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5 WEEKS, 1 DAY

244 days to go...

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Your baby today

The embryo now has 14 somites-the building blocks of your baby's muscular system. The first nine pairs are shown here. The upper part of the image shows the open end of the neural tube, which, along with the opening at the base of the spine, has closed.

If you've had no symptoms as you enter your 6th week, you may be on the lookout for signs that you are in fact pregnant.

You and your partner are probably the only people who know you're pregnant, and you may still be wondering if it's real. At this stage you may not have any symptoms at all, despite the rapidly changing and growing embryo inside you.

This absence of pregnancy signs is completely normal and is not a cause for concern. Try to remember that the majority of pregnancies are without any complications. It's normal for a healthy pregnant woman to have a wide range of side effects or none at all. So don't worry if you're feeling great-in fact count yourself lucky!

Ask A... Nutritionist

Since being pregnant, I don't seem to have much of an appetite. Is this normal?

It is common to not especially want food if you have morning sickness (see You are 5 Weeks and 3 Days). You may no longer be able to stomach your favorite foods. If you're not eating much, it's important that what you do eat is nutritious. Choose nutrient-rich dark green leafy vegetables and legumes, and fish (see ... Nutrition) since it contains essential fatty acids.

As A Matter Of Fact

Up to 90 percent of your supply of vitamin D depends on adequate exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is vital for the development of your unborn baby's skeleton. A daily 15-minute walk outside-with the sun on your skin-is sufficient; you can also boost your intake of vitamin D by eating oily fish, eggs, fortified cereals, and bread, and by taking supplements (see Folate and folic acid).

Early ultrasound scans

Some women will have an early ultrasound scan, but the majority of women will have one around the 12th week of pregnancy (see You are 11 Weeks and 1 Day). Early scans are usually done vaginally, with a scanning probe inserted gently into the vagina. They are performed for the following reasons:

  • If there is a history of multiple births in your family (or you have used IVF or another form of assisted pregnancy), your doctor may want to check the number of fetuses.
  • If you've had a miscarriage in the past, or show signs of cramping or spotting, or more profuse bleeding, a scan can be done to check that there is still a heartbeat.
  • To establish the cause of vaginal bleeding. Your baby may be healthy, but fibroids or other conditions may be causing you to bleed. This will be addressed by your doctor.

Early vaginal scans do not show a great deal of detail. The sonographer waits until the embryo is in the correct position (left) to be measured.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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