By week six, pregnancy is in full bloom. If you haven’t already confirmed it by taking a test, there’s a good chance you’ll start noticing some tell-tale signs. Here’s what you should know about being six weeks pregnant with multiples.
How are the babies?
Your little ones are now each about a quarter-inch long (or roughly the size of a blueberry) and getting bigger every day. This may seem itty-bitty — and it is — but it’s pretty impressive how much they’ve grown in just a few weeks.
Four weeks past conception your babies-to-be are starting to develop facial features. Their C-shaped bodies and tail-like neural tubes make them look a bit like sea creatures this week. While they still have about a month to go before they’ll resemble humans, their eyes, ears, jaws, arms, and legs are already forming.
Your babies’ neural tubes will also close this week, kickstarting the formation of the brain and spinal cord. Among other organs, their tiny hearts are continuing to form and grow bigger, now beating at a regular rhythm.
With so much happening on the development front, taking a prenatal vitamin is more important than ever. If you haven’t already started, pick up a bottle with folic acid — the B vitamin has shown to help prevent some neural tube birth defects. This is also an important time to kick less healthy habits if you haven’t already done so. No amount of alcohol has been found to be safe during pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. And tobacco has been found to cause birth defects, growth issues, and early delivery, so now is a great time to stop tobacco use altogether.
What’s new with you?
While your babies are busy growing and developing, there’s a lot going on with your body too. Halfway through the first trimester is often when fatigue sets in. Building an entirely new organ (the placenta) can make you feel extra tired and sleepy, and if you’re carrying twins or triplets, multiple placentas might be forming.
Your body is pumping more blood than usual to deliver nutrients to your little ones, which can drain your energy as well. So don’t be surprised if you have the sudden urge to take a midday nap (or two). We encourage you to get all the rest you need, but if you’re up for it, doing some gentle yoga or going on a walk might help perk you up. And if you want to go to bed by 8:00pm, by all means, tuck in.
At this point, you may also have tender breasts or notice changes in the shape or color of your nipples. These normal symptoms are signs that your body is starting to prepare itself for breastfeeding.
A majority of pregnant folks have morning sickness during the first trimester, and those carrying multiples might experience more intense nausea. Having said that, everybody’s different, and not everyone expecting twins or triplets will be queasy in early pregnancy. If you’re feeling sick to your stomach, we recommend eating several small snacks throughout the day and staying hydrated. It might also help to take your prenatal with a meal, avoid triggering smells, and eat foods or drinks with ginger. If you can’t keep food down or are throwing up several times a day, be sure to tell your healthcare provider.
Something else you should call them about? Any amount of vaginal bleeding or spotting, even if it’s brief. This symptom is common, but it’s always best to let your provider know so they can find out what might be causing it.
Speaking of, if it’s not already on the calendar, you’ll want to schedule your first prenatal appointment. Depending on your provider, it could be as soon as this week or as late as week 10. It might still be too early for an ultrasound to detect the heartbeats and confirm you’re pregnant with multiples, but you’ll probably know within the coming weeks.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Mayo Clinic Staff. Fetal development: The 1st trimester. Mayo Clinic. 2020. Web. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20045302.
- MedlinePlus. Fetal development. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2021. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Folic Acid Helps Prevent Some Birth Defects. 2020. Web. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/features/folic-acid-helps-prevent-some-birth-defects.html.
- Kliman, H, MD, PhD. Twins. Yale School of Medicine Reproductive and Placental Research Unit. Web. https://medicine.yale.edu/obgyn/kliman/placenta/twins/.
- American Pregnancy Association. Twins Pregnancy Symptoms. 2019. Web. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/multiples/twin-pregnancy-symptoms-71058/.
- March of Dimes. Bleeding and spotting from the vagina during pregnancy. 2020. Web. https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/bleeding-and-spotting-from-the-vagina-during-pregnancy.aspx.