Prenatal Development: Week 5
You may only be 5 weeks pregnant, but these early stages are the most important in your pregnancy. As a result, you should try to avoid any hazards that may affect your baby - now is the critical time. This includes smoking (even breathing in second-hand smoke is not advised), drinking alcohol and taking drugs. You should also limit your caffeine intake.
Now that it's week five, you'll realize that your period should have already started but has not arrived. If you have not done so, you should get a home pregnancy test. Or, visit your health care provider and get a blood test done to confirm your suspicions.
By the time you realize that you are pregnant, your future bundle of joy has been busy, frantically developing without you even knowing about it all! As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, start taking a prenatal vitamin right away. Make sure you choose one that has no artificial dyes, yet contains the recommended amount of folic acid.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
Your breasts are starting to become even more swollen and tender; this is because milk glands are already starting to multiply. Your growing fetus may be starting to put pressure on your bladder, causing you to relieve yourself more often than usual. And that dreaded morning sickness may have even started to play a few little tricks. You'll soon notice that the nausea can happen any time of the day, morning and night.
Here are a few tips on how to ease the symptoms of morning sickness:
- Get out of bed slowly
- Eat small meals to help keep your blood-sugar level steady and to keep your stomach filled
- Snack on easy to digest foods, whole-wheat toast, baked potatoes, pasta and fruit
- Try natural methods of easing the nausea by adding ginger to your recipes or listening to specially formatted cds
- Avoid greasy foods
- Drink water to avoid dehydration
- Exercise. This will also help you to sleep at night and relieve stress.
Even if the nausea has not hit you yet, try your best to stay away from certain foods when you're pregnant. For example, food-borne illnesses such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis can be life-threatening to an embryo and could cause birth defects or miscarriage.
Toxoplasmosis can also be spread from soiled cat litter boxes. If you have a cat, chances are you've already contracted the disease toxoplasmosis and have developed immunity to it. However, to be on the safe side, you should have your cats tested by a veterinarian to see if they have an active infection. If you can arrange it, have someone else clean your cat's litter box during your pregnancy.
The embryo has been a mass of cells until now. By this time in your pregnancy, a distinct shape now begins to form. The neural tube, which eventually forms into the spinal cord and brain, also called the primitive streak, runs from the top to the bottom of the embryo. The top part of the neural tube has started to flatten out and it will eventually form the front part of the brain. A bulge in the center of the embryo will soon develop into your baby's heart.
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