myUpchar प्लस+ के साथ पूरेे परिवार के हेल्थ खर्च पर भारी बचत

If you are reading this article, chances are you already know that you are pregnant and are wondering if you should break the news to your family. The good news is you won’t see any apparent changes in the 6th week so you still have some time to decide. You may also be really anxious and would want to know all about your body and your baby right now.
Well, you should know that your uterus is growing quickly and so is the baby inside it. By the sixth week, your baby starts to develop organs like arms, legs, and ears, however, it would still take months before they fully form. If you haven’t yet noted any morning sickness, it is surely gonna make an appearance now. This is the time you should try being more careful about your dietary and lifestyle habits to stay fit during and after pregnancy

  1. 6 weeks pregnancy symptoms
  2. Baby size at 6 week pregnancy
  3. 6 weeks pregnant: Tests and vaccinations
  4. 6 weeks pregnant: Foods and diet
  5. Exercises in 6th week of pregnancy
  6. Tips for 6th week pregnancy

As you enter the sixth week of pregnancy, the early pregnancy symptoms start to be more apparent. You may start to notice frequent mood swings, fatigue and exhaustion and may even be craving food items you never liked before. Don’t worry, all these are just a result of hormonal changes and will continue to fluctuate for a few months. You may also have other signs and symptoms such as:

By the 6th week, your baby is about 6 mm in size and looks like a tiny tadpole. A lot of prominent changes happen in this week. Let us understand what the baby looks like at 6th week of pregnancy:

  • The embryo has a tail  
  • Arms and legs start to appear in the form of buds
  • Facial features start to develop
  • Baby’s brain starts to take shape at the top of the neural tube
  • Eyes and ears begin to form 
  • Heart is seen as a prominent bulge and is beating rhythmically 
  • Blood pumps through the main vessels throughout the embryo 
  • The embryo is covered with a transparent layer of skin named as the amniotic sac

There are certain blood tests that you need to take soon as you realise you are pregnant. Though if you haven’t got them till now, you can still take those tests in the sixth week. It is important that you do not skip these tests as they would help safeguard your pregnancy and your baby’s health. 

  • Hb test: It is done to check hemoglobin levels in your blood to determine if you are at risk of getting anemia
  • Blood group ABO Rh: This test assesses the risk of hemolytic disease in the newborn. It checks the blood group (A, B, O, AB) and Rh factor (+ or -) of both the mother and the foetus. If an RH negative mother is carrying an RH positive foetus her body would produce antibodies against the baby’s blood, leading to pregnancy complications. This usually happens when the father is RH positive. So, it is best to get to know your blood group on time and take the necessary precautions
  • Thyroid F Test: HCG produced during pregnancy may affect TSH levels and lead to hypothyroidism. Whether you are suffering from thyroid dysfunction or not, it is important to get your thyroid function test done. This test checks your TSH levels so that any imbalances can be corrected in time
  • HIV (husband and wife): This is one of the most important tests in the first trimester of pregnancy. HIV can travel through the placenta. So, if either of the parents is tested positive for HIV, the baby would be at risk of getting it too. Though if you get to know about it in the early stages of pregnancy, you can start the treatment and keep the baby safe
  • Hbs As(husband and wife): It is done to check if either of the parents is Hepatitis B positive. Hepatitis is yet another virus that can pass through the umbilical cord and cause complications. If you get to know about it early on in the pregnancy, it can be treated in time to keep your baby safe
  • VDRL test: VDRL test checks for the presence of any sexually transmitted diseases in the couple
  • Blood sugar random: This test checks your blood sugar levels, and also if you are at risk of getting gestational diabetes
  • Urine test: The test is done to 
    • Assess bladder or kidney infections
    • Check for dehydration 
    • Check if you have high levels of sugar, ketones or bacteria in your body

Vaccinations

Vaccines help you to protect your baby’s health. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, every woman needs to get vaccinated against flu as soon as they realise they are pregnant so as to keep their baby safe from these diseases. Though these vaccines are considered to be safe, they may  have some side-effects like:

  • Pain, redness or swelling at the spot where the shot has been given
  • Muscle ache
  • Tiredness
  • Fever 
  • Severe consequences of vaccinations are quite rare but if you feel any unusual discomfort or serious allergic reaction, you may consult a doctor as soon as possible. 

Note: Flu shots are not listed as compulsory for pregnant women in India. So, it is best to talk to your doctor to know if they are needed. 

