your baby size is of an orange seed

Hey would-be parents, welcome to the fifth week of pregnancy! Your little one has grown up to be the size of an orange seed of about 0.05 inches. Although your 5 weeks pregnant belly may look unchanged, there will be so many changes happening inside your womb this week. You might also experience some symptoms and signs, but hey, that's totally normal! To know it all, keep reading.

Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Here's what is happening to your 5-week fetus inside your womb:

The pipeline

The beginnings of the umbilical cord, along with the placenta, are already working hard to direct essential nutrients like oxygen, amino acids, fats, and sugars from your system to the embryo. All of these nutrients play an important role in the healthy development of your baby.

Gestational sac

A ball of fluid called the gestational sac forms around the developing embryo. Although the embryo might not be visible, you might notice this sac at your 5 weeks ultrasound exam.

Layers of development

The cells within your embryo are separating into three layers to form different body systems. The outer layer (ectoderm) begins to form the nervous system along with your baby's brain, spinal cord, skin, hair, and nails. The middle layer (mesoderm) becomes your baby's circulatory system - your baby's heart, blood, bones, muscles, and kidneys. The inner layer (endoderm) becomes your baby's lungs, intestines, and liver.

Spinal growth

The embryo is growing in length as some of your baby’s cells are developing into the neural tube. This neural tube runs from top to bottom and will later become the spinal cord and the brain. You need to take at least 0.4 mg of folic acid every day to prevent spinal cord-related birth- defects.

The heartbeat

The circulatory system — blood and the heart — is the first system to be operational. Right now, the embryo has a tiny blip at its centre that's soon going to develop into your baby's heart. Your baby's heart has two tiny channels called heart tubes that are already working hard. Once these tubes fuse, your baby will have a fully functioning heart. Currently, the heartbeats are uncoordinated, but with each passing week, these beats will become more regular, and you may even notice them during an early ultrasound by the end of the week. However, the beating will be more commonly visible at week 6 or 7.

The baby has a tail

As the embryo grows in length, it looks similar to a tadpole with a rudimentary head and a tail. Worry not, there's no frog in your future, but you will be holding a princess or a prince in your arms soon.

5 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound Exam

Usually, doctors don't ask for an ultrasound at 5 weeks unless there's some medical history and the pregnancy needs to be tracked every week. But in case if no medical history and your doctor suggests an ultrasound, you would see the yolk sac and gestational sac. If you're expecting twins, you would be able to identify foetal poles too. Your doctor might also tell you the dimensions of the embryo from its crown to rump, which helps them adjust the due date.

fetus at 5 weeks pregnant

5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

Mood swings

Find yourself to be happy at one moment and then crying the next? When you are 5 weeks pregnant, what started as a calm voyage might now start sailing into an ocean of emotions. Although becoming a parent may thrill you, you may also feel anxious, worrying about everything going on smoothly. Relax! It is perfectly normal to feel these emotions - you may feel all of it like PMS at its worst or even nothing at all. Find different ways to keep yourself busy and distracted when an unpleasant mood strikes. You can go for a walk, listen to music, indulge in artistic activities, etc.

Cramps

It is normal to have period-like cramps and lower backaches at this stage. Soak in a warm bath, listen to soothing music, or take a nap to feel better. Make sure you stay hydrated and keep a tab on your nutrition intake. Also, a quick reminder: Smoking, consuming alcohol, or drugs can be harmful to your baby's health.

Morning sickness

Some expecting mothers begin experiencing morning sickness at five weeks pregnant. Although the name suggests morning sickness, you can experience an unpleasant, nauseous feeling in the morning, evening, or all day long. While some would-be-moms feel queasy, many also experience vomiting. Try drinking enough fluids and avoid eating oily, spicy, or fatty foods to deal with nausea. You can also eat meals and snacks frequently in small-small amounts.

Light bleeding or spotting

Light spotting with only a few drops of blood is common at this stage. However, there shouldn't be enough blood to cover a small pantyliner. Although it is mostly a sign of implantation bleeding, don't forget to mention it to your doctor to rule out complications. In case if you experience heavy bleeding or the spotting lasts longer than two days, or you have any concerns, speak to your doctor without further delay.

Breast tenderness

At this stage, a sudden increase in the hormones might result in aching breasts while they continue to stretch and grow as they prepare for breastfeeding.

Frequent urination

Hey mom-to-be, worry not if you feel the urgent need to pee any time. We understand that this can be annoying, but it’s also completely normal. Your kidneys now have extra fluid to process as the volume of blood in your body increases.

Fatigue

Feeling completely wiped out? Don’t be surprised! You feel more tired than usual because your body is dealing with increased levels of progesterone. Avoid caffeinated drinks and vigorous activity before going to bed to sleep better at night. Keep your daily schedule as regular as possible, but make sure you don't overschedule yourself - find a healthy balance between your work and rest time. Ample rest and nap times are the keys here.

