Your pregnancy: 5 weeks

Even though you probably don’t feel pregnant, the building blocks of your baby’s life are being put in place right now.

Felt apple seed used to show how big baby is at 5 weeks
Photo: Mandy Milks, Erik Putz, Anthony Swaneveld. Felt: thefeltstore.com

What’s going on in there: Fetal development at 5 weeks pregnant

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!

5 weeks pregnant symptoms

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.

What’s on your mind this week

Eating for two
Feeling confused about the dos and don’ts of what you can eat during pregnancy? The so-called “rules” can be overwhelming, and there is lots of conflicting advice out there. At five weeks pregnant, it’s time for a crash course. Because your baby’s organs are developing rapidly, it’s a crucial time to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body—even if the mere thought of some foods is enough to turn your stomach right now.

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.
S
peaking 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?  Photo: iStockphotoPregnancy food guide: Truth about what you can eat (+ cheat sheet)
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.

Just for kicks

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.

Baby names

It’s the very thing that started it all (wink wink): love. Check out 19 baby names that mean love

Pregnancy to-do list: 5 weeks pregnant

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?

CineMama

Read more:
10 strange pregnancy symptoms nobody tells you about
When did people first start to notice your baby bump?
Next up: 6 weeks pregnant

 

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