What to expect

If you haven’t noticed a missed period, it’s likely you will have by now. A pregnancy test will confirm this to a very high degree of accuracy.

Inside your womb, your baby – still an embryo – is developing its heart, which will start to beat and circulate blood to keep it alive and growing.

A layer of cells will start to take shape as the embryo’s spinal cord and brain. This is referred to as the neural tube – critically vital to a baby’s future health and the reason that women are advised to take folate supplements to support its development.

You might also start to experience some of the more telling signs of pregnancy, such as tender breasts, nausea, more frequent and regular urination and even vomiting. This is commonly referred to as morning sickness. If your symptoms are severe, or you are concerned, you should talk to a specialist – a small minority of women experience a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum that makes it hard for them to retain food and fluids.

By the end of the fifth week, the embryo will measure a relatively large 2.5mm in length. It’s come a long way, but still has plenty more to do.