What To Expect When You’re 41 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a pumpkin!
In The Guide
At 6 weeks pregnant, you might start to notice some big changes in the way that you feel.
Also, the most kissable parts of your baby are developing. This week is all about the nose, mouth, and ears… and a funny little thing called the pituitary gland.
From crown-to-rump, your growing baby is 0.08 to 0.16 inch (2 to 4 mm) long.
For now, most measurements in length will only focus on the distance from your baby’s head to their little butt.
Mostly, this type of measurement is useful because your baby will have tucked legs until birth.
Coming in at about the size of a sweet pea or a grain of rice, the changes in your baby’s form are significant.
From looking more like the bud of a flower to actually taking on a tadpole-like figure, your baby is transforming at a rapid pace.
With the proper equipment, you can occasionally detect a heartbeat, but that usually happens during week 8.
Still, your baby’s heart is unquestionably beating to the rhythm of life now.
It might all seem way too new for you to wrap your head around, but now is the time to begin healthy pregnancy habits that will carry you through until your baby is born.
Diet – Contrary to what nearly everyone will tell you, you are not eating for two (as in twice the calories).
You are eating for your pregnant body and the growing baby inside of you. What this means is that your body and your baby are begging you for nutrients, not empty calories.
Establishing a healthy diet isn’t difficult, but it does take a little self-discipline. Here are a few tips for your pregnancy diet.
Exercise – If you’re feeling tired all of the time then take comfort in knowing that this is totally normal.
Still, try to get up and get moving at least once a day. You don’t need to become the next pregnant mama champ, but you do want to keep your heart pumping, and your muscles stretched.
A brisk walk is enough to accomplish this, so no need for grandiose feats of strength.
Not only will your achy body thank you, but this oxygenation to your system will give your energy level a much-needed boost. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Sex – Whether your libido has taken an epic nosedive or you are feeling as sexy as ever, it’s important to understand the role of sex during pregnancy.
Of course, having sex is perfectly fine and doesn’t hurt your baby.
But, remember that whatever you expose your own body to you expose your baby’s body to, as well. Meaning, avoid participating in sexual intercourse with someone who possibly might have an STD.
Not only could an STD harm your baby’s development, but it could also be life-threatening.
Kitty Litter Box – Good news for new mamas who are also cat owners – you are officially off of kitty litter box duty.
According to research, you can contract a parasite infection from cat feces, making this job a no-no for pregnant women.
Toxoplasmosis is the concern, and if you get sick with it, you can pass the illness on to your baby. So, no more changing the kitty litter box.
You are one month and one week pregnant, new mama!
Most doctors begin the pregnancy countdown from the first day of your last period. It might all seem new to you, but your body is way ahead of you.
Because the first several weeks (usually 12-14 weeks) is such a critical time of development for your baby, some parents choose to wait until after this first trimester is over to share their pregnancy news.
Others shout it from the rooftops as soon as they can.
The discretion is entirely up to you as there is no right or wrong time to share with the world that you’re pregnant.
Your baby is so small that only a darkened spot will appear on an ultrasound.
If you were to magnify that little spot, though, what you’d see would be a tadpole-like body form with a clear distinction between the head and tail area.
In fact, facial features like eyes, mouth, and ears are forming this week, as well. Like mentioned before, your baby’s pituitary gland is also at the beginning stages of formation.
Your baby’s neural groove is also closing which means the start of early brain chambers forming.
On an ultrasound, you’ll be able to see heart contractions as your baby’s tiny heart begins beating regularly.
These contractions are a positive indication that the heart tubes have fused, which is exactly what’s supposed to happen during healthy development.
Depending on your pre-pregnancy size, you might start to notice your clothes fitting a little more snugly in the waistline.
More than anything, it might feel like you’re slightly bloated in your belly area. You might even notice some weight gain in your legs or other places, like your breasts.
Although your belly won’t be protruding just yet, now is the time to start thinking about how your wardrobe will accommodate your growing figure.
For the first several weeks, your clothes might fit very oddly, almost as if you’re simply gaining weight everywhere. And, you might be. After all, your body is preparing to protect a tiny little life inside.
What this could mean for your current wardrobe is that you might be… err, spilling out of it in some places (specifically your jeans/pants).
For some tips on how to deal with this oddity, check out some of these nifty tricks.
Heartburn – During the first trimester, nearly 25% of women experience heartburn.
The number increases the further along the pregnancy progresses. Heartburn usually feels like a burning sensation in your esophagus.
It’s so common during pregnancy for two reasons: food moves more slowly through your digestive tract and your stomach is compressed due to an enlarging uterus.
The best way to prevent heartburn is to eat small, frequent meals and avoid foods rich in acid.
Constipation – Your bowel movements will likely change during pregnancy. Most women notice more infrequent bowel movements and experience constipation at some point.
Firstly, there is a significant increase in the hormone progesterone which slows down digestion causing less frequent bowel movements.
Secondly, because of the increase in blood volume, it can become difficult to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Make it a habit to bring your water bottle will you at all times.
Morning Sickness – Week 6 is the most popular week to start experiencing morning sickness.
This queasy, nauseous feeling can hit you at any time during the day, so the term “morning sickness” is somewhat misleading.
Some tips to help you ease this uncomfortable feeling include snacking on crackers, eating small meals, avoiding the feeling of hunger (keep a snack by your bed even at night), drink ginger tea or ginger ale, and suck on lemon flavored candies.
For most women, morning sickness subsides at the end of the first trimester.
Breasts – You’ve likely noticed a difference in your breasts by now. They might feel heavy and even sore to the touch. It might even feel like a hyped-up menstrual cycle.
As you know by now, your breasts are preparing to give nutrients to a little baby (whether you choose to breastfeed or not), so they’ll continue to feel heavy for the duration of your pregnancy.
To help stay supported and maintain their elasticity, be sure to wear a good-fitting bra.
Many new moms reach for a sports bra during this time frame simply for the comfort and support.
Carrying multiples always presents a unique set of concerns for new mothers.
At week 6, it’s unlikely you know how many babies are actually inside of you, but your twin family history is often a good indication.
During your prenatal appointment on week 8, your doctor will be able to tell if you are carrying multiples or a single baby.
It’s common for moms of twins to experience the same symptoms as those moms carrying single babies.
Because of the high hormone levels for a twin pregnancy, it’s not unusual to encounter symptoms like morning sickness, constipation, and even fatigue more intensely.
For now, you can treat these symptoms the same way any mom would.
One thing to be aware of is that your belly might expand much quicker with twins than with one baby. So, be ready for a quicker wardrobe upgrade.