6 Weeks Pregnant: Bring on the Symptoms

It’ll be another busy week for baby, but then most of the first trimester is. Unfortunately, a busy week for baby means high energy use from you. This is why 6 weeks pregnant typically marks the point where fatigue begins to seriously bring you down– literally, like to a bed. In fact, in almost all pregnancies hormone levels are now sufficient to cause all sorts of fun pregnancy symptoms.

6 weeks pregnant baby
Your baby at 6 weeks pregnant

What’s up with baby at 6 weeks pregnant?

Remember how last week your baby was a tiny rice-sized dot with a line on it? Well, in a short week he or she has now grown to about the size of a skittle (4 to 6 mm from crown to rump) and resembles sort of a tiny tadpole– seriously, she/he even has gills and a tail.  Arm and leg buds are beginning to form. The inner ear and larynx are almost complete, as well as the development of the placenta. Although, the placenta won’t take over the nutritional support from the gestational sack, or yolk we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, until around week ten.

Almost all of the vital organs are also now in process and the heart is beating! Both a heart beat and brain waves can be detected in most babies at 6 weeks pregnant. All of this crucial fetal development is why avoiding hazards to your baby’s health, such as alcohol, is important from day one of your pregnancy.

What’s going on with your body at 6 weeks pregnant?

6 weeks pregnant ultrasound
A “dot” or yolk within the circle is usually visible at 6 weeks pregnant

As mentioned, 6 weeks pregnant can be deemed the official “symptoms” week for most, though some women have pregnancies which are basically symptom free. You may meet your new best friend morning sickness this week. Don’t be confused either, morning sickness doesn’t just visit in the morning. It can hit at any time. Your breasts may also become more tender and tingly. The areola, or area around the nipple, may begin to increase in size and darken. Your blood pressure may begin to drop. This can cause light-headedness and headaches. Other common complaints in early pregnancy, or 6 weeks pregnant symptoms, include scent sensitivity, taste changes, way too frequent potty breaks, bloating, nausea without vomiting, gas, constipation, difficultly sleeping (despite fatigue), and mild cramping.

Bloating may make you appear slightly pregnant at this point, but unless this is not your first pregnancy, chances are you have no “baby bump” yet. Most women look about the same as they did pre-pregnancy minus some possible boob-size increase at 6 weeks pregnant.

In the early weeks, some degree of spotting can also be completely normal. You can read more about bleeding in the first trimester here.

Should I see a prenatal care provider at 6 weeks pregnant?

Unfortunately, many care givers won’t see you before week 10 to 12 unless you are a high-risk case. This is because miscarriage is most common before this point. It is, however, a good idea to choose a prenatal care provider and set up your first appointment in advance. You might get lucky and be able to go in right away to confirm your pregnancy and get a general physical. Either way, make sure you are taking a prenatal with plenty of iron and folic acid as well as keeping a balanced diet.

5 Weeks Pregnant

The vast majority of pregnancy tests are positive by the end of week 5, though some women end up having to confirm by blood test or ultrasound. If you have a scan this early, you won’t see much but a small circle (the yolk mentioned in week 4). That yolk supporting your baby is now 90 percent complete, by the way.5 weeks pregnant ultrasound

What does my baby look like at 5 weeks pregnant?

Well, it doesn’t look like a baby yet–that is if you could even really see it. Your baby is about 1.5 to 2.5 millimeters in length or roughly the size of a grain of rice. During this week, the ball of dividing cells that are your baby separate into three layers: the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm.

5 weeks pregnant baby
Yep, doesn’t really look like a baby

The outer layer, or ectoderm, has begun to form a neural tube, sometimes referred to as a “fetal pole.” The spinal cord, brain, hair, skin, nails, tooth enamel nerves and more come from this layer.

The middle layer, or mesoderm, forms into muscle, bone, cartilage and the heart. Amazingly, your baby’s heart should be complete, and begin to beat sometime between 5 weeks pregnant and 6. You won’t be able to hear it on a doppler for some time, but it may be visible by ultrasound as a faint flickering.

Finally, the third and inner layer forms organs such as the lungs and liver. Though keep in mind most of the above are only beginning to form and won’t be complete for some time.  Yes, 5 weeks pregnant is a busy time for baby.

How are things for momma at 5 weeks pregnant?

At 5 weeks, you may begin experiencing pregnancy symptoms. You may feel exhausted. Breast tenderness might become and issue. You should invest in comfortable bras— remember to leave a little growing room. Some women also experience more cramping or even a feeling of fullness in the uterus during week five. The surge of hormones this week can cause symptoms similar to those of your menstrual cycle. This can commonly include headache. Avoid aspirin if you do opt for pain relief. Aspirin can be harmful to your baby. Consult your health care provider before taking any over the counter medication, including herbal or home remedies. You can read a full list of some of the earliest signs/symptoms of pregnancy here.

4 Weeks Pregnant: Implantation and Confirmation

4 weeks pregnant is an exciting time. Why? Well, because this is the first week you may technically be pregnant and even be able to confirm that pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your baby will reach its destination in your uterus sometime this week and set up shop. This process is called implantation.

How do you know if your baby has implanted?

You may not, some women have no implantation symptoms. Some signs that implantation may have occurred include:

-About a third of women experience implantation bleeding. This is often very light bleeding (possibly as little as 1 drop or faint pink on the toilet paper when you wipe) that occurs around 6 to 12 days after intercourse or ovulation. The timing can make it tricky to tell implantation bleeding from a period or pre-period spotting.

-Occasionally women report cramping or a “pinching” feeling in their uterus around implantation.

-Those who are charting their basal body temperature may also notice a sudden drop followed by a rise in temperature at implantation.

Pregnancy Symptoms at 4 weeks:

Keep in mind that symptoms of pregnancy don’t begin immediately after implantation. Pregnancy symptoms are caused by hormones associated with pregnancy which only begin to rise after implantation. Some women do report pregnancy symptoms very early, but this is because progesterone is present before implantation, and progesterone is to blame for many early pregnancy signs. You can take a quiz or read more about early pregnancy signs here.

Ok, lets assume your baby implanted, congratulations! What happens next?4 weeks pregnant

Your body immediately begins to produce the hormone hCG after your baby implants. This hormone tells the corpus luteum to keep making progesterone, so you don’t get your period. It’s also what will cause a pregnancy test to become positive in the coming days. The blastocyst (remember that’s what the fertilized egg is called once it implants) begins to split creating your baby from some cells and chorionic villi, or hair like projections that will later form your placenta. These projections help anchor your baby to your uterus. Fluid also begins to build, and a yolk-like sac begins to form. This yolk will nourish your baby until the placenta is complete. At the moment, this whole collection of cells is somewhere between the size of a pinhead and a poppy seed, but the speed at which your baby is going to grow from here on out is impressive.

Can you confirm your pregnancy at 4 weeks pregnant?

By the end of week four, hormone levels are most likely high enough to receive a definitive yes or no on an early result home pregnancy test, though waiting until week 5 can be a more sure-thing. Remember, that hCG levels at least double every 48 hours in a normal pregnancy, so waiting even one day later can make a huge difference between no line, a barely visible line, and an unquestionable yes. Be patient.