6 weeks pregnant: Symptoms, tips, and baby development (2024)

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    6 weeks pregnant: Symptoms, tips, and baby development (2)

    Updated 09 May 2024 |

    Published 24 February 2019

    Fact Checked

    6 weeks pregnant: Symptoms, tips, and baby development (3)

    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US

    Written by Ella Braidwood

    Edited by Alice Broster

    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    From important prenatal vitamins to feeling more tired than usual, here’s the lowdown on being 6 weeks pregnant.

    At 6 weeks pregnant, the news that you’re pregnant might still be sinking in. However, as you consider making a few lifestyle changes and sharing your news with family and friends, both your body and your baby are changing in pretty amazing ways.

    While you won’t be able to feel a bump just yet, you might be experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms. These can range from nausea and breast tenderness to mood changes and tiredness. While you might already be aware of some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, they can also be really confusing — and more than a little uncomfortable!

    If you’re curious about why your favorite food is now turning your stomach or how to cope with sore boobs or fatigue, then don’t worry. In this article, a Flo expert outlines everything you need to know when you’re 6 weeks pregnant.

    Track your baby's growth and find out how your body's changing in the Flo app

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    Your baby at 6 weeks pregnant

    Developing skin

    While your baby is still incredibly small when you’re 6 weeks pregnant, they’re growing and changing at a rapid pace. One major development is that your baby’s skin will be starting to form. At this stage, only a thin layer of skin covers your baby’s body, which is currently curved over with a tail. At the moment, your baby looks a bit like a tadpole — which can be a strange thought!

    Your baby’s skin isn’t the only organ to start developing when you’re 6 weeks pregnant. Their digestive system and lungs will be at the very beginning of their development, and small buds will appear that will eventually form your baby’s arms and legs. Their eyes and optic nerve will continue to form at this stage, too. A lot of change, right?

    Forming nostrils

    While your baby’s major organs and bodily systems are developing when you’re 6 weeks pregnant, the finer features that will make up the way they look will also start to form. It might sound like a tiny detail, but your baby’s nostrils will form around this stage of pregnancy. Their ears, nose, and jaw will also start to take shape during the first trimester but will be in the earliest stages of development.

    How big is a baby at 6 weeks?

    Length (crown to rump): 0.2 in. (5 mm)

    Weight: Too small to calculate accurately

    Size: Equivalent to a lentil

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    6 weeks pregnant: Symptoms, tips, and baby development (4)

    Your body at 6 weeks pregnant

    While there’s no exact timeline for pregnancy symptoms, some people will start to feel the full effects of their changing hormones around now.

    You might find it useful to follow your pregnancy with Flo to better understand the potential changes to your body and your mood. Did you know that 84% of Flo users say they feel more educated about pregnancy?* That’s because we work with experts to offer insights on everything you need to know on your path to motherhood.

    For now, here’s an overview of the symptoms you might be experiencing at 6 weeks.

    Nipple changes

    While your bump is yet to show, there are lots of changes going on with your breasts and nipples at 6 weeks pregnant, as your body is preparing itself for breastfeeding. After you’ve conceived, your body releases a surge of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin (which help your body to create breast milk). And these changing hormones can mean your boobs feel swollen, tender, or more sensitive than usual. Your nipples may also appear darker or more pronounced (they might stick out). This is to eventually help guide your baby to your nipple to latch on if you choose to breastfeed. Clever, right?

    Fatigue

    Along with making your boobs feel tender, a rise in progesterone can also leave you feeling more tired than usual. It can be really frustrating not to have the same amount of energy to see friends or work like you usually would. However, feeling fatigued during early pregnancy is totally normal. Your body is working extra hard to help support your body during early pregnancy. This is all an additional strain, and while you might not be able to see it yet, you may indeed feel it.

    “Often, your hCG [human chorionic gonadotropin] is getting so high that it may start to cause nausea (sometimes known as morning sickness, although pregnancy nausea can happen at any time of the day) and fatigue — most people need two extra hours of sleep,” explains Dr. Allison K. Rodgers, reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician, and gynecologist, Fertility Centers of Illinois, US. She highlights that peeing more frequently, experiencing mood changes, and having a heightened sense of smell and taste are all totally normal symptoms during early pregnancy, too.

