At week 6, pregnancy is still new to you. You probably only found out about it some days ago, and emotions are still running high. On top of that, you’re experiencing many early pregnancy symptoms that can be uncomfortable.

But inside your belly, your 6-week old embryo has already started to develop many features. Your baby is still very small (less than half an inch long!) but most of its systems and organs are already taking shape. So, even though it’s hardly even visible yet, it’s already getting ready to meet you in a few months!

In this article, we’ll explain more about what you can expect on week 6 of pregnancy.

Your baby at 6 weeks of pregnancy

Your 6-week old baby is tiny, but the folds in its head have started to form a little face. Even though the baby still looks a bit like a tadpole, its jaw, chin, and cheeks are starting to take shape. Your baby still has months to go before it’s ready to meet the world, but its facial features are already being determined.

Your little one is also starting to move its hands and feet, which look more like tiny paddles right now. A very fine layer of translucent skin has formed to cover your baby’s body. A 6-week old embryo still has a “tail”, which is where the spinal cord will come from.

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The size of a baby at 6 weeks can be compared to a pea or a lentil. It measures approximately 0.25 inches (0.63 cm) from head to rump. This might seem tiny, but your baby has actually doubled in size since last week. And this week, it will double in size again!

Your baby is in the famous fetal position. It’s curled up with an arched back, a curvy little tail, and it’s paddle-like legs tucked in.

It’s no wonder that the early stages of pregnancy can be so exhausting. Your bump might still be unnoticeable, but your little embryo is growing at the fastest rate it ever will — even compared to after birth! Throughout the entire pregnancy, your baby’s weight will increase 3,000 million times.

6-week old fetus development

By the 6th week of pregnancy, your baby’s heart is changing from a simple, tube-like structure to a four chamber organ. It’s already beating and sending blood through the baby’s developing circulatory system. The heart size of a 6th-week baby’s heart is similar to a poppy seed, and it beats 105 to 110 times per minute.

The baby’s ears are starting to form, but right now they look more like dimples. These tiny holes are placed on each side of its head, and they’ll eventually become fully-formed ears, lobes and all. There are also dark spots marking the place where the baby’s eyes will form soon.

Other vital organs, including lungs, kidneys, pituitary gland, intestines, and liver are starting to develop. The baby’s neural tube is beginning to close up this week. By week 6 of pregnancy, a baby’s brain waves can be recorded.

Your body at week 6 of pregnancy

By week 6 of pregnancy, it’s very likely that you’ve only just found out that you’re expecting — after all, you only missed your period last week. Some women don’t have symptoms yet, but many report experiencing 6th-week pregnancy symptoms. Both of these situations are normal, and women who haven’t experienced symptoms yet have nothing to worry about.​​

Your changing hormones can cause many different symptoms, both physical and emotional. It’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed or anxious during these early stages. After all, you’re creating a new life!

6 weeks pregnant belly

By week 6 of your pregnancy, it’s very likely that your body still looks the same on the outside. Although your baby is growing fast and your body is making many adjustments to welcome its new tenant, the baby is still small enough that you won’t be seeing a bump for some weeks.

Of course, if you’re pregnant with twins, your belly will grow at a faster rate. But by week 6, your tummy is probably looking the same as it did before.

How big is your uterus at week 6?

You might not have a baby bump yet, but your uterus has already started to grow to accommodate your baby. The change in size is still small, but it can be noticed by a doctor during an ultrasound. Your uterus at week 6 of pregnancy is becoming more egg-shaped and it’s starting to press down on your bladder.

Although your uterus is growing already, it will be contained inside your pelvic bones until the 12th week of pregnancy — which is why you won’t see a bump yet.

