By the time you are 5 weeks pregnant, you may be very aware about something going on. Your period hasn't come when you expected it to and you are at least a week overdue. You may even be starting to feel distinctly different to how you usually do but could be passing this off as your imagination. If you haven't already confirmed you are pregnant with a urine test, this is the week to do it. Remember, the best time to check is with your first pee in the morning, when your levels of pregnancy hormone (HCG) will be at their highest.
Many women don't have their first antenatal appointment until the end of the first trimester. If you do go to your doctor now, they will be able to work out your baby's due date. The countdown has officially begun!
Although early pregnancy symptoms are fairly classic; e.g. nausea, wanting to pee a lot more frequently, many women just describe it as just a sensation of feeling strange, as if they are not quite "with it". Even your partner may have noticed you being a bit more sensitive and moody than you normally are. Although you don't look any different, you are officially in your 2nd month of pregnancy, with only 7 more to go!
Your physical changes this week
- You may be feeling very similar to how you did last week with no changes at all. Don't worry. Every woman is different and will have her own unique experience of pregnancy.
- You could be feeling nauseous; especially when you first wake up in the morning or when it's been a while since you've eaten. You may even get to the point of vomiting or feeling on the verge of it at various times through the day.
- You may be feeling faint or light-headed and need to sit down more. This may be worse if your blood sugar level is low and it has been some time since you have had a meal.
- Your sense of smell may be very sensitive and odours you're not even usually aware of trend to have a powerful effect on your nostrils. Perfumes, food, car fumes, someone else's body odour can really be enough to make you feel physically ill.
- You may feel a heavy, full sensation in your uterus, similar to the week when your period is due. This is because of the pelvic engorgement and increased blood supply to your uterus.
- The placenta and amniotic sac are still forming when you are 5 weeks pregnant. They will help to protect the baby, feed and nourish it as well as provide all the essential factors which help support it to term. This is all going on in your uterus and will account for the sensation of fullness you could be feeling.
- Your breasts may feel more heavy and sensitive than usual. You might not be able to lie on your tummy like you usually do to go to sleep because your breasts are quite tender.
Your emotional changes this week
- You may be feeling a bit teary and prone to emotional meltdowns this week. You could be feeling a whole range of emotions, many of them at the same time. Excitement, joy, worry and guilt. This is a big week emotionally, especially if you have been planning to conceive and you find out you are.
- Conversely, you may not be feeling all that joyful at all. Not every woman is delighted to find out she is pregnant and this may be a week of disappointment for you. It can be very confronting for a lot of women to have a pregnancy confirmed and it can take a while to come to terms with a positive result.
- You may be torn between the need to ask other pregnant women for advice and wanting to keep your news all to yourself. Many women find this to be a special time, when it is not obvious to the rest of the world that they are pregnant. For now, it is still possible to keep your pregnancy just your own personal little secret.
- You may start to worry that everything is alright with the baby and with your own health. This is a confronting time because much of what you are going through may be new and unfamiliar. You may even be worried about how your partner is feeling or how your pregnancy may affect your relationship.
- You are likely to feel unsure about whether to tell your family and friends you are pregnant. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy can be a risky time and not all pregnancies continue to term. It is a very personal decision for couples when to share the news with others. Many wait until after the 12th week when the risk of miscarrying is no greater than 1%.
Your baby's changes this week
- This week your little embryo is the size of an orange seed or a nail head and can just be seen through ultrasound.
- The baby looks like a tadpole and has a primitive heart which has already started beating and circulating blood around its little body. It is sometimes possible to see the heartbeat on an ultrasound when you are 5 weeks pregnant. Vaginal ultrasounds pick up more detail than abdominal ones at this stage.
- Although the heart doesn't look like it eventually will with its 4 chambers, the tube like channels which are present now, are doing a perfect job.
- Your baby's brain and spinal cord are forming but are still open. They are yet to close.
Hints for the week
- Remember to take your prenatal vitamins every day. Week 5 is when your baby's neural tube (brain and spinal cord) are open but by next week will be closed.
- Avoid taking any medication unless they are absolutely necessary and your doctor has given you the permission. Some medicines are harmful to embryonic development.
- Try to rest when you can. You may be feeling extremely tired and the best way to deal with this is to sleep and take it easy as much as possible.