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As someone who experienced the pitfalls of infertility firsthand, when I finally became pregnant, I found myself waiting for that moment when I would actually “feel” pregnant.
Sure, I’d received positive results during my BETA tests and had begun to experience the gestational fatigue so many of us expectant mothers have come to know and despise. However, these experiences didn’t mean I felt like I was dealing with a viable pregnancy.
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
With every moment of spotting or cramping, I Googled signs of a missed miscarriage. At every appointment with my doctor, I wondered when they’d realized they’d mixed my results up with someone else’s.
Thankfully, however, disaster stayed by the wayside, and I finally discovered the beautiful moment I’d been waiting for.
At my six weeks pregnant ultrasound with my fertility clinic, I saw my baby’s heartbeat for the very first time.
Why is Being 6 Weeks Pregnant So Impactful?
Six weeks pregnant is a transitional period for soon-to-be moms. Not only are significant developments starting to take place inside your womb, but the weird symptoms of early pregnancy (unpleasant as they might seem) will begin to take hold.
If you’re trying to get pregnant and waiting for a moment of certainty, this is likely the week you’ve been waiting for.
So, What’s Happening at 6 Weeks Pregnant?
One of the incredible things about a woman’s sixth week of pregnancy is the number of significant changes and developments taking place. Here’s what’s going on inside your uterus at this pinnacle moment:
1. How Big is Your 6 Weeks Pregnant Baby?
At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby will have more than tripled in size from where they started. Despite this significant increase in size, they are still only around .13 inches in length – the equivalent of a pomegranate seed.
2. Baby Has a Heartbeat!
While women aren’t out of the first-trimester danger zone at 6 weeks pregnant, if doctors can find a viable heartbeat, the risk of having a miscarriage drops to approximately 10%.
Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long for this experience!
If you’re lucky enough to have an early pregnancy ultrasound during week 6 of pregnancy, your doctor should be able to find a fetal heartbeat. Typically, healthcare providers expect your baby’s heart to beat around 90 – 110 beats per minute (BPM) at this early stage.
3. Your Little One’s Face is Taking Shape
Are you looking forward to the first time you get to look into your sweet baby’s eyes? Well, good news! They’re starting to develop during week 6! Your little one’s ears are beginning to take shape, as well.
4. Internal Organs are Developing
Your baby’s heart isn’t the only thing getting to work at this point in your pregnancy. Many of your little one’s other vital organs are also starting to grow, such as their kidney, lungs, and liver.
5. And Yes, Your Baby Has a Tail!
If you have the chance to see your baby during a 6 week pregnant ultrasound, don’t be alarmed if they look a little, well…”tadpole-ish.” In fact, he or she will even be rocking a tail at this early point in their gestational journey.
No worries, though, as your baby continues to develop their tail will turn into their spinal cord and be history by the time they make their big debut.
How is a 6 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Performed?
As with many of us, when I used to picture a pregnancy ultrasound, I imagined laying on a table with my shirt hiked up while a lovely ultrasound technician squeezed cold jelly onto my stomach.
Well, the cold jelly (AKA “lube”) is definitely a part of the process for a 6 weeks pregnant ultrasound. However, imagine my surprise to hear I needed to spread my legs while that previously mentioned technician threw a condom onto a rather phallic-looking device.
That’s right; if you get an ultrasound at 6 weeks, your only option is the transvaginal variety.
Not only do transvaginal ultrasounds provide sharper images, which can be used to detect situations like fetal abnormalities or miscarriages, but they also allow your doctor to see your baby when they’re still too small for abdominal ultrasounds.
What Do Women Usually Feel During Week 6 of Pregnancy?
While many expectant mothers might not face any one week or two week pregnancy symptoms, at 6 weeks pregnant, things will usually start kicking into overdrive.
At 6 weeks pregnant, symptoms like discharge and nausea are likely to begin. This is often due to a sudden rush of hormones racing through your system. If you haven’t already, you’ll probably also notice a missed period around this time.
If you’re interested in learning about some more unusual early pregnancy signs, be on the lookout for symptoms like these:
- Feeling Tired
- Peeing More Often
- Feeling Moody and Emotional
- Sore, Tender, Veiny, or Bigger Breasts
- Nausea and Vomiting – Hyperemesis may occur in rare situations
- Cramping – This is also a common successful implantation symptom.
