Pregnancy is a time of rapid and confusing changes in your body. The beginnings of these changes, the early signs, will usually start around week 5. Your breasts will start to get tender, in rare cases even painful, some women may experience some fatigue at this stage, as the little one demands more and more glucose from the mother's body to aid in its rapid growth. You may also start to feel nauseous, or notice a substantial increase in the amount of saliva you are producing. To combat the fatigue as well as the nausea, it is a good idea not to have long breaks between meals. Snack through the day, at frequent intervals, on light healthy food like fruits or wheat toast, and avoid heavy, greasy meals. Prenatal vitamins can also help control these symptoms.
As the uterus descends, it can put pressure on the bladder, and frequent urination is one of the many early signs at this stage. Sensitivity to smells sets in, and previously unnoticed or benign smells can seem suddenly excruciatingly unbearable. Your weight gain at this stage should be about five pounds or more.
There are other changes going on as well, and erratic emotional states can be one of them. Mood swings and easy tears can set in at this stage, making you very emotional, and are likely to last for most of the term. It is totally normal and nothing to feel stressed about. To try to combat these moods, take a deep breath and try to get things in perspective before you react. You may find yourself laughing at something that was bringing you to tears!
This is the perfect time to begin looking after yourself, and enjoying the process of your pregnancy.
Your baby's development
Your baby is experiencing rapid and intensive changes and growth at this stage. Although it is tiny, only about one eighth of an inch in size, it is all set to jumpstart one of the largest growth spurts of its life. In the biggest news, this is the stage of pregnancy when the heart begins to beat, pumping nutrients to every cell of this burgeoning miracle and driving the intense growth activity that is going on. The neural tube is closed, and a basic form is appearing, although your baby still does not appear to be discernibly human. Looking more like two rough cubes attached to each other, one of which will become your baby's head while the other will develop into the body. Important body structures are beginning to develop at this stage,
Your baby is starting to develop important body structures like a central nervous system, apart from the heart. The neural tube has closed, and it will develop into the brain and the spinal cord of your baby. Folic acid supplements are essential at this stage for the proper development of the neural tube, so make sure you are taking all the right supplements, and do not skip your prenatal vitamins. The little heart is still in development, and at this stage is nothing more than two parallel joined up tubes. These tubes will soon split and develop into the four heart chambers. The baby's endoderm, its innermost layer of cells, begins to form the basic organs and the primitive blood cells, which will soon circulate through her heart and body.
Diet and Exercise Recommendations
· If your regular exercise regimen is half an hour, or 40 minutes of exercise, four or five days a week, this is fine for this stage of pregnancy, and you can continue with your regular program. If you do not have a regular exercise regimen, this is the time to begin a regular walking program for at least 20 minutes a day, three or four days a week.
· Be sure to drink plenty of water and fluids
Things to do this week
Take a home pregnancy test to confirm conception
Decide who to give the big news to, and when