At week five of pregnancy, you’re officially part of the pregnancy club. And, confusingly, you’re also at the start of your second month. If you’re still getting used to the idea of parenthood, scroll back to week 4 for vital info on your baby and body.
It might be early days, but your little one is developing at a furious pace and creating organs from scratch.
Stick with us for week-by-week updates on your baby’s development and the changes you’re going through. As your bump gets bigger and bigger, we’ll answer all your burning questions about baby size, what’s happening inside your body, womb and more.
Here’s what to expect this week.
At A Glance: Week Five of Pregnancy
- Baby’s now settling in and enjoying the food and hospitality.
- At 2 millimetres long, your little embryo is the size of a sesame seed!
- He or she resembles a tadpole (and has a small tail to boot).
- Watch this space: many major and minor organs and body systems are growing!
- You know you’re pregnant and might start to feel it soon.
- Pregnancy tips of the week: wear supportive bras and try pelvic floor exercises.
Week Five of Pregnancy Overview (Your Baby’s Growing Little Organs)
Now that your future baby is tucked away and receiving all the essentials, there’s a ton of growth in the weeks ahead.
The biggest development milestone happening at the moment is the formation of your little embryo’s three cell layers.
These distinctive layers grow into specialised body systems and structures, which are already beginning to take shape.
The top layer, known as the ectoderm, grows the nervous system, hair, eyes and the outer layer of skin. The neural tube, a structure from which the spinal cord and brain emerge, is already established and will shut permanently in about a week. The neural tube must close properly for proper communication between the spine and the brain to occur, or else neural defects could arise. In other news, dark spots have emerged where your baby’s eye will form – but it’s still a long time before those baby blues open!
Soon, the mesoderm or middle layer will give rise to the heart, sex organs, bones, kidneys and muscle. And with that, the heart could start beating irregularly this week, but nothing will show up on an ultrasound! The development of the heart is underway, where two tiny heart tubes merge to form a simple, tubular-shaped little ticker. Over time, this organ will become the first organ to fully assemble.
Finally, the inner layer or endoderm will evolve into your baby’s digestive system, liver and lungs. But until your baby has a workable set of lungs, intestines, and kidneys, a primitive placenta works overtime to deliver oxygen and nutrients and eliminate waste.
Baby Size and Latest Developments for Week Five of Pregnancy
So does the embryo look like your future son or daughter? Erm, not quite, but it does look vaguely like a tadpole swimming in its amniotic juices. It even has a little tail that eventually disappears into the back of the spine.
From crown to rump, your little one measures 2 millimetres. And if you like comparing your baby to food, homeware or stationary, it’s about the size of one sesame seed on a burger bun or a pen tip. It’s a productive time for fetal development! Your baby will soon undergo a growth spurt, growing exponentially in a week.
- Disproportional to the rest of its tiny body, your baby’s head is undergoing rapid and crucial growth. There’s a bump on the topside of the body from where your baby’s head and brain emerge. Also, hints of facial features are faintly visible – like the depressions of the babe’s nostrils and black dots as eyes. Your baby has a sense of a brain, with neural tubes constituting the embryo’s brain and spinal cord.
- Your baby now has blood vessels that group to form the umbilical cord, which like Uber or Deliveroo, delivers oxygen and nutrients right to your baby’s home.
- The placenta is under maintenance but should be up and running by the end of the first trimester or 12 weeks.
- In the meantime, the yolk sac continues to nourish your little one. Furthermore, the amniotic sac has replaced the gestational sac and taken over its protective function.
Please note that because every pregnancy is unique, the above description is a generalisation of early embryonic development. Variations in the timing of milestones can occur.
Body Changes for Week Five of Pregnancy
With the onset of pregnancy, hormones rush through your body, causing various physical and emotional symptoms that hit women at different stages during their first trimester.
By now, you know you’re pregnant and might wonder when those dreaded symptoms are coming. They might have already hit like a ton of bricks – and if you’re struggling, we’ve listed a couple of health tips to help you through the first trimester.
But the million-dollar question is “When will I look pregnant?” It’s hard to say because women start showing at different times. Your stomach could look bloated like you’ve overeaten. In addition, your clothes might also fit snugly, but it’s unlikely that others will notice these very subtle physical changes.
If you’re overwhelmed by how you feel, remember that most expectant mothers’ symptoms fade while others describe feeling better during the second trimester.
Brace yourself – you’re could be in for a tough few weeks, but pregnancy symptoms are common, temporary and won’t harm the baby.
We’ve listed a few of these before, but we’ll name them again for the sake of iteration.
It’s important to note that all pregnancies are unique. The timing and experiences of pregnancy symptoms may vary.
1. Breast Pain
Get ready; you’ll experience breast pain more intense than PMS as your girls tingle, swell, and become super sensitive. You might also go up one or two cup sizes because your boobs will grow and change. Your areolas will change colour, and prominent veins might appear in your chest. While unpleasant, pregnancy hormones are preparing your breasts for milk production when the baby comes.
2. Missed Period
By now, your period’s late and a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy. You might have confirmed your pregnancy with a test or strongly suspect you’re having a baby because your menstrual cycle’s a no-show.
