5 weeks pregnant – Can you feel the effects of pregnancy immediately?
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I walked around our flat in a daze. I had stopped working, so I was now free to absent-mindedly clean the flat and go over the same spots over and over again… I wanted to call mum. I wanted to call my best friend. Hubby was at work and we had both agreed not to tell any of our friends until we had hit the 3-month mark, which felt so far away.
The weirdest thing was that I didn’t feel any different. I was half-expecting to run to the toilet and throw up, but I felt nothing. When did nausea set in? How bad was my morning sickness going to be? When will I start showing? So many questions! I just wanted to turn my mind off for just 5 minutes, so that I could relax a little, but I couldn’t switch off. I felt scared and even a bit lonely. I had no idea how this whole pregnancy malarkey was going to pan out and what was going to happen in the next 35 weeks. Where would I start building on my knowledge? I wanted to know everything – how the baby grew, what I was going to feel, what I had to do to look after myself and the baby etc.
I didn’t even know where to look for information, so I consulted my old friend, Google, and typed ‘pregnant’ into the search box. A gazillion different pregnancy sites popped up and I suddenly felt overwhelmed, so I turned off my laptop and decided to go for a walk around the park instead. I had obviously picked the wrong time in the afternoon to venture out, as the park was crowded with lots of mums and babies going about their businesses. I sat down on a nearby bench and watched a mother lay a picnic down on the ground beside her two children, a girl of about 3 or 4 years old and a much younger baby boy, who looked around 6 months old. The mother took the toys out of the basket and placed them down in front of him, whil the daughter ran rings around the blanket and yelled at her mum that she was hungry. The mother looked flustered and kept motioning for the girl to sit down and eat. The 6-month-old started to cry and clung on tightly to his mother, as she tried to free the girl’s hands from throwing the food onto the grass. I could see that the mother was struggling, but I had no idea how to help her, so I stayed seated. I was only a brand new member of the unwritten, universal mummy group and it would be a long time before I had my baby… about 8 months long!
When I got back to the flat, I decided to burn a little energy by sticking on one of my regular high-impact aerobic exercise DVDs. But, it had suddenly dawned on me that maybe I wasn’t allowed to exercise in the same way as I did before. So, back I went to my laptop and found some information on exercising during pregnancy. Apparently, I was still able to carry on as normal until I got to the second trimester, then I would have to slow down. I figured I’d err on the side of caution and opted for some light aerobics instead. I felt miles better and greeted hubby with a big hug and a kiss when he came home.
A fun fact – Your baby’s heart begins to beat!
The science part
Your baby at 5 weeks
- The baby’s nervous system is developing
- Foundations for the baby’s major organs are now in place
- The embryo is around 2mm long.
- Your baby looks a little like a tadpole at the moment.
- The neural tube is forming, which will later become the brain and spinal cord.
- The heart is forming and has begun to beat and pump blood.
- A string of blood vessels connects the mother and baby and will become the umbilical cord.
Your pregnancy signs and symptoms
- You may have missed your first period by now
- You might start to feel sick, tired and overwhelmed
- You may even feel faint and still have tender breasts.
- Don’t worry, you will feel better soon and experience the common pregnancy glow sooner than you think!
- If you are starting to worry, like I did, about how you’re going to feel during pregnancy and what is going to happen to your body, then you can watch me here at almost 40 weeks! (I’m the beachball in the blue jumper!)
Your next steps
- Look for more advice and frequently asked questions on early pregnancy, including common symptoms and general health (diet and exercise)
- Book your first antenatal appointment with your GP/midwifery service if you haven’t done so already
Note: These are just general ideas of how you and your baby are getting on. Don’t forget that every baby develops differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult your midwife.
*Illustrations by Charlotte Watkins.
If you have any questions about her work, please contact Charlotte via her website, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn*