YOUR CHANGING LIFE
Feeling a little cranky?
Welcome to week six of your pregnancy. By now, the excitement has probably died down a bit (although it's probably never going to go away completely) and you may be starting to really feel the effects of carrying a child in your womb. On the outside, nothing may seem very different – you're certainly not going to start showing at this point – but that doesn't mean that nothing's happening on the inside.
Lately, you may have started to feel a bit bipolar when it comes to your emotions. One minute you're elated, the next you're sulky and five minutes later you're ready to bite someone's head off. Before you head to the doctor seeking a diagnosis for your craziness, realize that emotional changes are common during a pregnancy. Your hormones are fluctuating on a regular basis, which means your moods might do the same.
You may start noticing a few other bodily changes. For starters, you may have noticed some spotting going on – blood showing up in your underwear or on toilet paper after going to the bathroom. This is pretty normal, but you may want to bring it up with your doctor just in case, as it's often one of the first signs of a miscarriage.
You might also find yourself getting a lot more acquainted with your toilet lately. The pregnancy hormone hCG causes increased blood flow to your pelvic region, and your kidneys are becoming more effective at getting rid of your body's waste. In addition, your uterus is starting to push down a bit on your bladder, which means you're probably feeling the urge to go more often.
Morning sickness might also be rearing it's ugly head now, which could be another reason why you're heading to the bathroom seemingly all the time.
Finally, fatigue might be starting to weighing you down this week. Your body's working really hard to help your fetus grow and develop, which can take a toll on you physically. It's fine to get a bit more lethargic when you're feeling exhausted, but don't forget that exercise is always good for you – and it can help you sleep better at the end of the day.
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From poppy seed to lentil bean
Your baby's also going through some big changes this week. For starters, the fetus is now about a quarter of an inch long, which is about the size of a lentil bean. The head is growing bigger, and the features are starting to take shape. The nose, mouth and ears are beginning to form, while dark spots can be seen where the eyes and nostrils are going to be. Arms and legs are also growing, but right now they look like tiny buds growing on the body.
At this time, blood is beginning to flow throughout your unborn baby, and his or her heart (which is about the size of a poppy seed) is beating twice as fast as yours – about 100 to 160 times a minute. The intestines, pituitary glands, lungs, brain, muscles and bones are also starting to take shape. You won't be able to find out your baby's gender for a couple more weeks, but the sex is being determined at this time.
Make yourself feel better and more comfortable
With morning sickness, fatigue, heartburn, indigestion, frequent urination and bloat knocking at your door, you're going to need to get familiar with a few home remedies. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make yourself feel like a normal human being again.
When it comes to reducing your need to pee, you can't really do much about it, but you can help make the time in between trips longer by leaning forward when you're on the toilet. This will help get more of the urine out.
Nausea and vomiting will likely make your mornings (or, unfortunately, your entire day) pretty miserable, but you can reduce the effects by eating small snacks that include plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates. Cheese and crackers, yogurt and granola and anything else you can get down without feeling sick will help. Try not to eat things that you think will make you feel queasy.
To reduce the effects of heartburn and indigestion, avoid eating large meals, focusing instead on smaller snacks. It might also help to wear clothing that doesn't feel restrictive. If you still feel symptoms, ask your doctor about over-the-counter medications that are safe for use during a pregnancy. For combating bloat, be sure to eat plenty of fiber and drink a lot of water throughout the day.
These tricks should help you avoid experiencing terrible symptoms, but you should realize that many of these feelings may be plaguing you over the next several months. Don't worry though – it'll be worth it in the end!