- Experiencing Nasal Congestion
Why is My Belly So Big at 6 Weeks Pregnant?
When I first found out I was pregnant after my IVF embryo transfer, I couldn’t wait to start tracking my belly growth.
Around 6 or 7 weeks pregnant, I had my husband take a picture and was delighted to see that my 6 weeks pregnant “bump” had already made its big debut. I felt cocky about how quickly my baby was starting to show. Especially after speaking to a cousin who was further along and not showing at all.
As thrilled as I was with this exciting development, I was equally surprised to see that my adorable bump had disappeared by the time we took the following week’s photo.
What had happened!?
Was my baby too small? Was there something wrong? Was I no longer pregnant?
Thankfully, none of these things was the case.
Regretfully, however, I had to suck it up and tell my cousin I wasn’t showing at all. It was just bloating and gas (delightful!)
If you’re starting to show at 6 weeks pregnant, don’t fall for the change like did. While it’s not 100% impossible you already have a baby bump, it’s more reasonable that you’re experiencing first trimester bloat – another common early pregnancy symptom we get to enjoy.
Isn’t pregnancy beautiful?
What If you’re Not Feeling Anything at All?
If you’re six weeks pregnant with no symptoms, your gut instinct might be to start worrying there’s a problem. In many cases, the only problem is the other moms who will hate you for not sharing in their morning sickness.
Having no early pregnancy symptoms can be completely normal.
If you’re feeling concerned about having no symptoms at 6 weeks pregnant, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.
More than likely, things are probably fine, but a sudden decrease or absence of pregnancy symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of miscarriage.
Spotting & Bleeding at 6 Weeks – What’s Normal and What’s Not?
Where pregnancy is concerned, many women feel that any amount of blood is too much blood –trust me, I was one of them.
It is worth noting, though, that light spotting can be fine during early pregnancy and is often a sign that implantation has occurred. When the amount of blood you’re seeing begins to increase, or you’re noticing clots and tissue, as well, this can be a sign it’s time to see your doctor.
Where miscarriage and other early pregnancy conditions are concerned, problematic bleeding is often just referred to as “heavy bleeding.” In layman’s terms, if you’re bleeding enough to require a pad or your spotting isn’t going away, don’t waste time making an appointment.
At your doctor’s appointment, your physician will likely want a significant amount of information. So, come prepared with answers to questions, such as:
- How long have you been bleeding?
- Is it heavy bleeding or light spotting?
- How far along are you?
- How much blood have you seen?
- Does the bleeding start and stop?
- Are you cramping, dizzy, or have a fever?
- Does the blood have any smell to it?
- Have you participated in physical activities or sex?
- Are you under significant stress?
Using this information, along with a transvaginal ultrasound and other testing, your doctor can help you determine whether your bleeding at 6 weeks pregnant is something to be concerned about.
Is Anything Different if You’re 6 Weeks Pregnant with Twins?
If you’re six weeks pregnant with twins, you might be wondering whether any of this information applies to you – the short answer is yes!
Soon-to-be twin moms will begin experiencing many of the same things as a singleton mommy during the sixth week.
What’s the difference, you might be wondering?
Well, sometimes the symptoms can be worse. Sorry, twin mama!
Many twin moms will experience excessive morning sickness and fatigue during their first few months of pregnancy.
They might also begin gaining weight more quickly. If your doctor measures your fundal height (the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus), they might also notice your measuring larger than a typical pregnancy.
On the other hand, being six weeks pregnant with twins might not feel different than any other pregnancy. It all depends on your body’s unique response.
Your healthcare provider will probably use a transvaginal ultrasound to determine the number of babies that have set up shop inside your uterus.
You’re Well on Your Way to Becoming a Mom!
As you can see, a lot is going on at 6 weeks pregnant.
If you dream of becoming a parent, this pivotal moment is a step in the right direction. So, whether you’re wondering about 6 weeks pregnant bumps or symptoms, just know that you’re not alone! Many new mamas wonder what the heck is going on at 6 weeks pregnant!
How did you feel at six weeks pregnant? Did you have tons of symptoms or none at all?
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, Scary Mommy, Demeter Press’s Motherhood and Social Exclusion, & more.