Mother and Baby

What to expect at 5 weeks pregnant: symptoms and advice

Section: Week by Week
pregnancy test

✅ Medically reviewed by Dr Helena Watson on 6th June 2020

Althought you might not be looking much different at five weeks pregnant, aka two months pregnant, your hCG hormone levels are now high enough to confirm that you’re expecting with a home pregnancy test and you're only around seven to eight months away from holding your baby in your arms!

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If you've just taken a pregnancy test that is positive, you might be feeling a lot of emotions. Whether it's excitement, fear or worry of the unknown or disbelief, any emotion is completely normal. The best way to make everything feel less scary is to read and prepare yourself. 

In this article: 

There's plenty going on inside your belly at five weeks pregnant, and your little baby is now transforming from an embryo to a fetus. Your placenta is also still under construction too. And with all this going on inside, you're likely to be feeling some of the side effects of your pregnancy, such as tiredness and maybe even nausea. 

How big is my baby at five weeks?

Your little embryo is now the size of an orange seed and looks similar to a tadpole with a tiny head and tail. They won't stay this tiny for long however, as in the next week, he or she will almost double in size going from 2mm to 4mm!

orange half showing seeds to show size of baby at five weeks

What symptoms will I experience?

By now, you should have missed a period and have taken an at-home pregnancy test with a positive result. Realising that you will soon have a little baby to take care of can leave you feeling all sorts of emotions from sheer joy to panic, so its normal if your moods are all over the place.

Take a look at the 4 best pregnancy tests in the UK for when you just need to know

You may also be experiencing the below physical symptoms: 

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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.

As much as you might not want to eat, try not to skip meals and 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.
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6) 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 - which means a lot of mood swings! 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.

What's my baby doing at five weeks pregnant?

During this week, your baby is growing it's blood, kidney and nerve cells, heart and gastrointestinal tract. This is also when your baby’s brain and spinal cord will form. While the baby is growing this, you will be growing the primitive placenta and umbilical cord. 

Read more: All the things we bet you didn't know about the placenta

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.

The placenta still hasn’t fully formed, so at the moment your little one is feeding on something called the ‘yolk sac.’

Your frequently asked questions answered by a midwife 

Alison Quincey-Brooke is a midwife of 24-years and she said: "At 5 weeks we don't tend to see women as it's early in gestation. Normally we first see women around 8 weeks for their first booking appointment. 
If you needed monitoring closely due to a medical condition or very anxious due to a previous pregnancy loss or an assisted conception, then we would be more likely to see pregnant women at 5 weeks."

mum lying on sofa suffering symptoms of pregnancy

If you're worried because you recently had a glass of wine, then don't worry. 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.

What to do now...

woman flossing taking care of teeth during pregnancy

See your GP: The next thing for you to do now is to book an appointment at your local GP to see a midwife or be reffered to one. From there you'll be told about when your next appointment will be and offered screening tests for infectious diseases, and conditions such as Down's syndrome.

Avoid eating certain foods: Throughout pregnancy, there are certain foods you shouldn't eat such as soft cheese, undercooked meat, eggs and some kids of fish that are high in mercury. It's important to make these changes as soon as you find out that you're pregnant. Food aversions can make it difficult throughout pregnancy when it comes to meals, but eating healthy is important, so have a look at what foods are good for you in the first trimester.  

Don't skip that evening floss: A lot of pregnant women suffer from gum problems during pregnancy thanks to the extra blood surging around your body. It's important to take care of your teeth, so brush regularily and floss after food as well.

Exercise safely: If you're keen to do some exercise or the morning sickness is getting worse, go out for a brisk walk. Pelvic floor and core exercises are safe to do as well, but make sure you don't lie on your back.

Consider getting a flu jab: Being hit with the flu when you are pregnant can make you very poorly and sometimes develop into pneumonia so many experts recommend pregnant women should get the flu jab as a precaution. 

Have a cat? 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.


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  • Author: Lorna White Lorna White
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!