The embryo (this is what your baby is now called) is approximately 1/16 of an inch in length. Your baby is firmly implanted in the wall of your uterus and continues to develop rapidly. He or she is forming a head as well as a tail end and the primitive heart has begun to take shape. The heart tubes are beginning to fuse together and begin their early contractions. Soon these contractions will be distinguishable beats. If you have an ultrasound at the end of this week, these first heart contractions can most likely be seen on the monitor.

A groove (called the laryngotracheal groove) forms this week, which will later become the larynx or voice box. Your baby’s placenta and amniotic sac are both continuing their development. The earliest blood vessels are forming in your baby and in the placenta and blood circulation is apparent before this week is over. The circulatory system becomes your baby’s first functioning organ system. Your little baby’s skeletal, digestive and central nervous systems are starting to take shape now. A hollow tube, called the neural tube, is created during this time. This is why folic acid is so incredibly important during these first few weeks after conception, which prevents neural tube defects from occurring.

Your baby’s cute facial features are just beginning their development, with the tiny mouth becoming evident. Indentations in your baby’s head end are present and will soon become the eyes, ears and a fully-formed mouth. Inside the head, your baby’s brain is creating brain activity already, absolutely amazingly!

read more … Pregnancy Week 5, Your Body

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