6th week pregnancy symptoms

The early stages of pregnancy can come with many symptoms or none at all. Every woman and every pregnancy is different, and you shouldn’t worry if you haven’t experienced many changes get. Common 6 week pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination: your uterus is already putting pressure on your bladder, your kidneys have become bigger, and hCG has increased their blood flow. All these factors are making you feel the need to go to the bathroom more often.
  • Heartburn and indigestion: hormonal changes are relaxing the muscles that are supposed to prevent acid from rising to your esophagus, which causes these symptoms.
  • Bloating and constipation: progesterone slows down your digestive system, which can make gas accumulate inside your stomach and intestines.
  • Morning sickness: by week 6 of pregnancy, you might have already started to experience nausea and queasiness, or it might be starting right about now.
  • Fatigue: your baby is growing so fast, that most of your energy is going to them. Feeling fatigued is a very common symptom at this point.
  • Breast tenderness: hormones can make your breasts larger even during the early stages of pregnancy. They can also feel swollen, tender, or painful; your nipples might also look more prominent than before.

6 weeks pregnant: first ultrasound?

You’re probably impatient to see your little tadpole, but it’s very likely that you won’t be getting your first ultrasound yet. Unless you’re carrying a high-risk pregnancy, your first ultrasound will probably be scheduled around week 8 or 9 of your pregnancy.

Some women, however, will be having their first ultrasound around week 6 of pregnancy. By pregnancy week 6, an ultrasound can reveal how many babies you will carry. A pregnancy is considered multiple if two or more embryos have been detected. Sometime between weeks 9–14, the doctor can determine whether the babies will be identical or fraternal.

To find out the sex of the babies, you will have to wait until week 18–20.

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6 weeks pregnant lifestyle

There are many things you can do to increase the odds of having a healthy pregnancy:
  • Eat lots of vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits, grains, cereals, and lean animal protein.
  • Avoid high-mercury fish like king mackerel and swordfish. Instead, eat fish like canned light tuna, salmon, or shellfish once a week to get a healthy dose of omega-3 oils.
  • Stop cleaning out the kitty litter tray. If you have cats, it’s advisable to have someone else clean out their litter, since this decreases your risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.
  • Exercise regularly, but don’t overexert yourself - especially if you’re feeling tired or dizzy.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fiber. This will help relieve any digestive issues.
  • Keep your caffeine intake to a minimum. If you can’t live without your morning coffee, you can still have 200 mg of caffeine a day (approximately an 11-oz cup).
  • Stay away from unpasteurized dairy products, raw fish, eggs, or meat, tobacco, alcohol, trans fats, simple carbs, recreational drugs, and harsh chemicals.
  • Avoid traveling to Zika-infected areas. On week 6 of pregnancy, you’re right in the middle of your first trimester, which is considered to be the stage where your baby has the highest risk of developing Zika-related birth defects.

Sex at week 6 of pregnancy

You can have sex safely throughout your pregnancy without harming the baby. By your 6th week of pregnancy, you might find that your libido has increased. Other women don’t want to have sex due to morning sickness or sore breasts; talk to your partner and discuss what’s comfortable for you.

What to expect at 6 weeks pregnant: checklist

  • Schedule your first antenatal appointment.
  • Make healthy lifestyle adjustments.
  • Find out about your company’s maternity leave policy.
  • Decide when you’ll announce the pregnancy to your loved ones.

What to ask your doctor?

Now is the perfect time to ask your doctor about any new 6-weeks pregnant symptoms. They can also explain the size of your 6-week old baby, your gestational age and due date, and the lifestyle changes that will help you have a healthy pregnancy. You can also write down a list of questions to take to your doctor on your next appointment.

If you experience any symptoms that make you feel concerned — such as bleeding, prolonged spotting, cramps, or pain — don’t hesitate to call your doctor. 

By your 6th week of pregnancy, you still have a long way to go. But don’t be fooled by the lack of baby bump: your baby is already growing fast and developing many of its features. Although this week can come with some unpleasant symptoms, time and a healthy lifestyle can help you find relief. Try to rest and enjoy these first weeks of your pregnancy, because very soon your baby will be getting ready to meet you!