So you’re 5 weeks pregnant! Your body and your baby are already going through so many changes, here at NearlyBorn we have gathered together some information to help you to understand what is happening to both you and your baby and give you some ideas of what to expect.
Your baby is now 0.09 inches long and is beginning to develop their first major organs; their heart, stomach, kidneys, and liver. Although at this early stage you would not usually have an ultrasound, and if you did it would be very difficult to see anything your baby is already forming its main systems. Already developing are the bodily systems that will become your baby’s brain, spinal cord, and skin – this is known as the ectoderm. Additionally, the mesoderm which will become the baby’s circulatory system and heart and the lungs, intestines and other organs, known as the endoderm, are also present already.
The way you find out you’re pregnant varies from one woman to another, for some it’s tearing up at your favorite book in a place you never have before, falling asleep on the couch in the middle of the afternoon or your favorite perfume suddenly making you nauseous. However, we have gathered the information below regarding the most common symptoms reported at 5 weeks pregnant:
- Your hCG levels are currently rising, doubling each day. This hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin) is what home pregnancy tests measure in your urine.
- Breast pain is another common symptom, due to your hormone level increase while your uterus prepares for the growth of your baby, a side effect of this is tenderness in your breasts.
- The much talked about mood swings can also be present even so early in your pregnancy, the emotional ups and downs of your mood will be more concentrated in the first trimester -another side effect of those hormones changing. Remember that this is a symptom of your pregnancy and will ease over time as your hormone levels become more stable. During the time where your moods are fluctuating, we recommend you take things easy, rest when you need to and eat healthy foods to help your body to adjust.
It is also possible to have no symptoms at this point in your pregnancy. Several women have no early indicators of their pregnancy and the first sign they have of being pregnant is missing a period. However, be prepared, if you are lucky enough not to have symptoms currently there is a chance of nausea and fatigue will hit soon. Some women are lucky enough to escape morning sickness for their entire pregnancy though.
Dating your Pregnancy
So, how far along are you? To work out when your baby is due, and how far into your pregnancy you are is often not an exact science when trying to work out the date of conception. This is why the medical community has created a standard way to work out the dates of your pregnancy. Using the first day of your last menstrual period and adding 280 days will tell you what date your baby is due.
This method means that by the time you find out you are pregnant, due to a missed menstrual period, the first four weeks have already passed and you are into week 5. There are many sites that will help you to estimate your due date which can give you a good indication of when scans should be taking place and your OBGYN will always ask for the first day of your last menstrual period when you notify them you are pregnant.
However, during your ultrasound appointments, especially any early ultrasounds or the first one booked in, your doctor will take measurements of your baby and will use these measurements to give you an accurate due date. So do be prepared for the due date to change from what you have estimated online as this can happen.
What should you be doing now you know you’re 5 weeks pregnant? You will have a lot of questions about your early pregnancy, we know you will and you will think of new questions every day. We recommend that when getting answers to your questions you use reputable sources; there are a lot of forums online where you can get other mothers’ opinions or experiences but they may not be great for medical facts. If you are ever in doubt or need reassurance then speak to your doctor to be sure that you are getting the correct advice.
Ensure you always have snacks to hand, you never know when your energy and blood sugar levels will drop; we advise you to carry healthy snacks at all times. Your body and your baby will require additional vitamins and nutrients while growing – things like folic acid, zinc, and fiber which are all naturally occurring in food. Several women have also advised that they were only able to abate their nausea with constant snacking, keeping a supply of snacks to hand is essential if this is going to help you also, and having snacks which are good for both you and the baby are best.
Light exercise is also beneficial, it helps to keep your blood flowing and heart healthy, but it is important not to overexert yourself as your energy levels will not be what they were. There are also some exercise techniques that are reported to help to make labor and the birth process easier, and also promote better post-birth healing. One such exercise is kegels, these are easy and discreet to complete and can be done at any time you are standing or sitting still, they will help to strengthen your bladder control and reduce the chance of you developing hemorrhoids.
It’s your choice when you wish to tell others your exciting news, traditionally women waited until 12 weeks before telling people. But more often now women are telling close friends and family as soon as they find out that they are pregnant – which could be as soon as 5 weeks. We counsel you to decide in line with what feels right to you, there are no rules set in stone for this.
Journalling is something which has been hailed as beneficial by a lot of newly pregnant women, at times you may feel that your pregnancy is taking an age to pass but looking back it will have passed in a flash. Numerous women lament that they forget the day to day thoughts, feelings, and experiences quite quickly following giving birth so journaling your pregnancy will give you the opportunity to revisit these memories in more depth at a later date.
Even this early on, while you are not showing, your stomach may feel different, bloating and light cramps are not uncommon during the early weeks. Weight gain is minimal in the first trimester, usually only up to 4 pounds, so you won’t notice a visible difference at 5 weeks. We recommend that you seek immediate medical advice if your cramping becomes severe as though during a period. Comfort is paramount so looser clothing may help even if just with the bloating.