If you are reading this article, chances are you have already missed your period and have started to wonder if you are pregnant.

First things first. Stop hesitating and take a pregnancy test, especially if you have had unprotected sex recently or have missed your period by a week. 

And if you do get the good news, congratulations you are already through the first month of your pregnancy!

Shocked? Well, pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual cycle so technically you are not even pregnant halfway through the first pregnancy month

The fifth week marks the beginning of the embryonic age. This means the embryo has already settled in the outer lining of your womb and you might have experienced slight spotting as a sign of this implantation. If you haven’t, don’t worry, not all women experience this. (Read more: Implantation bleeding symptoms

Infact, your body would not show any prominent changes yet, apart from the hormonal surges that you may be feeling in the form of fatigue and morning sickness. Yes, be ready for the bouts of nausea and vomiting. If they haven’t hit you yet, they would soon. 

  1. 5 weeks pregnancy symptoms
  2. Baby size at 5 week pregnancy
  3. 5 weeks pregnant: Tests and vaccinations
  4. 5 weeks pregnant: Foods and diet
  5. Exercises in 5th week of pregnancy
  6. Tips for 5th week pregnancy

As a woman enters into the 5th week of her pregnancy, various hormonal changes start to happen within her body to equip her for fulfilling the baby’s requirements. This manifests in the form of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, which include:

Some of these symptoms might go away as the pregnancy develops, while some stay throughout the gestation period. The time of onset of symptoms also varies amongst women in that some may notice them earlier than others.

Things you need to be careful about

The starting weeks of pregnancy are really crucial. Your body is vulnerable to many complications. This section covers all those things that you need to be careful about during the fifth week of your pregnancy that may pose a risk to you and your baby.

  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG): It is a condition characterised by excessive vomiting or hyperemesis and usually begins in between 4-7 weeks of pregnancy. Though it may ease down once you enter into the second trimester, it is best to check in with a doctor if you experience any discomfort. In severe cases, this condition may lead to dehydration and weight loss with a need for hospitalisation
  • High blood pressure: If you were suffering from chronic high blood pressure before pregnancy or if you have a history of hypertension in your previous pregnancy, you may need to be extra careful as high blood pressure may have severe effects on your kidneys, brain and heart. It may also affect your baby’s growth.
  • PCOS: Women with PCOS are at a high risk of getting pregnancy complications or a miscarriage. Consult your gynaecologist to know if you need to take any extra measures to ensure your and your baby’s safety.
  • Obesity and thyroid disorders: Obese women and women who have thyroid problems need to be extra careful about their health. Make sure to get your thyroid levels in check and add more physical activity in your routine to avoid putting on too much weight during pregnancy. (Read more: Weight gain in pregnancy: How much is too much)
  • High blood sugar: If you have high blood sugar levels in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it can lead to birth defects in the baby and can also lead to miscarriage. Diabetic women or women who have a history of gestational diabetes should check in with a gynecologist as soon as they realise they are pregnant, so as to make a proper plan to keep their blood glucose levels in check. 
  • Back pain: Though, experiencing lower back pain at the onset of pregnancy is normal, if your pain is sharp and uncontrollable and centred in your pelvic region, it may be linked to some complication.


Natural loss of foetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy is said to be a miscarriage. More than 10% pregnancies terminate within the first few weeks while the woman doesn’t even know about it. A miscarriage can be really upsetting, and may even lead to depression and fear of conceiving. A single miscarriage usually doesn't affect future pregnancies, though recurrent miscarriages may point to a certain health condition such as:

  • Immune dysfunctions and blood clotting disorders in the woman
  • Chromosomal abnormalities in the sperm or ova
  • Medical conditions such as thyroid, diabetes or polycystic syndrome
  • Physical abnormalities with your womb or cervix

Some other factors that may lead to miscarriage are: 

  • Genetic abnormalities in foetus
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Medical conditions such as infections causing high fever
  • Old age
  • Smoking habits
  • Drinking alcohol in the first trimester
  • STDs

The signs of miscarriage include:

  • Abdominal cramps that feel like period pain
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding 
  • Absence of usual symptoms of pregnancy

(Read more: Types of miscarriage)

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the egg implants itself inside the fallopian tube of the mother instead of the uterus. Due to their narrow structure, fallopian tubes are not able to hold the developing baby. 

