40 Wonderful Weeks: 5 Weeks Pregnant
You’ve got to admit that there is something amazing about the miracle of life! Over the next few months, you’ll get to feel those tiny flutters in your belly and even catch a glimpse of your baby on the ultrasound. For now though, you’ve got to get past a few of those less pleasant side effects of being pregnant. Although it might feel like the nausea and achy twinges of pain will never end, they all add up to one awesome experience when you welcome your baby to the world. Until then, it helps to know that there are a few fundamental events that happen during every pregnancy.
Babies tend to develop along a similar timeline, and you’ll notice that your symptoms follow a path that many other moms can recognize. Now that you are 5 weeks pregnant, you might be wondering what’s normal and what isn’t. We’ll cover the common symptoms to expect to pop up this week or that may already be happening as you read. You can also get a little glimpse of what’s going on in your body and what’s happening with your baby’s development. Pregnancy can be filled with uncertainty, but it is also such an exciting time. Knowing a little more about what to expect puts you in the driver’s seat for having a memorable pregnancy journey.
What Is Happening: To Your Body and to Baby!
By the time that you are 5 weeks pregnant, you may already have an inkling that something is going on. While your pregnancy symptoms might not be too severe, you might feel a few new sensations such as being slightly fatigued or increased breast soreness. You might even chalk these symptoms up to premenstrual symptoms, but nope. Whether you get surprised or are already trying hard to have a baby, you’ll quickly find out the truth behind any odd sensations that you feel.
You Can Officially Announce That You Are Pregnant!
Up until now, your pregnancy has been fairly hard to track, but you are about to experience one of your first and biggest milestones. At five weeks pregnant, you might notice that you’ve missed your period, or you might notice some light spotting that seems nothing like normal. As weird as it may be to see your period start date come and go, this means that you can finally expect to see a positive pregnancy test.
If you get a negative test at first, then just wait a few days and test again. It can sometimes take a little time for your pregnancy hormones to build up enough to be detectable. It is also possible that your cycle might be slightly off this month and you conceived a few days later than you might expect. Taking more than one test is pretty common. In fact, many new moms even get several positive tests back before reality starts to fully sink in.
While it can all feel overwhelming, it is reassuring to know that you’ve already passed your first month of pregnancy. Now that you are entering your second month, you are still in your first trimester. Being 5 weeks pregnant also means that you only have 35 more weeks to go before you get to meet your little one. Shall we start a countdown?
Once you’ve missed your period, and possibly got a positive home test, it is time to visit your doctor. Getting that official confirmation of your pregnancy makes it all feel more real, and you’ll feel more confident when you are ready to announce your big news to everyone. This is also a good time to start focusing on health lifestyle habits if you haven’t already. There’s big things happening with your baby’s development in week 5, and you want to do your best to give them a great start in life.
Your Baby is the Size of a Tiny Strawberry Seed
Your mind might be reeling with excitement and hundreds of questions right now, and your baby is also going through a rapid period of change. The best way to view your baby right now is tiny but mighty. They are only about 1/17th of an inch right now, and they have a long way to go to get ready for delivery day.
Before they get to grow that adorable head of hair, they’ve got some serious work to do. First up, your baby’s organ systems must develop, and that starts with their heart and brain. Throughout this week, your baby starts to resemble a little tadpole. A neural tube runs from the top to the bottom of the embryo. This tube will eventually become the spinal column and the brain. Your baby’s cells also begin to separate into three main layers that will form the basis of their physical development.
- Ectoderm-This is the outermost layer of your embryo. This layer forms the spinal cord and brain along with the other parts of the nervous system. It’ll also eventually become the other parts that you cherish with all of your heart such as your baby’s hair, skin and nails.
- Mesoderm-Here we have the middle layer, which is mostly known for becoming the circulatory system, and you’ll be able to see that little heart beating soon enough. Your baby’s bones, muscles and kidneys will also come from this layer.
- Endoderm-The inner layer of cells plays an important role in your baby’s development as well. In this layer, their lungs, liver and intestines will begin to form.
Your baby will also form their gestational sac this week, which is fluid that surrounds them during this stage of development. As your baby gets bigger, the gestational sac becomes the placenta. One of the neatest things about the gestational sac is that it may be visible on the ultrasound even though your baby is still too tiny to see well. In addition to a pregnancy test, this can provide you with further confirmation of your pregnancy.
There are two types of women in the world. Those who view every ache and pain as a sacrifice that they are making for their newborn. Then, there are those who dread the morning sickness and exhaustion. Whichever side of the camp you fall on, it’s likely all expectant parents can agree that pregnancy symptoms are at least a good sign that things are progressing normally. At the 5 weeks pregnant mark, you might be feeling some or all of these things.
