You’re pregnant! You may have noticed something missing this week—your period. A missed period is what typically leads most women to take a pregnancy test, which will soon be positive.
You may have also noticed some other changes in your body, the most evident being the massive amounts of food cravings and bodily fluids you’ve been finding everywhere. These are all very normal side effects of early pregnancy, though it should be noted that you can get morning sickness at any point during your gestation period.
Baby development at 5 weeks pregnant
Your little one is now a smiling fish with two eyes and what will eventually become all your organs. The cells that make up this creature's body are, in order: ectoderm - which forms the skin; mesoglea – responsible for bones and muscle tissue; endodermal – contains no cells but instead provides space where other tissues grow out from!
Your baby is now developing a brain and nervous system. He or she does this by creating cells called neural crest cells, which will become the child's central nervous system.
The heart begins to beat and pump the blood for the first time this week, in fact. The tiny organ is formed from a layer of cells along with muscles or other tissues like cartilage under your child’s skin that will grow into bones as they develop over their lifetime
A lot goes on during embryonic development from just one cell!
The kidneys also start to form at five weeks pregnant, though they're still a long way from being fully functional. Tiny, clumps of mesoderm tissue called nephrons are beginning to develop. These will eventually take shape as your child's kidneys!
Muscles at 5 weeks pregnant: at 3-4 millimeters long, the muscles in your little one are becoming more complex and capable of movement. The first muscles cellular division occurs during pregnancy because there need to be lots of cells to build those tiny lungs!
Lungs and gut
The lungs and gut are the third layers. This will become your baby's early respiratory system, digestive tract including intestines as well as pancreas or liver/gall bladder - all before they were born! In addition to these organs developing in utero with your little one on board for delivery by way of their placental partner; we also have a thyroid gland that belongs separately from Mommy despite its proximity at birth (and sometimes during childhood), thanks again those two other layers: endoderm + ectodermal germ cell Layer 4).
After 4 weeks the baby is about 1.2mm long. The cells have divided enough so that all of them will be able to find each other and create a very complex tiny human being! At this point, your child is probably somewhere between 2-5 millimeters long, which means it could fit on a fingernail if you were to print out a 3D image of it.
Pregnancy symptoms during week 5
Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman and can range from no pregnancy symptoms to mild ones or severe. Some women may experience nausea in the morning, but non-stop vomiting is not normal in a 5 weeks pregnant embryo.
Missing a period is the most common reason that women give when they take a pregnancy test, but it shouldn't be your only symptom. While it's not impossible to get pregnant with no symptoms, chances are you would have noticed something amiss by now or started craving Twinkies and ice cream if this were your situation.
There will be a lot of pressure on your bladder as your uterus expands. It is not unusual for you to feel the need to pee more often than usual so try not drink too much before bedtime! You can also develop heartburn at this stage of your pregnancy. This is due to the growing uterus putting pressure on your stomach and esophagus.
Tender, swollen breasts
Your breasts may feel tender or tingly around this time. Your areolas are also likely to have become darker by now, but your nipples will probably remain unchanged since they are made up of erectile tissue rather than milk glands.
Longer nails and hair
It is normal for you to experience an increase in the growth rate of your fingernails and your hair at five weeks pregnant. This is because hormone changes during early pregnancy stimulate these tissues so that they grow faster! However, there is no evidence supporting the myth that if you’re expecting a girl, her nails will be long and sharp, whereas if she’s a boy, his will be soft and round!
Since your body is busy making all kinds of cells, it needs more energy than usual. This means that you may feel tired and weak at times.
You're probably feeling the fatigue about now. Around this time in pregnancy, many women experience extreme exhaustion. Some women report fainting or even nausea with fatigue, especially when they stand up quickly (known as "the light-headedness").
Morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, usually lasts until the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy. Morning sickness does not necessarily indicate a problem with your baby.
Many pregnant women have food cravings during pregnancy. Some even begin to dislike foods that they enjoyed before. This is because your senses of smell and taste are heightened making some foods seem very unpleasant while others may be irresistible!
Tummy pain is also common between four to six weeks pregnant. Your uterus is now large enough to place pressure on your bowel, bladder, or even your stomach muscles, causing you to feel aches and cramps.
A Range of Emotions
There is a wide range of emotions that you may feel at this time, from excitement and happiness to confusion and fear. These feelings stem from your changing body image as well as many unanswered questions about what's going on inside you, how long it'll last, or how much longer there is to go! You may also feel anxious about your upcoming first doctor’s visit.
Pregnancy checklist at 5 weeks pregnant
You should begin to receive prenatal care now that your pregnancy has been confirmed. Your first visit will probably include:
- A discussion about health and wellness before, during, and after you're pregnant.
- Medical history review (including family medical history). The doctor may also ask questions about certain behaviors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use/abuse, exercise patterns, weight gain/loss history related to dieting or disordered eating), sexual activity, travel habits (if any), etc.
- Pregnancy symptoms check-in ("How are you feeling?")
- Pregnancy symptoms checklist ("What symptoms have you noticed since becoming pregnant?") - list the three most common symptoms experienced by women at this stage of pregnancy.
- A discussion about how to have a healthy baby ("What can I do to help my baby be healthy?")
- The development of the fetus since the last visit.
Options for prenatal care
When you go for your first appointment, your doctor or midwife will discuss with you what type of prenatal care suits you best. There are five options that may be available in your area:
- Nurse-led clinics (clinics where an obstetrician/midwife is assisted by practice nurses): These clinics typically offer holistic care and aim to provide confident, supportive, empathetic & sensitive care - they also reduce costs! However, there might not be adequate access to other types of healthcare services.
- Group prenatal care (in a group of up to 8-12 pregnant women, the group is overseen by one doctor): These groups meet 2 or 3 times during pregnancy for checkups and each woman has her own examination room. This ensures one on one attention but may not be available in some areas.
- Individual prenatal care (you visit your doctor/midwife alone at their office): This typically provides more flexibility on when you can see them however it means that they don’t get to know other people in the same stage of pregnancy as you which reduces the level of support & communication available during your pregnancy.
- Midwifery-led clinics: Used for low-risk pregnancies where continuity of carer is important. These clinics may provide all options of prenatal care apart from epidurals and cesarean section and they also ensure that women have a choice in where and how they give birth.
- Private midwifery: Most midwives work alongside their patients throughout pregnancy, labor, and birth so you can choose to hire a private midwife for yourself or your baby.
If you're between four to six weeks pregnant, here are some self-care tips that will help ease your mind and body:
- Eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables & whole grains.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
- Get plenty of rest/sleep.
- Take regular exercise (in moderation).
- Manage family and work expectations (balance).
- Join prenatal classes or talk to others who are also expecting.
- Plan for maternity leave.
As your pregnancy progresses you will become more and more excited about having a baby. Many mothers feel anxious or stressed about their new life but setting yourself some simple health goals at this stage will help ease the transition to motherhood.
Remember that it is completely natural to feel 'nervous' about becoming a parent for the first time, though if you establish good self-care habits now they'll serve everyone well when your baby arrives!