6 Weeks Pregnant: Hello, Morning Sickness
6 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Update
Deep inside your womb, your baby has begun to move! You won’t be able to feel her kicking and swimming for months…but she may look like a jumping bean during an ultrasound! She now has a distinct head and body and the cute little features of her face are developing, starting with her itty-bitty nose.
Webbed, paddle-like hands and feet are emerging at the ends of her small arm and leg buds. The lizard-like tail she was sporting a mere 2 weeks ago is shortening. Her lungs are forming, and her trusty heart is beginning to pump blood.
Exciting news: You may now be able to see those early heartbeats on an ultrasound—how exciting!
6 Weeks Pregnant: About Your Body
Ah, one of the most dreaded symptoms of pregnancy: Morning sickness. Up to 90% of women experience nausea and/or vomiting during their pregnancy. And, around now is when it usually starts to kick in.
No one’s quite sure why pregnant women feel so ill. Some believe morning sickness is nature’s way to make sure your diet stays so bland and boring that you don’t accidentally eat something toxic. Other people say that nausea is connected to the massive flood of pregnancy hormones. Whatever the cause, the good news is that researchers have found that women with morning sickness are up to 75% less likely to have a miscarriage.
A tiny number of women (<2%) fall victim of very severe morning sickness, called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG is defined as throwing up more than 3 times a day, with resulting health issues such as dehydration and weight loss. In some cases, women with HG need to be hospitalized for treatment. (You may have read about celebs like Amy Schumer and Princess Kate…suffering from this condition.)
If your symptoms don’t improve with simple remedies—like crackers, crystalized ginger or sea bands—or if you are throwing up constantly, talk to your doctor about prescription medications.
A To-Do List for Your 6th Week of Pregnancy
Cut back on coffee: Sometimes pregnancy can feel like a stream of endless no’s: No alcohol, no soft cheeses, no hot tubs. Do you have to give up your daily signature Starbucks order, too? The short answer: No, you don’t have to quit cold turkey. However, your care provider will recommend not consuming more than about 1.5 cups of coffee (about 200 mg. of caffeine). And, don’t just track your coffee and cola intake…remember teas and chocolate contain caffeine-like stimulants, too.
Get plenty of sleep: During this early stage, you might find you need to sleep a lot more—up to 12-14 hours a night. The high level of progesterone is sleep-inducing. So, don’t feel like a wuss if you find yourself needing a mid-day nap and falling asleep right after dinner.
Stay hydrated: If getting enough liquids feels like a challenge or plain water turns your stomach, try flavoring it with lemon or mint. Instead of gulping down a large glass, take small sips throughout the day. If your stomach is really sensitive, try munching on ice chips or no-added sugar popsicles.
Myth or Fact?
You can’t eat sushi while pregnant.
Sushi is on many pregnancy “no, no” lists, but there is some confusion around whether it is safe or not.
The fear around sushi has to do with potential bacteria, parasites and mercury in raw fish. The FDA and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advise pregnant mamas to only eat fully cooked fish. So, no raw sushi, but a shrimp tempura, a crab roll, or other cooked choices are fine.
In fact, a new study links regular consumption of fish during pregnancy to higher cognitive scores of children. That’s why the FDA and ACOG recommend eating 8-12 oz of fish weekly. But, make sure that they are low in mercury. So, you want to skip high mercury fish like, tuna, shark and swordfish. Here’s a short list of these and other fish to avoid.