Tommy's PregnancyHub

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.
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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.

  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.
Review dates

Last reviewed: 25 June, 2018
Next review: 25 June, 2021