6 weeks pregnant: Pregnancy tips and nutrition
Week by week guide
Week by week guide
Week by week guide
At a glance
Give up smoking, if you haven’t already
Make sure your diet includes folic acid
Take special care when preparing meals to avoid food poisoning
Top up your pregnancy diet with supplements, like folic acid and vitamin D, after consulting a doctor
Baby's development at 6 weeks
Your baby is nestling in for the long haul now. The egg cell has implanted in your uterus, the amniotic fluid and placenta are forming, and the fertilised egg cell has grown to a whopping 0.2 mm in diameter! This week is also an important milestone in terms of embryonic development. It’s the beginning of what is called organogenesis. That means the outlines of many internal organs are starting to form, as is the bloodstream. Your baby will look like a tiny decimal point floating in amniotic fluid. The foetal-placental circulation is set up and running too. Amazingly, since conception, your baby’s weight has multiplied 10,000 times!
Once the fertilised egg implants in your uterus, a wave of hormones is released. These are essential to help your baby grow, and will also prevent you from having a period again while you’re pregnant. Plus, they help form the placenta, which supplies baby with oxygen and nutrients while providing protection from germs and pollutants. Last but not least, if you haven’t given up smoking yet, now’s the time to do it (Dads too!).
Everyone says ‘eat healthy’, when you’re pregnant. By that, we mean the quality of your food.
Firstly, remember to include folic acid in your diet. It’s important for your little one’s healthy development, and you’ll find it in leafy green veg, avocado, asparagus and Brussels sprouts. Plus, eat red meats like beef and lamb to make sure you get enough zinc too.
Remember to take special care when preparing meals to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Thoroughly cook your meat and wash your hands before cooking. Always give your fruit and veg a good scrub too, and clean the fridge regularly. Plus, avoid eating leftovers as bacteria might have had a chance to grow. Just remember, a little caution will keep you and baby feeling fantastic.
A well balanced diet should provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need. However folic acid, calcium, iron and vitamin D are particularly important for baby’s healthy development. So vitamin supplements can be a good idea when pregnant. The Department of Health recommends that women should take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid dose for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the baby's spine is developing.
Protein is also important, as it transports nutrients around the body and helps build strong bones. Animal protein is rich in amino acids that the body can’t produce, so it’s an essential part of a healthy pregnancy diet. For animal protein, eat meat, eggs and dairy. Don’t worry if you’re a vegetarian or vegan though, you can still get plenty of high quality protein by following a well-balanced diet with the inclusion of protein-rich foods such as tofu, beans, pulses and nuts.
Consult your doctor before taking supplements.
It is also a good time to book now an appointment with your midwife for the Booking appointment that should be planned for about when you are 10 weeks pregnant. It is suggested to make this appointment in advance as this appointment is a long one and your midwife maybe be booked up if it's made late. During the booking appointment you will discuss in depth with your midwife your medical and obstetric history, pregnancy care, and you will also book your ultrasound scans and perform a medical including blood tests.