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5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Even though you’re just 5 weeks pregnant, lots of changes are taking place. The placenta and the beginnings of the umbilical cord are already working hard to channel essential nutrients from your body to the embryo. Oxygen, amino acids, fats, and sugars all play a vital role in health development.

Some of the cells are developing into the neural tube, which will become the spinal column and the brain. Taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day is a great way to support your baby’s healthy growth and development.

The heart is now a single tube with a few uncoordinated beats. These thumps will become more regular with every passing week. If you were to have a transvaginal ultrasound at 5 weeks pregnant, your doctor might be able to detect a gestational sac with a yolk sac inside. The heartbeat itself can be detected around the 6th week of pregnancy.

How Big is Your Baby at Five Weeks?

This week your baby is still very small – but growing quickly! Picture a small orange seed or a grain of rice: At this stage, the average fetal size is between 0.05 – 0.10 inches long, and the shape is similar to that of a tiny tadpole.

pregnancy week 5 fetus

Mom’s Body at 5 Weeks Pregnant

How do you feel now that you’re actually pregnant? If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while, you’re probably ecstatic. You may also find yourself wondering about all the changes in store. Every pregnancy is different and it’s completely normal to feel a wide range of emotions. Knowing what to expect can be a big help!

This week, symptoms such as backaches and menstrual-like cramps can be common. You can treat your hard-working body to a break by soaking in a warm bath, listening to some soothing music, or indulging in a nap. You can also give yourself a boost and get your little one off to a great start by choosing healthier habits. Now is a great time to stop smoking or recreational drug use, and it’s also the perfect time to choose sparkling water and other refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

  • Morning Sickness – Some women start to experience morning sickness at 5 weeks pregnant. Unpleasant, nauseous feelings can happen in the morning, evening, or all day, and many women will also throw up. If you can’t keep anything down, call your doctor to rule out hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG. This is a very severe form of morning sickness that often requires the administration of IV fluids and nutrition.

  • Light bleeding or Spotting – It’s common to see some spotting at 5 weeks pregnant, but there should be no more than a few drops of blood – not even enough to cover a small pantyliner. You’ll want to mention this spotting to your doctor so that he or she can rule out complications. If you see a lot of blood, if the spotting lasts longer than two days, or you have any concerns, see your doctor right away.

  • Breast Tenderness – At 5 weeks, This week your breasts will probably ache as they continue to stretch and grow.

  • Frequent Urination – The need to find the nearest toilet can happen anytime. Although this symptom can be annoying, it’s completely normal.

  • Fatigue – Don’t be surprised if you feel completely wiped out. Your body is working around the clock! Naps and resting can help you feel better.

  • Mood Swings – Happy one moment, crying the next? Mood swings can be a normal part of pregnancy, and they can feel like you’re experiencing PMS at its worst. It may help to find some ways to distract yourself when an unpleasant mood interferes with your normal routine.

  • No Symptoms – What if, at 5 weeks pregnant, symptoms never arrive? It’s not unusual for women to feel completely normal at this stage, or for certain symptoms to come and go. As for that 5 weeks pregnant belly, it may appear unchanged, or it may be looking and feeling bloated. If you’ve got severe morning sickness, you may even lose a little bit of weight during the first trimester. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you feel at all unsure about the changes that are taking place – or if the lack of any symptoms has you feeling uneasy.

  • Mild to no symptoms - It's not unusual for women to feel completely normal at this stage, or for certain symptoms to come and go. Be sure to talk to your doctor if the lack of any symptoms has you feeling uneasy.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Assess your nutrition and think about how much weight you’ll need to gain over the course of the next several months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women who are at a normal weight at the time of conception should try to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. Those who are underweight should gain at least 34 pounds, and those who are overweight should aim for no more than a 20-pound weight gain.

  • Take fish that could contain mercury off your menu, and be sure to avoid anything that’s undercooked or unpasteurized. These items can cause foodborne illnesses that can affect you and your little one.

  • Make a plan for dealing with morning sickness. Ginger capsules and vitamin B6 can be helpful preventatives, as can special lollipops and lozenges designed to alleviate nausea. Some women find that acupressure wristbands make a big difference, and just about everyone with morning sickness benefits from eating small meals and snacks frequently.

  • Think about whether to share the news that you’re 5 weeks along. Some people prefer to wait until the end of the first trimester (around 12 weeks) when the risk of miscarriage drops; others tell at least a select few the moment they’ve got a positive pregnancy test in hand.

  • Have a cat? Now is the time to get someone else to take care of the litter box so that you can avoid toxoplasmosis, an infection that can harm unborn babies.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • If you haven’t yet arranged for your first prenatal appointment, now is the time to do so.

  • Call your doctor right away for heavy bleeding or pain other than mild cramping.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Be ready to feel anxious or excited, worried or ecstatic — all normal reactions to becoming pregnant

Treat any cramps and backaches with a warm bath or a nap

Cut out smoking and alcohol if you haven’t already

Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Be ready to feel anxious or excited, worried or ecstatic — all normal reactions to becoming pregnant

Treat any cramps and backaches with a warm bath or a nap

Cut out smoking and alcohol if you haven’t already

Sign up to get weekly pregnancy tips