5 Weeks Pregnant

At 5 weeks of pregnancy, a shape is beginning to form, a heartbeat can be detected and your baby is the size of a sesame seed.

The hCG hormone levels in your body are definitely high enough to confirm that you are indeed pregnant by using a home pregnancy test! Congratulations!

Fifth Week of Pregnancy

It takes a lot of work for a baby to develop! All of the major and minor systems are beginning to form and function now. Your baby is made up of 3 layers – the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm.

The digestive, nervous and circulatory systems are developing. Organs such as the lungs, heart and stomach are beginning to form. In fact, at just 5 weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s heartbeat can be detected by an ultrasound.

The ectoderm – the neural tube is starting to develop in this top layer. It is from this that your baby’s brain, spinal cord, nerves and backbone will grow. In addition, the skin, nails, hair, glands, and tooth enamel will develop.

The mesoderm – the heart and circulatory system begin forming in this middle layer. It is in this week that the heart starts dividing into it’s chambers, beating, and pumping blood. From here, the muscles, bones, cartilage and tissue develops.

The endoderm – this third layer will house the lungs, intestines, urinary tract, thyroid, pancreas, and liver.

How You Are Changing

It is during the 5th week of pregnancy that you may really start noticing that your body is growing a tiny human. Some discomforts you may be beginning to notice include:

  • Sore breasts
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression

You may or may not experience depression during your pregnancy but it estimated that up to 12% of women do. If you have symptoms of depression that last longer than a week or two, it may be a good idea to mention it to your health care provider.

Having a Healthy Pregnancy

Staying healthy during your pregnancy is vital to your health and to the health of your unborn child. If you haven’t already, start taking a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal supplements will have more iron, folic acid, and calcium than regular multivitamins. When pregnant, you need more of these nutrients but be careful not to overdo it, getting too much of something can be dangerous to your developing baby.

Maintaining a good prenatal care routine is vital as well. Your first visit to you health care professional will generally be around 8 weeks. At that point you’ll be screened for certain types of conditions that could lead to complications.

As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you need to stop drinking, smoking and taking drugs. It is not known how much alcohol can effect a developing baby, so it is a good idea to stop altogether. Smoking and taking drugs, are certainly not safe and can increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth.

You may want to start thinking about an appropriate exercise routine. Over the next several months, you will start gaining weight as the baby grows and it is a good idea to prepare your body for the strength you will need to manage the extra weight. It will also help prepare you for labor and delivery.

In addition to exercise, getting plenty of rest is very important. There are many factors that will start contributing to your being exhausted like rising progesterone levels and lower blood pressure. You will also be better equipped to manage your mood swings, fatigue and possible depression if you get enough sleep.