What to expect at 6 weeks pregnant
This week your baby is approximately 5 mm or the size of a pomegranate seed, and while still small this is a very important week because it’s when your baby’s neural tube that connects the brain and spinal cord closes over. Your baby’s ears, nose and mouth are all starting to form and so are the kidneys, liver, digestive system as well as their arms and legs – although these look more like little lumps or buds at this early stage.
Your baby’s heartbeat is also getting stronger this week and may be heard (and seen) during an ultrasound by now. On average, the fetal heart beats at around 100-160 times per minute during this time – which can be almost twice as fast as yours.
How you’re feeling
Pregnancy symptoms are likely coming on hard and fast now! The outside world may well be none the wiser, but you’ll likely be noticing changes in your own body such as sore boobs and nausea. Your sense of smell might be heightened, certain foods you once loved now make you gag – or vice versa you may now be getting cravings for certain foods, even ones you didn’t like before.
You might also notice the pregnancy hormones starting to kick in and affecting your mood, possibly finding yourself on a rollercoaster of emotions. Everything that’s going on inside your body can wreak havoc on your ability to control your emotions, so you might experience extremes of feeling teary and upset one day to elated and happy the next.
The rollercoaster of emotions that come with pregnancy can be a tricky road to navigate – for both you and your partner (who is often on the receiving end of the not-so-nice ones). Know that these feelings are all completely normal (and usually temporary) and are to be expected when you fall pregnant – feeling both excited and terrified of having a baby is part and parcel of becoming a parent. It can also be helpful to let your partner know that too, so they don’t think you’ve suddenly changed into a different person.
If you feel like the negative emotions aren’t balancing out with the positive ones, or they’re sticking around for longer than expected, it might be an idea to speak with your doctor or midwife as you might be experiencing some form of antenatal anxiety or depression. Know that this too is common and treatable and there is plenty of help and resources available to help you manage this that will in no way affect you or your baby – you are not alone!
For more information on mental health conditions in pregnancy and support visit COPE or you can contact Lifeline 24/7 on 131114.