the embryo is approximately 1.3mm from the crown of the head to the rump but is very difficult to see and measure at this stage using ultrasound.
Ultrasound image of pregnancy sac at 5 weeks gestation.
Week 5 can feel a little strange. You’ve registered with the doctor, your care is planned, yet there’s not really much to do at this stage. You will be noticing a lot of changes in your body however while your baby grows at an astonishing rate.
In week 5 of your pregnancy the embryo is approximately 1.3mm from the crown of the head to the rump but is very difficult to see and measure at this stage using ultrasound. You’ll find that the ultrasound is the best way to measure and monitor a baby during your pregnancy. The amniotic sac has now developed around the embryo and will protect the baby during the rest of the pregnancy.
The baby’s tiny heart is now beating at around 80 beats per minute, and cells within the heart are dividing to form the 4 chambers of the heart. Other major organs, such as the liver and kidney are continuing to form while the appendix is fully formed by this stage. The intestines and the cells that will later form the stomach are also developing and the neural tube, that connects the brain and spinal cord, will close. The very beginnings of the central nervous system are also emerging.
Arm and leg ‘buds’ are beginning to sprout although they are not yet visible. The early forms of the baby’s lower jaw and neck now exist as small folds and the eyes, ears, nose and cheeks are also starting to form.
By now you may notice that your energy levels have dropped a little. This is because your body is putting a lot of energy into creating and sustaining the placenta. The changes in hormones can also contribute to the feelings of fatigue. It’s important to rest if you can. You may also already be feeling nauseous from time to time. This is particularly common during the first trimester, but may persist throughout your pregnancy. Feelings of nausea (also known as morning sickness although it is not just in the morning!) are caused by changes in hormone levels. Eating small amounts of food regularly throughout the day (grazing) can help, however if you are finding is difficult to deal with your nausea, or if you are vomiting frequently, you should consult your Doctor.
It’s perfectly normal to worry about the health of your baby and your pregnancy at every stage. There are some symptoms to look out for that require medical treatment as soon as possible. If you notice bleeding from your vagina, get in touch with your doctor immediately. An ultrasound scan may not show much at 5 weeks, or even identify the pregnancy but there is an HCG blood test that can monitor your hormone levels to see if there’s significant change. This takes the form of two tests scheduled 48 hours apart.
Unfortunately, if you are bleeding, there is no medical intervention that can make it stop while ensuring you continue your pregnancy. Sometimes the bleeding can settle down and the pregnancy can continue as normal, other times it may lead to a miscarriage. This is obviously devastating for the mother but there is nothing that can be done to stop it.
If you are bleeding and have been sent home by the doctor. Rest as much as possible and try to avoid sex or vigorous exercise until it stops.
You may be surprised that your GP leaves you alone until the 9th week or later, as there are no services the NHS offers during this time.
A private clinic can offer an ultrasound and a blood test at this stage, however the embryo's heartbeat may not be picked up until week 7.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
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