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Early pregnancy is all about excitement, nerves, and lots of hormones that bring about various symptoms. It’s exciting, but can also be full of new-to-you feelings.

You might start to feel things that resemble PMS symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, sore breasts, cramping, frequent urination, extra gas or bloating. Then there’s the dreaded morning sickness that many pregnant folks experience early on.

But all of these not-so-fun symptoms mean that your body is producing the right hormones at the right time to start supporting the development of your beautiful baby!

Let’s talk about all that’s happening to you at 6 weeks pregnant.

6 weeks pregnant: What to expect

  • You might have PMS symptoms like fatigue, sore breasts, and headaches.
  • You may experience morning sickness.
  • Your baby is still teeny-tiny: About the size of a grain of rice or a pomegranate seed.
  • Your baby is growing their brain and spinal cord, and their heart is beginning to beat.
  • You’ll want to schedule a prenatal doctor’s appointment.
Healthline

By week 6 of your pregnancy, you’re beginning to notice the changes in your body and your pregnancy hormones are in overdrive causing all of those symptoms we mentioned.

Although people can’t see that you’re pregnant yet, your uterus is growing. It may press on your bladder and send you rushing to the bathroom more often. Increased blood flow to your kidneys also contributes to more frequent urination.

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Illustration by Alyssa Kiefer

At week 6, your baby is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length, or about the size of a pomegranate seed or grain of rice. Still so tiny! The baby looks something like a tadpole, with a small tail that will become a spinal column.

Tiny buds are on their way to becoming arms, legs, and ears. The brain, lungs, and other organs are developing, too.

Although it’s too early to see if baby has Aunt Ella’s nose, what will become facial features are unfolding. There are teeth and a thin layer of skin. Baby’s heartbeat can often be detected by vaginal ultrasound at this stage of pregnancy.

More babies can mean more fun. But you have a higher risk of developing certain pregnancy complications if you’re carrying multiple babies. Here are the most common complications you may want to discuss with your doctor:

If you’re diagnosed with a twin pregnancy (or more), your course of treatment may change slightly. You may need more frequent checkups, face certain restrictions, or even plan an earlier birth via cesarean, if your healthcare team deems it necessary.

People who are pregnant with twins typically gain more weight. This weight gain for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9 is around 37 to 54 pounds total, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You also usually need more nutrients than if you were just carrying one baby, including:

Pregnancy is excitement galore, but managing unpleasant symptoms can prove challenging (and a damper on the fun sometimes). But most aren’t too worrisome and don’t last forever.

Some symptoms for being 6 weeks pregnant include:

Here’s more about how to manage these symptoms so you can focus on prepping for a baby on board.

Morning (afternoon, evening, and night) sickness

Morning sickness is common! About 70 to 80 percent of pregnant people experience nausea and vomiting at some point in their pregnancy.

You may already be experiencing morning sickness, which, for many, is not just limited to the morning.

The cause of morning sickness is not fully understood, but an increase in the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin is believed to play a role. Most people feel better by the second trimester.

Talk to your healthcare providers if your nausea or vomiting feels unusually extreme to rule out hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

What you can do to feel better with morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals several times a day.
  • Keep foods you tolerate well at hand to nibble on. Many women swear by eating saltine crackers before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Avoid spicy or greasy foods. A bland diet tends to go down easier.
  • Don’t lie down right after eating.
  • Try to avoid odors that trigger nausea.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you’ve been vomiting.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take ginger capsules or ginger tea, which may bring relief.
  • Although studies on the effectiveness of vitamin B6 for relieving morning sickness are inconclusive, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends taking vitamin B6 supplements, when approved by your doctor.
  • Some women report relief from wearing acupressure bands promoted for motion sickness.
  • You may find your nausea temporarily alleviated by tart or sour foods and beverages.

Shop for vitamin B6 supplements online.

Fatigue

Feeling run-down? The fatigue you’re likely experiencing is normal. It’s caused by pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume. Taking it easier may have to become a part of your routine.

What you can do to help alleviate fatigue:

  • Take naps. This can prove challenging if you’re working or caring for other children, but finding time for a catnap during the day can help combat fatigue. This will be important after your baby is born, too.
  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Drink more fluids earlier in the day so you don’t have to get up as often at night.
  • Let others take over some of the chores, if possible.
  • Skip caffeine and rely on staying hydrated and grabbing some high quality energy from fruit.

Constipation

Prenatal vitamins are often vital to the health of you and your baby, but all that iron can make you constipated. Constipation is an unwelcome visitor, but can be remedied.

What you can do to alleviate constipation:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant people drink 10 cups of fluid each day. Tip: If your urine is dark yellow, you may be dehydrated.
  • Increase your fiber consumption by eating lots of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts, and bran.
  • Get moving. Exercise is good for the body and mind, but also helps prevent constipation.
  • Don’t be tempted to take laxatives before talking with your doctor.

1. Schedule a prenatal appointment with your doctor or midwife

Prenatal care is important for you and your baby to make sure any issues are treated quickly. If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule your initial prenatal visit.

Some doctors like to see you when you’re about 6 weeks pregnant. Others prefer to wait until you reach 8 weeks or even later. Regardless, now’s the time to get it on the books!.

2. Take your multivitamins

If you haven’t already started taking a prenatal vitamin (ideally, you should begin taking them in the year before you conceive), you should start taking one this week.

At your first prenatal appointment, your doctor will prescribe a supplement containing extra vitamins and minerals that you and your baby will need throughout pregnancy. If you won’t see your doctor for a couple of weeks from now, you can call the office ask for a prescription or their over-the-counter recommendation.

Shop for prenatal vitamins online.

3. Don’t smoke

Smoking increases your risk for miscarriage and other complications of pregnancy. It also increases your baby’s risk for health problems and low birth weight.

Speak with your doctor to learn more about smoking cessation programs. It could be a challenge to quit if you’re a smoker, but it’s well worth it — for your health and your baby’s.

4. Go alcohol-free

Drinking can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Although symptoms vary, in its most extreme form, FASD may cause abnormal facial features, learning disabilities, and other health problems. There’s no safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant.

5. Skip the hot tub and sauna

Hot tubs and saunas can increase your risk for miscarriage and fetal abnormalities. As a rule of thumb, avoid activities that elevate your body temperature above 101°F (38.3°C).

6. Eat well

It’s important to eat nutritious meals throughout your pregnancy. If you’re experiencing morning sickness, eat the foods that sound good to you and that don’t make you sick.

7. Drink plenty of water

Now that you’re pregnant, it’s extra important to keep up that hydration. Drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water a day. Dehydration can lead to serious pregnancy complications.

If you’re having a hard time keeping water down, try adding a squeeze of lemon. In one study, lemon aromatherapy was seen to help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant people.

8. Take it easy

Though it’s important to continue with low-impact exercise, you also need to take it easy when you’re tired. Your body is working extra hard to prepare and grow your little one, and it needs time to recharge.

Although every healthcare team approaches care a little differently, most include the following steps in an initial prenatal visit:

  • Staff will review your medical history, including medical conditions and surgeries you’ve had, and current prescription and over-the-counter medications. Have this info on hand when you head to the appointment.
  • Your weight, heart rate, and blood pressure will be checked.
  • Your doctor will order routine blood tests and ask for a urine sample.
  • During your pelvic exam, your doctor will examine your vagina, uterus, pelvis, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
  • You’ll be given information about what to expect during your pregnancy and instructions for a safe, healthy pregnancy and baby.
  • You’ll have time to ask questions, so brainstorm all the things you want to know.

A lot of what you’re feeling is totally normal and nothing to worry about. But call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms: