The sixth week is a crucial milestone during pregnancy. It is a time when the baby has already started to grow tiny eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, and chin. It marks the beginning of organogenesis: a period in embryonic development where the baby’s internal organs have begun to develop.
So what are some things you should steer clear of after crossing this landmark? Let’s get into them.
6-Week Pregnancy Symptoms
The most common early pregnancy symptoms appear around the sixth week, including the notorious morning sickness and tiredness. However, you may also be experiencing some of the following normal symptoms:
- Sore breasts
- Feeling bloated
- Experiencing a metallic taste in your mouth
- Shinier and thicker hair
- Mood swings
- Chloasma – also known as the mask of pregnancy (darkened skin in the form of dark patches on the face)
- Changing food likes and dislikes
- Cramping resembling period pains
- A heightened sense of smell
- Light spotting
- Increased need to pee
- Milky-white discharge from the vagina
The Baby’s Development at 6 Weeks
At 6 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing and developing exponentially. The most critical milestones in this week are as follows:
- The neural tube begins to grow over the yet-to-develop spinal cord of your baby.
- Particular projections have begun to form on your baby’s face, which will grow to form ears and eyes. Other tiny buds will start to protrude from your baby’s body and eventually grow to form arms and legs.
- By the sixth week of pregnancy, you may be able to detect a subtle heartbeat of 105 beats per minute through an ultrasound.
- Your baby’s nervous system and brain are growing rapidly.
- The initial shapes of your baby’s mouth, nose, and outer and inner ears have begun to form, with the lungs just starting to get into shape. Within a few weeks, breathing tubes will develop between your little one’s lungs and throat, making your baby ready to take their first breath of air at birth.
What to Avoid During the Sixth Week of Pregnancy
The first 6 to 10 weeks of pregnancy bring several changes. Your baby grows very quickly, which might make you feel emotionally and physically different. Since each pregnancy is unique, there is no particular way to feel. You may feel nauseous and out of energy or the healthiest you have ever been.
However, these early weeks are the time to make the right healthy choices and make sure you consume the best possible foods for yourself and your baby.
It is crucial to form a healthy food-intake chart for your pregnancy to ensure that you have a healthy weight gain. Although you can consult your medical professional about the best food choices for you, let us look at the food choices you should and shouldn’t make.
Avoid Skipping Meals
Eating at least three healthy meals and two healthy snacks every day, consisting of whole, fresh foods, is crucial. It is advisable to avoid foods that do not fall into the following categories:
Make sure you include a lot of whole-grain foods in your diet, including whole-grain pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, or brown rice.
Fruits and vegetables
Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, including apples, pears, broccoli, berries, green leafy vegetables, and cabbage.
Avoid foods that do not contain healthy fats, and include beans, eggs, cheese, fish, yogurt, lean meat, fortified soy beverages, peanut butter, and milk in your diet.
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and avoid sweetened drinks and sodas.
Avoid Foods Without Nutritional Value
If you wish to have a healthy weight gain that is easy to shed after pregnancy, make sure that you include foods with nutritious value in your diet, such as those containing essential vitamins for your baby, including folate, iron, and calcium. Some good sources of calcium include the following:
- Fortified orange juice
- Dairy products
- Corn tortillas
- Canned fish with bones
- Dark leafy greens
Some good iron-containing food options include the following:
- Dried fruits
- Fortified cereals
- Dried beans
Make sure that you include the following food options in your diet to keep your folate levels intact:
- Dark leafy greens
- Orange juice
- Fortified cereals
Avoid Mercury-Rich Fish
Certain kinds of fish contain mercury levels that could prove detrimental to your baby’s growth. Instead, choose fish known for low mercury levels, such as salmon, oysters, rainbow trout, clams, pollock, mussels, herring, canned light tuna, and shrimp. If you do eat high-mercury fish, it is best to limit its consumption according to the following calculations:
- Do not consume more than 5.3 oz or 150 grams of high-mercury fish. This can include frozen or fresh tuna (this does not include canned light tuna), escolar, shark, orange roughy, swordfish, and marlin.
- Do not consume more than 10.6 oz or 300 grams of canned white albacore tuna per week.
Avoid Foods That Can Potentially Harm Your Baby
It is best to avoid the following foods, as they may harm your baby’s normal development and growth:
- Avoid consuming undercooked or raw chicken, meat, or fish (such as raw oysters or sushi)
- Avoid consuming raw eggs or foods that may have raw eggs, such as Caesar dressing
- Avoid soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy foods, including feta, Brie, and blue cheese
- Avoid consumption of raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts
Avoid Caffeine Consumption
It is best to avoid caffeine altogether or limit its consumption to about 2 cups or 300 milligrams of coffee or tea every day.
You should also make certain lifestyle changes to protect both yourself and your baby, some of which are as follows:
- Do not touch cat feces or kitty litter, as they may cause infections that can potentially harm your baby
- Avoid going for things that can raise the temperature of your body dramatically. These include saunas or hot tubs, as they can be harmful to your baby. It is best to consult your medical professional before indulging in such activities.
- Avoid greasy, spicy, and fatty foods.
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