Your baby is now 4-7mm long and will develop his or her face this week! Top of your list this week should be booking your first antenatal appointment with your GP.
What’s my baby doing at six weeks pregnant?
You might be feeling the full effects of those early pregnancy symptoms (hello, morning sickness!), but the good news is, the folds of tissue are developing that will soon become your baby’s face. At the moment, there’s tiny openings that will turn into a mouth and nostrils in a few weeks. There’s also dark patches that will eventually turn into eyes, and small folds on the side of your baby’s head that will turn into ears.
At the moment, there’s tiny openings that will turn into a mouth and nostrils in a few weeks.
Currently, your baby’s ‘limbs’ are just buds, but they will soon develop into arms and legs, with tiny fingers and toes. The spinal cord is also developing rapidly, but at the moment, it still resembles a tail. Your baby’s heart will also start to beat around 110 times a minute and can actually be seen on an ultrasound from this week.
What is my body doing at six weeks pregnant?
- Your kidneys are becoming more effective at ridding your body of waste: Although you probably won’t look any different on the outside, you might be feeling queezy, bloated or craving foods you’ve never even wanted before. Other early signs? You’ll probably need to pee every five minutes, especially when you’re trying to sleep. Luckily, this pressure will be relieved once your uterus rises at the beginning of trimester two. Although your constant need to wee might be annoying, do not stop drinking – your body needs it. Instead, make sure you lean forward on the toilet to ensure you’ve emptied your bladder each time.
- Your stomach muscles relax: During week six, the muscle at the top of your stomach relaxes to make room for your growing bump. Before your new arrival, this prevents digestive juices from backing up, so the bad news is, the chances of getting through the next eight months’ heartburn free are nearly zero. The good news is, you can minimise the symptoms by slowing down when you eat, so take your time!
- Your uterus expands: Your uterus is getting bigger (no surprise there), but did you know that your womb will actually increase up to 1000 times its normal size during your pregnancy, so this is still very early days.
- The amount of blood in your body increases: This has probably already happened, and isn’t something you’re likely to notice. Why is this happening? During these first few weeks of pregnancy, you’ll have an increased blood supply to your uterus (another reason why you need to wee so much!), breasts, kidneys and skin.
Common symptoms to look out for
- Breast Tenderness: You’re not imagining it; your boobs are getting bigger and your nipples are pointing out more. They might also be feeling really tender as your body gets ready to breastfeed.
- Fatigue: Your body is growing a baby, so it’s bound to be exhausted! Listen to it and feel free to cancel those dinner arrangements and get an early night. That said, as much as you might not feel like it, try and fit some exercise in – perhaps a gentle walk or a yoga class. The endorphins will help you feel better and it might help you get to sleep. There are also some great superfoods to help fight fatigue!
- Nausea and Vomiting: Whether you’re feeling a little sick at the sight of your partner’s scrambled eggs, or you’re throwing up your breakfast, lunch and dinner, relax and remember, this is one of the most common signs of pregnancy. If you are being sick, snacking is key. These breakfast ideas are great for when your belly is feeling sensitive.
- Bloating: This one is down to the progesterone that’s flying round your body right now. Remember to eat lots of fibre and drink plenty of water to avoid getting constipated, which will only make that horrible bloated feeling worse. It can also lead to rectal prolapse.
What should I be doing when I’m six weeks pregnant?
- Book an appointment with your doctor: As we mentioned above, now is the time to book that first appointment with your GP or a local midwife so you can discuss your antenatal care options. At your first of many prenatal check-ups, your doctor will give you a thorough check, including a pelvic exam, a smear test (unless you’ve had one recently) and a blood test. You might be asked to give a urine sample (which you probably won’t have a problem providing) and this will be tested for glucose, protein, red and white blood cells and bacteria. Another thing to expect is a lot of questions – so do your homework! Not only will they ask about your own health history, but also about your mum and if she had any difficulties or complications when giving birth. Remember to make a list of questions for your doctor and ask them, no matter how silly they may sound.
