How Big is the Baby at Five Weeks Pregnant?
Pregnancy week 5 isn't much different from pregnancy week 4. During 5 weeks pregnant, your baby is still just over a millimeter long. You might say that your baby is about the size of a small grain of rice! However your baby is growing in many other ways. Vital organs continue to develop through this week.
Your Baby's Growth and Development
You are now in your second month of pregnancy and your developing baby is 3 weeks! You might just be finding out that you are pregnant and may have many concerns and questions. Some women still do not realize that they are pregnant yet. You might have already had a positive pregnancy test. Many tests can show a positive test result 10 days after conception, but it is recommended that you wait until you have actually missed your period. The baby has not grown very much from last week and is now approximately 1.25 mm long. You will not `show` yet for some time.
At this point in your pregnancy, you may begin to experience some symptoms. One early symptom of pregnancy is nausea. Some women will actually vomit and others will not. The nausea and/or vomiting that occur during pregnancy are called morning sickness. Most of the time morning sickness is worse in the morning, but not always. Morning sickness does usually improve or disappear by the end of the first trimester. Another early sign of pregnancy is the increased need to urinate. Frequent urination can continue throughout the remainder of the pregnancy because of the growing uterus and increased amount of fluids you are drinking. Many women also notice breast changes early in pregnancy. It is common to feel a tingling or sore sensation in the breasts or nipples. You might notice that the area around the nipple, the areola, becomes darker during pregnancy. It is also not uncommon to feel tired or fatigued at this point. You might feel like you need to nap at lunchtime and you may need to go to bed earlier to accommodate your body's needs.
On your initial doctors visit you may be checked on Hematocrit, hemoglobin, white blood cell count, blood group type, Rh factor, antibodies to blood group antigens, VDRL, rubella anti-Body titer, hepatitis B, toxoplasmosis, urine culture, and HIV.
Sometimes as early as the second month of pregnancy, the insides of your hands and the bottoms of your feet may itch and take on a reddish hue. This annoying condition is called palmar erythema. The increased color is nothing more than a curiosity of pregnancy.
During the early part of this pregnancy at 5 weeks the central nervous system, muscles, bones and even the heart will begin to form. Early skeletal development is also possible at or around pregnancy week 5. Remember that every person is unique, thus their baby will develop at a different rate than others.
Perhaps the most interesting changes that are occurring during 5 weeks pregnant include those happening in the heart. During this week, the heart will begin to divide into separate chambers and start pumping blood. The heart is formed from the middle layer of cells, called the mesoderm. Other organs that will develop from this layer include the muscles, cartilage, and bone.
As early as this week, the plate that will become the heart has developed. Your baby's brain, spinal cord, muscles, and bone formation are also beginning to form. The baby's skeleton is forming at this time as well. The embryo has a distinct organization that has a top, bottom, left, right, front and back. It is important that you continue or begin to take your prenatal vitamins to prevent birth defects.
During pregnancy week 5, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord are also developing. The neural tube will start developing from a top layer of cells called the ectoderm. The baby's skin, hair, nails and sweat glands will also develop out of this layer.
A third layer of cells, called the endoderm, is also developing this week. The lungs, intestines, thyroid and pancreas also develop from this layer.
Your Growth and Development
You will still be pretty small during pregnancy at 5 weeks. An onlooker will not be able to detect that you are pregnant for several more weeks. Some women, particularly moms who have given birth before, have reported that they notice more bloating in their abdomen during this week. Because this is also a common menstrual symptom, many women assume that their periods are simply late and that they are bloated because of it!
Early Pregnancy Complications
Sometimes things go wrong with a pregnancy. Occasionally, a woman will experience an ectopic pregnancy. This happens when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. There is an even smaller chance that the egg will implant around the ovary or cervix, though this is very rare. Ectopic pregnancies generally occur in 1 out of every 100 pregnancies. Your risk might be increased if you have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease or some other infection that might have damaged your fallopian tube. Women who have had a previous ectopic pregnancy are more likely to experience a recurrence than those who have not.
The primary signs of an ectopic pregnancy include: vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and nausea. Some of these symptoms, however, mimic ordinary pregnancy symptoms, so ectopic pregnancies are sometimes difficult to diagnose. The best way to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy is to measure the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG in the blood. This is a hormone produced during pregnancy that generally doubles approximately every 2 days. When HCG levels do not increase, an ectopic pregnancy might be suspected. Ultrasound can also help diagnose an ectopic pregnancy.
If you are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, your physician may require you undergo surgical treatment. Your doctor will want to perform surgery before any damage is done to your tube, which can affect your fertility in the future.
Other complications may include a blighted ovum or a molar pregnancy. A blighted ovum occurs when the fertilized egg implants but the embryo stops developing or isn't developing at all. It typically results in a miscarriage.
A molar pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is abnormal from the time of conception. Usually the egg will not develop into an embryo or it will develop abnormally so that it can't survive. Molar pregnancies occur in about one out of every 1,000 pregnancies. A molar pregnancy will usually require a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal tissue.
Most women who experience pregnancy complications can go on to have normal pregnancies in the future. While it is difficult not to worry about potential complications, it is important that you adopt a healthy attitude. The more you relax and enjoy the changes in your body, the more likely things will go well for you. If you do notice any abnormal symptoms, including continuous bleeding after a positive pregnancy test, be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Changes in You
You may or may not start realizing some changes at 5 weeks pregnant. Some women will start feeling nauseous at or around the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. Some women will also start noticing other early signs of pregnancy such as a need to urinate more frequently, or tingling and soreness in the breasts.
Morning sickness may start by pregnancy week 5 but probably won't set in for a few more weeks. Morning sickness is actually a misnomer. The nausea that is associated with pregnancy can come at any time of the day, morning or night.
Some women are plagued with morning sickness during their entire pregnancies, though most morning sickness gets better after the first trimester. The good news is there are many things you can do to help alleviate morning sickness as you follow your pregnancy week by week. Try keeping some crackers and seltzer water close by the bed and snack on some before you get up in the morning. Morning sickness is often worse on an empty stomach. Other women find sipping some ginger tea or lemon water helps relieve nausea. Another remedy is supplementation with extra B-6.
Before you try any remedies for morning sickness or any other pregnancy symptom, be sure you consult with your healthcare provider. There are many herbs that can be dangerous to you or your developing baby when pregnant. When in doubt always err on the side of safety.
The most common early pregnancy symptom at five weeks pregnant is a sense of fatigue. Fatigue is common throughout pregnancy, but is usually the most severe during the early weeks of pregnancy. If you are experiencing excessive fatigue, try to rest as much as possible throughout the day. Do not have an extra cup of coffee to "perk up" as too much caffeine can affect your developing fetus. One great way to take advantage of a natural pick me up is to exercise. If you have the chance to get outdoors and inhale some fresh air, go for an extra walk around the block.