At the 6th week of pregnancy, the embryo, which until now did not differ from an embryo of another mammal, will begin to acquire its human form.
His head is up and the body stretches. It reaches a height of between 14 and 18 mm, measuring the distance between the top of the skull and the baby's buttocks (cranio-caudal length, LCC).
On the side of the mother, the signs of pregnancy are more and more felt.
Reminder: the 6th week of pregnancy is 8 weeks of amenorrhea (no rules). Indeed, in France, gynecologists usually count the duration of pregnancy in weeks of amenorrhea (SA). Thus, the calculation of the pregnancy begins on the 1st day of the last period, so about 2 weeks before the fertilization (before the actual beginning of the pregnancy). Because it is only in the middle of the woman's cycle, around the date of ovulation, that the egg can be fertilized by a spermatozoon. And so in reality, the 1st week of pregnancy is the 3rd week of amenorrhea (SA).
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The steps and exams
As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, make an appointment for a first examination at your GP or your gynecologist. It is after this first compulsory prenatal examination that you will obtain your maternity health record (or "maternity notebook", formerly "pregnancy notebook").
The maternity card is free. According to your department, it is sent to you:
- by your health insurance fund,
- maternal and child health services (PMI), or
- by your mutual.
If you do not receive it, ask your doctor.
Important : your first prenatal examination must take place before the end of the 3rd month of pregnancy (ie before 15 weeks).
Blood and urine tests in early pregnancy
Examinations in early pregnancy are provided by law. Some are mandatory, others must be proposed systematically during the first consultation:
- Screening for rubella and toxoplasmosis, routinely necessary in the absence of written results that make immunity take for granted,
- Screening for syphilis,
- Blood group determination (ABO, Rhesus), if you do not have a complete blood group card,
- The search for irregular agglutinins (RAI). The goal is to detect a possible fetal-maternal rhesus incompatibility.
- The search for sugar and albumin in the urine.
Systematically offered examinations:
- Screening for the AIDS virus (HIV),
- An ultrasound between 11 and 13 WA for the measurement of nuchal translucency,
- Biological markers for trisomy 21 screening, between 8 and 14 weeks.
In total, 7 medical visits are planned (to your doctor or your midwife) during your pregnancy, with various compulsory medical examinations. Including 3 ultrasounds, at the rate of one per trimester:
- 1st ultrasound of pregnancy
- 2nd ultrasound of pregnancy
- 3rd ultrasound of pregnancy
The remaining six visits to a doctor or midwife should be done every month, from the 4th month of pregnancy to the date of delivery.
These consultations and many exams are 100% covered by the Health Insurance (except for ultrasounds, the management of which varies according to the month of pregnancy).
In order to benefit from a 100% coverage of medical expenses, the declaration of pregnancy must be made during the first trimester of pregnancy, ideally during your first medical visit. In fact now, this statement is made via the internet by the doctor or the midwife at the Health Insurance Fund to your social security fund which will then directly inform the Family Allowance Fund, This step must be carried out before the 3rd month of pregnancy (15 weeks).
The mother at the 6th week of pregnancy (8 weeks)
At the 6th week of pregnancy (8 weeks), the growing uterus may already begin to press on the bladder and cause the future mother to urinate frequently. The ligaments that hold the uterus in the pelvis continue to stretch, which can cause tugging in the lower abdomen. In many pregnant women, the breasts start to grow, the areola and nipple become darker.
From the outside, the pregnancy is not yet visible at this stage: the future mother has not yet gained much weight and the famous belly of pregnant woman is still waiting. If you have - despite everything - already hard to put on your usual pants, it may be due to the fact that your digestion that works in slow motion, following hormonal changes. This can lead to problems with constipation or bloating. The small belly that many pregnant women observe at this stage of pregnancy is therefore a symptom of an inflated belly - and not due to the development of the growing baby.
You are not comfortable in your usual clothes, but do not want to go yet to the clothes for pregnant women? So the following tips can help you find more comfort in your clothes:
- Do not close the last button of your pants,
- If that does not make you feel comfortable: put a hair elastic through the buttonhole and fix the button: this leaves you a little more margin.
- There are also pants and pregnancy belt extensions that allow you to enjoy your usual clothes a little longer, or even throughout your pregnancy.
From about the 6th week of pregnancy, many pregnant women are already starting to suffer from fatigue, but also nausea or vomiting.
During the 1st trimester, the intense interaction of the various hormones can affect the future mother physically and psychologically and lead to various pregnancy problems.
Women may have mood changes. Perhaps related to hormonal phenomena, but also probably related to certain questions that arise the future mother.
Our advice: admit these mood swings and talk about your doubts and concerns. It is important at this point that your entourage be understanding. Your gynecologist or midwife will also be good interlocutors to discuss.
If sleep disturbances or depressive episodes become too much, you should consult your doctor or the midwife who follows you to avoid a possible negative impact on the child. If necessary, a psychotherapeutic follow-up can be beneficial. Do not be ashamed to be helped!
How much weight will you take?
Height, starting weight ... Many factors affect weight gain during pregnancy. Calculate your weight gain during pregnancy in a few clicks!
The embryo at the 6th week of pregnancy (8 weeks)
At the 6th week of pregnancy, your baby measures between 14 and 18 mm.
The members begin to distinguish themselves, in the form of buds that will grow longer. Furrows appear at his toes.
The cartilage of baby evolves in bone, its musculature becomes precise and the first organs of the belly are gradually put in place.
The digestive system will form. The small intestine, the large intestine, the cecum constitute the intestinal loop which will be included in the umbilical cord. In the newborn, this will result in the birth of a hernia of the intestine at the insertion of the umbilical cord and external to the abdominal cavity. This hernia is quite natural, which is why we never cut the cord at birth flush with the umbilicus, but 3 cm above it to avoid hurting the intestine hail.
And what do we see on ultrasound?
An ultrasound can already be done at this stage of pregnancy. The sketches of the brain are now visible. The limbs are present and are 1 to 2 mm long.
How does baby grow up in the belly?
How many weeks of pregnancy can you see baby's fingers? How much does it weigh in the 5th month? And when is he able to discern the flavors?
Test your knowledge!
Note : As the pregnancy progresses, the size and weight of the baby evolve individually. The values and figures shown are therefore average values. Monitoring of these data is important during pregnancy; and testimony of the smooth running of it.
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Authors: Dorothee Gebele, Dr. Nicolas Evrard.