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6 weeks pregnant – all you need to know

By the end of this week your baby will have grown to the size of an orange pip.

Week 6 infographic.

What does my baby look like?

Your baby looks more like a tadpole than a baby right now, because their back is curved and they have a tail.

Your baby’s heart started beating at 24 days. There’s a bulge where their heart is going to develop. Even at this very early stage, the heartbeat can sometimes be found on a vaginal ultrasound scan.

There’s also a bump where the brain and head are going to grow. Tiny dimples on this bump soon turn into ears and you can see a thick area where the eyes are going to form.

Your baby is covered with a very thin layer of translucent skin.

Get weekly updates on your baby's development from our expert midwives straight to your inbox.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 6

Are you suffering from cramps, constipation or dizzy spells? Find out about 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them). 

Morning sickness

One of the hardest things to cope with in the first trimester is morning sickness. Don’t be fooled by the name, the nausea can hit you at any time of the day. Some women get it and some don’t, some get it in one pregnancy and not the next or vice versa. Researchers have not been able to find the cause of it.

Even if you feel terrible, you don’t need to worry about the baby unless you can’t keep anything at all down. Your baby will get everything he needs from you.

'When I had morning sickness, the only thing that made me feel better was drinking tonic water, although it made me throw up. It took me a long time after giving birth to want a G&T again!' 

Louise, mum of two

Morning sickness remedies

These are some things that women have said have helped them, though there is little research to prove that they work. There is no tried and tested morning sickness remedy other than time.

  • Sparkling water
  • Sucking ice cubes
  • Small frequent meals
  • Travel wristbands
  • Foods and drinks that contain ginger (like ginger biscuits, chamomile and ginger tea, ginger ale and crystallised ginger).

If you find you can't keep anything down, speak to a doctor or midwife.

Pregnancy headaches?

Some women suffer with horrible headaches in pregnancy, which can sometimes be caused by hormones or dehydration. Find out more about how much water you should drink in pregnancy.

The following tips might help:

  • Try to rest when you can
  • Find ways to relax, like pregnancy yoga. Our 10 tips to help you relax in pregnancy is a good place to start. 
  • If you need painkillers, make sure you take the recommended dose.
  • Paracetamol is usually safe to take in pregnancy - but not all pain relief is so if you're thinking about a different pain killer make sure to check with your pharmacist.
  • Have a chat with your midwife or GP about pain relief.

If you have a severe headache that will not go away, it’s important you’re checked out by your GP or midwife. 

Tired and emotional?

Many women find that they get extremely tired during the first three months. Your body is working very hard so it's not surprising.

It can be difficult to cope with the tiredness, as you may not want to share the news of your pregnancy yet.

'I was so excited to be pregnant, but it also made me feel very tired. I could have slept all day and then still be tired when I woke up. It’s an exhaustion like nothing you've ever felt before.'

Louisa, mum of two

Just remember that this stage won't last forever, and the deep tiredness you're feeling usually passes when you reach the second trimester. If you can, get more sleep by going to bed earlier.

You may also feel emotional and tearful over little things, and you may find that your mood is suddenly going up and down because of the pregnancy hormones in your body. This is normal, but if you find that you are feeling sad more than you feel happy and the feeling does not go away speak to a midwife or doctor about it. You can read more about mental wellbeing in pregnancy here.

Are you suffering from anxiety and panic attacks in pregnancy

Smoking and pregnancy

If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and have been smoking, try not to worry. If you stop smoking now it will make a big difference to your and your baby’s health. We understand it’s a challenge to quit, but there’s lots of help and support out there for you.

Get help to stop smoking.

The risks from secondhand smoke are also high. You might be surprised to learn that 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and doesn’t smell. This means that if a smoker in your household quits, the benefits to you and your baby are huge, similar to when you stop yourself.

If you’re worried about the amount of secondhand smoke you may be taking in, you can ask your midwife for a Carbon Monoxide (CO) test.

Sources

  1. You and your baby at 0–8 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2017. Next review due: 28/02/2020).
  2. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Johnathan Cape
  3. NHS Smokefree. Secondhand smoke, http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/secondhand-smoke (Accessed 25/06/2018 No review dates)
  4. Bustos M, Venkataramanan R, et al (2017) Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy - What's new? Auton Neurosci. 2017 Jan;202:62-72. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 May 13.
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    Last reviewed on June 25th, 2018. Next review date June 25th, 2021.

