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Pregnancy At Week 6

Pregnancy At Week 6

What Fruit Size Is My Baby in Pregnancy at Week 6?

Pregnancy week 6

    I’m pretty sure this is what all the updates and reading we do boil down to. Pregnancy week 6 you have a baby the size of a lentil. A quarter of an inch long. It’s kind of amazing if you think about it (like there is much else you have been thinking about.)

    What Does Baby Look Like?

    Your baby is working on developing the nose, mouth, and ears this week. Important. As someone always used to tell me you have one mouth and two ears, so you have to talk twice as much to make up for it… Wait, nope I think I got it backwards again.

    The embryo is looking a little top heavy at the moment. The head is a bit oversized and there are some darks spots where the eyes and nose holes will be.

    The ears that we talked about earlier are small dents in the sides of his or her head.

    The arms and legs are small little buds right now.

    What Else Is Happening To Baby This Week?

    The baby’s heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute. When you compare it to an adult that is about twice as fast. The blood is starting to be pumped through his body at this point.

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    Intestines are beginning to form (which should come in handy.) Also buds that will become lungs have appeared.

    In the brain the pituitary gland is forming, so is the rest of his or her brain. Additional formations beginning are the muscles and bones. The word of the this week is “Forming.” Things have to start somewhere and this is the week for it.

    What Is Going On With Mom?

    Oh no! You are a moody mess lately – It’s what we’ve all been talking about… Don’t worry it’s pretty common to feel joyful one moment and ragey the next. Fluctuating hormones are responsible for this. Well the hormones and the fact that you are going to have a baby. A BABY!

    Occasionally you will notice some spotting in your undies or one the tissue after wiping. That is relatively common in early pregnancy. Go on – google it. I know you won’t believe me for yourself. This can happen to up to a quarter of women. It can happen in a normal pregnancy, but it can be a sign of miscarriage of ectopic pregnancy. The safest bet is to call your provider to get a feel for what they think is normal and how to proceed.

    Twinning – Double Your Fun

    Any woman can become pregnant with twins. There are circumstances that make it more likely. Here are some odds for you in case you are feeling nervous about the possibility:

    Overall 1 in 31 births will be twins. You have 31 friends that had babies and they were singles? Guess what… I joke.

    With no medical assistance the chances are more like 1 in 89.

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    Odds of triplets or higher numbers are 1 in 565.

    Some other interesting facts about twins:

    Identical twins happen by chance. They are only in about 1 in 250.

    Fraternal twins chances can be increased by Fertility treatments. Also once you’ve had one set of fraternal twins, you are more likely to have another. That’s kind of a funny joke mother nature plays, huh?

    Fraternal twins fun in families on the mothers side. The fathers side doesn’t affect this, as fraternal twins have to do with the eggs released.

    The older you are the greater the chance for fraternal twins. Our eggs get released a little wonky as they start to run out.

    Fraternal twins are more common in African Americans and less common in Hispanics and Asians.

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    The more times your are pregnant the greater the chance for twins.

    Large, tall women are more likely to have twins then small women.

    If you were pregnant with twins you would find out during an ultrasound. Often in the first trimester. Your uterus will usually measure larger and the doctor will want to have a looksy at that time to see what is going on there. Ultrasound after 6 to 8 weeks is almost foolproof at seeing twins, but we all know that sister of the coworkers uncle who found out at birth. That is not common. Now if you have more than twins they get a little jumbled and could be easier to miss.

    Prenatal Visits – Mentally Prepare

    Usually if this is a first pregnancy with no cause for concern your first visit will occur in the next few weeks.

    You are bound to have a million questions. Take the time to write down questions in order to remember them to ask your doctor at the visits. Think of these visits as a chance to ease your mind and hash out what’s to come. Also a chance to get to know your doctor and vice versa.

    Bring a list of medications to the appointment and discuss if any are unsafe. This includes any supplements too.

    Know the first day of your last period (by heart.) You are going to be asked this, and also this is the way to figure out your due date.

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    Family medical history may come up during your visit too. If not in the first appointment some time in the future.

    Prenatal Visits – Physically Prepare

    Weight will be taken at pretty much every visit, along with blood pressure and urine. Glamorous. You will probably have your abdomen measured to see if you are on target, position of baby is checked as things progress, and you can listen to the baby’s heart beat. Different appointments may require different exams and tests.

    Activity To Try

    If you are having trouble getting your prenatal vitamins down, see if you can find some fruit flavored chewable vitamins. Sometimes they go down better for some.

