Your Pregnancy

Your Pregnancy Week 5

Week 5 of your pregnancy is here! Your body and your baby are undergoing some dramatic changes. Last week, you may have had a few symptoms of pregnancy, like nausea and fatigue. This week, you could notice a new round of symptoms or, if you are lucky, your symptoms may go away completely!
Your Pregnancy Week 5

Your Baby This Week

Your Baby This Week
Your baby is now around the size of an apple seed, or about 0.33cm (0.13 inches).
 
The shape of your baby now resembles a pear. The narrow pointed end will become your baby’s spine and the larger rounded end is now developing into your baby’s head. In fact, the majority of growth your baby experiences in the fifth week will take place in the head. Your baby’s brain is rapidly developing so that it can regulate its heart rate and blood circulation. This development is visibly noticeable when looking at a 5 week old embryo. The head seems very large and the remainder of the body resembles a tail. There are also small protrusions that will become your baby’s arms and legs.
 
Major organs like the liver, kidney, stomach, and heart are forming as well as the digestive system, the nervous system and the circulatory system. The fifth week is a critical time for your baby’s heart development. At this stage, the heart is starting to divide into separate individual chambers and is even pumping blood. Although the typical use of a stethoscope will not yet detect your baby’s heartbeat, an internal ultrasound will sometimes detect it this early in the pregnancy.

Your Body This Week

Your Body This Week
The fifth week of pregnancy will sometimes bring on several new symptoms and increase the severity of the current symptoms. Your level of fatigue is likely to increase during week 5. This is probably due to the growth spurt that your baby is having right now. Any previous symptoms of nausea and tender breasts should be about the same as they were last week. However, because of the increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, this week could bring on a few new symptoms:
 
  • Mood swings. You may find that you are happy and excited one minute and crying the next. Don’t be overly concerned. This is normal. Your brain and body is trying to get used to its new level of hormones. Pregnancy is a very emotional time anyway, so when you factor in the hormonal changes, mood swings are to be expected.
  • You may also notice that you have the need to urinate more frequently. This is due to your uterus being larger than usual and pressing against your bladder. Again, quite normal and to be expected.
  • Some women experience heartburn early in their pregnancy because the hormone progesterone can cause the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus to relax, allowing stomach acid to enter the oesophagus. Much later in a pregnancy, heartburn and indigestion is caused by the weight of the baby pushing on the stomach. Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking any over the counter medications for heartburn.
  • Headaches are also common in early pregnancy. It’s not fully understood why but it’s assumed that they are due to the higher levels of hormones as well. Again, make sure to talk to your doctor prior to taking over the counter medications for headaches.
At the fifth week, you probably will not see any difference in your body in terms of weight gain or a protruding belly - the increased size of your uterus may be noticeable if you lay a certain way and it may feel a bit harder to the touch.

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Pregnancy Tip

Pregnancy Tip

Prevent morning sickness by frequently snacking on filling foods that are mild in flavour. Crackers are said to be a pregnant woman’s best friend during the first trimester. Keep such snacks readily available and eat them before going to bed and even in the morning before you attempt to get out of bed. Simply having something in your stomach can stop nausea in its tracks.
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