When you're pregnant, you have lots of questions. Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is packed with lots of useful information. From what's happening inside your body, to how your baby is developing, and tips and advice on having a healthy pregnancy – this is your one-stop pregnancy guide!
Our week-by-week pregnancy guide is full of essential information. From early pregnancy symptoms to how your baby is growing and developing, you' ll find it all here.
To the outside world, you'll look much the same as usual – but on the inside, some amazing things are happening.
What's happening in my body?
Your baby's nervous system is developing, and the brain and spinal cord are taking shape. The tiny heart is starting to form and will beat for the first time around now.
Many women realise that they're pregnant around week 5. You might notice that your period is late, and you may feel a bit under the weather. If you're wondering when to take a pregnancy test, now is a good time as they are sensitive to changes in your urine from week 3 or 4 onwards.
Finding out that you are pregnant can be exciting, but it's normal to have worries too. More than 1 in 10 mums feel anxious during pregnancy. Try not to keep your worries to yourself – talk to your midwife or doctor. You could also try doing some relaxing breathing exercises.
Are you getting food cravings? Some people do, some don't. Pregnancy cravings are caused by hormonal changes affecting your senses of taste and smell. Try to eat a balanced healthy diet. If you have any unusual cravings, like wanting to eat dirt, talk to your midwife or doctor, as you may have a condition called pica which is caused by a lack of iron.
Early pregnancy symptoms (at 5 weeks)
It's still early days, and many women won't know they're pregnant at 5 weeks. Not everyone has regular menstrual cycles, so you may not realise that your period is late. You might notice some light bleeding, and think it's your period, but it can also be a sign of implantation bleeding (when an embryo attaches to the lining of the womb).
In the 1st trimester, many women feel extreme tiredness. Other early signs of pregnancy can include:
a metallic taste in your mouth
nausea - also known as "morning sickness", although you can experience it at any time (read about morning sickness in week 6)
mood swings (week 8's page has information on mood swings)
new food likes and dislikes
a heightened sense of smell
needing to pee more frequently
a milky white pregnancy discharge from your vagina
light spotting (see your doctor if you get bleeding in pregnancy)
cramping, a bit like period pains
darkened skin on your face or brown patches – this is known as chloasma faciei or the "mask of pregnancy"
thicker and shinier hair
bloating (read about bloating on week 16's page)
Read Tommy's guide to common pregnancy symptoms.
What does my baby look like?
Your baby, or embryo, is around 2mm long (about the size of a sesame seed). The face is starting to take shape, with a tiny nose and little eyes which stay closed until around 28 weeks. Your baby's brain and spinal cord are forming rapidly inside you.
Your baby already has some of its own blood vessels and a string of them will make up the umbilical cord. This cord delivers everything it needs from the placenta. The placenta, which is being created now, will give your baby nutrients and oxygen, while removing waste products.
The advice for week 5 is the same as for week 4 - basically keep up the good work looking after yourself!
Share the news with your GP or ask for an appointment with a midwife at your doctors' surgery. Alternatively you can refer yourself to your local hospital – look for contact details on their website.
You'll need to arrange a booking appointment. This usually takes place between weeks 8 and 12 and takes around an hour. You can talk about the options for your pregnancy and the birth. You will also be offered screening tests for infectious diseases and conditions such as Down's syndrome. Now is a good time to ask about the Maternity Transformation Programme and how it could benefit you.
You will be offered your first dating scan at 8 to 14 weeks.
If it's your first pregnancy, you will probably have around 10 appointments and 2 scans in total.
Ask your midwife or doctor about online antenatal classes – they may be able to recommend one. The charity Tommy's has lots of useful information on antenatal classes and preparing you for birth.
Antenatal classes will give you the chance to meet other people and prepare you for parenthood. The NCT offers online antenatal classes with small groups of people that live locally to you.
Take prenatal vitamins. You're advised to take 400 micrograms of folic acid, every day, until at least week 12. This helps your baby's nervous system to form and offers some protection from conditions such as spina bifida.
