Help your growing baby develop in the sixth week of your pregnancy

Your growing baby’s heart starts to beat in week 6. Support his or her development and continued brain growth by taking nutrients such as DHA and folate.

What’s happening this week?

It’s hard to imagine, but your tiny developing baby who is around 3mm in lengthi, now has a beating heart – his or her very first working organ.

Your little one looks more like a curled-up tadpole than a growing baby right now, but his or her body parts are developing rapidly. The bones are starting to grow, along with little arm and leg buds, and two black dots on the sides of his or her head that will eventually form into your growing baby’s eyes.ii

Other organs such as the liver and pancreas have also started to develop. At week 6 of your pregnancy, your growing baby’s brain is now forming distinct areas and developing nerves within.iii

What can you expect? 

This week may bring on food cravings, which might be accompanied by another common pregnancy symptom – nausea (morning sickness). These tips will help you manage your food cravings while caring for your pregnancy health, too:

  • Have a checklist of healthy alternatives.For example, replace crispy deep-fried potato chips with crunchy high-fiber cereal.
  • Read food labels carefully.Select foods that list essential nutrients, such as iron and calcium, on their labels. These key nutrients support the health of your pregnancy, and your developing baby’s growth, too.

If nausea is getting you down, try incorporating ginger into your meals as it can help with this not-so-pleasant feeling.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

You can fuel your growing baby’s brain development by eating DHA-rich foods such as salmon and sardines, as well as some prenatal supplements with other vital nutrients, like iron and folic acid. Always consult your doctor before taking pregnancy supplements.

You might be just a little over a month pregnant, but it’s certainly not too early to encourage both cognitive and emotional development in your little one.

One of the ways you can support your little one’s development is to try not to let stress get the better of you especially if you are bothered by food cravings or nausea. It’s normal to feel negative emotions and mood swings during your first trimester, but research shows that the fetal environment can have an impact on growing baby’s overall development, with maternal stress taking a toll on your health and that of your growing baby.

  • Consider meditation as a way of getting the better of stress and nerves. Studies have shown that meditation balances the body’s systems, which is good for both you and your growing baby.
  • Talk to your partner or a close friend/relative about how you feel, especially if you have any pregnancy-related anxieties.

Now’s also a good time to learn about the different foods you should be avoiding, like raw meat, unpasteurized dairy products, and raw eggs. Consult with your healthcare provider to be sure about such food items.

 


 

 

References:
 
i     Pregnancy - week by week. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2017, from      
ii    Fetal development: The 1st trimester. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2017, from        
iii    Your baby at 0-8 weeks pregnancy - Pregnancy and baby guide. (2017, February 28). Retrieved      
iv   First trimester pregnancy: What to expect. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2017, from      
v    Lupien, S. J., McEwen, B. S., Gunnar, M. R., & Heim, C. (2009). Effects of stress throughout the      
      lifespan on the brain, behaviour and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10, 434–445.