The most significant development during the 5th week of pregnancy is perhaps the ontogenesis of the fetal circulatory system including the heart.
Minutiae: At 5 weeks old, the baby is approximately 2 mm and resembles the size of a teeny tadpole!
Fetal Growth and Development
The first-ever functional body system of the fetus is the circulatory system.
At the beginning of the 5th week of pregnancy, the baby creates its own blood system and the heart starts forming. The four chambers of the heart are developing and commence pumping.
Thus, heartbeats can be heard through ultrasound from this point on. Furthermore, in a microscopic eye, you might see buds that later would become limbs.
Besides the heart, the neural tube is still under construction which later would turn the brain and spinal cord of the baby. This explains why folic acid should be a daily supplement of every pregnant mother most especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Daily intake of folic acid prevents neural tube defects and serious birth malfunctions.
Maternal Body Changes
If you have reached the 5th week of pregnancy, certainly, you might have already experienced the following symptoms that confirm you are pregnant:
- Missed Period: Needless to say, this is the first sign of pregnancy.
- Morning Sickness: Feeling nauseous every time? Blame it to the hormones!
- Breast Tenderness: Breast soreness does not commence at 5th week of pregnancy, but this may continue until the end of the first trimester.
- Fatigue: The drastic changes occur during the first trimester of pregnancy has caused many mothers to get easily tired and feel weak.
Pregnant mothers at 5 week do not show any significant change in their bodies. In fact, most people will not be able to tell (by look) that they are indeed pregnant. In addition to the aforementioned pregnancy signs, the following are symptoms moms-to-be are likely to encounter when they reach their 5th week.
- Frequent urination: Regular trips the bathroom can be attributed to the increasing HCG hormone in the blood which is responsible for the increased blood flow to the pelvic region. But, do not blame it to the liquids! Remember that keeping well-hydrated is a must in pregnancy. Skip coffee and soda drinks, instead.
- Ptyalism: This is another term for excessive saliva. Mouthwatering or drooling with no reason is normal during 5th week of pregnancy. To manage ptyalism, chew sugarless gum to keep the mouth dry.
5 No-No’s During Pregnancy at 5 Weeks
- No Sex: Couples should take a break. Sex during the first 5 weeks of pregnancy put mothers at risk to miscarriage.
- Stay Away from Alcohol: Chronic alcohol drinking may result in fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Study show that babies born with FAS are at risk of acquiring drug and smoking problems in later life.
- Discontinue Birth Controls: Taking birth control pills while pregnant can be dangerous to mother’s health. Oral pills which are high in estrogen could cause cancer, abnormal blood clot formation and potential miscarriage.
- Avoid Litter Box: Pregnant mothers at 5 weeks should avoid pets. Feces of cats can carry a parasite called Toxoplasmosis. Pregnant mothers infected with Toxoplasmosis parasites may bear child who are premature and mentally retarded.
- Do not Smoke: Smoking not only retards child’s growth but it also increases the risk of having a child with mental problems, a new study reports.
5 Weeks Pregnant: First Prenatal Care
Whether it is planned or unplanned, mothers should have to face the undertakings of pregnancy hood. The next important step is monitoring the mother and baby’s health through regular prenatal care visits. The 5th week of pregnancy would be the first prenatal visit.
So, what exactly happens during prenatal care? During first visitation, mother’s baseline vital signs and medical history will be taken and recorded. She will also have to undergo a series of medical tests to confirm her pregnancy and ensure she is in good condition. There is nothing to worry about prenatal care since this is a standing procedure for all pregnant moms.
It should be mentioned that the success of prenatal care program for the next 9 months is good communication with your health care provider, So prenatal visit is the best time to ask if there are any confusion about pregnancy.
When to Notify Doctor?
See a doctor immediately, if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Severe cramping
- Regular spotting
- Severe headache
- Relentless vomiting
- Heavy bleeding
To end, 5 weeks following your last menstrual period (LMP) is a conclusive stage that you are pregnant. A whole month has passed and there is no denying that there is a ‘tiny angel’ in your womb. There are yet no apparent physical changes in the mother’s body, but the baby is rapidly growing and developing at this stage.