It’s pregnancy week 5. Last week, you took a home pregnancy test and finally got the confirmation you’ve been waiting for. You are officially pregnant! You’re most likely elated and there’s a spring in your every step. After all, you’re completely certain now that you are carrying a baby inside of you!
Also, there is something you have missed by now—your period. Most women find out that they are pregnant during the fifth week and what leads them to take a pregnancy test is their missed period. Now, here’s some exciting news, unlike week 4, where you probably didn’t feel anything significant symptoms, week 5 is different.
This week, your baby is about the size of an apple seed.
Although your baby is still too small to be seen, you may already start to experience its presence physically and feel a connection emotionally.
Also, at 5 weeks pregnant, your hormone levels significantly rise and bring along with them symptoms that you just cannot ignore.
Recall that the hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin present in your body and subsequently in your urine is why you could detect that you’re pregnant.
So, by week five, you may not feel so great, but the silver lining, you’re going to be a mother in only about 35 weeks!
Your Baby’s Development
At 5 weeks, the embryonic period is just starting out. Your baby’s growth is pretty rapid and the major organ systems of their body are forming—the brain and heart precisely. Also, other structures are beginning to take shape and your baby is developing a spinal cord too!
Your baby’s heart would also begin to beat at a steady rate, but it would be undetectable by ultrasound for at least another week or two. The placenta that would nourish and protect your baby is also beginning to form.
Although development is pretty accelerated, your baby wouldn’t look exactly like a baby at this time. There is embryonic growth, but the size is still pretty small and can be compared to an apple seed. According to the National Health Service, right about now, your baby is only about 2 millimeters in size.
For twins, there is the possibility of an early ultrasound carried out during week 5 detecting your babies. Although they are so little that they measure in centimeters, the scan might show two gestational sacs or tiny fetal poles during the course of the week.
During this stage, it is also possible for the early ultrasound to detect two genital sacs and a later ultrasound detecting only one. This phenomenon is regarded as vanishing twin syndrome and there is no clear reason why it occurs. When this happens, you may experience symptoms such as bleeding or cramping or the twist; no symptoms whatsoever.
Your Body & Symptoms
Your body is preparing to undergo the rapid changes that would be coming along soon. The pregnancy hormone levels in your body are rising rapidly and your uterus would begin to experience growth soon.
This doesn’t imply that you would automatically begin to look pregnant, that may not happen for some months, but you may begin to experience certain symptoms.
Pregnancy symptoms are pretty much unpredictable and unique. It is very possible for two women to experience entirely different symptoms while they are both pregnant. In addition, if this isn’t your first baby, you may experience certain symptoms that you didn’t the first time.
The reason for these symptoms is the rapidly rising levels of the pregnancy hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Here are some of the symptoms that you may experience in the fifth week:
1. Morning Sickness
Don’t be taken in by the name. You can feel nausea and vomiting sensation at any time of the day. Typically, morning sickness is a symptom that begins in the sixth week, however, in some women, it may be present from the fifth week.
A natural way of reducing this symptom is to eat small servings of food all through the day instead of taking your regular major meals two to three times daily.
If it degenerates to the extent that you are unable to keep food or liquid down, then you need to see a doctor.
It could be a symptom of extreme morning sickness otherwise known as hyperemesis gravidarum. You may be required to go to the hospital to receive treatment and may have to stay there for a while as well.
2. Abdominal Cramps
Mild cramping or bloating is a pretty common symptom at five weeks. It could be as a result of your uterus stretching or the egg implanting.
Actions such as sneezing, coughing, or adjusting your position can cause the cramps to become more pronounced.
If the cramp remains very mild, then there is no cause for alarm. However, if you begin to feel a very intense pain that seems to be pretty persistent, you should contact your doctor right away.
3. Frequent Urination
Expansion of your uterus would cause it to press against your bladder. This would result in your having to urinate frequently. Holding your urine at this point is a bad idea because it might result in bladder infections.
During pregnancy, there is a tendency for your blood pressure to lower than normal. This can result in dizziness and progress to fainting.
If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded, look for a place to sir if you were standing. If you were driving, pull over and relax until it blows over.
In order for your body to get more nutrients into your bloodstream to keep your baby nourished, the movement of food through your digestive system would also down significantly.
While this is an upside for the baby, there is a downside for you, this delay would cause you to experience constipation.
Natural ways to relieve this symptom include hydrating a lot and then eating lots of fiber to aid digestion and relieve constipation.
6. Food Cravings and Aversions
Hormonal changes in your body may affect your taste buds and your appetite too. You may suddenly find yourself getting irritated by some of your favorite foods and then acquiring a taste for the ones that you didn’t like so much.
These aversions and cravings may set in as early as five weeks in.
7. Mood Swings
You can always blame your constantly unstable emotional state on the hormones and changes that your body is experiencing.
Apart from the emotional stress that carrying a baby can bring about, you would also start to feel a variety of emotions for no reason.
These emotions may come to the surface at the snap of a finger; excitement, fear, anxiety, a bit of depression too. While these are normal, if you feel like they are getting out of hand, go see your doctor immediately!
Measures to Begin to Observe
There are always measures to observe in order to have a smooth ride throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
You should have begun to observe some of these measures from the first or second week of pregnancy, but if you haven’t, you’d better start right now!
Here are some of these measures:
1. Schedule a Prenatal Appointment
Now that you have been confirmed to be pregnant, you would need to schedule your first appointment with a prenatal doctor.
Checkups are essential for the health of your pregnancy and yours as well. The doctor would give you specific instructions that would help keep your baby healthy.
2. Prenatal Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins is something that you should have started since around the first or second week of your pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins are known to contain high levels of folic acid and may be very effective at reducing the risk of your baby having some defects upon birth.
Prenatal vitamins may also provide you with omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These are essentials for the proper development of the brain and eye in your baby. They also make breast milk a lot more nutritious.
3. Eat Healthily
This really cannot be overemphasized. You’re eating for both yourself and your baby, and you cannot afford to jeopardize your baby’s health by your poor food choices.
Including healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, beans and dairy in your diet is vital for your baby’s good health.
In addition, ensure that your proteins are well cooked, avoid unpasteurized dairy and high mercury seafood so that you don’t end up giving your baby an infection.
4. Avoid Toxins
Habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or excessive caffeinated substances, as well as hard drugs, are a great danger to your baby.
You should steer clear of certain prescription or over-the-counter medications as well. Any prescription that you are getting should be coming from your doctor.
Let your doctor know about everything that you are taking in ranging from medicine, vitamins, supplements as well as natural herbs.
At this time, everything you do matters. It is therefore essential that you get rid of anything that is likely to put your baby in harm’s way. Also, prioritize self-care.