You’ve barely had a chance for your positive pregnancy test to sink in (and some of you are just figuring it out this week—congrats!), but your baby is already undergoing amazing changes. At five weeks pregnant, you're experiencing what’s known as the embryonic period, when your baby’s brain, spinal cord and heart are growing rapidly. Major organs like the stomach, liver and kidneys—as well as the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems—are developing, too. By five weeks, your baby can actually be measured (from head to bum because he looks like a tiny tadpole) and is the size of an apple seed. In the next week, he will almost double in size!
While your baby is busy growing, there are plenty of symptoms to remind you of all the changes your body is undergoing, too. The same pesky symptoms you may have noticed during your fourth week of pregnancy will still be there at five weeks pregnant, and some may be getting worse—like the nausea that doesn’t just happen in the morning (who came up with that saying, anyway?).
Where’s the washroom?
Frequent trips to the bathroom are perfectly normal in early pregnancy (the nausea usually gets better, but peeing all the time is your new normal) due to the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). As your pregnancy progresses, your body doubles its blood volume, which has to be processed by your kidneys; they expand to keep up with the increase and push against your bladder. It’s really important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, so it’s time to start scoping out bathrooms and keeping a water bottle with you at all times.
As early as the first trimester, you may develop cravings (even for foods that you were never interested in before) and/or aversions to certain foods that you previously enjoyed. It’s been said that turning your nose up at old favourites, like your morning coffee, is actually a protective mechanism. (Don’t worry, most aversions disappear by the time you’re four months pregnant, and caffeine—in moderation—is safe during pregnancy. Read more about limiting your caffeine intake in our week 6 pregnancy update.)
P.U. Speaking of noses, it doesn’t help that your sense of smell is greatly heightened during pregnancy. By five weeks pregnant, this symptom sticks around, too, so you may want to make a list of dos and don’ts for those who share your space. (We think it’s totally OK to ask your partner to drink his morning coffee in the car or at work instead of at home or to ban anyone from frying garlic in your home for a few months.)
Eating small, frequent meals will help prevent indigestion, nausea and fatigue by keeping your blood sugar levels stable, so it’s time to start thinking about snacking as part of your daily routine. Keep up the protein levels and make sure to add lots of vitamin C (with foods like oranges, tomatoes, kiwifruits and red, green or yellow peppers).
Are you going to find out what you’re having? Even though you're only five weeks pregnant, it’s natural to spend a lot of time wondering who your baby will be. When it comes to finding out your baby’s gender, you’ve still got a long time to wait (though there are lots of fun gender predictors you can try in the meantime). A baby’s biological sex can typically be determined if your baby cooperates during the 18- to 20-week second-trimester ultrasound (also known as the anatomy scan). Some women have additional genetic screenings in the first trimester that can determine sex earlier. Depending on the policy of the clinic, you’ll either be told at the appointment or find out the result from your healthcare provider. If you decide that you’d rather be surprised at the birth (one of life’s ultimate surprises!), you should let your OB/GYN or midwife and ultrasound technician know so that they won’t spill the beans or write anything on your medical forms.
Are you and your better half on the same page about pregnancy? Some partners think that using the phrase “we’re pregnant” is supportive and inclusive, while many pregnant women find this infuriating (and inaccurate since, technically, only one of you is actually incubating a human!). Where do you stand? Here are two writers who disagree on the phrase.
It’s the very thing that started it all (wink wink): love. Check out 19 baby names that mean love.
If you’re taking any medications when you find out you’re pregnant, it’s best to discuss them with your doctor right away. Although exercise during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for preparing you for childbirth, it’s a good idea to mention any ongoing training or new routines if you plan to start one (read more about exercise in week 10 of pregnancy).
Pssst, have you downloaded one of these awesome pregnancy apps yet?
Have you seen those super-cool timelapse videos showing a pregnant belly growing bigger and bigger? With the right app, making one is much easier than you think. Use this one to take daily photos, add music and turn your months-in-the-making bun in the oven into a cute, shareable video showing the incredible transformation (plus the big reveal, of course). itunes.apple.com/ca, free.Photo: itunes
Our Today’s Parent My Family app is everything you need at your fingertips. Your newsfeed will be filled with expert advice about pregnancy, babies, and beyond. Pregnancy lasts nine months, but we’ll be there for you with personalized content for every step of the way, as your baby grows into a big kid. itunes.apple.com/ca, free.Photo: itunes
The title pretty much sums up what this app is all about: what to expect when you’re expecting. Track weekly progress; get a glimpse of what’s happening right now and what’s coming next; and make a countdown to your baby’s due date. Make sure to snap a bump pic each week, because there’s also an in-app baby belly slideshow feature. itunes.apple.com/ca, free.Photo: itunes
This app is jam-packed with information and features to keep you organized as you prep you for your baby’s arrival. Use the checklists to keep track of your medical appointments and to make nursery and registry shopping lists. There’s also a kick counter, a belly slideshow tool, and a contraction timer to use on the big day. itunes.apple.com/ca , free.Photo: itunes
You’ve probably seen pregnant women announcing that their baby is the size of a squash—well, this is the source of the baby-as-produce comparisons. Watch the adorable fruit animations as your baby grows from the size of a blueberry to the size of a watermelon in no time. The app also has a registry tool, cool illustrations of what’s going on inside the womb, expert answers and baby product reviews. itunes.apple.com/ca, free.Photo: itunes
If you’re into tracking your health stats, check this app out. It uses pretty charts to compile important data like your blood pressure, weight changes and pregnancy symptoms. The app breaks down every trimester for you, including the all-important fourth trimester, so you aren’t left in the dark—wondering “What the heck do I do now?”—after the baby has arrived. itunes.apple.com/ca, free.Photo: itunes
This app has interactive videos about your baby’s development, daily updates, and it also compares your baby on board to fruits and veggies. The interactive chat feature connects you with other pregnant women who share your due date and who might be experiencing similar feelings or asking the same questions as you are. As time goes on, it can be really reassuring to check in with fellow moms going through the same weird, wonderful or frustrating phases. itunes.apple.com/ca, free.Photo: itunes