    Try to listen to your body and get as much rest as you need. Eating small, frequent snacks and meals may help ease any nausea you have, and ensuring you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need can keep your energy levels up. Similarly, if you’re 6 weeks pregnant and haven’t spotted any early pregnancy symptoms yet, try not to worry. Your symptoms may be slightly different from what you expected, and they may start in the coming weeks. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. If you’d like to know more about first-trimester symptoms, then you can use an app like Flo, and if you have any questions, then don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor.

    Your questions answered

    What should I be feeling at 6 weeks pregnant?

    You might be curious about how you “should” be feeling at 6 weeks pregnant. The important thing to remember is that there’s no such thing as normal or typical when it comes to pregnancy. “It really varies,” explains Dr. Rodgers. “Some people feel nothing, while others feel very nauseated and fatigued with tender breasts.”

    We’ve mentioned a few of these already, but some first-trimester pregnancy symptoms that you might experience at 6 weeks include:

    What should you avoid at 6 weeks pregnant?

    Knowing what to avoid at 6 weeks pregnant can feel just as reassuring as knowing what you don’t need to avoid. After you find out you’re pregnant, it’s advised that you schedule your first prenatal appointment. This may not happen as early on as 6 weeks into pregnancy, but it might feel comforting to know what to expect. During this checkup, your doctor will give you some lifestyle advice and outline some of the things you may want to avoid during pregnancy. These may include:

    If you’re ever unsure about food and drink guidelines during pregnancy, then the best thing to do is speak to your doctor. There’s no doubt that they can be confusing!

    Can your pregnant belly show at 6 weeks pregnant?

    While you may notice changes in the way your breasts look and feel at 6 weeks pregnant, you won’t have a bump just yet. After all, your tiny baby is still only the size of a lentil. Many people report starting to see a bump for the first time between 12 and 16 weeks.

    Your 6 weeks pregnant checklist

    Between finding out you’re pregnant and starting to read about lots of different pregnancy lifestyle tips, being 6 weeks pregnant can feel pretty confusing and overwhelming. However, there are a few things that you can keep in your mind to help you feel your best and prepare for the weeks of pregnancy ahead.

    Drink lots of water

    It’s probably already been drilled into you that drinking lots of water and staying hydrated can help you feel more energized. However, staying hydrated during pregnancy can have some unique extra benefits, too.

    Drinking enough water during pregnancy can help to circulate nutrients around your body, form the amniotic fluid that your baby is in, and aid in digestion. It’s recommended that you drink between 8 and 12 glasses of water per day. If this feels like a daunting new goal, then consider investing in a fancy new water bottle that tracks how much water you drink or give yourself some rewards for hitting that target.

    Take prenatal vitamins

    You might have started taking prenatal vitamins before you conceived or after you found out that you were pregnant. These can assist in your baby’s development. A key vitamin to look out for is folic acid. This is a B vitamin that helps to prevent defects as your baby’s neural tube develops. It’s recommended that at least up until 12 weeks, you take at least 400 mcg of folic acid every day. This can be taken as a pill and can also be found in leafy green foods.

    Switch up your diet

    While you won’t be able to eat sushi or brie during your pregnancy (check with your doctor which foods and drinks aren’t considered to be pregnancy safe), early pregnancy can be a great time to switch up your diet. Why not try some delicious new recipes made with whole foods? Eating smaller, frequent snacks and meals may also help you manage some of your symptoms and keep you energized throughout the day.

    Similarly, look out for leafy greens, which are rich in fiber and iron. Fiber will help to prevent you from getting constipated and promote heart health, and keeping your iron levels up will lower your chances of developing anemia (a common condition when you don’t have enough red blood cells, which can lead to you feeling tired). Foods that contain lots of calcium can help you when your baby is developing their bones and teeth, and vitamin C (which can be found in fruits and vegetables like oranges, broccoli, and peppers) can help to protect your cells.