To keep bones and muscles healthy, we need vitamin D. From late March/early April to the end of September, most people make enough vitamin D from sunlight on their skin. However, between October and early March, consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement because we cannot make enough from sunlight.
Some people should take a vitamin D supplement all year round, find out if this applies to you on the NHS website. You just need 10 micrograms (it's the same for grown-ups and kids). Check if you're entitled to free vitamins.
Do you think you or your partner could have a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? If so, get it checked out, as this could affect your baby's development. Talk to your midwife or GP, or visit a sexual health clinic.
It's recommended that you do 150 minutes of exercise a week while pregnant. You could start off with just 10 minutes of daily exercise - perhaps take a brisk walk outside. Check out Sport England's #StayInWorkOut online exercises (scroll to the pregnancy section). Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
There's no need to eat for 2. If you pile on the pounds, you could put you and your baby at risk of health problems such as high blood pressure. Eat healthily, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and avoid processed, fatty and salty foods. You may be able to get free milk, fruit and veg through the Healthy Start scheme.
If you have a long-term health condition, then let your specialist or GP know that you're pregnant as soon as possible. Don't stop taking any regular medication without discussing it first with your doctor.
How are you today? If you're feeling anxious or low, then talk to your midwife or doctor who can point you in the right direction to get all the support that you need.
You could also discuss your worries with your partner, friends and family. You may be worried about your relationship, or money, or having somewhere permanent to live. Don't keep it to yourself. It's important to ask for help if you need it.
You and your family should follow the government and NHS guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19):
read government guidance on how to stay safe from COVID-19
get NHS advice about COVID-19
use the NHS COVID-19 app for England and Wales – it's the fastest way of knowing when you've been exposed to COVID-19
To find out about about COVID-19 and pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, have a look at advice on the:
World Health Organization
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Pregnancy at week 5 | Pregnancy Birth and Baby
Pregnancy at week 5 | Pregnancy Birth and Baby beginning of content
By week 5, your baby has burrowed into the wall of your uterus. It is now called an embryo and measures about 2mm from end to end. The foundations for all of the major organs are in place. The baby is inside an amniotic sac, a bag of fluid that protects it.
The cells in the baby are still dividing. In week 5, the brain and spinal column are already starting to form. The spinal cord is called the neural tube and is developing as an open groove. Your baby’s head is much larger than the rest of the body at this stage as the brain and face are developing very rapidly.
Your baby’s heart will start beating this week. The blood vessels are already starting to form and blood is circulating in the baby’s body. A string of blood vessels connects you to your baby, and this will eventually become the umbilical cord.
Your baby at 5 weeks
Week 5 is when most women start to wonder whether they may be pregnant. You will have missed your period, but you may be feeling like it’s just about to start. You may notice your breasts are larger and feel sore, and you may be feeling quite tired.
Some women may feel nauseous, or notice they need to go to the toilet more often than usual.
You will also be producing more human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Things to remember
You can do a pregnancy test the day after you miss your period. There are many different tests available, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully.
If the pregnancy test shows you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible. They will confirm you are pregnant and advise you on how to look after yourself and your baby.
Finding out you’re pregnant can be very exciting. But for some women, pregnancy is unplanned. Whether the baby was planned or not, you may feel a range of emotions from joy to surprise to shock.
It’s important not to drink any alcohol, smoke cigarettes or take illicit drugs if you’re pregnant since these can all be very harmful for your baby.
Your pregnancy at 6 weeks
Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
Raising Children Network (Pregnancy week-by-week), Women's and Children's Health Network (The first 3 months of pregnancy: the first trimester), Parenthub (5 weeks pregnant), Australian Journal of General Practice (Preconception care)
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Last reviewed: August 2020
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5 weeks pregnant: Doctor appointments
Week 5 of pregnancy is the best time to have a pregnancy test. You can use a home pregnancy test but it’s still important to visit your doctor so that they can estimate your pregnancy due date. This may involve an early pregnancy ultrasound. You should also receive pregnancy health advice and discuss pregnancy folate supplements in the fifth week of pregnancy if you have not already done so. It’s also a good time to make sure you’re eating all the right pregnancy foods and start your pregnancy exercise routine.
