Pregnancy at 5 Weeks: Signs and Symptoms

Here is what to expect at 5 weeks pregnant in terms of your baby’s development. This is a pretty exciting week because sometime between week 5 and 6, your baby’s heart starts beating! But you’ll only be able to witness that heart beat if you are booked in for an early scan, also known as a dating scan. You’ll only need to go for a dating scan if you can’t remember when your last period was. This scan is used to predict how far in to your pregnancy you are, and can’t be done before around 5 weeks.

At 5 weeks the embryo is now an entity with three layers: an outer ectoderm that will later transform itself into the nervous system, an inner endoderm that will become the internal organs, and the middle mesoderm, which will eventually form the circulatory system, muscles, bones, kidneys, and reproductive organs.

Changes to Your Body

One of the common pregnancy symptoms at 5 weeks that you may begin to experience is breast tenderness. This occurs as your breast tissue starts to prepare for breastfeeding. It may feel a bit uncomfortable to wear a bra if breasts feel swollen or fuller as the hormone levels change. Mild cramping at 5 weeks pregnant may happen too.

Other symptoms during pregnancy at 5 weeks might include fatigue, bloating, nausea, excess gas, and an increase in appetite. On a related note, you might notice odd cravings for certain types of food or combinations of food. Alternatively, aversions to certain foods or food groups may happen. Read more here.

An explanation of what to expect at 5 weeks pregnant would not be complete without mentioning that your sense of taste or smell is likely heightened. Some odors may suddenly be strangely offensive to you. This phenomenon will continue for the duration of your pregnancy or may be just a passing phase.

Lifestyle Considerations

If you own a cat, you should ask someone else to change the litter box to reduce your risks of catching toxoplasmosis. The disease spreads through the faeces of infected cats and can cause birth defects if passed from you to your developing baby. If you have to change the litter yourself, wear rubber gloves and scrub your hands with hot, soapy water immediately afterward.

Regarding your diet, continue to maintain healthy eating habits to support your baby’s health, as well as your own. Add fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, dairy, and whole grains to your diet, if you have not already. Fully cook the proteins and avoid unpasteurised dairy to keep infections at bay for your growing baby.

Exercise and Nutrition tips for mums to be

If you get an ultrasound at 5 weeks, the pictures of your baby will show the gestational sac and yolk sac. Your doctor might request an ultrasound and blood test to detect any abnormalities or confirm the baby is growing naturally. If there is more than one baby, this confirmation will come from the ultrasound too.

General Advice

One of the most common 5 week pregnancy symptoms and signs is moodiness, which results from the fluctuation of hormones. A range of emotions may be felt, including elation, fear, sadness, worry, and exhaustion.

While this variation is normal, and may be amplified by stress about the upcoming baby, about 10 percent of women experience depression during pregnancy. If you find yourself feeling abnormally down, unable to sleep, or helpless, talk to your doctor right away. There are many treatment options available that can help you.


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