It takes quite some time for the fact that you are pregnant to sink in. The early stages are difficult. In order to get your perspective right, it is important to know how your baby is growing. By 6 weeks the baby is about a quarter of an inch long. This is just the size of a grain of rajma or a bean.
The changes in your hormone levels are the reason for the wide mood swings. One moment you are overjoyed and the other you are depressed. You are now excepting the morning nausea. You may feel fatigued and have some soreness. There may be a little spotting or bleeding. Though this is quite normal you may like to keep your doctor or health provider informed. It would be wise to note down all the changes and associated symptoms so that when you meet your doctor you have all the information ready. The symptom logger in HMom app is an easy way to do this. You may have many doubts and questions. You can ask Jessica in HMom and also keep these in a note form to check with your doctor on the prenatal visit.
Your Baby in Week Six
What’s going on with your baby in his/her sixth week? Learn all about fetal development and important pregnancy milestones specific to this week of pregnancy!
What are the changes taking place in your baby? Let us summarise the changes by the 6th week:
- Your baby’s heartbeat measures 150-160 beats per minute, which is about twice your heart rate.
- The fetus is nearly 1/2 inch long and looks even more like a baby.
- Your baby’s head is as large as the rest of his body, but his/her arm and leg buds are starting to lengthen.
- The baby’s nose is starting to show, and eyelids are forming. Your baby’s eyes already have a lens at this point, as well as an iris, cornea, and pigmented retina.
- Your baby’s spine is completely developed and has closed over at both ends. Inside his/her lungs, secondary branches have started to appear. They will continue branching out after she/he’s born. Someday these branches will connect to the 300 million tiny air sacs (called alveoli) in his lungs.
Your blood does not go directly to your baby through it supplies all the nutrients and oxygen. Your blood passes through the umbilical cord to the baby via the placenta. The placenta is a disk-shaped organ with lots of little roots and veins. It produces hormones that support the baby’s growth. In addition, it also sends nutrients and oxygen to the fetus and helps excrete the baby’s waste. It works as a glorified filter that prevents your bloodstream from ever directly mixing with your baby’s. This is the reason your baby can have a blood type different from you.
A week before the baby looked like a cluster of cells. Now it takes on more recognizable features. The embryo now has the characteristic C shape that he’ll stay in as he continues to develop. The umbilical cord takes its place, growing into your embryo’s abdomen and then reaching out toward the gestational sac. Above the abdomen, the heart is bulging and beating, pumping the blood for the first time through the tiny form that will become your baby. At the back of the C shape, a neural tube creates an immature spinal cord. This is the reason that after birth a baby prefers to tuck into this familiar shape, knees folded into the chest and head curled toward the tummy.
It is at this stage that a sonographer can measure the embryo’s size from the top of the head to the bottom. This is called the CRL, or crown-rump length. This measurement, from the crown of the head to the bottom will be used throughout the pregnancy to ensure that the bay is growing as per schedule. This measurement is also used to predict your baby’s due date. It’s still too early for your doctor to ask you to take an ultrasound examination. If this so happens then the sonographer may be able to pick up the baby’s heartbeat.