- Stop eating certain seafoods: Avoid shark, swordfish and king mackerel, but don’t worry, you don’t need to cut out fish all together. According to pregnancy guidelines, you can still eat 12oz of well-cooked shellfish, canned tuna, salmon or cod a week.
- Opt for highlights, not a whole head of hair dye: During these first few months, it’s safest to avoid the chemicals involved in hair dye. Highlights don’t touch the scalp, so that’s the safest way to go. Ask your GP if you have any worries or questions.
15 cheeses that are SAFE to eat when you're pregnant
Double GloucesterA hard, orange cheese, Double Gloucester is a great alternative to Cheddar and grating it into cheese sauces or macaroni cheese adds a bit of colour. You could also mix some into this Cauliflower Cheese recipe.
CheddarThe crumbly, creamy tanginess of a good Cheddar can make all of life’s little problems disappear, especially when it’s grated liberally over bread and toasted.
StiltonDespite being a blue cheese, Stilton is actually safe to eat in pregnancy because it’s a hard cheese, which doesn't contain as much water as soft cheeses, so bacteria (such as listeria) are less likely to grow in them. However, steer clear of soft blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Roquefort unless cooked thoroughly.
FetaMade from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk, feta originated from Greece and is used regularly in Mediterranean cooking. It’s a rich source of vitamin B12, which you need in pregnancy to aid the growth and development of your baby. For a healthy, tasty lunch, try this Feta, Mint, Lentil And Pistachio Omelette recipe.
MozzarellaSo long as mozzarella is made from pasteurised milk, it’s fine to eat in pregnancy. Add to pizzas, slice it over the top of lasagne or pasta dishes or serve cold with tomatoes and basil. We love it in this Mediterranean Vegetable And Mozzarella Bake.
HalloumiWith it’s firm, springy texture, halloumi can be grilled or fried while still retaining its shape. Ideal for adding to salads such as this Halloumi, Asparagus & Pomegranate Quinoa Salad.
Soft cheeseCheese spreads such as Philadelphia are safe to eat in pregnancy as they’re made with pasteurised milk. As well as adding to sandwiches, it’s great on toast and topped with tomatoes for a tasty breakfast.
Baked camembertWhile camembert is normally not safe to eat in pregnancy as it’s a soft, rind cheese, bake it in the oven until it’s piping hot all the way through and you kill off the listeria bacteria that can be dangerous. Get some fresh, crusty bread and dig in.
Cottage cheeseClassically seen as a “slimmer’s food” because of the low-fat content, cottage cheese is good for adding to jacket potatoes, topping on oatcakes or adding to spicy chicken wraps. It’s a great food in pregnancy as it’s high in protein, which you need to aid your baby’s growth.
MascarponeA soft, spreadable cheese that originates from Italy, mascarpone is safe in pregnancy so long as the milk it’s made from is pasteurised. It has a very mild flavour so can be used in both savoury and sweet flavours for adding creaminess. Try stirring some into this Rigatoni and Courgette pasta dish.
PaneerThis classic Indian cheese is often served in curry to add texture, or alongside spinach. It’s mild flavour and slightly chewy texture means it goes well in spicy dishes. Try adding it to this Full-Of-Sunshine Thai Curry Recipe.
EdamThis Dutch cheese is mild and creamy so ideal for a quick cheese on toast snack. Mini Edam cheeses such as Babybel make great snacks to keep you going through the day (for you as well as your kids!)
ParmesanHarder cheeses tend to carry the lowest risk of listeria, so a very hard cheese such as Parmesan (or pecorino) is fine to eat in pregnancy. Try grating slithers into a salad or sprinkling finely grated Parmesan over pasta dishes like this Pappardelle al Ragu.
Garlic and herb rouladeAlthough it’s a soft cheese, garlic and herb roulade cheese is safe to eat in pregnancy so long as it’s made with pasteurised milk. Perfect for spreading on a baguette or mixing into a cheese sauce for added flavour.
Goat’s cheese without rindWhile goat’s cheese with a rind (Chevre) is not safe, you can also buy varieties that are rindless, and these are safe in pregnancy. Try this Rosemary-Roasted Butternut, Courgette, Amaranth And Barley Couscous Salad recipe with goat’s cheese.