    For more information on this week in pregnancy please visit babycenter.com

    Featured photo credit: SvenjaBehnisch on pixabay via pixabay.com

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    Published on November 30, 2018

    Signs of Postnatal Depression And What to Do When It Strikes

    Signs of Postnatal Depression And What to Do When It Strikes

    Postpartum depression (PPD) strikes about 15% of women around childbirth.[1] Moreover, this mood disorder is estimated to affect 1% to 26% of new fathers.[2] The causes of which are thought to be linked to hormonal changes, genetics, previous mental illness and the obvious change in circumstance.

    The stigma of mental health – with or without support from family members and health professionals – often deters women from seeking help for their PPD. In this article, I will show you 10 ways to begin overcoming PPD.

    Symptoms of Postnatal Depression

    Postnatal depression is defined as depressive disorder, beginning anytime within pregnancy up to the first year of the child’s life. The symptoms of post natal depression are the same as those of depression. In order to receive a diagnosis from the doctor, 5 symptoms must be shown over a two week period. The symptoms and criteria are:

    • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, nearly every day, for most of the day or the observation of a depressed mood made by others
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
    • Weight loss or decreased appetite
    • Changes in sleep patterns
    • Feelings of restlessness
    • Loss of energy
    • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    • Loss of concentration or increased indecisiveness
    • Recurrent thoughts of death, with or without plans of suicide
    • Lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities
    • Low libido
    • Fatigue, decreased energy and motivation
    • Poor self-care
    • Social withdrawal
    • Insomnia or excessive sleep
    • Diminished ability to make decisions and think clearly
    • Lack of concentration and poor memory
    • Fear that you can not care for the baby or fear of the baby
    • Worry about harming self, baby, or partner

    Should you, a friend or your partner be showing any of these signs, I recommend you to seek medical advice.

    Causes of Post Natal Depression

    It is worth noting here that there is a difference between what is commonly known as ‘The Baby Blues’ and post natal depression.

    Postpartum blues, commonly known as “baby blues,” is a transient postpartum mood disorder characterized by milder depressive symptoms than postpartum depression. This type of depression can occur in up to 80% of all mothers following delivery. The Baby Blues should clear within 14 days, if not it is likely an indicator of something more in depth.

    It is not known exactly what causes post natal depression, however there are some correlating factors. These factors have a close correlation and haven’t been shown to cause PPD:

    • Prenatal depression or anxiety
    • A personal or family history of depression
    • Moderate to severe premenstrual symptoms
    • Stressful life events experienced during pregnancy
    • Maternity blues
    • Birth-related psychological trauma
    • Birth-related physical trauma
    • Previous stillbirth or miscarriage
    • Formula-feeding rather than breast-feeding
    • Cigarette smoking
    • Low self-esteem
    • Childcare or life stress
    • Low social support
    • Poor marital relationship or single marital status
    • Low socioeconomic status
    • Infant temperament problems/colic
    • Unplanned/unwanted pregnancy
    • Elevated prolactin levels
    • Oxytocin depletion

    One of the strongest predictors of paternal PPD is having a partner who has PPD, with fathers developing PPD 50% of the time when their female partner has PPD. [3]

    Ways to Overcome Post Natal Depression

    1. Seek Medical Help

    As knowledge of PPD grows, more and more physicians are becoming aware of the indicators and risk factors. This means that health care providers are looking for signs as early as their first prenatal care visit.

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    If you are at risk, letting your provider know early in your pregnancy means that you’ll be given extra support and care throughout the process. It is best to seek treatment as soon as possible.

    If it’s detected late or not at all, the condition may worsen. Experts have also found that children can be affected by a parent’s untreated PPD. Such children may be more prone to sleep disturbances, impaired cognitive development, insecurity, and frequent temper tantrums.

    2. Therapy

    This is the first line of defence against post natal depression and will commonly be prescribed alongside medication. Around 90% of post natal depression cases in women are treated with a combination of the two treatments.

    You don’t need to do anything special to prepare. Your counselor will ask questions about your life, and it’s important you answer honestly. You won’t be judged for what you tell, and whatever you talk about will be just between the two of you. Your counselor will teach you how to look at some things differently, and how to change certain habits to help yourself feel better.

    Therapy is personalized for everyone, but women in counselling for postpartum depression often discuss topics including; who you’re feeling, your behaviour, your actions and your life. (If you need immediate support please call the San Diego Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. The toll-free call is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)

    3. Medication

    There have been a few studies of medications for treating PPD, however, the sample sizes were small, thus evidence is generally weak.

    Some evidence suggests that mothers with PPD will respond similarly to people with major depressive disorder. There is evidence which suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are effective treatment for PPD.

    However, a recent study has found that adding sertraline, an SSRI, to psychotherapy does not appear to confer any additional benefit. Therefore, it is not completely clear which antidepressants are most effective for treatment of PPD.

    There are currently no antidepressants that are FDA approved for use during lactation. Most antidepressants are excreted in breast milk. However, there are limited studies showing the effects and safety of these antidepressants on breastfed babies.

