5 weeks pregnant – how your baby is developing

Your baby is about the size of a sesame seed. At 5 weeks pregnant, you should get an accurate reading on a home pregnancy test and your body is starting to finally display some of the early signs of pregnancy, if you have not already. In this article we will discuss how  your baby is developing as well as what you can expect during the fifth week of pregnancy.

Your baby at 5 weeks pregnant

5 weeks pregnantYour baby is about the size of a sesame seed and resembles a very small tadpole.  The three layers of the embryo are now fully formed. The outer ectoderm contains the nervous system, eyes, ears and tissue, while the inner ectoderm contains internal organs such as the intestines, bladder and lungs. The middle layer, or mesoderm, will develop into the heart and circulatory system as well the skeletal system, kidneys and reproductive organs. The umbilical cord and placenta are now formed and are passing oxygen and nutrients between you and your baby.

The major organs are starting to develop including kidneys, intestines and liver. the appendix is now fully formed. Tiny buds will sprout which will soon grow into your baby’s arms and legs.

At five weeks, your baby’s heart will start beating for the first time, although it is too soon to hear it yet, although it might be able to be depicted via ultrasound.  At this stage your baby’s heart is made up of two tiny heart “tubes” or channels which will fuse together to form a beating heart.

Your body at 5 weeks pregnant

Weeks pregnantBy now you have probably had your first missed period, along with some other early warning signs of pregnancy such as swollen and tender breasts, fatigue, cramping, frequent urination, nausea and heightened sense of smell.  This would be a good time to purchase a home pregnancy kit, as there is enough hCg present in your body to produce a positive result. Of course, you will be able to get an accurate reading. Of course you will want to confirm this with a blood tests at your doctor’s office.

Mood swings might be more noticeable at this point. You may feel a wide range of emotions in a matter of minutes….from happy to sad to sentimental to angry to strong and determined, your emotions may be all over the place. This is of course due to the hormonal changes taking place in our body. Mood swings may be very intense in the coming weeks. You may experience bouts of depression, which is more common during pregnancy than people think, but if it goes

beyond a period of two weeks, you will want to consult your prenatal care practitioner.


You might start to experience fatigue at five weeks and if it is possible, it would be wise to take a nap when you have the time, or at least rest as much as possible. As headaches become more frequent in early pregnancy, you will have to resist the urge to take aspirin. You can talk to doctor about what medications you can and cannot take during pregnancy.

Healthy diet and exercise

You can continue with light to moderate exercise as this is healthy for both you and your baby and will help prepare you for labor and delivery. Moderate exercise such as light aerobics, yoga, swimming and walking are okay, but you will want to avoid heavy to extreme activity such as skiing, mountain climbing, high impact aerobics and biking.

Of course you will want to maintain a healthy diet. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in the nutrients essential for a healthy pregnancy such as vitamin c and folic acid. You can obtain Vitamin C from fruits such as oranges, honeydew and grapefruit and also from vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes and brussel sprouts.

Folic acid, which prevents neural tube defects such as spina bifida, can be found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. You can also get it from legumes, such as black beans, lima beans and black eyed peas.  A healthy diet for pregnancy should include at least 2-4 servings of fruit and at least 4 servings of vegetables a day.

Whole grains are a good source of fiber, B vitamins and some such as certain cereals contain folic acid. You should consume 6-11 servings of grains per day, depending on your specific dietary needs.

Protein is also essential for a healthy pregnancy. You want to eat lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs that contain the essential nutrients such as protein, iron and B vitamins. Iron is necessary as it helps carry oxygen to your developing baby. Iron is also beneficial to expectant mothers as it helps with fatigue and mood swings. Avoid raw, under cooked or processed meats and raw eggs. Unpasteurized foods should also be avoided. Stay away from soft cheeses and fish that are high in mercury. You should consume at least 3 servings of protein a day.

Calcium is also crucial for building strong teeth and bones, blood clotting and overall nerve and muscle function. You can get calcium from milk, cheese, yogurt, creamy soups and puddings. Certain green vegetables also contain calcium as do beans and dried peas. It is recommended that you consume at least 4 servings of calcium daily.

Things you have to give up

Of course you will want to refrain from smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, caffeine intake and the use of recreational drugs. Discuss any medications you are taking whether prescribed or over the counter, with your doctor.

At this time you should have scheduled your first official prenatal appointment. Stay in close touch with your prenatal care physician and inform them of any complications or issues that arise. If you experience any symptoms such as severe bleeding, blurred vision, excessive dizziness, headaches, vertigo or fainting, extreme vaginal discharge, excessive nausea or vomiting, severe cramping or back pain, high fever, painful urination or any other symptoms that are severe or out of the ordinary contact your doctor immediately.

Your health, as well as your baby’s could be at risk. It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice and keep all of your appointments. The next eight months may be challenging, but they are also a time of wonder and discovery as you prepare for the next chapter of your life.

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