6 Months Pregnant: Body Changes, Symptoms & an Essential Checklist
At six months pregnant, you are two-thirds of the way through your pregnancy and getting closer to meeting your baby every day! You are at the tail-end of your second trimester, and many pregnant women are feeling positive but also like they’ve been pregnant forever.
6 Months Pregnant Checklist
- Take a day off and pamper yourself.
- Look into childcare options if you will be returning to work.
- Think about who you want in the delivery room.
- Develop a birth plan.
- Figure out two routes to the hospital or birthing center.
- Begin listing baby names.
- Plan a bump photoshoot for the third trimester.
- Plan your baby shower and create a registry.
Your Baby at 6 Months
The sixth month of pregnancy is weeks 23 to 26. You will definitely be feeling baby kicks and movements, and your partner may be able to feel them too. If you are feeling a rhythmic lurch in your abdomen, Your little one probably has hiccups; a common phenomenon thought to be brought on by drinking or breathing amniotic fluid and lung maturation. However, if they are frequently occurring in late pregnancy, it could be a sign of a cord problem.
Your baby’s development is not changing as rapidly as it did in the early weeks of pregnancy, but there is still a lot of crucial growth that needs to occur before they are ready to meet you.
Your baby’s lungs are fully formed at this stage of pregnancy, and they now have fingerprints! In addition, your baby’s skin is starting to thicken, and sweat glands are developing below the skin surface. They’re over a foot long now, and by the end of the month, may weigh up to two pounds.
Your Body at 6 Months Pregnant
From months six to seven, your second trimester is coming to an end. You will have an unmistakable baby bump and be able to feel your baby’s movements. Your uterus is expanding to fit your growing baby, and you may notice a few stretch marks or varicose veins.
Your feet may have begun to swell due to the increase in blood volume resulting in edema (or water retention). The weight of your uterus requires your legs’ veins to work double-time as they pump extra blood to your heart. Estrogen also increases the amount of fluid your tissues absorb.
The result of all this is puffy and sometimes aching feet. Putting your feet up when you can, wearing comfortable low-heeled shoes, and soaking your feet in warm water are all excellent ways to ease the discomfort. Special compression stockings, available at medical supply stores, may also be helpful.
In most cases, edema by itself is nothing to be alarmed by; however, If you experience sudden and severe swelling of the face and hands, call your healthcare provider immediately. It may be a sign of preeclampsia, also called toxemia, a condition that is potentially hazardous to both you and your baby. Other signs of preeclampsia include:
- High blood pressure
- Visual disturbances
- Sudden excessive weight gain
- Protein in the urine
Second Trimester Symptoms of Pregnancy
- Frequent Urination
- Tender or swollen breasts
- Bleeding Gums
- Excess mucus and saliva
- Increase in vaginal discharge
- Mild shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Skin and hair changes
- Round ligament pain or soreness
- Lower back aches or back pain
- Mild swelling of legs, feet, and hands
- Leg cramps
- Food cravings
- Food adversions
- Your belly button may pop to an outie
Use this list as a checklist to discuss any symptoms you may be having with your OB/GYN at your next wellness check-up.
And check out our featured video on the general symptoms of pregnancy.
Thoughts and Concerns at 6 Months Pregnant
As your sixth month arrives, the reality of being a parent is becoming very real. You are probably wondering, “What will my baby look like?” and “Am I going to be a good parent?” The answer to both is adorable, and yes! Nevertheless, the unknown can bring out stress and anxious thoughts.
As your due date looms closer, your pregnancy hormones may make your moods fluctuate, but most likely not as much as your first trimester! Most women feel calmer and at ease during the second trimester because of an increase in serotonin. However, some women who already suffer from depression or other mental health conditions may notice a worsening in their condition. Always speak with your doctor if you are having strong anxious or depressive thoughts.
As you approach the third trimester, try to take advantage of these final days of relative comfort and sit back and savor your pregnancy. Find a few ways to pamper and treat yourself and to relieve any stress you may be experiencing.
- Splurge for a day spa treatment.
- Spend a lazy afternoon curled up with a good book.
- Cool off with a dish of your favorite ice cream.
- Enjoy a nice, relaxing soak in the tub.
- Take a scenic weekend drive with no deadlines or a particular destination.
- Use the valet service to park instead of hiking from the lot.
- Order healthy carry-out fare from your favorite restaurant.
What to Expect at the Doctor or Midwife’s Office
There will be more of the same this month as your provider checks your weight and fundal height and continues to track fetal development by listening to your baby's heartbeat.
Your doctor or midwife will also require the usual urine sample and blood pressure check. And, If you weren't given an oral glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes last month, it will probably be administered now.
In most cases, if you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy you will not have another ultrasound after your 20-week scan unless you request one. You may, however, wish to have additional tests run for genetic screening if you are at risk for such complications. For example, your doctor may suggest a Cell-Free DNA Prenatal Screening Test or an amniocentesis.
It is important to note that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that tests like the Cell-Free DNA test are not diagnostic and can only predict the chances of your baby having a chromosomal disorder not confirm whether or not there is one.
Your doctor will discuss your risk factors for any complications and gov over signs of preterm labor, preeclampsia, and other concerns you may have.
To learn about what milestones and pregnancy symptoms to expect next, check out Month Seven of Your Pregnancy.
The Everything Pregnancy Organizer. Find everything you need to get you through your nine months of pregnancy.
- 6 Months Pregnant: Symptoms, Belly, Baby’s Development, More (healthline.com)
- Edema - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
- Preeclampsia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
- Hormones and mental health | Health | scnow.com
- Sixth Month Prenatal Checkup | Ask Dr Sears
- Cell-Free DNA Prenatal Screening Test | ACOG
- The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Checkups and Tests (healthline.com)
- Baby Hiccups in Womb: Is This Normal? (healthline.com)
- Rose, Debra. What to Expect at 6 Months Pregnant. 2020.
- mayoclinic.org. Edema. 2023.
- mayoclinic.org. Preeclampsia. 2022.
- scnow.com. Hormones and mental health. 2021.
- askdrsears.com. Sixth Month Prenatal Checkup with Your Doctor. 2023.
- acog.org. Cell-Free DNA Prenatal Screening Test. Year.
- Sullivan, Debra. The Importance of Checkups in the Second Trimester. 2020.
- Copel, Joshua. My Baby Hiccups in the Womb: Is This Normal?. 2023.
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About L. Elizabeth Forry
L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with 15 years of classroom experience.