Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

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.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2023


Back To Top

Need more information?

First trimester

The first trimester (3 months) of your pregnancy can be a very exciting time. Find out changes to your body and how to stay healthy.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Pregnancy changes video: first trimester | Raising Children Network

This video is about the physical and emotional changes you can expect in the first trimester of pregnancy. Mums and dads describe their experiences.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Pregnancy Acne - Acne During Pregnancy - All About Acne

Not all pregnancies lead to acne but if you have hormonal acne, it is likely to flare during the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Read more on All About Acne website

What is miscarriage? - Miscarriage Australia

Miscarriages are common experiences during pregnancy. In Australia, a miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation.

Read more on Miscarriage Australia website

Early pregnancy: when things go wrong - Pregnancy and the first five years

Early pregnancy – when things go wrong is a resource that offers expert advice and support to women experiencing complications in early pregnancy.

Read more on NSW Health website

Bleeding or pain in early pregnancy

One in 4 women will experience bleeding and/or pain during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately half of these pregnancies may also end in miscarriage, which cannot be prevented.

Read more on WA Health website

Pregnancy at week 11

During week 11, you might have your first ultrasound and see your baby for the first time.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

What are the early signs of pregnancy?

Every pregnancy journey is different, but they can all start in similar ways. Learn what are some of the early signs of pregnancy.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Men & early pregnancy | Raising Children Network

Whether a pregnancy is planned or a surprise, hearing that you’re going to be a father is huge. This Dads Guide covers men’s feelings about early pregnancy.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Pregnancy at week 6

By week 6, your baby is growing quickly and you may notice the early signs of your pregnancy, such as feeling nauseous.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

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?

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.