Pregnancy Calendar Week 5 – Baby’s Heart Brain and Spinal Cord Begins to Form

Pregnancy Calendar Week 5 – Baby’s Heart Brain and Spinal Cord Begins to Form

You have just learned that your pregnancy is confirmed. But technically you are already 1 month pregnant and the reason behind is that most of the healthcare experts count pregnancy from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. So let’s know what you and your developing baby will go through this week.

Week 5

So you have just enrolled in the pregnancy club. This week is a common time for realization of pregnancy for most moms and they must be celebrating. The hCG hormone levels are high enough to confirm that you are expecting. So while you are excited, there would be a sense of worry such as is it the right time? What symptoms will follow? What cautions do I have to take?

But to be honest, the rage of high hormones will do a lot of changes to your body including the classic sign of nausea and tiredness.

Your body this week


At 5 weeks, your belly will look unchanged or you might feel you have gained a pound. This is because most women will experience hardly noticeable 1-4 pounds of weight during the first trimester. At this time, the placenta is under construction and will complete forming till the end of the first trimester. It’s the placenta through which your baby will start getting nourishment.

Typical symptoms

Your body will go through a slew of changes and the symptoms can be unique and unpredictable to every woman. Similarly, you might have had experienced morning sickness in the first pregnancy, but no nausea this time around. The levels of rising hormones including hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and progesterone are responsible for these changes.

Here what you can expect in the 5th week of your pregnancy:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Light vaginal spotting
  • Breast changes including soreness and tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Change in appetite such as cravings for food or aversion
  • Mood swings such as anxiety, fear, sadness and exhaustion
  • Mild smelling milky-white vaginal discharge

One important thing to note is that the frequency of miscarriage is common in early pregnancy. So, if you see heavier vaginal bleeding accompanied by back pain and abdominal or pelvic cramps, you must call your doctor without delay. These are also the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy in which a baby grows in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.

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Your baby this week

Until the start of this week, your baby has been a mass of cells organized in a C-shape. It begins to look like a fetus since the neural tube (precursor to spinal cord and the brain) running from top to bottom of the embryo has started developing. There is a tiny bulge at the center of the embryo which will eventually turn into a heart.

Your little one is enclosed in protective membranes and connected to a yolk sac which produces unique blood cells. Other major organs such as liver, stomach, and kidneys have also started to form.

Size and appearance

In the 5th week of pregnancy, your baby can be seen as a small gestational sac through transvaginal ultrasound. It is still 0.118 inches in length and looks like a tadpole or like an apple seed with a primary head and tail.

Healthy eating

In terms of healthy eating, you must focus on whole foods as against processed or packed foods. Besides, there are specific foods you should avoid as these foods can contain bacteria which could be harmful to the developing baby.

Foods to avoid

While in majority of cases, there is no need to avoid any foods, however, a few things have to be kept in mind. You must avoid high mercury seafood such as tuna (choora) or swordfish (tega). Unpasteurized dairy can carry harmful microbes so they should be avoided at any cost.

Similarly, undercooked meat and eggs must be avoided as they could contain toxoplasma parasite which could harm both you and your baby.

Foods to eat

Avoiding fish entirely is not a good idea. Fishes like salmon (rawas) and sardines (tarla/washi) are filled with omega-3 fatty acids which is extremely vital for baby’s brain health and overall development. There is also no need to avoid foods notorious for allergies such as nuts, milk and wheat unless you are actually allergic to these foods.

Also don’t forget to add fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains to your diet.

Expecting dads

Exercise is vital throughout pregnancy, so indulging in moderate exercise daily is a wise move. Early morning or after dinner walk is an excellent way to stay together. Research suggests that couples are more satisfied in their relationship if they indulge in physical activity together. Moreover, it also gives you the chance of de-stress which will eventually benefit your baby.

As a proud-to-be father, you are eager to share the news with your family members and friends. So spread the news and save some time for your wife. How about taking her to a romantic dinner at her favorite restaurant?


Until and unless you are at risk of some pregnancy complications, you won’t be undergoing 5-week pregnancy ultrasound. Your gynecologist would be making an appointment at around 8-9 week. But you can always consult the doctor for additional guidance.

Another thing that American Dental Association suggests is to visit a dentist. The reason behind seeing a dentist is that the same hormones which bring a range of symptoms can also cause gum inflammation or pregnancy gingivitis. If ignored, the gum inflammation can lead to gum infection and this can increase the chances of premature birth.

Tips for the week

Healthy pregnancy comes with a lot of commitment. Follow below tips for healthier lifestyle during this phase:

  1. If you haven’t started taking prenatal vitamins, don’t delay them further. They should also contain folic acid that helps reduce birth defects.
  2. If you have a cat in your house, hand over the duties of cleaning litter to someone else for the next 8 months. Cat litter can cause toxoplasmosis infection which can harm the unborn baby.
  3. Most of the pregnant women suffer from gum problems. So don’t skip flossing your teeth daily.
  4. Don’t skip meals even if you feel it is making you sick.
  5. Food cravings or aversion is normal in this phase. If you are unable to beat them, try to stay within limit and find other alternatives.
  6. Don’t touch cigarettes, alcohol, illegal drugs and try to stay away from caffeine as much as possible.
  7. Some prescribed or over the counter medication can be harmful. Let your gynecologist know what medications and supplements you are taking.

This is the time you start paying utmost attention to your health. Also, pay little attention to family issues and try to remain stress-free. Read more about how you can prepare for your next phase. This is the best way to feel less scary and enjoy the feeling of growing life inside.


1. Early pregnancy loss. (2015). read more
2. Physical Activity and Pregnancy: Past and Present Evidence and Future Recommendations. read more
3. You and your baby at 0-8 weeks pregnant. 
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