Acne

Pregnancy-related acnes are caused due to hormonal changes. So, fear not, these acnes will clear out once your baby is born. Read on to know how you can fight the spots and blemishes.

Food cravings and aversions

Can't stand the sight or smell of leafy greens? Suddenly you have an overpowering urge to eat a grilled fish? Welcome to the wacky world of pregnancy with food cravings and aversions, where hormones play a significant role, especially in these early weeks. Whether a food craving or aversion, too much of anything or nothing of something can be problematic. So, give in your cravings and indulge in smaller amounts of your favourite food. In case of aversions, find healthy substitutes for the foods you can’t stand. Some women also experience unusual cravings for eating chalk or clay. If you experience anything like this, avoid eating it and speak to your doctor.

Excessive saliva

You might be experiencing a queasy tummy and excessive saliva due to the pesky pregnancy hormones. Try chewing sugarless gum to keep your mouth dry.

What if you are symptom-free at five weeks pregnant? No! It isn't unusual at all. Many pregnant women feel and look completely normal at this stage, while some experience certain mild symptoms that come and go. Make sure you speak to your doctor for any questions about the changes happening, or if the lack of any symptoms is making you feel uneasy.

5 weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

While the news of pregnancy has kept you on your toes, here are some things that you can consider doing in your journey:

  • Break the news: Haven’t told your partner about the baby yet? Share the news in a cute way that tells him about becoming a dad soon. Check out some of the creative ways to surprise him. If you're thinking about whether to break the news about your pregnancy to your family and friends, it's a personal choice. Some would-be parents choose to wait until the second trimester when the risk of miscarriage is significantly low. Some choose to share the news with only a few selected people.

  • Know what you're eating: Try eating a variety of healthy foods and avoid fish containing high mercury levels — shark, swordfish, and mackerel. Also, refrain from eating any food that’s uncooked or unpasteurised - sushi made with raw fish and oysters, soft cheese like Brie and feta – to avoid the risks of food-borne illnesses that can affect you and your baby. To know more, read up on our article on all the foods to avoid when pregnant.

  • Have a cat? It is best to get help to take care of the litter box. This way, you can stay away from toxoplasmosis - an infection that can harm your little one.

  • Write a journal: Your emotions might be on a rollercoaster ride while you adjust to the thought of being pregnant. Whether you’ve been hoping for it for a long time or it came as a bit of a surprise, your feelings about pregnancy can differ from what you had expected. They may also change from day to day, so writing a journal is one method to get your inner-most thoughts and feelings out of your system. Writing a journal can help you steer the early pregnancy's emotional highs and lows.

  • Start a photoshoot: Although a personal choice, most would-be-moms opt for a photoshoot, as they don't want to miss out on their month-by-month baby bump. Initially, the bump isn't much visible, but it's good to capture these precious moments for a lifetime. You can use our free downloadable bump to baby monthly milestone cards. You can also share the pictures on social media after announcing your pregnancy.

  • Read up on pregnancy articles: If it is your first pregnancy, it would be best to read up on the pregnancy trimesters to know more about what’s to come in the coming months. You can also download our Pregnancy Guide to read about everything from nutrition and weight gain to all the pregnancy questions you might want to ask your doctor.

Special Considerations at 5th week of Pregnancy

Here are some special considerations for the fifth week of pregnancy:

Due Date

Usually, your doctor will calculate the due date at your first prenatal visit. But, if you haven't got your due date confirmed, now is the time. You can also try figuring it out yourself and then get it confirmed at your next visit.

Generally, pregnancy lasts for about 280 days (40 weeks) from the first day of your last period. So, here's what you can do:

  • Use a calendar to find out the first day of your last period, and then count 280 days or 40 weeks forward. OR

  • Take the first day of your last period, subtract three months from the date (ignore the year), and add seven days.

  • You can also use the due date calculator tool to calculate the birth date.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy usually occurs in the fallopian tube that is outside of the uterus. Although it's a very rare type of pregnancy, it is dangerous. Therefore, if you experience symptoms like pain, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness, you should report them to your doctor without any delay. In case of an ectopic pregnancy or any concerns regarding your pregnancy, your doctor will ask you to get a blood test and an ultrasound done.

Precautions and Tips at 5th Week of Pregnancy

Although knowing about your pregnancy news can be a piece of happy news, thoughts about all the preparation for the next 35 weeks can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath and relax. You can do all of it one step at a time:

Pets and pregnancy

Having pets like cats or dogs at home isn't dangerous, but it is always better to be a little cautious. If you have a cat at home, avoid cleaning the litter box, as it can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis. Hire help or pass on the duty to another family member until you're pregnant. The best way to keep yourself, your baby, and your pet safe and healthy is to talk to your doctor and your pet's vet regarding the safety measures while you're expecting and after delivery.

