Pregnancy week by week



Week 5 of Pregnancy

You may feel you are pregnant as your period is now one week late. If you take a pregnancy test now, it may confirm your pregnancy, especially if you have regular 28 day cycle. If you have taken a home pregnancy test that came negative or unclear, take another test. This is because your hCG levels rise as your pregnancy progresses hence, it becomes easier for home pregnancy tests to detect the hormone.

Now that you are officially pregnant, you would want to share the good news with your dear ones. Start planning a menu for a healthy balanced diet throughout your pregnancy and take it slow. See you gynaecologist for investigations and physical examination.

Your body

You may be feeling very tired, although you may still not know why!

Hormonal changes in your body will become more pronounced as will be evident from the appearance of pregnancy symptoms. You are likely to be experiencing morning sickness, breast tenderness, extreme fatigue, food aversions, food cravings, or intense mood swings. You will feel tired all the time and may feel faint. Your body is working hard to nourish your growing baby. Therefore, it becomes important to eat a balanced diet and take adequate rest.

It is imperative that you take folic acid supplement if you are planning for a baby or as soon as you get to know about your pregnancy. Folic acid is to be taken for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  Even before you know you are pregnant, your baby’s heart, brain, spine, and other vital organs have started to form. Folic acid helps your baby’s spine to develop properly and dramatically reduces the risk of neural tube defects.  Therefore, it’s important to eat food rich in folic acid, such as green leafy vegetables (spinach, spring greens, beetroot, broccoli), peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and sesame seeds and take a daily folic acid supplement designed for pregnant women (400micrograms tablet daily).  The sooner you begin taking folic acid, the better. In fact, women should ideally start taking folic acid supplements a few months prior to becoming pregnant.

Your baby

Your baby who is now called an embryo is about 5mm long, the size of an apple seed. Your baby may not be increasing in size yet, but he is developing at a remarkable speed. The two main systems which are starting to form are the nervous system and the circulatory system. The head and tail folds are distinct and the embryo is now shaped more like a “C”. The ectoderm is beginning to form the neural tube that will go on to become the brain, nerves, and the spinal cord. The heart tubes are fused in the midline and begin to contract.

The amniotic sac now houses the embryo, which floats in the amniotic fluid filled in the amniotic cavity. The yolk sac will have appeared around now and will soon start to deliver nutrients to the developing placenta. This yolk sac will later give rise to your baby’s digestive tract. By the end of this week, it may be possible to detect your baby on an ultrasound, since the sac is now visible. However, ultrasounds are not done routinely this early in pregnancy.


Avoid all drugs and medicines, including aspirin and ibuprofen, unless they have been prescribed by your gynaecologist. Even alternate therapies such as homeopathic or herbal remedies are not necessarily safe. Self medication can harm your growing baby. Seek medical advice if you get sick, even if it is only cough and cold.

Be sure not to smoke or take alcohol at any time during pregnancy. This may result in birth defects. Make sure you are taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent any neural tube defects. Eating a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits, nuts, vegetables is a must. Check out our section on pregnancy nutrition for advice on what to include in your diet.


Is bleeding during early pregnancy normal?

A little spotting during week 4 is a normal sign of implantation. However, if you experience any heavy bleeding or discharge or experience severe pain in your abdomen, you may be having a miscarriage. Miscarriages are common; about 15-10% of all pregnancies. Consult your doctor if you suspect you are having one.

Is cramping during pregnancy normal?

Mild cramping is normal as your uterus stretches and grows. But if you have severe cramping you should see your doctor as soon as possible.


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