    Ultrasound

    You might be curious about when you’ll get to see your baby for the first time at an ultrasound scan. Typically, your first ultrasound scan will be when you’re close to 12 weeks pregnant. It might sound like a long time to wait, but hang in there! Your doctor will be able to explain when and how you can book yours and answer any questions you may have.

    When to consult a doctor at 6 weeks pregnant

    Once you’ve got a positive pregnancy test, you can contact your doctor to book your first prenatal appointment. Generally speaking, you’ll have your first prenatal appointment when you’re 8 to 12 weeks pregnant, so if you haven’t had yours yet, don’t worry.

    During your appointment, your doctor will talk you through any symptoms you may be experiencing, take a health history from you, and talk to you about any pregnancies you’ve had before. This might feel intrusive, but it’s for a really important reason. Your doctor may want to establish if you have had a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the uterine tubes) in the past. Experiencing miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy can be incredibly difficult, and if you’re worried about your current pregnancy for any reason, then let your doctor know. They will be able to answer any of your questions and talk you through your concerns. It’s also so important to remember that many people who have had an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage in the past go on to have healthy pregnancies.

    Similarly, you don’t need to wait until your appointment if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. However, at 6 weeks pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

    This isn’t an exhaustive list and just an example of some of the changes you should look out for. Some of these can be a sign of miscarriage or other health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your doctor about the best next step for you. And if you’re ever worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider.

    6 weeks pregnant: The takeaway

    At 6 weeks pregnant, both you and your baby are undergoing some pretty amazing changes. You might be experiencing your first pregnancy symptoms, and your baby is developing their organs and skin. While nausea, mood changes, and breast tenderness are all normal at 6 weeks pregnant, it’s also possible to not experience any symptoms at this point. No two pregnancies are the same, and you may spot some of the signs in the weeks to come.

    *2.5k surveyed ('22)

    References

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    Hellegers, Andre E. “Fetal Development.” Theological Studies, vol. 31, no. 1, Feb. 1970, pp. 3–9.

    “Fetal Development.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7247-fetal-development-stages-of-growth. Accessed 26 May 2023.

    “Your Newborn’s Appearance.” Drugs.com, www.drugs.com/cg/your-newborn-s-appearance.html. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “Fetal Development: What Happens during the 1st Trimester?” Mayo Clinic, 3 June 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20045302.

    “Changes during Pregnancy.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Oct. 2020, www.acog.org/womens-health/infographics/changes-during-pregnancy.

    “Hormones during Pregnancy.” Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=hormones-during-pregnancy-85-P01220. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “First Trimester Fatigue.” University of Rochester Medical Center, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=134&contentid=4. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “Am I Pregnant?” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9709-pregnancy-am-i-pregnant. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “First Trimester.” Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=first-trimester-85-P01218. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “6 Weeks Pregnant?” NHS, www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/1st-trimester/week-6/. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “Vomiting and Morning Sickness.” NHS, www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/vomiting-and-morning-sickness/. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “First Trimester.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9699-first-trimester. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “Prenatal Care: 1st Trimester Visits.” Mayo Clinic, 6 Aug. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20044882.

    “Do You Know Which Foods to Avoid When You’re Pregnant?” Mayo Clinic, 22 Jan. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-nutrition/art-20043844.

    “How Much Coffee Can I Drink While Pregnant?” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Oct. 2020, www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/how-much-coffee-can-i-drink-while-pregnant.

    “How Your Baby Develops Week to Week.” NHS Inform, www.nhsinform.scot/ready-steady-baby/pregnancy/your-baby-s-development/how-your-baby-develops-week-to-week. Accessed 31 May 2023.

    “How Much Water Should I Drink during Pregnancy?” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Oct. 2020, www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/how-much-water-should-i-drink-during-pregnancy.

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    History of updates

    Current version (09 May 2024)

    Reviewed by Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, Obstetrician and gynecologist, Inova Health System, Washington, DC, US

    Written by Ella Braidwood

    Edited by Alice Broster

    Published (24 February 2019)

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