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You Are 6 Weeks Pregnant

Mar 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM Chime in now

What's New This Week?
⅛ inch
Height of your baby

< 1 ounce
Weight of your baby

Large peppercorn
Size of your baby

Your Body
That queasiness you may have been feeling for the past couple of weeks? By now it may have evolved into full-blown, toilet-hugging morning sickness. And by now you’ve probably realized that morning sickness isn’t just in the A.M.—but all day long. According to the Mayo Clinic website , about 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women get it to one degree or another. The cause? It’s not entirely clear, but hormones (especially the pregnancy hormone hCG) are thought to play a role. Your body’s levels of estrogen are rising quickly too along with an increase in progesterone, for example—which prevents uterine contractions and also helps build baby-nourishing blood vessels in your uterine wall. So even though you may not feel great, these higher hormone levels are actually helping to protect and care for your baby. In fact, there are studies showing that morning sickness may be associated with a lower miscarriage risk. (Although that doesn’t mean you’re more apt to miscarry if you’re one of the lucky gals who don’t get it—so don’t stress!)
The good news is that morning sickness usually goes away by the start of the second trimester. Until then, here are some tips that should help you feel better:

Before bedtime, eat a snack that contains some protein (some research has shown protein to be helpful, likely because it helps to stabilize blood sugar)—like hummus with a few baby carrots.

When your alarm goes off in the morning, nibble on a couple of crackers and wait 20 minutes before getting out of bed.

Throughout the day, limit fatty foods and those that are acidic, rich or spicy.

Munch something gingery. Ginger has been found to be effective in treating nausea: Try eating natural gingersnaps, candied ginger, or slicing fresh gingerroot and simmering it in chicken broth for a stomach-settling and comforting soup. Also worth a go: ginger "beer" (nonalcoholic), ginger tea, or you can try ginger capsules, but check with you doctor first.

Check in with your doc to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B6. She may suggest you take 10 to 25 mgs of it three times a day. Or you can try fortified cereals, spinach or bananas, which are natural ways to get more B6.

Grab a bagel. In some cases, incorporating more carbohydrates into the diet seems to help alleviate nausea.

Nibble on a piece of cheese. Getting more protein into your diet, which includes soy, fish and dairy products, may also help.

Follow this tried-and-true morning sickness rule: Eat frequent, small meals and always keep an emergency snack of a banana or crackers in your purse so you aren't caught empty-handed.

Your Baby
Right now your baby is gearing up for a major growth spurt! By the end of this week, the little guy (or gal) may have doubled in size. Facial features are beginning to take shape—eyes, ears, and even a mouth are starting to form. The neural tube running down your baby’s back has closed and the brain continues to develop into what will give rise to its three main parts: the forebrain (which handles memory, emotion and sensory perception), the midbrain (involved in vision, hearing, and motor function) and the hindbrain (regulates breathing and heartbeat). At this stage, the limb buds appear and the beginning of the digestive system is starting to form, as well.

Your Life Right Now
If morning sickness is making it hard for you to keep down all that healthy food you’re trying to eat, you’re probably wondering (and worrying): Is my baby getting the nutrients he needs? Will he be able to grow and thrive? Well, you can relax. Even if you’re retching several times a day, as long as you’re not starving yourself, are making an effort to eat a balanced diet, not losing too much weight, and are taking your prenatal vitamin (which can also be tough to stomach at this stage—so do your best), the baby should be just fine. Still concerned? Give your doctor a call. In addition to allaying your fears, she can also offer some nutrition pointers. And definitely ring her up if you can’t keep anything down. Severe morning sickness like this, called hyperemesis gravidarum, can be dangerous— so treatment and proactive early intervention are necessary.

Moms Like Me/ I wish I had known
Stretch marks: "Whether you get stretch marks or not has a lot to do with genetics. So you can use those creams, but it’s likely that if you’re prone to get them, there isn't much you can do to prevent them." - littleone41

 

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