As your baby is growing rapidly, it needs proper nourishment to meet the increasing energy demand. So, it is important that you take a healthy and balanced diet. Here are some diet essentials that you need to take care of during the sixth week of pregnancy:

  • Carbohydrates and fats: Take ample amounts of complex carbs and healthy fats by including whole grains and cereals in your diet. This includes oatmeal, brown bread, quinoa and legumes
  • Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Not only do they help reduce wear and tear in your tissues but also they are needed for the proper growth and development of your baby. Protein intake during pregnancy should be at least 0.88 to 1.1 g per day per Kg of body weight
  • Folic acid: Folic acid is important for the development of your baby’s brain to make sure that you add this vitamin to your diet. Fruits like oranges, melons, avocados, bananas and legumes and leafy greens are rich sources of folic acid
  • Vitamin C: While there is no direct evidence of the benefits of vitamin C in pregnancy, research evidence suggests that intake of vitamin C aids in reducing your risk of hospitalisation during pregnancy and will also help your baby grow 
    Citrus fruits like orangeslemonspineapple broccoli, melons, and grapes are some of the best sources of vitamin C. You can also take this vitamin in the form of supplements. Make sure to check in with a doctor before taking any kind of pills
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women may lead to reduced birth weight in neonates and a higher risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes in later stages of pregnancy. According to the NHS, every woman should take at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day. This is more important in the later weeks of pregnancy. So, it is best to get your vitamin D levels tested so as to know if you really need an additional dose of this vitamin or not
  • Iron: If you are short of iron, you may become tired easily and are also at a risk to become anaemic. Since iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to the foetus, anaemia during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and preterm births. So, remember to take iron-rich foods such as leafy vegetables, dried fruits and nuts and lean meat. Depending on your health, your doctor may also give you an iron supplement
  • Stay hydrated: Water is truly the elixir of life. It keeps all your body functions optimal and helps flush out toxins. Take lots of water and other liquids such as juices, milkshakes, coconut water, and lemon water
  • Eat more often: To cope with morning sickness take small, frequent meals rather than taking big meals. It will keep you sated through the day and will also help reduce nausea

Foods to avoid

  • Spicy food and aerated drinks
  • Fatty foods, junk food or extra sugars 
  • Also, remember not to take anything in excess

Consult your doctor and prepare a diet chart for yourself according to your body type and health.

To cope up with your body’s needs, it is important that you remain fit, active and healthy during pregnancy. One of the best ways to do it is to add exercise to your routine. It can help prevent excess weight gain and will also aid in maintaining your shape even after pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, if you are in good health, most exercises are safe to be done during pregnancy. Though it is best to stick to moderate intensity exercises and work out under the supervision of an expert. Here are some tips that may help you choose the right workout routine:

  • Do not over-exhaust yourself
  • If you didn’t work out before pregnancy, do not start exercising suddenly. Give your body some time to adjust by starting with simple exercises 
  • Try pelvic tilt and pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your hips and lower body. It will also aid in childbirth later on 
  • Add meditation to your daily routine. It will calm your mind and help you to cope with the irritation and discomforts you experience during pregnancy
  • You can also try swimming
  • Remember to protect your back and do not put too much pressure on your body or lower abdomen.

What not to do: 

  • Avoid exercises which require lying flat on your back
  • Avoid contact sports such as kickboxing, judo, etc 
  • Avoid activities like horse riding, scuba diving, and gymnastics

Exercising should be avoided in the following conditions:

  • If you are suffering from a heart disease or lung disease
  • If you are anaemic
  • If you are carrying multiple foetuses
  • In the case of pre-eclampsia and cervical insufficiency

Here are some certain do’s and don’ts that you should follow during the sixth week of pregnancy.

Dos

  • Plan your doctor checkups 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Avoid junk food
  • Start the use of environic gadgets, if you can. These are specialised devices that emit low or almost no radiation and are hence considered much more safe to use during pregnancy
  • Start reading some pregnancy books or magazines and also watch videos to help maintain your health 
  • Use chemical-free cosmetics and deodorants
  • Take up a hobby
  • Try mindfulness and yoga
  • Consult your doctor before taking any medicines

Don’ts

  • Miss any doctor’s appointment
  • Heavy workouts
  • Consumption of caffeine, alcohol or tobacco
  • Have sex in the first trimester or if you are having sex, try to be gentle 
  • Eat raw or undercooked meat
  • Try to lose weight 
  • Take stress
और पढ़ें ...

References

  1. St George’s University Hospitals. The pregnancy book. NHS Foundation Trust. [internet].
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Exercise During Pregnancy. Washington, DC; USA
  3. Unim Hans, Byamukama Edward. Regular vitamin C supplementation during pregnancy reduces hospitalization: outcomes of a Ugandan rural cohort study. Pan Afr Med J. 2010; 5: 15. PMID: 21293742
  4. Rajavel Elango, Ronald O Ball. Advances in Nutrition. Volume 7, Issue 4, July 2016.
  5. Oxford Vaccine Group. Flu vaccine in pregnancy. Churchill Hospital; University of Oxford. [internet].
  6. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Rh Factor: How It Can Affect Your Pregnancy. Washington, DC; USA
  7. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; You and your baby at 6 weeks pregnant
  8. MedlinePlus Medical: US National Library of Medicine; Fetal development
  9. National institute of health. Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants at Risk for Birth Problems. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. [internet].
  10. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obesity and Pregnancy. Washington, DC; USA
  11. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Does PCOS affect pregnancy?. United States Department of Health and Human Services. [internet].
  12. American pregnancy association. Gestational Hypertension: Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH). Irving,Texas. [internet]
  13. Lai C, Coulter SA, Woodruff A. Hypertension and Pregnancy. Tex Heart Inst J. 2017 Oct 1;44(5):350-351. PMID: 29259508
  14. Office on women's health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Pregnancy loss