Now that you have a precious sesame seed-sized life rapidly growing in your womb, here is what you need to know about your fifth week of pregnancy.
Your pregnancy at 5 weeks progress
Yes, that’s right – merely the size of a sesame seed, and your baby is growing as rapidly as your love and the connection you are creating with him or her. Weeks 4 through 7 are when most women find out they are pregnant. Congratulations! At this point, your embryo looks more like a tadpole than the adorable guy or gal you’ll meet personally in less than eight months. You should be proud to know that the tiny and active life in your uterus is now comprised of the three layers necessary to start forming all of his or her organs and tissues: the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm.
- Ectoderm: This is the top layer and from it will sprout what is commonly called the “neural tube”. Brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will emerge through the development of this layer. The ectoderm is also responsible for skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and even tooth enamel.
- Mesoderm: Heart and circulatory system take shape in this middle layer. His or her heart will begin to segregate into chambers this week and begin to beat in order to pump blood. This layer also oversees the growth of muscle, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous tissue (the tissue layer directly beneath the skin, or epidermis).
- Endoderm: This bottom layer will direct the growth of lungs, intestines, a path to a urinary system, and be pivotal in the development of the thyroid, liver, and pancreas. While the endoderm layer is busy paving a path for a long life outside of your womb, the placenta and umbilical cord are hard at work nourishing and distributing oxygen to your baby for the duration.
Changes to anticipate
By pregnancy week 5, breast sensitivity, fatigue, and excessive urination are all in full swing. Nausea, or “morning sickness”, is a case by case condition that is different for every woman and it may or may not be present, although it is quite common (nearly 50% of women experience morning sickness). While the strangers around you will not have any clue of the tiny miracle growing inside of you, or the cloud that you are on, it is important that you make “down to Earth” changes in your lifestyle and begin new activities for you and your baby.
At this early stage, it is immediately important to realize that smoking tobacco, or marijuana, and drinking alcohol are recreational activities to be avoided at all costs.
- Smoking increases chances of miscarriage, placental problems, and preterm birth. Furthermore, smoking obstructs fetal growth and contributes to the risk of stillbirth and infant death.
- Drinking alcohol increases the chances of low birth weight and risks involved with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity.
Instead, look into beginning a new exercise routine. There are many healthy activities for a soon to be mother like you to find and embrace for yourself and your baby. Simply walking, or swimming if you have access to a pool, are extremely beneficial. Here are two easy exercise ideas that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
- Thigh shifts can be achieved by stretching one foot in front of the other with toes from both feet facing forward while leaning and placing weight on the outstretched leg. Change sides and repeat a few times each day.
- Leg shakes are a good exercise to strengthen your abdomen. Just sit with your legs straight and lift them in a slight up-and-down movement until you begin to feel it working.
Exercise serves as a proven stress reducer and a regimen of exercise serves to organize your days as you get closer and closer to your little one finally having the opportunity to look you in the eyes for the first time.
Your pregnancy week 5 tips
Your pregnancy weight gain by week 5 is typically 1 pound. Only 5 to 10 pounds are gained on average in the first trimester and the bulk of weight gain obviously occurs in the second and third trimester. An overall weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is deemed a healthy threshold to gauge where your health and lifestyle stand along the way. Once again, a healthy exercise routine and a conscientious effort to rule out harmful activities and to embrace what is best for you and your baby are critical to begin addressing now.
Now is also a good time to begin looking for a doctor you are comfortable with to guide you through your prenatal care. Generally, the first doctor appointment will be scheduled for week 8 and important screenings for potential complications will be performed. Inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, whether prescription or over-the-counter, and inquire about a prenatal vitamin that is right for you.
Featured photo credit: 6 weeks pregnant via americanpregnancy.org