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6 Weeks Pregnant
How is my baby developing?
You’re now 6 weeks pregnant and your baby is going through major developments. Facial features continue to form, showing dark spots where the eyes will be, and openings marking the nostrils, mouth and ears.
Buds that will become arms and legs are noticeable and well as the beginnings of toes and fingers.
Also forming are liver, pancreas, lungs, and stomach. At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby will be about the size of a lentil (4-6 mm) and will be visible on an ultrasound.
The umbilical cord is now fully operational, providing nutrients and oxygen to the baby and removing waste products. The placenta continues to develop, getting ready to take over at week 12.
How is my body changing?
At six weeks pregnant, your uterus is the size of a plum and your waist line is expanding. You probably gained between one and two pounds so far. However, if you’re suffering from morning sickness and vomiting, you may not have experienced any weight gain at all.
Your breasts feel tender and swollen and the areola (dark part in the nipples) is darker. It’s not really known why this happens, but it’s suggested that it helps the baby find milk.
Mood swings are also common at this stage, and you feel happy one minute and upset the next. This is normal and caused by fluctuating hormones.
You’re not eating for two!
When you’re 6 weeks pregnant, you don’t have to double your calorie intake as if you’re eating for two. In reality, you don’t need any additional calories until the second trimester, when you need to add about 300 calories per day.
However, you do need to take certain precautions with your diet and there are certain foods you should avoid or limit intake, as they can cause food poisoning or harm your unborn baby.
Foods to avoid include soft mouldy cheeses; uncooked meat, fish, shellfish or eggs, unpasteurized milk and pate of any kind due to potential infections by listeria or salmonella; which can cause miscarriages or stillbirths.
You should also avoid vitamin A supplements or food rich in this vitamin, such as liver, as this can be harmful to your baby; and oily fishes such as tuna and shark; as high levels of mercury can harm your baby’s nervous system.
You should also limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Both these beverages in excess can cause low birth weight or even miscarriages.
Furthermore, to avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis, make sure you wash vegetables and fruit before you eat them. For the same reason, you should avoid changing your cat’s litter box.