6 Weeks Pregnant

Here's what's happening during Week 6 of your pregnancy.

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Your Growing Baby:

The heart begins to pump blood, and the neural tube that will become the spine closes (which is why taking folic acid early is essential).

The embryo takes on a C-shape; arm and leg buds begin to form; and the skin is translucent. Length: about 1/4 inch. Fetus fact: The heart will beat 54 million times before birth!

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Your Growing Belly:

Your production of pregnancy hormones (hCG) continues to increase, making you susceptible to nausea and fatigue. Your blood pressure is lower than it was before you were pregnant, which can make you lightheaded and dizzy. The extra progesterone and other hormones may be making you feel tired, achy, nauseous, and cranky, or you may not be feeling much different than normal. There's no need to stop exercising or curtail your activities, unless you want to. In fact, keeping active will help your body be more able to cope with the stress of carrying around the extra weight you'll be gaining.

Tips & To-Do's:

A Nod To Nausea

It seems counterintuitive, but researchers keep finding reasons to give morning sickness a high-five. The nausea and vomiting of pregnancy correlate with lower risks for miscarriage and, later in life, breast cancer. "Morning sickness indicates that proper hormones are being made by mom and baby, that the baby's growing and developing," says Laura Riley, M.D., a fetal/maternal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The best ways to find relief.

Things to think about this week

If you think you're pregnant and are not taking a supplement, don't wait until your first appointment for a prescription because you will have missed this critical developmental period. Start taking an over-the-counter folic acid supplement with 600 micrograms (mcg) right away. Here's expert advice to help you choose a good prenatal vitamin.

NEW:  Listen to Our Week-by-Week Podcast All About Your Pregnancy 

Each episode of the new Pregnancy Confidential podcast, hosted by our editors, walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here—taking you through the real feelings of pregnancy so you're never alone. And it'll have you chuckling all along the way. All episodes available now!