Though you’ve probably been pregnant for a couple of weeks now, it’s around week five that you’ll notice your period is late and discover that you’re pregnant. While you’re reeling from the big news, you may also have a sudden list of new stresses and concerns. From worrying about stretch marks to deciding when and how to tell your family and friends your big news, discovering you’re pregnant can be both exciting and stressful.
Your Body at Week 5
If it weren’t for missing your period, you probably wouldn’t know yet that you’re pregnant. Your current clothes will still fit for a few more weeks, and if you’re going to suffer from morning sickness, that likely won’t start for a few more weeks either.
Even though your belly hasn’t started getting bigger, your fifth week of pregnancy is a good time to start using a stretch mark prevention lotion or cream. The sooner you start using the product, the less likely it will be that you will develop stretch marks—the lotion will elasticize your skin and make it less prone to stretching and tearing as your body grows.
Make sure to avoid stretch mark prevention products that contain chemicals that may be unsafe during pregnancy. Potentially unsafe chemicals include Retin A, Retinol, Accutane, DMAE, and DHA, among others. Check with your obstetrician to make sure your preferred product is safe for use while you’re pregnant.
Other Things to Start/Stop Doing
Now that you know you’re pregnant, there are some other lifestyle changes you’ll want to make in order to make sure your baby stays happy and healthy in your womb. First, you’ll want to start taking a prenatal vitamin to make sure your baby is able to get the folic acid and other nutrients it needs. You can buy prenatal vitamins at any drug store, and take them as directed on the bottle or according to your doctor’s instructions.
If you haven’t yet been to the doctor, you’ll want to set up an appointment with an obstetrician to confirm your pregnancy and learn more about what to expect and when you’ll need to go in for visits throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor can also tell you what you can expect your pregnancy to cost: how much you’ll need to pay out of pocket and how much your health insurance will cover.
If you’re a current drinker or smoker, it’s time to quit. Drinking alcohol and smoking while pregnant can have detrimental effects on your fetus, so the sooner you stop, the healthier your baby will be. You doctor will also likely recommend that you stop drinking caffeine, so you may want to switch to decaf coffee and caffeine-free sodas. If you have a hard time giving up caffeine, try to cut back gradually over the next few weeks until you can quit completely without terrible caffeine headaches.
Finally, make sure you ask your doctor for a list for over the counter medicines that are safe to use while expecting.