3. Your Bladder Has a Mind of Its Own
By week five, you might be emptying your bladder all.. the .. time. Is something wrong? Because of those pesky but all-important hormones and the increased blood volume circulating your body, you’ll need to relieve yourself way more than usual. If nature’s often calling, keep proximity to a toilet. Being controlled by your bladder can be annoying, but there’s nothing wrong with you.
Most pregnant women will experience morning sickness at some point. Some have it mildly, while others might feel it intensely.
As the first trimester advances, morning sickness worsens but will eventually improve by the second trimester. If you’re feeling the effects of morning sickness five weeks pregnant, you could feel queasy, nauseous, and the urge to vomit.
Stressed about the baby because you’re sick, losing weight and not getting adequate nutrition?
We’re here to put your mind at rest.
Rather than putting on weight, many pregnant women shed kilograms because they’re unwell and can’t keep food down. It’s normal and won’t harm your baby because your little one doesn’t need many calories when this small. Plus, if your diet up until now has been good, your baby will be completely fine.
However, you might want to see a doctor if morning sickness is prolonged or extremely serious.
5. Food Aversions
Can’t stand the smell of sizzling bacon or a bird roasting in the oven? Overlapping with the onset of morning sickness, strong food aversions could start this week. Certain meals might repulse or sicken you.
While extremely common, food aversions are usually quite random. You might hate certain meals you previously loved and can’t stomach others you’d eat without thinking twice before.
The list of food aversions isn’t exhaustive and can include anything from milk, eggs and spicy food to coffee and chocolate.
6. Complicated Emotions
Whether unplanned or long in the making, you might experience confronting emotions upon learning you’re pregnant. Your reactions, ranging from excitement or hesitation to ambivalence, might catch you off-guard.
Complicated emotions concerning your pregnancy are nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.
Week Five of Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
Your body is gearing up for significant changes, and you’re probably feeling it. We’ve got some tips to help you through the highs and lows of pregnancy.
1. Breast Care
If painful breasts are your daily reality, here’s how to relieve discomfort.
- Ditch tight and uncomfortable lingerie for nursing or sports bras, a maternity essential that provides valuable support to a heavy and achy bust. And though it might seem strange, sleeping in a sports bra stops you from hurting your already sensitive breasts in bed.
- Adjust your wardrobe by substituting tight clothes that constrict your boobs for loose, comfortable outfits.
- Apply cold compresses or a bag of frozen peas to your chest for quick pain relief. Otherwise, take a warm shower if you don’t want to be cold.
2. Take Your Daily Multivitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins is more important than ever because your baby’s brain has begun to develop. The forming neural tubes, from which the brain and spinal cord grow, are vulnerable to neural tube defects and disorders. You can lower this risk by taking multivitamins.
3. Nausea and Food Aversion Remedies
Your appetite is probably out of whack by week five, with the list of foods you can eat without feeling ill growing ever smaller. At this point, it might make eating a varied diet seem unlikely.
If the thought of a nutritious diet consisting of greens activates your gag reflex, here are a few go-to foods you can try. Or refer to week four for other food ideas.
- Stick to cold food if the smell of cooking triggers your nausea.
- Swap flavourful foods for mild-tasting meals – such as potatoes or rice.
- Blend any foods you don’t like to mask their taste and texture. Some good ideas are pasta sauces or smoothies.
4. Bladder Control
Having no control over your bladder isn’t just frustrating but can also be mortifying if you struggle with leakage. While embarrassing, urine incontinence is common during pregnancy, especially after laughing, coughing or exercising.
Pregnancy incontinence happens because your pelvic floor muscles weaken under the weight of your growing child. Working to strengthen those muscles, kegal or pelvic floor exercises can improve bladder control.
Expressing yourself through a journal can help you navigate your storm of emotions and make better sense of pregnancy. We like this one!
Do I Need an Ultrasound During Week Five of Pregnancy?
You’re close – but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks.
By the end of week five, your baby’s heart might be beating, but it’s hard to pick up those faint heart flutterings on an ultrasound. At week six, there could be something to detect, but there are no guarantees.
Although your ultrasound won’t be scheduled this week, you will see a few things if you have one now for medical reasons. You might not see a mini version of yourself yet, but you will witness the first signs of life in your belly: the gestational sac, the first visible pregnancy indicator, and the yolk sac. The gestational sac appears as a dark mass containing a white disc-shaped form, the yolk sac. You could also see the fetal pole, which is the medical term for the embryo, near the yolk sac.
Your first doctor’s appointment will also include a full medical screening, many tests and many questions. For more info, skip to week six.
Fun Facts for Pregnancy Week Five
- Did you know that you can struggle with insomnia during the first trimester? Although pregnancy fatigue depletes your energy supply, the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, and an active bladder might cause sleep problems at night. The solution? Take power naps during the day to catch up on lost sleep.
- Pregnancy is filled with many weird and not-so-wonderful symptoms, one of which might affect your partner. Sympathetic pregnancies or couvade happen when a non-birthing partner experiences all the signs of pregnancy without being physically pregnant.
Week Five of Pregnancy Checklist
- Sore breasts? Get comfortable with maternity bras and loose clothing.
- Prenatal vitamins are so essential right now – don’t skip them.
- Eat well if you can, or follow our remedies if food isn’t a friend right now.
- Practising pelvic floor exercises for bladder control and other pregnancy benefits!
- Don’t go anywhere – our week 6 article is in the works!