5 Weeks Pregnant
All About You
The test is positive! With that knowledge comes the giddy and delicious feeling of having a secret—so don’t be surprised if you can’t concentrate on your regular old boring non-pregnant life. It’s natural for your mind to be racing with happy thoughts and also some concerns: Is it too soon to paint the nursery? What about the name, “George”? Are we really ready for this?
Although it may take another week for your pregnancy hormones to really kick in, there’s probably one word (besides distracted) to sum up how you feel this week: tired. So tired that the concrete sidewalk looks like a nice place to nap. Your levels of HcG, the hormone that plays a crucial role in pregnancy, continue to rise (in early pregnancy the HcG levels double roughly every two to three days until they plateau around 16 weeks) and the amount of blood in your body is actually increasing.
This Week: Miscarriage Worries
Miscarriage is not something you want to think about right now, and hopefully you won’t have to, but it’s totally normal—and even expected—to obsess about whether you’re having a healthy pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, when miscarriages are most likely to happen. Here’s what you need to know.
How common is miscarriage? A whopping 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies result in miscarriage. And according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, that number might be much higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant. What seems like a late (and heavier-than-usual) period can actually be a miscarriage.
What causes miscarriage? The good news is that a miscarriage is often nature’s way of ending a pregnancy that would not have resulted in a healthy baby. Babies with a problem in their genetic code (aka “chromosomal abnormalities”) will often spontaneously abort. The bad news is that most women won’t be able to pinpoint the exact cause. And even if it is for a “good” reason, it’s still devastating when it happens to you.
What’s my risk? Women who smoke, drink alcohol (excessively), or take drugs are more likely to have problems in pregnancy, including miscarriage. Miscarriage is also more common in older moms. An infection (like bacterial vaginosis or a previously unknown problem with the uterus or cervix, can cause miscarriage.
What are the signs of miscarriage? Though some spotting during early pregnancy is normal, a lot of spotting or heavy bleeding is the most common sign of miscarriage.
What can you do to crush the concern? The anxiety you’re feeling will abate once you hit the 12-week mark, when the chances of having a miscarriage plummet (though if you’re the obsessive type, you’ll worry for the next eight months … and until your baby leaves for college). Breathe, trust your body, try to enjoy the amazing things that are happening inside you, and pamper yourself through your newly acquired aches (just don’t touch my breasts!).
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