Visit the dentist

We understand that currently you're occupied and focused on scheduling your prenatal visits but fixing an appointment to see a dentist is important too. The hormonal changes that cause nausea and breast tenderness are also responsible for pregnancy gingivitis – gum inflammation. Ignoring this can lead to a severe gum problem called periodontitis, increasing the chances of preterm birth.

Although dental cleanings are okay, dental X-rays should be avoided (if not needed to be done urgently) until the baby arrives. If your doctor suggests that you get a dental X-ray done, wear an abdominal shield or lead apron over your bump.

Choose safe foods

Now that you're pregnant, it doesn’t mean giving up all your favourite foods. You can still balance your healthy pregnancy diet with some less nutritious treats now and then. However, some foods have a higher risk of causing illness and infection. As they can be dangerous to you and your baby, you want to completely avoid them:

  • Raw dough - cookie dough and cake batter

  • Unpasteurised or raw milk or juice

  • Unpasteurised cheeses, such as Brie and feta

  • Uncooked smoked seafood

  • Undercooked or raw eggs, poultry, seafood, and meats

  • Fish like swordfish, shark, tilefish, bigeye tuna and mackerel that contain high mercury levels

  • Hot dogs, deli meats and raw sprouts.

If you haven't yet already, also consider cutting back on caffeine and alcohol.

Soothe your upset stomach

Here's what you can try to settle a queasy stomach:

  • Eat whole wheat crackers and cheese or granola and yoghurt, as these are protein-and-complex-carbohydrate combos.

  • If you wish to skip the solids, sip a glass of smoothie or a bowl of soup.

  • Drink eight glasses of fluid daily to avoid dehydration, especially if you're vomiting.

  • Ginger is a good remedy to ail the queasy feeling. Include ginger in your diet — you can try ginger biscuits, ginger-carrot soup, ginger-infused tea, ginger candy, ginger muffins, or some crystallised ginger.

Learn how to manage the bloat

Feeling bloated is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. To avoid the gassy feeling, try healthy substitutes:

  • Mango instead of broccoli

  • Strawberries instead of cabbage

  • Pop bagel chips instead of potato chips

  • Poached chicken breast instead of chicken fingers

  • Plain water instead of sparkling water

Choose your proteins

It is okay to feel queasy and not stand the sight of protein-rich chicken, fish, or meat. This is due to food aversion, and you will be back on track again. Until then, you can choose other protein-rich substitutes for these. Try yoghurt, cottage cheese or soy products like tofu. You can also choose beans and quinoa, which are packed with proteins.

If leafy vegetables turn you green, choose yellow vegetables like yams, carrots, cantaloupe, mango, peaches, and apricots that a high in beta-carotene.

Don't forget folic acid

Don't skip on your folic acid supplements or prenatal vitamins. Folate is an essential nutrient for your developing baby and helps prevent neural tube defects. Read more about the benefits of folic acid during pregnancy.

Exercise safely

If you feel nauseated most of the times at this stage, you can skip the workout and try going out for a brisk walk for about 15 minutes. This will help you get some fresh air and also make you feel better. If your stomach can take it well, you can also do some light exercises. Make sure you have a tummy-approved snack that won't come up while working out. Stay hydrated.

Pregnancy dangers to avoid

It is wise to stay away from toxic substances during your entire pregnancy. But the first trimester is particularly crucial, as your baby's organs and tissues are developing. During this sensitive time, outside influences can affect your baby's development. Here's what you need to be aware of:

  • Speak to your doctor regarding any prescriptions, medicines, or herbal supplements you're taking

  • Avoid alcohol, smoking and second-hand smoke, and recreational drugs

  • Avoid going on a roller coaster, getting a tattoo, or sitting in a hot tub.

5 weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • If you haven't taken the first prenatal test, now is the time to book your appointment

  • Don't forget your prenatal vitamins that contain a high level of folic acid, as these are necessary for your baby's healthy development

  • Avoid junk food and substitute them with a healthy diet

  • Embrace your emotions, whether anxious, excited, worried, or ecstatic — all are normal feelings associated with becoming pregnant

  • In case of any cramps and backaches, take a warm bath and nap for some time

  • Quit smoking and alcohol if you haven’t already

  • Ensure the well-being of both you and your baby during the pregnancy journey with us. Track your baby's development with our week-by-week expert tips on pregnancy.

It's wonderful how two parallel lines or a plus sign on a stick can change your life! As you begin feeling the warmth of it, you may notice some of your first signs of pregnancy. 35 weeks more to go, and it's going to be an amazing ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You have entered your second month of pregnancy at 5 weeks pregnant. Now it’s just 7 months until your baby’s arrival.

  • As every pregnancy is unique, you may or may not feel any symptoms at all at this stage. It can also happen that your symptoms might come and go, and it is completely normal. It could simply be that your body is getting used to the changes and hormones.