By the sixth week, most expectant mothers know that they are expecting. They are slowly getting used to the idea that in a few more months they will have someone there that depends on them for their every need.
What to Expect From the Six Week Ultrasound?
This week the doctor will be able to get a good view of the embryo and ascertain that the embryo is in the correct place in the uterus. The chorionic sac and yolk sac should be visible on this week’s ultrasound. The chorionic sac, also known as the gestational sac, is the sac of liquid that is holding the embryo throughout most of its development inside the womb. The yolk sac is inside the chorionic sac and helps to provide nourishment to the baby until the time when the placenta and umbilical cord are developed enough to take over providing nutrients to the baby.
Most mothers will expect to hear the heartbeat at the 6 week ultrasound. During this week, the embryo’s heart is evolving from a simple tubular structure, into the four chambered heart that we are familiar with. At 6 weeks, the embryo’s heartbeat is around 90-160 beats per minute. If the doctor is able to detect a strong heartbeat during this ultrasound, then it’s usually a good indicator that the pregnancy will be successful if the normal precautions are taken.
What is Developing?
The embryo will now have a distinct head area and a distinct rump area. This distinction gives ultrasound technicians the ability to get an accurate reading on the embryo’s size. The limbs have elongated further than the previous week. Notches start to form between the digital rays, what we consider fingers, which will give rise to the fingers with further development. Basically, the embryo has webbed fingers and toes at this point.
The facial features are slowly starting to emerge. The external ear has formed. The eyes have further developed and have a distinct place. The mouth has started forming. During this time, the embryo is covered with a thin layer of clear, see through skin. This see through skin is the precursor to normal skin. Inside of this skin, the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys are in place. Aside from the heart, the other organs aren’t operating yet, but they have started the long process of development.
Tips for Mom
The body might not be changing yet, but most mothers are feeling the pregnancy symptoms. It is important that expectant mothers rest and watch their fluid intake. Dehydration is a major concern in early pregnancy. Dehydration can lead to health issues with the baby and at times, if the dehydration is severe enough, can cause miscarriage.
Mothers should take some time to go outside for a walk. The body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin D, so the only way that we can get enough is by exposure to the sun. Researchers have found that vitamin D is beneficial to both mothers and developing embryos. Vitamin D helps with immune support, bone health, and healthy cell division. For the embryo, vitamin D will help with bone development and will decrease the chances of pre-term labor. Vitamin D can be taken in a supplemental vitamin form, but a walk outside would be more beneficial.
Coloring hair during this week of pregnancy should be done with caution. The skin absorbs some of the dye, so many doctors will suggest that the mother avoid permanent hair dye for at least the first three months. The semi-permanent hair dye is suggested.
If the expectant mother finds it difficult to urinate or they are having pain in the vaginal area, they should discuss with their doctor about baby safe antibiotics. The reason, many pregnant women starting with week 6 are highly susceptible to urinary tract infections.