Pregnancy, week 5 – let the excitement begin!

July 20, 2012 12:00 AM by

YOUR CHANGING LIFE

Big things are happening – but you might not notice

Last week was when your little embryo attached to the lining of your uterus, and now big things are starting to happen in there. But what's going on with you at this point in your pregnancy?

Most likely, you don't feel that different right now (physically, at least!). However, some new moms report feeling more fatigued than usual during the first several weeks – after all, growing a baby is hard work! Aside from being more tuckered-out at the end of the day, you might also notice that your breasts are a little more sensitive than they normally are and you're making more frequent trips to the bathroom. You might even feel a little nausea in the morning, but morning sickness often starts a little farther down the road for most mothers-to-be.

At this point, no one will notice anything different about you on the outside, which makes keeping the news a secret a little easier. Of course, suspicion could arise if you make plans to go out with friends and order a club soda instead of your usual gin and tonic. You might want to avoid putting yourself in these situations if you really want to keep your pregnancy on the down-low.

YOUR BABY THIS WEEK

From poppy seed to sesame seed

Just one week after burrowing into the lining of your uterus, your little poppy seed has already evolved into a budding tadpole the size of a sesame seed! As you know, your baby has separated into three different layers by now, and they're starting to form even more complicated structures this week.

The neural tube, which the brain, spinal cord, nerves and backbone will stem from, is starting to develop in the top layer. The heart has started to form in the second layer, separating into chambers and starting to pump blood through your baby's tiny body this week. It'll still be a few weeks before this heartbeat can be detected, however.
The umbilical cord and placenta are still primitive at this point, but they've started to deliver oxygen and nourishment to your baby already, which means you should be taking care to make good choices when it comes to your diet.

HOW TO

Distract yourself from your big secret

Keeping yourself busy at this point will help distract you from the fact that you're itching to tell everyone about the exciting news. But what should you do?

For starters, how about planning an exercise regimen to follow throughout your pregnancy? Exercise while pregnant can help you develop the strength and endurance necessary to carry the extra weight of a baby, and it could even tone down the severity of those aches and pains that many moms-to-be report having. It's also a great stress-reliever, which is definitely helpful when you're feeling the responsibility of becoming a parent.

If you haven't already, now's a good time to schedule your first prenatal appointment, which should be around the eight-week mark (although some doctors won't see you until you're almost 12 weeks along). At the exam, you'll be screened for a number of conditions that could lead to a complicated pregnancy, and afterward you'll be able to tell everyone that you're expecting at last.

To prepare, it's a good idea to get acquainted with your medical history, as your doctor will likely ask if there are any diseases or conditions that have been prevalent in your family tree. You might also want to write down a list of questions that you have, which could turn out to be lengthy!

Now's a good time to get prepared for pregnancy in other ways too. For example, you might want to head to the grocery store and pick up snacks that are easy on the stomach in case you start feeling nauseous in the upcoming weeks. Stock up on other healthy foods that'll give you plenty of energy, and pick up some prenatal vitamins if you haven't already done so. Even if your diet is well-rounded, you could be missing out on a few of the essential minerals that your baby needs for development, like folic acid, calcium and iron.

As for your home and your job, it might be a good idea to gauge the safety of the stuff you're surrounding yourself with everyday. For example, some of those household cleaning products may not be great to use while you're pregnant, so you might want to consider switching to natural options. If you're regularly exposed to chemicals, radiation or heavy metals at your job, you should probably make a few changes there as well. Your baby deserves a safe, healthy environment!

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