Week 5 Pregnancy: The Journey So Far

Are you 5 weeks pregnant? You’ve just crossed a major milestone in your pregnancy journey! Around this time is when mothers often learn they are pregnant. If you have just gotten a positive pregnancy test, it may overwhelm you. It’s likely that you also have a bunch of questions regarding this pregnancy stage.

Worry not! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about being pregnant at week 5.

How Much Has Your Baby Grown?

Big changes begin to happen by the fifth week of pregnancy. Your baby has developed even more since the previous week. At week 5, the embryo went from like a poppy seed to as big as an orange seed. This means it is around 2mm long!

It is the size of a seed and the shape of a tadpole, mainly due to your baby’s neural tube growing. It will then develop as your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Their cells are also starting to split up to form other body systems. Take the circulatory and respiratory systems, for example.

The placenta also continues to develop during this time. It is the organ that houses and nourishes your baby throughout your pregnancy.

During this pregnancy week, your body sets itself up for the challenges ahead. Your pregnancy is not obvious yet. But you can expect to feel signs of the changes you will soon experience.

What Hormonal Changes Should You Expect?

This is the week you are most likely to learn about your pregnancy. This is because it is often around week 5 when pregnant women miss their periods.

It is also when significant levels of hCG can be found in your urine. This hormone is responsible for thickening the uterine lining. It also prevents periods from occurring during pregnancy. It is what pregnancy tests detect.

hCG triggers your body to produce estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen regulates the levels of hCG and progesterone. These hormones help thicken the uterine lining.

Progesterone prevents the uterus from contracting this early. It also promotes breast tissue growth. That makes it responsible for the tender breasts pregnant women experience.

Pregnancy Symptoms To Expect

Your hormones will prepare your baby’s home for the next 8 months, leading to many symptoms. Some of them are similar to those you feel during the 3rd week of pregnancy. So, you may be familiar with them by now.

Breast Tenderness

One of the results of increased production of progesterone is swollen, sore, or sensitive breasts. They will grow larger too. In addition, you may observe the darkening of areolas and increased blood flow.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a common symptom during early pregnancy. Despite the name, nausea and vomiting can actually occur at any time in the day. While its cause is not fully understood, it is believed to be due to the high levels of hCG.

Frequent Urination

When women are 5 weeks pregnant, their growing uterus can press on their bladder. This happens to the point of having to pee often. Another cause is the increased blood flow to the pelvic area.

The good news is that this symptom subsides as you go along your pregnancy. The bad news is that it will come back as your baby’s growing size presses onto your bladder.


Due to the hormonal changes in your body, you may find yourself feeling more tired than usual. This is because progesterone relaxes your muscles and makes you feel sleepy. Your metabolism is also increased. This makes you burn more energy.

Food Cravings

During the 5th week, you may find yourself craving certain foods. This is entirely normal and likely caused by the hormones flooding your body. Some women feel a general increase in hunger instead of specific cravings.

Abdominal Cramps

Cramps in your abdomen are another symptom to expect during week 5. It is common and not usually a cause for concern. You may also feel bloated and gassy, a sign of your uterus expanding due to hormones.


When it becomes hard to poop, you may be suffering from constipation. This is another common symptom during other weeks but can be expected at week 5.

It is due to high levels of progesterone slowing down the digestive process. Your growing uterus is also a likely culprit as it takes up space that normally belongs to your bowels.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are unfortunate side effects of having high levels of pregnancy hormones. One moment, you might be anxious or irritable. The next, you feel calm or even joyful.

Other reasons for mood swings are the stress and fatigue from the changes that pregnancy brings.

Vaginal Discharges

Vaginal discharge is a pretty natural occurrence for women. This is your body’s way of keeping the vagina clean and free from harmful bacteria and infections. Vaginal discharge is normally thin and milky white and is the same during pregnancy.

Light Bleeding

Also known as spotting, this symptom is not unusual during the 5th week. At this point in your pregnancy journey, it is likely due to implantation bleeding. This is caused by the fertilized egg attaching itself to the uterine lining. This will normally last for a few days, so there should be nothing to worry about.

Helpful Tips For Week 5 Of Pregnancy

Schedule A Prenatal Appointment

The most helpful tip for the 5th week is to book a prenatal consultation with your doctor. During your first visit, you will undergo tests to check for any potential risks to your health. You will also learn about what to do to have a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the necessary lifestyle changes you should make.

Remember that prenatal care is continuous. Throughout your pregnancy, open communication between you and your healthcare provider is key.

Take A Prenatal Vitamin

To make sure you get vital nutrients, remember to take prenatal vitamins. These nutrients are essential to the development of your baby.

For example, folic acid help protect your baby’s nervous system from defects. Iron supports the growth of your baby and the placenta.

Eat Nutritious Food

To further boost your health during the coming weeks, focus on eating nutritious food. Ideally, your diet should include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. This is because these food items will nourish your body and your baby. They contain vital nutrients, such as:

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

To learn about what foods to eat during this time, ask your prenatal care provider.

Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity is a great way of staying healthy during your pregnancy. It can help improve your overall health. It will also lower the risks of gestational diabetes and hypertension.

Exercising during pregnancy is generally safe for you and your baby. That is provided you do not push yourself too far. Some examples of exercises include strength training and yoga. They offer benefits like stronger muscles and reduced stress and anxiety.

Another benefit to these exercises is that you do not need to leave home to do them. All you need is an exercise mat, dumbbells, and resistance bands. Then, you’re good to go!

Learn What To Avoid

This early in your pregnancy, your health is your number 1 priority. This means you must avoid unhealthy or harmful habits or substances. For example, avoid smoking, alcohol,  and coffee.

When it comes to food, avoid fish with high levels of mercury like sharks or swordfish. Also, don’t eat raw or undercooked food like raw eggs.

Surprisingly, refrain from cleaning your cat’s litter box if you have one. This is because it has a certain parasite dangerous to your unborn baby.

Kathy Urbanski

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