During a normal menstrual cycle, your progesterone levels rise throughout ovulation and drop off if the egg isn’t fertilized. This sends signals to your body that it is time for your uterine lining to slough off, which is why you get your period. If you do conceive a baby, then the progesterone levels remain high. This results in you discovering that your period start date has come and gone without a sign of it actually coming. The increased hormone levels support a healthy uterus so that your baby has the nourishment it needs to start its development.
Fluctuations in your hormone levels can also impact your breasts. You might notice some tingly, aching and even swelling as early as this week. If this normally happens with your periods, then don’t be surprised if it happens a little longer. Breast changes can occur throughout your pregnancy, but they might be more noticeable right now.
Making a baby is hard work, and you might feel more exhausted than normal. Keep in mind that the first and last few months of pregnancy are often the most tiring. Try to nap when you can and put your feet up at the end of the day. It’s worth taking a break so that your energy can go to your little one.
Those twinges of nausea may be full on morning sickness right now. Some women are also fortunate to just feel a little queasy at mealtimes but keep it all down. Contrary to what the name might have you believe, morning sickness can occur at anytime. It is most common in the first trimester, but you can still have it even further into your pregnancy. No one is really sure why it happens, but it is believed to be associated with changing hormone levels.
You can blame this annoying symptom on hormones again! Your baby isn’t big enough to put pressure on your bladder just yet, but all of the extra fluids your body is making are sending your kidneys into overdrive.
No woman experiences pregnancy exactly the same. You might even feel differently from one pregnancy to another or even from one moment to the next. Acknowledge your feelings and know that they are normal. Embracing the good times and reaching out for support during the hard ones will help you stay emotionally healthy no matter how you feel.
Turning 5 weeks pregnant is a sign that it is time to make an even more concentrated effort to look after your health. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, you’ll want to make sure to stop drinking alcohol if you haven’t already yet. Don’t worry, you can always enjoy a mocktail or tell your friends you’re abstaining for a personal challenge if you aren’t ready to announce your pregnancy just yet. You’ll also want to add these healthy living strategies to your pregnancy care routine.
Continue Taking Your Prenatal Vitamins
You might have started taking your prenatal vitamins when you began trying to conceive. Those vitamins still serve an important purpose by helping you to get the nutrients that you need that might not come from your diet. Remember that your baby will get all of the nutrients they need from your body. Taking your prenatals replenishes your body’s stores so that you stay healthy as well.
Its Time to Finally Take That Test
The realization that you are possibly 5 weeks pregnant is a sure sign that it is time to grab that test. Finding out that you are pregnant is exhilarating and likely to start a rapid change in your emotions. Whether you feel happy, terrified or are on the fence, figuring out your pregnancy lets you know how to start preparing for the next several months.
Watch Out for Potentially Dangerous Foods
There’s not a whole lot to do just yet, but the one thing you can do is start watching how you eat. No, this isn’t the time to worry about calories. Instead, you’ll want to know which foods to avoid that could cause an infection. Watch out for these pregnancy no-no’s, and you can feel good when you sit down to eat.
- Unpasteurized milk, juice and cheeses such as brie and feta
- Uncooked or undercooked meat, seafood and eggs
- Uncooked seafood, even smoked types such as salmon or seafood jerky
- Any fish known for having high levels of mercury such as swordfish, bigeye tuna and mackerel
- Raw cookie dough or cake batter containing eggs
Your Focus for This Week
You might not be ready to paint the nursery just yet, but you can put these important items on your weekly agenda.
Confirm Your Pregnancy
If you haven’t already, then we can’t say this enough. Take your test and find out once and for all if you can finally say that you are 5 weeks pregnant.
Schedule Your First Prenatal Visit
Did you get a positive test? Hooray! Now, you’ll want to schedule your first prenatal visit to double confirm your pregnancy and make sure that your body is healthy and ready to handle a pregnancy.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamins
We know that we might be sounding like a broken record, but this is one of the easiest things you can do to give your pregnancy a healthy start.
Visit Your Dentist
Those same pregnancy hormones that are spurring on your baby’s development can also cause oral symptoms. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that involves inflammation of your gums. If it goes untreated, then it can lead to periodontitis, which places you at a higher risk for a pre-term birth.
Learn More About What to Avoid While Pregnant
Being 5 weeks pregnant puts you in a good place for protecting your baby from harm. It is important to avoid all potential toxins throughout your pregnancy, but this first trimester is especially crucial. Talk to your doctor about the medications that you take and your lifestyle habits. You’ll also want to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and being around certain types of chemicals. For now, you’ll avoiding riding rollercoasters, getting a tattoo and hanging out in a hot tub prevents anything from harming your precious little one.