6 weeks pregnant: baby's development, morning sickness and your emotions

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

Your baby’s development this week

At this point, your baby’s back is curved and they have a large head. Folds are visible, which later become the face and jaw. The beginning of a nose can be seen on their head and two sets of limb buds start to appear, which will later become arms and legs.

By week 6, the heart starts beating.

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

Morning sickness is very common in early pregnancy and is probably caused by hormonal changes. Don’t be fooled by the name, the nausea can affect you at any time of the day or you may feel sick all day. It usually clears up as you go into your second trimester.

Morning sickness can be unpleasant, but it won’t hurt your baby. Speak to your midwife or doctor if you can’t keep anything down.

"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!" 

Treatments for morning sickness

There are some things that may make you feel better. These include:

  • getting plenty of rest
  • avoiding any foods or smells that make you feel sick
  • drinking plenty of water (it may help to sip it)
  • eat foods and drinks containing ginger, such as ginger biscuits (check with your pharmacist before taking ginger supplements during pregnancy).

Sometimes, pregnancy sickness is severe. You may be sick several times a day and be unable to keep food or drink down. This is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and often needs hospital treatment. If you’re being sick a lot or can’t keep your food or drink down, tell your midwife, doctor or contact your local maternity unit as soon as possible.

Find out more about morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum.

Pregnancy headaches

Headaches can be common in early pregnancy and usually improve as your pregnancy progresses. They can be uncomfortable, but don’t hurt your baby.

It may help to:

If you need painkillers, paracetamol is usually safe to take in pregnancy. Just make sure you stick to the recommended dose on the packet and try to take it for the shortest possible time. Find out more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy.

Ibuprofen is not recommended in pregnancy, unless it is prescribed by a doctor.

Speak to your midwife, GP or call NHS 111 if you have a severe headache.

Tired and emotional?

Many people find that they get extremely tired during the first 3 months. Your body is working very hard and there are lots of hormonal changes going on, so it's not surprising.

"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."

It’s also very common to feel a bit emotional now. This is natural – there are a lot of changes happening to your body and in your life.

Speak to your GP or midwife if you are feeling down or anxious and this is affecting your everyday life. Don’t worry, they won’t judge you. They understand that these feelings are common and will do what they can to support you.

Find out more about emotional changes in pregnancy.

Smoking and pregnancy

Tobacco smoke can cause serious pregnancy complications. If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant and have been smoking, try not to worry. Stopping now will help you and your baby immediately.

Stopping smoking isn’t easy for everyone, but there’s lots of help and support out there for you.

Get help to stop smoking.

It’s also important to stay away from secondhand smoke. If anyone in your house smokes, it will help you and your baby if they quit too, or at least do not smoke in or near the house.

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.

1. Regan, Lesley (2019) Your pregnancy week by week: what to expect from conception to birth. Penguin Random House, London

2. NHS. Vomiting and morning sickness. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/vomiting-and-morning-sickness/ (Page last reviewed: 13 April 2021. Next review due: 13 April 2024) Accessed: September 2021

3. Macdonald, Sue (2017) Mayes’ Midwifery. London, Elsevier Health Sciences UK

4. NHS. Headaches in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/headaches// (Page last reviewed: 8 April 2021. Next review due: 8 April 2024) Accessed: September 2021

5. NHS. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility while taking or using ibuprofen. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/ibuprofen-for-adults/pregnancy-breastfeeding-and-fertility-while-taking-ibuprofen/ (Page last reviewed: 18 November 2021 Next review due: 18 November 2024)

6. NHS. Tiredness and sleep problems. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/tiredness/ (Page last reviewed: 1 February 2021. Next review due: 1 February 2024) Accessed: September 2021

7. The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (February 2017) Maternal Mental Health – Women’s Voices https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/information/maternalmental-healthwomens-voices.pdf

8. NHS. Stop smoking in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/stop-smoking/ (Page last reviewed: 7 November 2019. Next review due: 7 November 2022) Accessed: September 2021

Review dates
Reviewed: 11 July 2022
Next review: 11 July 2025