This type of pregnancy either terminates itself or the foetus has to be removed since it can be life-threatening for the mother. 

Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Pain on the lower side of your tummy, maybe on one side
  • Vaginal bleeding or brown watery discharge 
  • Pain in the tip of the shoulder
  • Discomfort in passing urine or stools

If you notice any of the above-mentioned conditions, consult a doctor immediately.

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Your baby may be tiny but is still growing and by the fifth week, it's approx 2 mm in size. 

The nervous system and major organs of your baby’s body start to develop at this stage and a tube-like structure forms where it’s heart would be later. It may even start working, though you won’t feel or hear the heartbeat for another few months. 

The baby develops some of its own blood vessels and forms the umbilical cord, which then connects it to the womb of the mother. The placenta or umbilical cord is what provides nourishment and oxygen to the baby throughout the gestation period. 

The outer layer of the embryo folds in, creating a hollow neural tube. This will develop into brain and spinal cord.

Soon as you visit your gynecologist at the 5th week of pregnancy, he/she may suggest certain tests. It is important that you do not skip these as they would help safeguard your pregnancy and your baby’s health. Here is a list of tests you should get done in the 5th week: 

  • Hb test: It is a done to check haemoglobin levels in your blood and also if you are at risk of getting anemia. Since iron is really important for foetal development, anemia in pregnancy may lead to birth defects or preterm delivery.
  • Blood group ABO Rh: This test assesses the risk of hemolytic disease in the newborn (HDN). Every person has a certain blood type that is A, B, O and AB. Apart from that you also have an RH factor that is shown as a + or - sign along with your blood group. Haemolytic disease happens when an RH negative mother is carrying an RH positive foetus (usually happens when the father is RH positive). HDN could lead to complications in newborns so it is best to get to know it on time and take necessary precautions.
  • Thyroid F Test: This test checks your TSH levels so that any imbalances in TSH hormone can be adjusted. Thyroid disorders can have adverse reproductive and pregnancy implications.
  • HIV (husband and wife): This test is essential in the first trimester of pregnancy. If either of the parents tests positive for HIV, the baby would be at risk of acquiring the disease. Though early diagnosis may help prevent the transfer of the virus to the baby.
  • Hbs As (husband and wife): It is done to check if either of the parents is Hepatitis B positive. Just like HIV, hepatitis can also be passed on to the baby through placenta. However, if you get to know about it in the first trimester of pregnancy, it can be treated in time which may reduce the risk of complications.
  • VDRL test: This test is done to check for sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis in the couple. 
  • Blood sugar random: This test checks the blood sugar levels of the mother and helps determine if she is at risk of developing gestational diabetes
  • Urine test: This test is done to:
    •  Assess bladder or kidney infections
    • Check dehydration 
    • Check if you have high levels of sugar, ketones or bacteria in your body.


Vaccines help you to protect your baby’s health. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, every woman needs to get vaccinated against flu as soon as they realise they are pregnant so as to keep their baby safe from these diseases. Though these vaccines are considered to be safe, they may  have some side-effects like:

  • Pain, redness or swelling at the spot where the shot has been given
  • Muscle ache
  • Tiredness
  • Fever 
  • Severe consequences of vaccinations are quite rare but if you feel any unusual discomfort or serious allergic reaction, you may consult a doctor as soon as possible. 

Note: Flu shots are not listed as compulsory for pregnant women in India. So, it is best to talk to your doctor to know if they are needed. 