Read more on Parenthub website
5 weeks pregnant: Key points
The fifth week of pregnancy begins around the time your menstrual bleeding is due and is a good time to take a pregnancy test to confirm that you are pregnant. You are also likely to begin experiencing pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, morning sickness and changes to your breasts this week. Your baby is still only about 1.5mm long but it is developing rapidly and taking on a more human form. If you have not already visited your doctor the 5th week of pregnancy is a good time to do so.
Read more on Parenthub website
5 weeks pregnant: Changes for mum
Week 5 of pregnancy is probably when you’ll know that you’re pregnant because your period is missing. There are also subtle changes in your body which are symptoms of pregnancy such as changes to your breasts, and pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and pregnancy heartburn. These changes are caused by pregnancy hormones, like hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, produced by the placenta) which is the hormone detected by a pregnancy test.
Read more on Parenthub website
Week by week pregnancy- 6 weeks pregnant
6 weeks pregnant is a time when embryo development is occurring rapidly and pregnant women often start experiencing pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness. Pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), the hormone a pregnancy test detects, is usually evident in the woman’s blood in the sixth week of pregnancy. Antenatal care should be provided at a doctor appointment for women who have not already checked their pregnancy health. Find out more about the pregnancy changes which occur this week.
Pregnancy After Childbirth Fathers Baby New Parents New dad: The first few weeks after the birth ( 6 votes, average: 5
Read more on Parenthub website
4 weeks pregnant: Key points
When you are 4 weeks pregnant your body and your new baby are undergoing rapid changes. The placenta forms and begins producing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which is the substance a pregnancy test detects to confirm you are pregnant. The cells which are growing into your new baby establish membranes which connect them to the placenta and prepare themselves for differentiation into different types of cells, which will occur next week when you are 5 weeks pregnant. These developments may cause you to experience unusual emotions and also cause changes in your body such as darkening of the areolas of your nipples.
Read more on Parenthub website
Week by week pregnancy- antenatal care at 7 weeks pregnant
Your doctor can look at your foetus’s features to determine how old they are – find out how. You need to talk to your doctor if you experience very severe morning sickness as you may not be getting all the nutrients you and your baby need or early pregnancy spotting (spot bleeding) as you may be at risk of miscarriage.
Read more on Parenthub website
Pregnancy at week 15
By week 15, your baby may be able to respond to sound and light, while you are gaining weight and your skin and hair are changing.
Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website
1 week pregnant
The first week of pregnancy occurs before you actually conceive your new baby. It’s a little confusing - doctors begin counting the weeks of your pregnancy from the date your last menstrual bleeding started, not from the date you conceived. Conception, that very important moment at which your partner’s sperm fertilises your egg, does not occur until approximately two weeks after the start of your last period. However, your body is already preparing itself for pregnancy, should conception occur, so this week officially marks the beginning of the pregnancy.
Read more on Parenthub website
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5-8 weeks of pregnancy
The fifth week for a baby
The fifth week of embryo development is significant for the separation of the body of the unborn child and extra-embryonic auxiliary structures - the yolk sac, amniotic bladder, chorion. The process of active formation of organs and tissues continues. At this time, the birth of all the main systems of the future organism is taking place.
At the fifth week, the size of the embryo is 1.2-1.5 mm. It is possible to see the anterior pole - the place of the future head, as well as the posterior pole - the place of the future legs. The formation of the body occurs according to the law of symmetry - a chord is laid along, which is the axis of symmetry. It is around it that the laying of future symmetrical internal organs takes place. In the future, some of them will be formed by merging the rudiments (liver, heart), and some will remain double (lungs, kidneys, etc.).
