Weeks 6 to 10 of Your Pregnancy

Weeks 6 to 10 of Your Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy. This is an exciting and important time for you.

During the first 6 to 10 weeks of your pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. Your baby grows very fast, even though you cannot feel it yet. You may start to notice that you feel different, both in your body and your mind. Because each woman's pregnancy is unique, there is no right way to feel. You may feel the healthiest you have ever been, or you may feel tired or sick to your stomach ("morning sickness").

The thought of having a baby may make you feel excited or scared. Or you may not know how you feel about it. This is a good time to get support from family, friends, or other pregnant women. These early weeks are a time to make healthy choices and to eat the best foods for you and your baby. This care sheet can help you learn how to eat well and take good care of yourself by balancing plenty of rest with regular exercise. It also gives you information about how to protect your baby from harmful substances and foods.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Eat well

  • Eat at least 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks every day. Eat fresh, whole foods including:
    • 7 or more servings of bread, tortillas, cereal, rice, pasta, or oatmeal.
    • 3 or more servings of vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables.
    • 2 or more servings of fruits.
    • 3 or more servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese.
    • 2 or more servings of meat, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, or dried beans.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid sodas and other sweetened drinks.
  • Choose foods that have important vitamins for your baby, such as calcium, iron, and folate.
    • Dairy products, tofu, canned fish with bones, almonds, broccoli, dark leafy greens, corn tortillas, and fortified orange juice are good sources of calcium.
    • Beef, poultry, liver, spinach, lentils, dried beans, fortified cereals, and dried fruits are rich in iron.
    • Dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, liver, fortified cereals, orange juice, peanuts, and almonds are good sources of folate.
  • Avoid foods that could harm your baby.
    • Do not eat raw or undercooked meat, chicken, or fish (such as sushi or raw oysters).
    • Do not eat refrigerated pâtés, meat spreads, or smoked seafood.
    • Do not eat raw eggs or foods that contain raw eggs, such as Caesar dressing.
    • Do not eat soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy foods, such as Brie, feta, or blue cheese.
    • Do not eat fish with a lot of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, or king mackerel.
    • Do not eat more than one small can of tuna each week.
    • Do not eat raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts.
    • Choose caffeine-free drinks.
    • Limit how much liver you eat. Liver has a lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can harm your baby.
  • If you are concerned about your weight, talk to your doctor.
  • Avoid foods that do not have a lot of nutrition, such as chips, sodas, and pastries.

Additional information about Nutrition in Pregnancy can be found in this useful booklet.

Protect yourself and your baby

  • Smoking, alcohol, and drugs can harm your baby. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.
    Counseling, support groups, and medicines can help you quit. Even one night of heavy drinking may be harmful to your baby.
  • Do not touch kitty litter or cat feces. They can cause an infection that could harm your baby.
  • Be careful about taking medicines, vitamins, homeopathic remedies, herbs, herbal teas, and home remedies. These may not be safe for your baby.
  • Tell your doctor about any medicines, herbal remedies, or supplements you take. Before you take anything new, talk to your doctor.
  • Take over-the-counter medicines only if you really need them.
  • Take prescription medicines exactly as prescribed.
  • Do not take hot baths or use a hot tub, sauna, steam room, or tanning bed. Too much heat can cause problems for your baby.
  • If someone abuses, threatens, or hurts you, call 911, tell your doctor, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. Abuse can cause problems such as poor weight gain, infections, and bleeding. It may also increase your baby's risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and death.

Cope with morning sickness

  • Sip small amounts of water, juices, or shakes. Try drinking between meals, not with meals.
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Try dry toast or crackers when you first get up, and eat breakfast a little later.
  • Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods.
  • When you feel sick, open your windows or go for a short walk to get fresh air.
  • Try nausea wristbands. These help some women.
  • Tell your doctor if you think your prenatal vitamins make you sick.
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