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A baby gets all the nutrition from their mother so it’s important that you take care of your diet and consume lots of green vegetables and fresh fruits. Though you don’t really have to increase your calorie intake yet. Just make sure to take a balanced diet complete with all the macro and micronutrients. Here are some diet tips to keep in mind during your fifth week:

  • Take good amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in every meal
  • Add more fibre rich foods to your diet. They will help get rid of stomach problems and improve digestion
  • Remember to take folic acid rich foods. Folic acid is present in fruits like oranges, melons, avocados, etc ) and it plays an important part in the development of your baby’s neural tube.
  • Do not forget the intake of vItamin C, which will help your baby grow such as oranges, broccoli, melons, and grapes.
  • Take whole-grain foods such as oatmeals and brown rice.
  • Stay hydrated. Take lots of water and other liquids such as juices, milkshakes, coconut water, lemon water. Not only would it aid in reducing constipation but also it will keep you energised throughout the day
  • Take small, frequent meals rather than taking big meals.
  • Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to foetus. A lack of iron may increase the risk of miscarriage. So, make sure to get your iron levels checked and take iron-rich foods such as leafy vegetables, dried fruits and nuts and lean meat in your diet. Depending on your health, your doctor may also give you an iron supplement. Do not take any supplement on your own.

What not to eat

  • Junk foods or excess sugar
  • Avoid spicy food and aerated drinks
  • Eggs and fish. Though if you love non-vegetarian food you can take chicken and fish. Make sure they are properly cooked as undercooked or uncooked meat may cause infections and birth defects.
  • Remember, not to take anything in excess. It's important to eat healthy and not to overeat as it can affect you and your baby’s fitness.

Most women tend to avoid physical work as soon as they realise they have conceived. However, it is important that you remain fit, active and healthy during pregnancy. So you can keep on with your exercise routine, albeit with a bit of modification. For those who did not exercise at all, it's time to fix an appointment with a trainer and ask them about an easy work out routine that fits your schedule. Regular exercise during pregnancy may not only help you cope with weight gain but also it will aid in maintaining your body shape after pregnancy. Here are some tips that may help you choose the right workout routine.

  • Try normal physical exercises such as light workout, walking or dancing
  • Do not over exhaust yourself
  • If you didn't work out before pregnancy, you should not do any heavy workouts
  • Slow down exercises once the pregnancy grows
  • Avoid exercises which require lying flat on your back
  • Avoid contact sports such as kickboxing, judo, etc 
  • Avoid activities like horse riding, scuba diving, gymnastics etc.
  • You can practice meditation, which will calm your mind and help you cope with pregnancy discomforts
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There are certain things you should keep in mind during the fifth week of your pregnancy:


  • Plan your doctor checkups
  • Use chemical-free cosmetics and deodorants
  • Start the use of environic gadgets, if you can. These are specialised devices which emit low to almost no radiation and are safe to use during pregnancy
  • Keep yourself calm and light-hearted as your mental health affects the baby’s health as well
  • Take up a hobby
  • Quit smoking 
  • Get proper sleep
  • Try to avoid sex in the first trimester or if you are having sex, try to be gentle
  • Consult your doctor before taking any medicines during pregnancy


  • Miss an appointment with your gynaecologist
  • Heavy workouts
  • Consume caffeine, alcohol or tobacco 
  • Eat junk food
  • Aim for weight loss


  1. National Health Service [internet]. UK; The pregnancy book
  2. National Health Service [internet]. UK; Week 5 – your 1st trimester
  3. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn (HDN)
  4. HealthED [internet]. Ministry of Health: Government of New Zealand; HIV Testing in Pregnancy: Part of Antenatal Blood Tests
  5. National Health Service [internet]. UK; You and your baby at 5 weeks pregnant
  6. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Pregnancy if You Have Diabetes
  7. American Pregnancy Association: Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  8. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services, Pregnant Women & Influenza (Flu)
  9. Office on women's health [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Prenatal care and tests
  10. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development. National Institute of Health: Us Department of Health and Human Services; What are some common signs of pregnancy?
  11. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services, High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
  12. Noel M. Lee. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2011 Jun; 40(2): 309–vii. PMID: 21601782.
  13. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Thyroid Disease & Pregnancy
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