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Week 5
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 3 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
first monthThe developing embryo has three layers. In the top layer (ectoderm), the neural tube will form which will further develop into the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, skin and hair). In the middle layer (mesoderm), the heart and circulatory system, bones, muscles, kidneys and reproductive organs will develop - eventually. At this stage, however, the heart and primitive circulatory system will rapidly form. In fact, the circulatory system is the first organ system to function. In the inner layer (endoderm), a simple tube will develop into the intestines, liver, pancreas and bladder.

Maternal Changes:
Your period is late and you may be wondering if you're pregnant. There are many home pregnancy test kits available that are fairly reliable a few days after a missed period.

The hormonal changes that come with pregnancy may cause your breasts to be swollen and tender as the milk glands multiply. You may feel hungry often or nauseated as morning sickness kicks in. Your growing uterus will begin to press on your bladder causing frequent trips to the bathroom. Not only do these symptoms vary in intensity from woman to woman but also from pregnancy to pregnancy in the same woman.

Multiples: Your appetite will probably shift into high gear as you need about 1 1/2 times the calories as a singleton mom. Fatigue may also be taking its toll. Rest and eat!

What Type of Care Provider?
It's time to think about what type of caregiver will follow you through your pregnancy. It's important to find someone you trust and who will strive to make this a positive experience for you. Many parents have insurance constraints making the freedom of "choice" in selecting a caregiver difficult. Be sure to look into your insurance policy and then start working on finding the best caregiver for you and your baby.

Ideas for Partners:
Mom may be feeling crummy and taking it out on you (or anyone else around). Try not to take it personally. Plan a special date to celebrate your positive pregnancy test.

Inspirational Thoughts:
Happy is he that is happy in his children. ~Thomas Fuller

The Pregnancy Journal by A. Christine Harris, Ph.D., published by Chronicle Books, 2005.

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