Pregnancy week 6

By the end of the week your baby will be 4-6 mm Crown to Rump (CR) – about the size of a small bean. Tiny bumps appear on the body where the arms and legs will form, and the heart starts pumping blood. The brain is developing, and digestive and breathing systems are also forming. The larynx starts to form, as does the inner ear. The lining of the placenta begins developing but the placenta will not take over production of the hormones until about week 12. The liver, pancreas, lungs and stomach become evident. Transvaginal ultrasound can pick up 86% of the fetal poles with heart motion, and 100% of the yolk sacs at this point.

Hormone levels will rise again, and any morning sickness or other symptoms may increase. If you haven’t been having sickness, you may start to get it now. You may also feel emotional or moody. The tenderness in your breasts is likely to increase and the areola (the darker skin around the nipple) may darken. If you have a cat, be extremely careful, especially around the litter box, because of the risk of toxoplasmosis – rather let someone else tend to the cat.

You need to stay active throughout the pregnancy, and although you may start out feeling low and emotional, getting into a healthy, active routine early on is important. If you already go to classes or the gym regularly, speak to your instructor about being pregnant. You won’t need to stop exercising but they will be able to give you a workout that is good during pregnancy, rather than harmful.

You could also mitigate any sickness by occupying your mind with plans for the rest of the pregnancy – such as working out what you have to buy, or read, or any changes you may need to make around the home. Find out what you may need to about work – when you will need to tell your employer, and both your obligations to your contract of employment and your rights under employment law.

This can be a hard time for the prospective father – not knowing whether to comfort his partner or to leave her alone; not wanting to make too much fuss but also not wanting to appear uncaring or unattentive. Communication is important so that you can both let each other know how you feel and what you need without having to second guess and getting upset with each other unnecessarily.

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