Sunday, December 28, 2008

Five weeks and Four Days

Week 5 How Big is the Baby at Five Weeks Pregnant?
Pregnancy week 5 isn't much different from pregnancy week 4. During 5 weeks pregnant your baby is still just over a millimeter long. You might say that your baby is about the size of a small grain of rice! However your baby is growing in many other ways. Vital organs continue to develop through this week.

Your Baby's Growth and Development
During the early part of this pregnancy at 5 weeks the central nervous system, muscles, bones and even the heart will begin to form. Early skeletal development is also possible at or around pregnancy week 5. Remember that every person is unique, thus their baby will develop at a different rate from others.

Perhaps the most interesting changes that are occurring during 5 weeks pregnant include those happening in the heart. During this week the heart will begin to divide into separate chambers and start pumping blood. The heart is formed from the middle layer of cells called the mesoderm. Other organs that will develop from this layer include the muscles, cartilage and bone. The primitive placenta and umbilical cord are also developing. The neural tube starts developing in the top layer of cells called the ectoderm. The skin, hair, nails and sweat glands will also develop out of this layer of cells. The lungs, intestines, thyroid and pancreas also develop from a third layer of cells called the endoderm.

Week 6 How Big is the Baby at Six Weeks Pregnant?
Your baby is growing! During pregnancy week 6 your physician will measure your baby with ultrasound, in increments referred to as "crown-rump length" which is basically the distance from the top of your baby's head to his buttocks. Your baby at 6 weeks may be anywhere from 2 to 5mm long at this point in time or roughly the size of half a baby pea. Not very big, but bigger than last week!

Your Baby's Growth and Development
Your baby is starting to look more and more like a little organic (albeit not quite human) being during pregnancy week 6. Dark spots should be forming where the eyes and nostrils will eventually take shape. There should also be small pits on the sides of the head where the ears will develop, and tiny buds that will form into the arms and legs at roughly 6 weeks pregnant. For several weeks the hands and feet will be connected by a layer of webbing between the fingers and toes. Your baby will start responding to sensory input and start moving all on his own in these next few weeks.

At 6 weeks of pregnancy the heart should now be beating at about 100 to 140 beats per minute and blood will start circulating throughout your baby's body. Your healthcare practitioner may be able to see the beating of the heartbeat during pregnancy week 6 using ultrasound, though it may still be a few weeks before the heartbeat is detectable via a Doppler device.

Did you know that your baby would actually be able to display reflexes in response to touch even by pregnancy 6 weeks? This is because the central nervous system is already developing and linking the muscles in the body with the limbs. You'll learn even more amazing facts as you follow your pregnancy week by week.

Your Growth and Development

You may start having some weight gain by 6 weeks pregnant. Most women will generally gain about 5 pounds during the entire first trimester, though some will gain more. Some women will not gain any weight during their first trimester because they are so nauseous from morning sickness. In fact it isn't uncommon to lose some weight during your first trimester.

Your waist will start to become thicker, particularly if this is not your first pregnancy. Your uterus will also be changing in size now and throughout your pregnancy.

Spotting may or may not occur in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is usually nothing to worry about, however you should always call your healthcare practitioner to report any unusual bleeding, as it may be a sign of impending miscarriage or some other problem.

Changes in You
You may be in the throws of morning sickness by 6 weeks pregnant. Morning sickness during pregnancy is perfectly normal, though some women experience a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. This is a complication of pregnancy characterized by nausea and vomiting that is severe throughout the early part of pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum may require hospitalization because women affected by it may experience dehydration, electrolyte deficiencies and higher weight loss than normal. The common symptoms include rapid weight loss, a fast heartbeat, weakness and frequent vomiting.

The exact cause of this condition is unknown, though some studies suggest that younger maternal age, obesity and first time pregnancy are all potential risk factors for the condition. Typically hospitalization will be necessary to help restore fluids that you are losing through vomiting and help replace electrolytes. Your healthcare provider may also have to provide hyperalimentation through an IV line for a limited time. Your doctor may recommend additional nutritional or vitamin supplementation after your hospitalization to ensure that you are able to store up an adequate number of nutrients for your baby. Typically this condition will not have any ill effects on your baby once it is treated properly.

Your uterus is probably about the size of a plum during pregnancy at 6 weeks. During pregnancy at 6 weeks your breasts are also probably getting quite tender. Some women find even the sensation of their shirt rubbing against their breasts uncomfortable at this point in time. At some point in pregnancy, your areolas or the dark area surrounding your nipple will start to darken. Physicians aren't 100% sure why this occurs, though some believe that the darkening helps the baby find their food source that much faster after birth!

You probably haven't actually started showing yet, though you will be able to detect subtle changes in your body. Your jeans may start to fit less comfortably around the midsection. It will be quite some time however before you will actually need to purchase maternity clothes. One thing you might opt to do to extend the period of time you wear ordinary clothes is invest in one or two pairs of pants a size bigger than your normal clothing.

1 comment:

Mere said...

CONGRATULATIONS, Sarah!! How exciting, my birthday twin's having a baby! :-) I hope you'll keep us posted with how everything is going. I'm really happy for y'all!