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5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Even though you’re just five weeks pregnant, lots of changes are taking place. The placenta and the beginnings of the umbilical cord are developing in order to channel essential nutrients and oxygen from your body to the embryo. These nutrients, like calcium, folic acid, and other vitamins, all play a vital role in healthy development.

This week, the neural tube continues to develop; it will eventually become the spinal column and the brain. At this point, taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day is a great way to support your baby’s healthy growth and development and reduce the risk of neural tube disorders.

Your baby's heart will develop from what is now just a bulge in the middle of the embryo, and the heartbeat itself may be detected as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

How Big Is Your Baby at 5 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, your little one could be between 0.05 and 0.10 inches long, with a shape similar to that of a tiny tadpole.

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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 and when you may be able to meet your little one. Try our Due Date Calculator to find out!

Some symptoms you may notice at five weeks pregnant include fatigue, nausea, and tender breasts, and they're all quite common. You can treat your hard-working body to a break by soaking in a warm bath, listening to some soothing music, or taking a nap. You can also give yourself a boost and get your little one off to a great start by adopting healthier habits, starting with quitting smoking and eliminating alcoholic beverages. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to include moderate exercise in your pregnancy, and keep taking any prenatal vitamins your healthcare provider recommends or prescribes.

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5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

  • Morning sickness. Some women start to experience morning sickness at five weeks pregnant. Unpleasant, nauseous feelings can happen in the morning, evening, or all day long, and many women will also throw up. To deal with morning sickness, drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration and avoid any greasy, spicy, or fatty foods that may trigger your bouts of nausea. Many women with morning sickness benefit from eating small meals and snacks frequently.
  • Light bleeding or spotting. It’s common to see some spotting at five weeks pregnant, but there should be no more than a few drops of blood — not even enough to cover a small pantyliner. This is likely just implantation bleeding, but you’ll want to mention it 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. Around five weeks pregnant, a surge of hormones might cause your breasts to ache as they continue to stretch and grow in preparation for breastfeeding.
  • Frequent urination. The urgent need to pee can strike any time, especially as your kidneys are starting to have extra fluid to process, thanks to the increasing volume of blood in your body. Although this symptom can be annoying, it’s also completely normal.
  • Fatigue. Don’t be surprised if you feel completely wiped out. Your body is dealing with an increase in levels of progesterone, which can leave you feeling more tired than usual. Avoiding caffeine and vigorous activity before bed can help you sleep better at night. Try to keep your daily schedule regular, but also try not to overschedule yourself. It's important to find a healthy balance between your daily activities and rest time. And don't feel guilty about taking time to rest or nap when you need it. You'll be doing yourself and your little one a big favor by getting as much rest as you can now.
  • Mood swings. Happy one moment, crying the next? Mood swings are common when you're pregnant, and for some women they feel like PMS at its worst. It may help to find some ways to distract yourself when an unpleasant mood interferes with your normal routine. Try going for a walk or listening to music, for example.
  • Mild or no symptoms. What if, at five weeks pregnant, you are symptom-free? It’s not unusual for women to feel and look completely normal at this stage, or for certain symptoms to come and go. As for that five 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 healthcare provider if you have questions about the changes that are taking place, or if the lack of any symptoms has you feeling uneasy.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

  • Give some thought to what you're eating, making sure that you're consuming a variety of healthy foods. Avoid fish that could contain high levels of mercury — like shark, swordfish, and mackerel — and skip any food that’s uncooked or unpasteurized. You'll also want to avoid things like sushi made with raw fish and oysters, as well as soft cheeses like Brie and feta. These items can cause food-borne illnesses that can affect you and your little one.
  • Curious about other early signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Try our Early Signs of Pregnancy quiz to learn more.
  • Think about whether to share the news that you’re five weeks along. Some people prefer to wait until the end of the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage drops significantly. 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 stay clear of toxoplasmosis, an infection that can harm unborn babies.
  • Download our Pregnancy Guide to learn more about what to look forward to over the coming weeks and months. Our guide covers everything from nutrition and weight gain to all the questions you'll want to ask your healthcare provider.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Ask Your Doctor

  • Are there any possible risks for your pregnancy based on your health, age, or family history?
  • What should you do if you notice slight bleeding at this stage of pregnancy?
  • How often should you see your healthcare provider during your pregnancy?

5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Schedule your first prenatal appointment.

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

Soothe 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.

Soothe 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