Mother and Baby

5 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

5 weeks pregnant - what to expect

At five weeks pregnant, your hCG hormone levels are now high enough to confirm that you’re expecting. Top of your list this week is getting to your GP to confirm and figure out your due date. In terms of symptoms, at five weeks pregnant you might start to experience pregnancy cravings and morning sickness.

How big is my baby at five weeks pregnant?

Your little embryo is now the size of an orange seed.

What’s my baby doing at five weeks pregnant?

The umbilical cord is forming and by the end of this week the neural tube will be as well – this is where your baby’s brain and spinal cord will form. Your baby’s heart is made up of two tiny channels and they’re already working. Once those tubes fuse together at some point this week, your baby will have a fully functioning heart.

Also during this week, several other organs will begin to form, including the neural tube, the beginnings of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Your baby will also double in size this week – from 2mm to 4mm. The placenta still hasn’t fully formed, so at the moment your little one is feeding on something called the ‘yolk sac.’

5 common symptoms to look out for at five weeks pregnant:

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1) Food cravings

It might be early days, but the food cravings might already be kicking in. Hormones play a part here, so try and relax and go with it as your body gets used to the hormone havoc! That said, indulge your cravings within reason and make sure you’re getting healthy substitutes for the foods you can’t stand.  
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2) Morning sickness

Sure, you’ve heard all about morning sickness, but didn’t realise it would be THIS bad! That queasy feeling in your stomach won’t just hit you in the mornings but can hang around all day, especially during these first twelve weeks. Try not to skip meals, as much as you don’t want to eat, instead, try grazing throughout the day.
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3) Tiredness

During the first trimester, most of your energy will go into growing your new arrival. Of course, you’re not complaining, but it’s normal to feel completely wiped out. The good news is that by the end of trimester one the placenta will be in place, but in the meantime, listen to your body and rest up!
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4) Excess saliva

Morning sickness and excessive saliva? You’ve hit the confusing jackpot of early pregnancy symptoms. Try chewing sugarless gum to help your mouth stay a little dryer (and stop you dribbling in meetings). Experts aren’t really sure why this happens but have put it down to those pregnancy hormones.
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5) Frequent urination

At five weeks pregnant your kidneys are expanding so you may have an increased urge to go to the toilet.

What’s my body doing at five weeks pregnant?

Your hormone levels are changing, you’ll have missed a period and you might even be experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms. Here’s what to expect:

Your hormones – mood swings

One word that is going to crop up a lot in the next eight months – hormones. This week, your pregnancy hormones are going to start kicking in – think of these as chemical signals that tell your body to get ready to start growing a baby. Among these are estrogen, which will keep the levels of progesterone and hCG up where they need to be. Progesterone maintains the function of the placenta and stimulates breast tissue to grow (which is why they are probably feeling a little tender right now). hCG supports the corpus luteum, this nourishes your growing baby until the placenta is ready in five weeks’ time.

Your due date and the emotional roller coaster it brings

If you’ve just done a pregnancy test a lot of things will be going through your mind. As well as extreme excitement, there can be fear, worry (can you afford a child? Is it the right time?) and anxiety about the fact you had a glass of wine last weekend.

Firstly, don’t worry about the wine – unknowingly drinking in very early pregnancy is not uncommon, and you have no reason to panic. It’s natural to feel daunted, and combined with the cocktail of pregnancy hormones racing around your body, it’s no wonder you’re feeling a little all over the place. The best way to make everything feel less scary is to read and prepare yourself. Here’s some extra reading that might help:

Unplanned pregnancy? How to cope and what to do next 

Teenage pregnancy: Get the help and advice you need 

What should I be doing at five weeks pregnant?

  • Now is the time to stop eating certain foods. These include unpasteurised foods, undercooked meat and eggs and some kinds of fish. These can cause food-borne illnesses that are damaging to your little one.
  • If you’ve got a cat, it’s time to hand over the litter cleaning duties for the next eight months (not that you’ll be complaining). Cat litter is dangerous as it can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis, which can harm your unborn baby.
  • Don’t skip that evening floss! More than 90% of pregnant women suffer from gum problems during pregnancy thanks to the extra blood surging around your body. Find more advice on how to look after your teeth during pregnancy here. 

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