Your baby has now reached the size of a grain of rice and his facial features and major organs are forming. Your pregnancy symptoms may include heartburn, frequent urination, nausea, and cramps.
Your baby has tripled in size, and his major organs and initial facial features are beginning to form. If you could see your baby at 6 weeks pregnant, you would see that he is milky white in color with almost translucent skin. The embryo weighs about 0.01 oz / 0.28 grams, and measures 0.15 inch / 3.8 mm, the size of a grain of rice. The embryo’s eyes and nostrils now look like black spots on his face and the external ear is developing, as well as salivary glands inside his mouth, intestines and lungs. The budding hands and legs resemble short paddles with temporary webbing between the fingers and he has a tail that will disappear in a few weeks. Blood flows through his body and his heart is beating very fast – about 90 to 126 beats per minute (bpm).
The embryo’s heart rate will keep increasing in the following weeks, reaching about 155 to 195 beats per minute at week 9. By the end of the ninth week of pregnancy, your baby’s heart will have all four chambers and his heart rate will begin to decrease, reaching about 120 to 160 beats per minute by the 12th pregnancy week. Between the fifth and sixth weeks of pregnancy he or she also begins to move (yes, that early!), but you will not feel the baby moving for at least another 8 to 10 weeks, although if this, not your first pregnancy, you might recognize these light movements somewhat earlier.
You may still be experiencing pregnancy symptoms such as bloating, cramping and spotting or light bleeding, tender breasts, morning sickness and a heightened sense of smell. Many women feel very tired and suffer from mood swings and headache or rush to the bathroom every now and then. Gastrointestinal issues are common too, so don’t be surprised if you experience indigestion, gas or heartburn.
If this is your first pregnancy, your belly is probably as flat as it was before you got pregnant, but with the second (third, etc.) pregnancy your belly often shows much earlier, so if your favorite pair of jeans suddenly feels uncomfortably tight, don’t be surprised. The explanation for the quicker belly growth with a second pregnancy is that your uterus “has done it before”, so to say. The muscles of your uterus and abdomen have already been stretched in the past, so they’re looser now, ready to start functioning again. Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean your baby will be enormous or your belly will get bigger than with your first pregnancy– it’s just that it started growing sooner this time, that’s all.
The second pregnancy might feel different in more than your belly size. You might feel more tired and experience more discomfort and pains during pregnancy; as the uterine and abdominal muscles have been stretched, the baby is positioned lower in your abdomen, causing more backaches and joint pain than in your previous pregnancy.
On the other hand, your labor will probably be shorter this time, from the same reason: Your cervix and uterus have done this job before. Unfortunately, there is a chance that your afterpains will be stronger – again, the uterine muscles are more stretched than after the first labor, so the contractions you experience after labor or when breastfeeding (contractions that are meant to bring the uterus back down to its original size and prevent postpartum bleeding) are stronger too.
So now you know for sure that you’re pregnant, and may even have had your first ever ultrasound scan. When will it be a good time to make the exciting announcement? And is there anything you can do for a healthy pregnancy?
1. When is the Best Time to Tell the News?
It’s been a few weeks since you discovered you’re pregnant. You may feel impatient to shout happy news to the whole world or wonder how your boss will take it. In any case, take your time to think about how you’re going to tell the exciting news – you may Google the words “creative ways to announce pregnancy to a family”, and you will find yourself pleasantly surprised. Then again, you can just go ahead and tell the news in the good old way- face to face.
2. What should I Eat When Pregnant?
A healthy diet is always a good thing, and even more so during pregnancy. Make sure your daily diet contains foods rich in protein and calcium, fruits, vegetables and lots of fluids, and we’re not talking about sodas and coffee. Needless to say, alcohol and smoking are best to be avoided. You should also avoid uncooked meat and eggs and fish that contain high levels of naturally occurring mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and marlin. Don’t eat more than four medium-sized cans of tuna per week – tuna contains some mercury, too.
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