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    4. Communication with Partner

    Don’t blame yourself, your partner, close friends or relatives. Life is tough at this time, and tiredness and irritability can lead to quarrels.

    ‘Having a go’ at your partner can weaken your relationship when it needs to be at its strongest. It can be a huge relief to talk to someone understanding.

    By spending time with your partner doing activities that you both enjoy, like going for a walk, can really help. This change of state, from moving location, can significantly elevate mood whilst providing ‘neutral ground’ in which to open up communication.

    Be honest with your partner and show ways in which they can support you best through this time, even if it’s just talking or letting you have time to go take a shower.

    5. Self Care and Rest

    Don’t try to be ‘superwoman’. Try to do less and make sure that you don’t get over-tired. It’s common that women are the experts at ‘being busy’ and ‘doing it all’.

    Rest whilst the baby is sleeping, and really take time to prioritise yourself. Throughout life, if you’re constantly giving out energy, you will be left feeling unbalanced. It’s important to become aware of one’s energy and making sure to give yourself energy first, before giving out is imperative.

    Your body has just been through the trauma of the birth, which is very stressful. It therefore needs time to recover so taking time to yourself is important. Things as simple as a cup of tea, or shower or listening to music will really help.

    6. Supplementation (especially DHA)

    St John’s Wort is a herbal remedy available from chemists. There is evidence that it is effective in mild to moderate depression. It seems to work in much the same way as some antidepressants, but some people find that it has fewer side-effects.

    One problem is that St John’s Wort can interfere with the way other medications work. If you are taking other medication, you should discuss it with your doctor. This is very important if you are taking the oral contraceptive pill. St John’s Wort might stop your pill working. This can lead to an unplanned pregnancy.

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    It is also worth noting that fish oil (containing DHA) is being shown to correlate with lower instances of PPD. DHA consumption during pregnancy — at levels that are reasonably attained from foods — has the potential to decrease symptoms of postpartum depression,” conclude study researchers led by Michelle Price Judge, PhD, RD, a faculty member at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing.

    7. Movement

    Before starting any exercise program, you should consult with your doctor and find a fully qualified pre and post natal specialist. That being said, there is plenty of movement that can be done prior to ‘hitting the gym’, such as walking.

    Not only does being outside positively benefit you by getting some fresh air and vitamin D. The same is said for your baby, who will likely sleep better once they’ve been outside. Exercise gets your endorphins going, which helps alleviate depression symptoms, It can also get you focused on something for yourself. In an analysis of data from 1996 to 2016, researchers discovered that moms who stayed physically active after birth experienced fewer depressive symptoms.[4] In contrast, one study found women who led a more sedentary lifestyle were, in general, more likely to experience postpartum depression in the first place. [5]

    The type of workout doesn’t matter much. Yoga for pregnant women, stretching, and cardio are essentially equal in terms of making you feel better.

    8. Socializing and Support Groups

    Do go to local groups for new mothers or postnatal support groups. Your health visitor can tell you about groups in your area. You may not feel like going to these groups if your are depressed.

    See if someone can go with you. You may find the support of other new mothers helpful. You may find some women who feel the same way as you do.

    9. Accept Help

    Some cultures believe that the symptoms of postpartum depression or similar illnesses can be avoided through protective rituals in the period after birth. Chinese women participate in a ritual that is known as “doing the month” (confinement) in which they spend the first 30 days after giving birth resting in bed, while the mother or mother-in-law takes care of domestic duties and childcare.

    Whilst this may seem extreme, it’s worth noting that being able to accept help from your friends, partner and family can be extremely beneficial.

    10. Avoid Smoking, Drink and Drugs

    Which may seem common sense, however you may be tempted by the short term ‘fix’.

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    Don’t use alcohol or drugs. They may make you feel better for a short time, but it doesn’t last. Alcohol and drugs can make depression worse. They are also bad for your physical health.

    Final Thoughts

    Most women will get better without any treatment within 3 to 6 months. One in four mothers with PND are still depressed when their child is one-year-old. However, this can mean a lot of suffering.

    PND can spoil the experience of new motherhood. It can strain your relationship with your baby and partner. You may not look after your baby, or yourself, as well as you would when you are well.

    PND can affect your child’s development and behaviour even after the depression has ended. So the shorter it lasts, the better.

    Sometimes there is an obvious reason for PND, but not always. You may feel distressed, or guilty for feeling like this, as you expected to be happy about having a baby. However, PND can happen to anyone and it is not your fault.

    It’s never too late to seek help. Even if you have been depressed for a while, you can get better. The help you need depends on how severe your illness is. Mild PND can be helped by increased support from family and friends.

    Featured photo credit: Derek Thomson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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