5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist
- Be ready to feel anxious or excited, worried or ecstatic — all normal reactions to becoming pregnant
- Treat any cramps and backaches with a warm bath or a nap
- Cut out smoking and alcohol if you haven’t already
Even though you’re just 5 weeks pregnant, lots of changes are taking place. The placenta and the beginnings of the umbilical cord are already working hard to channel essential nutrients from your body to the embryo. Oxygen, amino acids, fats, and sugars all play a vital role in health development.
Some of the cells are developing into the neural tube, which will become the spinal column and the brain. Taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day is a great way to support your baby’s healthy growth and development.
The heart is now a single tube with a few uncoordinated beats. These thumps will become more regular with every passing week. If you were to have a transvaginal ultrasound at 5 weeks pregnant, your doctor might be able to detect a gestational sac with a yolk sac inside. The heartbeat itself can be detected around the 6th week of pregnancy.
Your Baby’s Development
Until now, the embryo has been a mass of cells. But now a distinct shape begins to form. The neural tube (which will become the spinal cord and brain) runs from the top to the bottom of the embryo. A bulge in the center of the embryo will develop into your baby’s heart.
At this time, the placenta develops. It’s through the placenta and its fingerlike projections, called chorionic villi, that an embryo gets nourishment from its mother.
Even if nausea hasn’t hit you yet, you’ll want to steer clear of some foods. Foodborne illnesses, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, may cause birth defects or even miscarriage.
Here are some foods to avoid:
- soft, unpasteurized cheeses (often advertised as “fresh”) such as feta, goat, Brie, Camembert, and blue cheese
- unpasteurized milk, juices, and apple cider
- raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs, including mousse and tiramisu
- raw or undercooked meats, fish, or shellfish
- processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats (if you eat them, they should be well-cooked)
- fish high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackeral, or tilefish
Toxoplasmosis also can spread from soiled cat litter boxes, so try to have someone else clean the litter box during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms at five weeks
It’s still early days, so you may not feel pregnant at all yet. This is perfectly normal. Some pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, won’t kick in for another week or so.
On the other hand, you may already have started noticing some tell-tale signs that you’re expecting. Your body is working hard to grow a new life so it’s understandable if you’re overwhelmed by tiredness at this stage. If all you’re able to do is collapse onto the sofa at the end of the day, you’re not alone.
The urge to wee more often is another sign that pregnancy hormones are surging through your body. You may get more headaches in the first trimester too. If this is the case for you, there are certain over-the-counter medicines you can take, and plenty of natural remedies that may help.
What you need to know at five weeks of pregnancy
- Try to get into the habit of eating well. It’ll help to keep your energy levels up, and your baby will benefit if your meals include a variety of nutrients. Small, regular meals and frequent drinks can also prevent you from getting indigestion, a common side effect of pregnancy.
- You’ll need plenty of vitamin C every day to help your baby grow and develop. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, red or green peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants and potatoes. And don’t forget to take your daily supplements of folic acid and vitamin D.