The fetus in this period is in a curved state and looks like the letter C. By the end of the fifth week, the heart begins to pulsate, which has already formed. From the middle germ layer (mesoderm) begins the formation of the pancreas, liver, lungs, thyroid gland, trachea and larynx.
On the fifth allotment, the formation of the central nervous system also begins. The cells, which were previously located flat, begin to roll up, i.e., the formation of the neural tube occurs. The viability of the fetus is largely dependent on the complete closure of the tube, so the fifth week is of great importance. Folic acid is able to contribute to the high-quality closure of the tube. Therefore, when planning a pregnancy, specialists recommend taking drugs containing this substance. Also, folic acid is needed throughout the first trimester, but its role is especially important during 5-7 weeks. Along the tube there are bulges from which the formation of the brain sections will occur.
The processes located along the neural tube are called somites and represent future muscles.
Also, the fifth week is characterized by the beginning of the formation of germ cells in the embryo - this is another important moment in his life. In future people, at the stage of early development, the rudiments of eggs and spermatozoa are already laid.
Expectant mother at the fifth week
The period of five weeks is quite early, so if changes occur in the female body, they are insignificant. At this time, the cycle delay is one week, which not every woman pays attention to. If she is aware of her situation, thoughtfulness, peace, or, conversely, high activity may appear.
Odor intolerance and nausea are likely from the fifth week. Most women are prone to early toxicosis, which manifests itself in the form of vomiting, which usually occurs in the morning. Toxicosis can be both mild and severe. The second is accompanied by incessant vomiting. Women who are faced with a severe form of toxicosis are subject to hospitalization.
A feeling of heaviness in the chest or slight pain when pressed is also a sign of early pregnancy.
Sixth week for baby
During the sixth week, the embryo grows from approximately 3 mm to 6-7 mm. At this time, the shape of the embryo is cylindrical and resembles to a certain extent the embryo of a fish. The rudiments of arms and legs appear along the body, which in the sixth week have the form of processes. The arms are formed faster than the lower extremities; by the end of the sixth week, the rudiments of the hands are formed. The legs are not yet formed at the moment and remain in the rudimentary stage. At this time, the tube must completely close, and the rudiments of the hemispheres are formed from the brain bubbles.
The heart at this stage is characterized by intensive development and active pulsation. Inside this organ, division into chambers and compartments occurs, ventricles and atria appear. If you use highly sensitive ultrasound equipment, the heartbeat of the fetus can already be caught. 100-160 beats per minute at this stage makes the heart.
Also on the sixth week, the digestive tube is formed, which ends with the formation of the large and small intestines, stomach.
The sex glands continue to develop, the ureters are formed. An important process at this stage is the formation of chorionic villi, i.e., the laying of the future placenta. The sixth week is marked by the active stage of vascular growth and the "training" of the placenta. Of course, as a separate organ, the placenta has not yet formed and does not fulfill its functions, but the first trial steps are already being taken - there is an exchange of blood between the mother and the embryo, such an exchange is the precursor of future blood circulation.
The sixth week for the expectant mother
If the cycle is delayed by two weeks, which corresponds to the sixth obstetric week, the manifestations of toxicosis may increase in a woman. Nausea often leads to vomiting. If this happens more than two or three times a day, you should contact a specialist. In the chest, vascular permeability changes due to changes in the hormonal background. Therefore, a periodic sensation of tingling may join the feeling of fullness of the glands.
A woman in the sixth week is often accompanied by irritability, drowsiness, fatigue and weakness. All of these symptoms are the result of the influence of the hormonal background, which tries to create the best conditions for the development of the child. Experts note that the severity of the course of toxicosis directly depends on the emotional state of the woman. Therefore, the expectant mother should limit physical activity, avoid stressful situations, provide positive emotions and good mood.
Women may develop new taste preferences. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to ensure the comfort of the expectant mother, but one should not forget about common sense when choosing a diet. Even if it attracts to harmful products, they should not be consumed, of course, smoking and alcohol are contraindicated. It is undesirable to use smoked meats and any products containing chemical elements. The more correct the diet, the more benefits it can bring to the unborn baby.
