Week five, and already the heart begins to beat and on an ultrasound you can already differentiate between the head and the tail of the foetus. The foetus is between 1.5mm and 2.5mm long and the folic acid you have been taking begins to pay dividends as the major systems of the body begin to develop. By the end of week 5, the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) have begun to form.
This is the week when you would usually miss your period – which would be due two weeks after ovulation. Naturally, this is about the time most women take a urine test to confirm their suspicions. Urine tests are usually accurate, but there is a margin for error, so many women will wait a few more days and take another test to be sure of the result. Tests can be bought in packs of two and you can buy them in any supermarket as well as any pharmacy.
If you’re using an IUD (intrauterine device) for contraception and become pregnant, your doctor will check that your pregnancy is not ectopic (developing in the fallopian tubes). You may have the IUD removed, because it can cause miscarriage.
Discomfort may set in, especially with soreness in the breasts. One tip is to wear a jogging bra to bed. You may also suffer with the hormonal changes – headaches, for example. Keep studying your diet and appraise yourself of foods you should avoid – for example, cream cheese is one that pregnant women are told not to eat. The same goes for pates and raw eggs. Ask your doctor or midwife if you have any doubts or questions.
Don’t be surprised if you aren’t feeling headachy, sick or sore. Some women don’t display any adverse symptoms in early pregnancy. For the dad-to-be, it’s a weird time – possibly a mixture of ambivalence, doubt, apprehension and uncertainty.