You and Your Baby at Week 5 of Your Pregnancy

Your baby is the size of an apple seed!

(10 minute read)

Article at a glance

  • Your body at week 5
  • Pregnancy Symptoms at week 5
  • Tips for a healthy pregnancy at week 5

5 Weeks Pregnant

Week 5

Week 5 of pregnancy marks a pivotal stage in your pregnancy journey. It is a time when significant developments are taking place, both in the tiny life growing inside you and in your own body. Both of you are doing miraculous things! This week is crucial in the development of the embryo into a human being, and this is the week when you will probably begin to experience the first real symptoms of pregnancy. You could be feeling tired, sick and your breasts could feel sore. You could also have no symptoms yet - all of this is normal. Be sure to take good care of yourself, however you're feeling.

How Big is Baby at 5 Weeks?

At 5 weeks, your baby is still very tiny. The embryo is approximately the size of an apple seed or a sesame seed, measuring about 0.13 inches (3.3 mm) long. Despite its small size, this is a critical period of growth and development. The major organs, including the heart, brain, spinal cord, and bones, are beginning to form. The heart, though rudimentary at this stage, has started beating. It can be hard to imagine such incredible happenings inside your own body and within such a tiny structure - pregnancy truly is miraculous.

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Your Body at Week 5

As your body begins to accommodate the growing embryo (your baby), you might start noticing some physical and emotional changes. These changes are primarily due to hormonal shifts, particularly the increase in progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Hormonal Changes: The surge in hormones can affect almost every organ in your body. Progesterone helps to thicken the uterine lining, providing a supportive environment for the embryo. hCG, the hormone detected by pregnancy tests, continues to rise and helps maintain the corpus luteum, which supports embryonic growth.

Breast Tenderness: One of the early signs of pregnancy is a change in your breasts. Due to hormonal changes, they may feel tender, swollen, or heavier. For many women, a change in their breasts is the first sign of pregnancy, with soreness being the biggest telltale sign.

Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired is common in early pregnancy. This fatigue is caused by the high levels of progesterone circulating in your body and the fact that your body is supporting your growing baby before your placenta takes over at around the 12-week mark.

Morning Sickness: At this stage, some women begin to experience nausea or vomiting, which is often referred to as morning sickness. Although it can occur at any time of the day, it takes some women by surprise because we're led to believe it only happens in the morning.

Frequent Urination: The increase in blood volume and the growing uterus putting pressure on the bladder can lead to an increased need to urinate.

Mood Swings: Emotional fluctuations are common due to hormonal changes. You might experience mood swings, from joy to anxiety. Go easy on yourself - your body is going through a lot.

Cravings or Food Aversions: You might start noticing changes in your taste preferences, with cravings for certain foods or aversions to others.

 


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Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 5

In addition to the changes mentioned above, you might also experience other symptoms:

  • Spotting: Light spotting can be a normal part of early pregnancy, often due to implantation bleeding which is where the embryo implants into the wall of your uterus.
  • Cramping: Some women experience mild uterine cramping in early pregnancy which is your body preparing to grow a brand new human.
  • Heightened Sense of Smell: Many women report a heightened sense of smell during early pregnancy, which can contribute to nausea.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy at Week 5

Your body has everything it needs for a healthy pregnancy. If you are low risk then it's likely your body will do what it needs to do in supporting your pregnancy over the next 37+ weeks. Here are some tips on staying healthy during this time:

  1. Prenatal Care: If you haven't already, schedule your first prenatal visit through your GP.
  2. Prenatal Vitamins: Start taking prenatal vitamins, particularly folic acid , to support your baby's neural tube development. This is important for the prevention of birth defects such as spina bifida.
  3. Healthy Diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help with the increased blood volume.
  5. Rest: Ensure you get enough rest. Your body is working hard to support the growing embryo.
  6. Avoid Harmful Substances: Refrain from smoking, alcohol, and limit caffeine intake to 200mg a day (approx 1 cup).
  7. Exercise: If you feel up to it, exercise. It's a myth that you can't exercise during pregnancy. Do practice safe pregnancy exercises such as yoga, walking and swimming.

Week 5 is a time of rapid development for your baby and a period of adjustment for your body. Understanding these changes can help you better prepare for the journey ahead. Remember, every woman's experience is unique. If you have concerns or questions, don't hesitate to consult your GP.

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