Fetal Development at Week 5 of Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 17, 2012

By the fourth week in the pregnancy, the yolk sac which provides nutrition to the embryo has started to form, only temporarily though as it will soon disappear after fulfilling its duty of providing nutrition to the young embryo. By week 5, that is 29-35 days from the last menstrual cycle, fetal development starts to progress rather rapidly. If you don’t know you are pregnant, week 5 will tell you as you will miss your period. Up until now the environment was being set up. The implantation has taken place which means that the fertilized egg has planted against the uterus wall. The placenta has started to form and the...


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Week By Week Fetal Development

.barely visible embryo is ready to receive oxygen and nutrition from the placentat During week 5 of the fetal development, the notochord begins to form; this is the backbone of the fetus which will later develop into the vertebral columnm

Some organisms like the hagfish, sturgeon, African lungfish and tadpoles retain the notochordr At the end of the notochord a tiny bulge is noticeable, which grows into the brain of the bodyd

In week 5, the fetus undergoes a phase known as ‘Gastrulation’o In this phase of fetal development, germ layers are developed, which eventually give rise to various tissues and organsn Germ layers are classified into three basic categories namely the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endodermr The ectoderm forms the epidermis, comprised of skin, hair and nails and the neural tissues, forming the nervous systeme The mesoderm, generates other vital organs such as the blood and blood vessels, the bone and the connective tissueu The endoderm makes the digestive system, the respiratory system and organs associated with the same, such as the liver and the pancreasa

The divisions of the vertebrae, also known as the somites, begin to form on the two sides of the neural tubeb A fundamental heart tube also begins to form, which means there is a heart beat nowo Between the fourth and the fifth week, the embryo grows two-folds in size, growing from 4-5mm to 1/8 inch in sizez Now a head and a tail are also visiblel

At the end of the fifth week, the first month of the pregnancy is over and a risk of a miscarriage is greatly reducede The baby is now visible in an ultrasound and heart beat is audiblel By week six, ears begin to form on the fetus and so the armsm In addition, the first signs of lungs appear as well as the gallbladder and pancreas start formingn

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