long.

4. More Frequent Urination

Pregnant women can still experience frequent urination although the shape and size of the 6-week-old fetus is still very small. You do not need to worry about the intensity of urination which is increasingly frequent during the 6-week fetal development period. It is because the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) causes pregnant women to urinate frequently. This will increase blood flow to the kidneys to remove waste from the mother and baby’s body. Need to know, when you urinate, you are not only removing your own urine, but also the fetus’.

Things to Note at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy

The euphoria of pregnancy can turn into fear at 6 weeks of fetal development. There are many fears that may come up, such as the risk of miscarriage, especially if this is the first pregnancy. You may also have asked, can stress cause miscarriage? In fact, there is no scientific evidence whether stress can cause miscarriage. Usually, the cause of early miscarriage is an abnormality in the chromosomes or some issues in the development of the embryo.

Here are other causes of early miscarriage:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities in the mother/father or both.
  • Blood clotting disorders.
  • Cervical or uterine abnormalities.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Weak immune system that impairs the embryo transplant process.

If you are worried about miscarriage, then you should focus on taking care of yourself and the fetus. Please stay away from things that can trigger a miscarriage, such as smoking and alcoholic beverages.

A Visit to a Doctor or Midwife at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy

Pregnant women will do physical tests during visits to a doctor or midwife.

Here are some of the tests that pregnant women need to do during 6 weeks of pregnancy:

  • Weighing body weight.
  • Measure height.
  • Measure blood pressure.

During the first visit, some blood tests can be done by pregnant women to determine the blood type (A, B, AB or O) and Rh factor (Rh positive or Rh negative). Also, these blood tests can determine if you still have immunity to some diseases from previous vaccinations, such as rubella and hepatitis B.

Generally, an ultrasound examination is not necessary, unless there is a high risk in the pregnancy. However, in normal conditions, an ultrasound can still be done to determine the number of fetuses in the uterus and to detect multiple pregnancies.

Read also: How Many Times Do Pregnant Women Have to Do Ultrasound?

How to Maintain Health at 6 Weeks of Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, of course you need to maintain your health well so that fetal development remains optimal. Usually, pregnant women will feel many changes in the body, so you need to adapt.

Here are some tips to maintain health at 6 weeks of pregnancy:

1. Eat Regularly

Pregnant women still need to eat regularly as a reserve of energy and nutrition for the fetus, even though it is difficult because of frequent nausea and vomiting. Usually, pregnant women will need an additional calorie intake of around 180-300 kilocalories (kcal) a day. There are a variety of healthy foods for pregnant women, such as dairy products, eggs, nuts, green vegetables, and fruit.

Nausea often makes pregnant women have no appetite. Therefore, it is very important for pregnant women to find foods that can be eaten easily. Some food options include soup, porridge, or fruits. Also, you can add a little ginger to help reduce nausea. Avoid foods which are prohibited for pregnant women, such as fish high in mercury.

2. Keep moving

Pregnancy is not a reason to not do any activity at all. You can try to keep moving by doing various light physical activities. During pregnancy, you can take a leisurely 30-minute walk or swim in the morning. Of course, this will make your body more energized and assist you sleep better at night. However, still adjust to the condition of the pregnancy because every pregnant woman is different. There are some pregnant women who need total rest, but there are also those who do not.

3. Leaning Stomach When Urinating

At 6 weeks of pregnancy, usually you will experience frequent urination, so you need to empty the bladder to avoid urinary tract infections during pregnancy. To do that, lean your stomach when urinating to make sure the bladder is completely empty. In addition to reducing the risk of urinary tract infections, emptying the bladder can also reduce the frequency of going to the bathroom. Do not forget to avoid consuming caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee and tea.

Next, read also stages of fetal development at 7 weeks so that you follow further developments properly.

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