Special attention should be paid to the water balance. Dehydration can only aggravate toxicosis, so it is important to monitor the amount of fluid consumed. Sometimes fruits, water and juices even become the only possible food for a woman.
Seventh week for a baby
At this age, the embryo reaches a length of 8-11 mm, its weight at the seventh week is less than a gram. The head is equal in size to half the body, while the shape of the body is arched. You can see in the lower part of the pelvic end a continuation of the coccyx, which outwardly resembles a tail.
On the seventh week, the formation of the embryo occurs quite intensively. On the hands, you can already see the interdigital spaces, but there is no division into individual fingers yet. The embryo begins to develop a face, on which a nasal fossa appears. In this place, a nose is formed a little later. Also in the seventh week, the initial development of the auricles occurs. They begin to form from two elevations on the head, both jaws are formed.
The seventh week is characterized by such an important event as the formation of the circulatory system of the female body and the fetus, as well as the umbilical cord. There is uteroplacental blood flow. From now on, tissue respiration and nutrition of the fetus occur through maternal blood. The unborn child falls under the protection of the mother's body. The future placenta (chorion) not only nourishes the embryo, but also acts as a protective filter, preventing harmful microorganisms and toxins that can significantly harm the fetus.
The seventh week for the future mother
From the seventh week, the growth of the uterus begins in a woman, this can be determined by a specialist during a gynecological examination. At this stage, many expectant mothers have an increase in the abdomen, which is one of the main signs of pregnancy. The growth of the uterus and the size of the embryo cannot cause an increase in the abdomen. This is due to the action of progesterone, which leads to lethargy of the intestinal loops, as well as a decrease in the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Bloating occurs, which is the cause of visible changes in the abdomen.
Increased urination is a consequence of the fact that the total volume of blood in the female body increases. Such a change will accompany the expectant mother throughout the pregnancy and will especially manifest itself in the last trimester. If pain occurs during urination, then there is a reason for a visit to the doctor, since this is not considered the norm. Changes in bowel function are possible, constipation and diarrhea can occur with equal probability. The reasons may be a change in the usual diet or hormonal levels. Since regular daily stools ensure the timely removal of toxins from the body of the expectant mother, it must be carefully monitored. If you have problems with bowel movements, you should consult a specialist.
Eighth week for baby
The embryo is 15-20 mm long by the beginning of the eighth week and 40 mm by the end of it. The mass of the embryo is five grams. After the eighth week, the embryonic period ends and the fetal period begins. After eight weeks, experts no longer use the term embryo, the unborn child is called the fetus until it is born. The main features of the eighth week are the intensive development and modification of the embryo. There is a straightening of the body, and it is increasingly divided into segments - limbs, head and torso.
At this stage, the nervous system is actively developing. Also on the eighth week, the brain is divided into sections, the hemispheres are more clearly outlined, convolutions are formed.
The face of the unborn child becomes more prominent, ears, nostrils, eyes are formed. By the end of the eighth week, the upper lip is fully connected, and the face looks quite distinctly formed.
The process of ossification of the skull, arms and legs belongs to the features of this period. Bones harden. The formation of the fingers occurs, and the large one becomes isolated and opposed to the palm. Large joints (elbows and knees) are formed.
Brain structures, which are responsible for muscle tone, and the muscular system itself are also being actively formed. This allows the embryo to perform a variety of movements. The development of the digestive tract is almost completed by the end of this week. The intestines and stomach are supplied with nerve endings, which in the future will be able to provide motor functions of the gastrointestinal tract, the cavities of the kidneys, heart, bladder and ureters are formed.
The vascular system develops in the future placenta. The chorionic villi penetrate deeply into the wall of the uterus. Utero-placental circulation becomes full. The complex supply of the growing fetus is provided by the vessels of the umbilical cord, through which it receives blood enriched with oxygen and a variety of nutrients. Also, through these vessels, metabolic products and carbon dioxide are removed.