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    Comments

    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By P (not verified) on 26 Dec 2016 - 22:57

      Hi i have just come off pills and missed one period did a clear blue pregnancy test came negative I get pregnancy symptoms am I pregnant or not

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Jan 2017 - 09:15

      Hi,
      Sometimes it can be a little early to do a pregnancy test as they may not be sensitive enough to pick up the rise in your hormone levels yet. Or else sometime symptoms are difficult to tell if it is pregnancy or something else. If you have not done so already I would advise to repeat the pregnancy test again. Additionally if you have not done so already to start taking folic acid if you are trying to conceive.

    • By Kirsty (not verified) on 22 Dec 2016 - 23:13

      Hi I'm nearly 7 week pregnant with my 3rd child. Every so often I get a water bloody leaking for my lady bits. Never had it in past. Could your shed a light on this? Thanks

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2017 - 14:59

      Hi Kirsty
      Any bleeding in early pregnancy needs to be checked out and as this bloody watery discharge seems to be ongoing, it would be advisable to have a medical review to ensure all is going to plan. See if your GP could refer you to the EPU for an early scan or some EPU's allow you to self refer. If you want to chat to one of our Midwives further about this, please ring the Pregnancy Line on 0800 0147 800 (Mon to Fri ) 9am till 5pm.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2017 - 15:02

      Hi Kirsty
      Any bleeding in early pregnancy needs to be checked out and as this bloody watery discharge seems to be ongoing, it would be advisable to have a medical review to ensure all is going to plan. See if your GP could refer you to the EPU for an early scan or some EPU's allow you to self refer. If you want to chat to one of our Midwives further about this, please ring the Pregnancy Line on 0800 0147 800 (Mon to Fri ) 9am till 5pm.

    • By Theresa (not verified) on 30 Oct 2016 - 07:56

      Hey I'm 6 wks pregnant and experiencing a slight niggle on my left abdominal side. This is my 3rd pregnancy. Should I be concerned? TIA

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 31 Oct 2016 - 09:20

      Hi there. If the niggle, becomes a pain, then this is certainly worth getting looked at asap. Left or right sided pain in early pregnancy is treated very seriously, due to the risk ectopic pregnancies can pose to the pregnant woman. You may or may not get some bleeding too. Your GP or walk in centre/A&E can refer you to the local early pregnancy assessment unit if you do start to feel pain in that area. Look after yourself.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Oct 2016 - 12:45

      This clear or whitish discharge is quite normal and happens for a few reasons. During pregnancy, the cervix (neck of the womb) changes and the discharge increases in order to help prevent any infections travelling up from the vagina to the womb. Hope this helps.

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Jun 2017 - 07:10

      I exactly felt the way this article was and is written for a mother n father like us born for ... thank you again from where I started...

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jun 2017 - 12:23

      Hi, Thank you for your comment, we are pleased that you are finding the information that we provide help and supportive. take Care Tommy's Midwives x

    • By Heather (not verified) on 26 Oct 2016 - 07:12

      Hi
      Sorry to ask another question but I don't see my midwife for another couple of weeks, this normal when I wiped after going to the loo I noticed a bit of mucus type discharge. I put it down to the mucus plug being formed but I didn't expect to see any, I'm worried that I'll have a miscarriage, is this to be expected/normal?
      Thank you

    • By Heather (not verified) on 24 Oct 2016 - 13:43

      Hi, I'm 6 weeks pregnant, is it normal not to have many symptoms, I get tired, my boobs hurt and I get cramps. All these come and go some days I don't have any. Is this normal?

      Thanks

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Oct 2016 - 14:13

      Every woman is different. Some have almost no symptoms of pregnancy at all, whilst others get every symptom possible. But yes, they can also come and go on a daily basis. There is a broad spectrum of normal, but what you are describing is completely normal. I hope this eases your concerns.

    • By DMH (not verified) on 10 Dec 2018 - 21:10

      This is helps alot. I don't have all the symptoms, and I notice this comes and goes!

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Aug 2016 - 11:51

      Hi,
      I'm sorry you're feeling so weak at this stage of pregnancy. Do you have an upcoming appointment with your midwife soon?
      At your 28 week appointment you will have the option of a blood test for anaemia. It may be that part of your exhaustion is due to this. If you'd like to speak to a midwife in more detail please give us a call on 0800 0147 800

    • By magdaline Akang... (not verified) on 23 Aug 2016 - 06:41

      When ever l wake up in the morning l feel so weak and tired and am in my 6 month period of pregnancy what should I do ?

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