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Pregnancy at week 5

5-minute read

Your baby

By week 5, your baby has burrowed into the wall of your uterus. It is now called an embryo and the foundations for all their major organs are in place.

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.

The blood vessels are already starting to form, and blood is circulating in the baby’s body. Your baby’s heart will usually start beating around this time.

Your body

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 on the package.

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 with a blood test and discuss the option for an early dating ultrasound. They may also be able to help you understand the different models of maternity care available to you and how to look after yourself and your growing baby during early pregnancy.

Finding out you’re pregnant, whether planned or unplanned, can be both exciting and scary at the same time. It’s a huge change, and it’s normal to have questions and a range of emotions and feelings.

Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and taking illicit drugs are not recommended during pregnancy since they can be harmful for you and your growing baby.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

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.

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 6 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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