The eighth week for the expectant mother
The eighth week does not bring significant changes to the woman's body. All manifestations of toxicosis do not change their character, but are already much easier to bear. This is due to the fact that by this time pregnant women get used to their condition and find factors that facilitate it and create comfort. These can be certain foods, good sleep, one or another diet, walks, etc.
In this material, the gestational age is indicated as obstetric, that is, it is calculated from the first day of the preceding pregnancy menstruation.
5th week of pregnancy: signs, sensations, size and development of the fetus
Now ultrasound already shows the heartbeat of the embryo, its eyes and ears are being formed. Small outgrowths begin to appear on each side, which will eventually become the arms and legs of your baby.
At the 5th week of pregnancy, you may have suspicions that something is happening. Your period didn't come when you expected it, and you're at least a week late.
You may even feel different than usual, but you can write it off as imagination. If you haven't done a pregnancy test yet, now is the time. Remember that it is best to take the test immediately after waking up, when the level of pregnancy hormone (hCG) will be maximum.
Some women never visit an antenatal clinic during the first trimester, but it is better not to do so. If you contact your doctor now, he will be able to calculate the planned date of delivery. You can also calculate it using an online calculator, indicating the first day of the last menstruation. The countdown has officially begun!
Early symptoms of pregnancy are fairly standard. For example, a future mother develops nausea and more often wants to go to the toilet, many women say that at that time they were a little "not in themselves". Even your partner may notice that you are more melancholic than usual. Despite the fact that outwardly you have not changed at all, now you are officially 2 months pregnant, and there are only 7 of them left!
Physical changes this week
You may be feeling the same as last week. Don't worry. Every woman is unique, as is every pregnancy.
You may feel sick, especially after waking up in the morning or after a long break between meals. You may even vomit or feel like you're about to vomit.
You may feel weak or dizzy and need to sit down and rest. If you have low blood sugar and haven't eaten in a while, this feeling can be quite strong.
Your sense of smell can become very sensitive and even react to smells to which you usually do not pay any attention. Perfumes, food, car exhaust, or body odor can make you feel physically uncomfortable.
You may feel heaviness in the uterus - it feels like the onset of menstruation. It's all about the abundant flow of blood to the pelvic organs.
The placenta and fetal bladder are still forming. They will protect, feed and care for your baby, as well as provide him with all the necessary conditions for development until the end of the pregnancy. All this is happening inside you now, which explains your unusual sensations.
Your breasts may become fuller and more tender than usual. Because she is now so tender, you may not be able to sleep on your stomach for a while.
Emotional changes this week
You may be feeling tired and emotionally unstable right now. At the same time, you can feel the widest range of feelings - from anticipation and joy to anxiety and guilt. This is a very emotional week, especially if you just found out you're pregnant.
If you did not plan to become pregnant, you may experience very different feelings. Many women find it very difficult to accept the fact of an unexpected pregnancy and come to terms with their new position.
You may be torn apart by opposite desires - to seek advice from girlfriends who have given birth or to keep the news secret. Many women prefer not to tell anyone about their little secret until it is obvious to the rest of the world that they are pregnant.
You may begin to worry about whether everything is in order with your health and the development of your baby. This is a difficult time because many of the things you are going through are completely unfamiliar to you. You may even wonder how your partner is feeling or how pregnancy might affect your relationship.
Most likely, you are not sure whether to talk about this with family and friends. The first 12 weeks are full of risks, and not all pregnancies make it past this milestone. Many couples wait until the end of the 12th week, when the risk of miscarriage is reduced, and only then share the news with others.
What's going on with the baby this week
It is already the size of an orange seed and can only be seen with an ultrasound.
Your baby looks like a tadpole and already has a primitive heart that has begun to beat and supplies blood to a small body. Although the chambers have not yet formed in the heart, it does its job perfectly.
Sometimes you can see the baby's heartbeat on ultrasound.