Your Pregnancy Week 5

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Learn about
your symptoms and changes during the 5th week of pregnancy.

Your Baby

During pregnancy week 5 your baby is still very tiny, roughly 1mm or slightly longer. For those of you that need a visual reference that is roughly about the sizes of a small lentil bean!

Changes in Your Growing Baby

Your baby's vital organs are growing at a furious pace. Your baby's heart, central nervous system and even bones and muscles will start forming rapidly from this point on. Right around now your baby also starts forming a skeleton.

This is a critical week for heart development in your baby. The heart begins to separate into different chambers and starts pumping blood as early as five weeks of pregnancy. Some transvaginal ultrasounds may be able to pick up a heartbeat as early as now, though this often occurs much later. Much like other organs in your baby's body the heart is formed from multiple layers of cells, in this case cells labeled the mesoderm. Other organs that will also develop from this layer include your baby's cartilage, muscles and bones.

Your Body's Development

While others can't yet detect your pregnancy, by 5 weeks pregnant you may start feeling pregnant. If you have given birth previously you might notice your abdomen looks slightly larger than usual. This is largely the result of bloating. The uterus doesn't rise out of the pelvis until roughly 14 weeks pregnant but many women start experiencing bloating during early pregnancy. You may find your belly looks more "poofy" at the end of the day than early in the morning.

Some women mistake this early pregnancy sign as a premenstrual sign. If your period is more than a few days late you should take a pregnancy test.
During early pregnancy some women may experience complications. One of the more devastating complications of pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy, where the egg fertilizes but then implants outside the uterus. This usually happens in the fallopian tubes and can be life threatening if undetected. Fortunately ectopic pregnancies are uncommon. Some women are however more at risk than others including those that have had pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or other complications. Signs that something might be wrong include increasing vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain and nausea. Keep in mind that many of these signs however also mimic normal pregnancy symptoms. If you are uncertain be sure to contact your doctor immediately so your doctor can make sure your pregnancy is progressing normally.

Changes in Your Body

When you finally reach 5 weeks pregnant you may start feeling morning sickness. Other women will start noticing they need to urinate more frequently, while still others will start noticing their breasts are growing (and quite tender). Keep in mind that morning sickness (nausea in early pregnancy) doesn't necessarily happen in the morning. Some women experience morning sickness during their entire pregnancy! Fortunately this is the exception to the rule rather than the norm.

There are a number of steps you can take to help relieve morning sickness as your pregnancy continues. Usually it helps to keep something in your stomach. For this reason consider having a steady supply of saltines and seltzer water by your bedside. Try a little before getting up in the morning and any time your stomach is empty. You may find you feel a lot better in no time at all!

The Benefits of Exercise

You are newly pregnant and may not feel up to exercising, but being active and exercising may provide some relief from your first trimester pregnancy symptoms. In addition, exercise during pregnancy may increase your energy levels (which you definitely need in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy), improves your overall mood, and even helps you sleep better at night. What other reason do you need to exercise when pregnant?

For safe exercise in pregnancy, it's important that you talk to your doctor or healthcare provider first before starting any exercise regimen. Sometimes, there are special obstetric complications and health problems that would make exercising off-limits. In most cases, however, you are having a low risk pregnancy and exercising is perfectly safe.

Moderation is key when you're pregnant. Safe exercises for expectant mothers include walking, swimming, cycling, and aerobics. It's healthy for pregnant women to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days.

When you're pregnant, you will want to avoid any exercises that put you at high risk for falling. These exercises include horseback riding and gymnastics, since you can have severe injuries and falls from that kind of activity. As a rule of thumb, downhill snow skiing, contact sports (such as soccer, basketball, and ice hockey), and scuba diving should also be avoided.

Video: What to Expect from the 5th Week of Pregnancy



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