Most women realise they may be expecting at around week 5, as it is the first week after your missed period. At 5 weeks pregnant, the level of the hormone hCG in your urine is high enough to be detected by a home pregnancy test. This means that you can confirm what you suspect: you're pregnant!
At week 3 of your pregnancy, your child is just starting to become an embryo. Before your third week, your child was referred to as a zygote, which is the fertilised egg that contains the DNA of each parent. You may not feel that many changes, however, your body has already started to create a comfortable environment for your newly-fertilised egg. Your body will produce higher levels of hormones in order to provide nutrients to your child. You may experience a few symptoms such as breast tenderness, fatigue and nausea which is commonly known as morning sickness. If you are now at this stage of pregnancy, learn more in our week 3 pregnancy article about what you can do to ease the process.
At this point, you probably don't look pregnant yet. Most first-time mums don't show any indications of pregnancy until at least week 12. You might notice your missed menstrual cycle, feeling bloated, unusually fatigued or exhausted, breast pain or tenderness, a heightened sense of smell and hypersensitivity as well as mild cramping and vaginal spotting. If you are now at this stage of pregnancy, learn more in our week 4 pregnancy article about what you can do to ease the process.
When you are 5 weeks into your pregnancy, your child is moving along quickly in the growth process. Growing a child that is no larger than an orange seed is hard work, and your body is responding to this change. Large quantities of your hormones are being mass-produced this week. Among them are:
Estrogen1, which keeps the levels of progesterone and hCG up where they need to be.
Progesterone, which maintains the function of the placenta, keeps the smooth muscles of the uterus from contracting and stimulates breast tissue growth.
hCG, which support the corpus luteum until the placenta takes over at about 10 weeks and regulates the amount of progesterone necessary.
The first of your symptoms are exemplified and your level of hunger is nearly ravenous when you are 5 weeks pregnant. The best advice at this stage is to eat and rest. If you don’t feel very pregnant yet, don’t panic; it’s still early. Breast tenderness and fatigue might be the first and only symptoms of being pregnant that some women experience at this point.
Hormones play a role here, especially in the early weeks of your pregnancy, when your body is getting used to the hormonal havoc. Diet preferences differ for every woman, but some of the common aversions include meat, coffee, eggs, and fatty or spicy dishes. Some may even crave junk food like popcorn. Go ahead and indulge your stomach, but in moderation. Satisfy your appetite with a mini chocolate bar instead of a king-sized one, or find a couple of healthy substitutes for the grub you can't stand.
Being pregnant is hard work. You can't see it with the human eye, but a huge amount of your energy goes into building a life-support system (including the placenta) for your child, which can leave you feeling tired. You might even feel out of breath due to the increased oxygen requirement for you and your child. Exhaustion can set in even if you aren't physically doing anything. Listen to your body and prioritise your own well-being. So get that foot rub. Rest well and eat right, often.
The queasy feeling is largely due to the combination of hormonal changes, increased stress, and other body changes, like a sharper sense of smell. Despite its name, morning sickness can strike at any time. Try not to skip any of your meals and stick to healthy foods that appeal to you, to ensure you have enough nutrients.
If you have a queasy tummy, the first thing you can try eating is a protein-and-complex-carbohydrate combo, like whole wheat crackers and cheese or granola and yoghurt. Cold sandwiches are a good, filling choice that doesn’t activate nausea.
You can also skip the solids and sip a smoothie or soup. Be sure to get eight glasses of fluid a day, as vomiting could leave you dehydrated. Ginger can be good at combating queasiness during your pregnancy. You can use ginger in cooking, infuse your tea with it, nibble on ginger biscuits, or leave a ginger candy melting in your mouth to manage this symptom.
At 5 weeks pregnant, certain foodstuffs can leave you feeling gassy and bloated, so opt for healthy substitutions that are easier on digestion. For example, you can try mango instead of broccoli, strawberries instead of cabbage, bagel chips instead of potato chips, or poached chicken breast instead of chicken fingers. If you love sparkling water, it could be time to switch to plain water. This bloating might also add a bit to your weight.
A warm bath or napping may help soothe cramps. Mild cramping can occur with uterus stretching or when the egg2 attaches to your uterine wall – transforming from blastocyst to embryo. You might also experience light vaginal bleeding or spotting (small specks of blood). This is likely implantation bleeding, but be sure to mention it to a medical expert so they can rule out complications. If you feel severe pain that doesn't subside or have heavy vaginal bleeding, please contact your doctor immediately.
At this point, you may also start to make more bathroom trips. Your bladder is squashed to make space, while kidneys expand by about 30% to handle all the extra processing during this period. As the likelihood of urinary tract infection heightens at this stage, be sure to keep clean. Minimize the trips, choose non-diuretic drinks, such as plain water and drink plenty to avoid dehydration.
With all these sudden changes in your body, it helps to know what to expect and so you can better manage them. Support from family and loved ones are crucial even at this early stage. Good prenatal care is essential for you and your child's development, and this would be a good time to do some research and choose healthcare providers like gynaecologists and midwife professionals. Try to schedule a date for your first appointment. Also, check if your health insurance offers any form of coverage for relevant issues.
At this stage, the tiny embryo is made up of the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm - all of which will soon form organs, bones, and tissues. Its nervous system starts to take shape with including brain cells and the spinal cord. Your child's heart and blood circulatory system, lungs and intestines also begin to form at this point.
If you see the doctor while 5 weeks pregnant, obstetric ultrasonography or medical ultrasound can show the pregnancy and the embryo inside the uterus, though the fetal heartbeat cannot usually be seen until the 6th week. Seeing this sonogram in person can be reassuring, especially for women at risk for an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo attaches to the fallopian tube instead (leading to a miscarriage). This medical ultrasound may also help narrow down the due date in conjunction with the last known menstrual period.
At week 6, you are in the second month of your pregnancy. You can schedule your first ultrasound with your doctor to assess risks, and to check on your child’s heart rate.
There are very few observable physical changes at your 6th week.
You will, however, experience symptoms such as these — morning sickness, heightened sense of smell, fatigue, breast tenderness, cravings, frequent urination, spotting, mood swings and gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion. If you are now at this stage of pregnancy, learn more in our week 6 pregnancy article about what you can do to ease the process.
For nourishment, moms like you can consider taking Frisomum® Gold even before your child is born. Its DualCare+ system customises the essential nutrients for both you and your child as your nutritional needs increase at every trimester. Frisomum® Gold contains folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamins and more for foetal development at 5 weeks of pregnancy. Also, it's important to ensure you are taking enough folate or folic acid if you are trying to get pregnant and during the first trimester because it reduces the risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Be sure to inform your doctor if you are taking other medications. Find out more on what pregnant mothers should consume during pregnancy.