Welcome to Week 6
Your Baby: Forming New Features
It's been 4 weeks since you conceived. Your embryo is now 6 weeks old. (Remember, the age of a fetus is calculated from the beginning of the last menstrual period - not from the date of conception, about 2 weeks later.) Still less than 1/5 of an inch long (4 to 5 mm), it has tripled in size and is starting to look a bit familiar. The brain is developing distinct areas, and the eyes and ears are beginning to take shape. Even at this early date, the heart is forming and is starting to pump blood at a rate of about 150 beats per minute. The backbone, ribs, and muscles of the back and sides will grow out of 40 small blocks of tissue that are developing along the fetus' future spine!
Your Body: Deciding On a Doctor
Getting good prenatal care. is important for your, and your baby's, health. That means choosing a health care provider you can call when you have questions or concerns. When choosing a provider, consider bedside manner, philosophy, type of practice, and medical credentials. Here are the different types of providers you may work with during pregnancy:
- Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN).This is an M.D. who specializes in the field of woman's health and pregnancy. They specialize in the care and treatment of the woman during pregnancy, and the labor and delivery of the baby.
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, or perinatologist. This is an OB who has had special training to care for high-risk pregnancies. Women may choose this specialist if they had a high-risk pregnancy in the past, have a multiple birth pregnancy, or have medical conditions such as diabetes.
- Family Physician (FP). This is an M.D. who has studies family practice medicine. Family practice physicians treat men and women of all ages as well as treat children. They also take care of women who are pregnant. Some FP's deliver babies, while others provide prenatal care and have Ob/Gyn or midwifery colleagues who do the delivery.
- Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM). This provider is trained in nursing and midwifery. A nurse midwife cares for women who are pregnant and generally is there for labor and delivery as well. Nurse midwives generally work with OBs as well. Midwives generally provide a low-intervention approach to pregnancy.
Each type of provider will treat you and your pregnancy differently. To find the best fit for you, research each provider and practice before choosing.
On That Note: Choosing Dr. Right
Looking for a checklist for choosing the perfect doctor? Use our handy checklist that can help you decide what type of provider is the best fit for you.
The telltale sign of pregnancy -- morning sickness -- may set in this week. To ease your queasy tummy, try keeping it full at all times. Eat small, simple meals every 2 to 3 hours, drink lots of water, and never leave home without a healthy snack in your bag. Some mothers' favorite snacks include power bars, graham crackers, plain crackers, and dried fruits and nuts.
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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