5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Pipeline in place. The placenta and the beginnings of the umbilical cord are already working hard to channel essential nutrients from your body to your baby. Oxygen, amino acids, fats and sugars all play a vital role in healthy development.

Back basics. Some of the baby’s cells are developing into the neural tube, which will become the spinal column and the brain. An incorrectly formed neural tube can result in a complication called spina bifida, where the spinal cord doesn't fully close. Taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day is your best weapon against spinal-cord-related birth defects.

Heart start. The heart is now a single tube with a few uncoordinated beats. These thumps will become more regular with each passing week.

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5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

An ocean of emotions. You may be thrilled about being pregnant, anxious about whether everything will go normally, worried or unsure of yourself as a mother. Don’t worry! All of these emotions are perfectly normal.

Handle with care. Menstrual-like cramps and lower backaches are common at this stage. Give yourself a break by soaking in a warm bath, listening to some soothing music or indulging in a nap. Keep an eye on your nutrition and, if you haven’t yet, cut out smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs – these can be harmful to your baby.

Did you know? Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly and a tube-like structure that will become the heart starts to beat occasionally.

5 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

  • Be ready to feel anxious or excited, worried or ecstatic — all normal reactions to becoming pregnant

  • Treat any cramps and backaches with a warm bath or a nap

  • Cut out smoking and alcohol if you haven’t already

  • Sign up for even more pregnancy tips