- Women's Health
Pregnancy Week Six
Welcome to week six of pregnancy! This week has brought many changes for your developing baby and your body. In week six your baby has developed a head and trunk. His or head has begun to develop facial features. An EEG can detect your baby's brain activity this week and an ultrasound can detect your baby's little beating heart. I will talk more about ultrasounds in a few moments.
This week you will also be feeling the full effect of pregnancy, unless you're really lucky. It's a good time to schedule a first prenatal appointment. You should schedule this first appointment between now and week six. Lots will occur during this appointment: questions, tests, scans and more! I will also go into more detail on this in this hub.
How's Mom doing?
Right now, your body probably hasn't changed much on the outside. However, inside there's a lot going on. HcG (the pregnancy hormone) is increasing blood flow to your pelvic area. Your kidneys have also become better at getting rid of your body's wastes. Also your uterus is beginning to expand and press on your bladder, which is probably making you feel like you have to pee a lot!
You should definitely be feeling pretty pregnant right now, even though it's just the beginning. By this week the symptoms should be occurring in full force, unless you're one of the lucky few to not have any symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Food cravings and/or aversions
- Frequent urination
- Slight increase in appetite
- Tenderness of breasts
- Increased sense of smell
- Heartburn and/or indigestion
What's Going On With Your Baby?
In the past week your baby has seriously developed. It's amazing how much can happen in a week. Right now your little one's jaw, cheeks, chin, eyes, ears and nose are beginning to form. That's right the first of your baby's facial features are starting to show up right now in week six. Not to mention, you little baby boy or girl's kidneys, liver and lungs are developing right now. His or her heart has begun to beat rapidly and will get faster every day. However, your baby is still no bigger than a nail head.
If you schedule your first prenatal appointment now, you'll be able to hear your little one's heart beating through an ultrasound and see your baby's brain activity on an EEG. Your doctor will test for many things to ensure your baby is developing properly. Below you'll find more information on the first prenatal visit in the "Suggestions and Advice" section.
What's An Ultrasound Exactly?
So you're probably wondering what an ultrasound is exactly, especially if this is your first child. Don't worry by the end of this pregnancy you'll be a pro at ultrasounds. An ultrasound is an imaging test that shows the inside of the womb by using sound waves. Ultrasounds can be done either on top of the belly or vaginally. They are completely painless either way, just a little cold from the gel the sonogram tech will put either on your belly or the probe. The probe which your doctor or sonogram tech will move over a chosen area, will emit sound waves which will bounce off your baby and produce a picture on the monitor. Ultrasounds or scans are often done during the first trimester for several reasons, including:
- The assessment of your baby's age.
- To check for problems such as ectopic pregnancies.
- Assessing your baby's heart rate.
- Checking for problems with your placenta, uterus or pelvis.
- Confirm that your pregnancy is normal.
- Checking for down syndrome.
- To check for multiple pregnancies.
Suggestions and Advice for Week Six
Steer clear of cat litter.If you have friends or family with children, someone probably told you not to go near cat litter. This is not an old wives' tale, you really shouldn't go near it. Cat litter can cause a parasitic disease known as, toxoplasmosis, which can cause some serious pregnancy complications and birth defects. See if there's someone else who can change your cat's litter for you. Your partner comes to mind, for example. If you have no one to help, it's important to wear rubber gloves and wash your hands once you've finished.
Toxoplasmosis can be caused, not just by cat litter, but also by consuming uncooked meat and unwashed veggies. So make sure you or your partner cooks all meat through and wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly. Also wash all utensils, cutting boards and other cooking aids that you've used to prepare meat properly.
Advice: The First Prenatal Visit:
Consider scheduling your first prenatal visit now. You should see a doctor between week six and week ten for the first time. It's important to confirm your pregnancy, even though a home test may have already showed up positive. This will be the first of many visits to your obstetrician (OB). What you can expect at this first visit will be:
- A pelvic exam
- A pap smear
- Blood tests
- A Urine test
- And possibly an ultrasound (some doctors wait till ten weeks)
The blood test will determine such things as your blood type, whether or not you're iron deficient, whether or not you have any STDs, whether or not you're immune to Rubella, and finally whether or not you have any ethnic diseases. The urine test will determine your sugar levels, protein levels, red and white blood cell levels, hormone levels and bacteria levels.
At your appointment you can also expect to be asked lots of questions. This is the prenatal interview so be prepared for it. A prenatal nurse will come in and ask you questions about your medical history, your family's medical history, your baby's father's medical history and your insurance information of course. This interview also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss things that need discussing (i.e. addictions). Make sure to ask questions! Don't be shy or feel that a question is silly. There really aren't any stupid questions when it comes to you and your baby's health.
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