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Month number five of pregnancy features an abundance of crucial advancements taking place for your little one inside that “baby bump.” In this month, your baby’s nervous system has evolved significantly, due to its recent acquisition of myelin, which functions to rapidly communicate information from the nerves to the brain.
Concurrently, your baby’s hearing abilities are becoming fine-tuned. Now featuring a level of development high enough to distinguish a wide range of sounds, your little baby will likely start dancing to music and almost bopping to the various sounds they hear.
Now well versed in a veritable catalog of moves, the baby is able to roll around, twist, kick, punch, grasp and more as they practice other movements such as swallowing, sucking, hiccupping, yawning, and much more.
The fifth month is truly an amazing time to be pregnant. Now able to communicate to your baby through soothing sounds, singing, and cooing, mother and child can begin to communicate in the most intimate of ways—it’s no wonder why so many expectant mothers consider this period of time in their pregnancy to be among their favorite.
Read on below to learn more about the fifth month of pregnancy!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
Five Months Pregnant
|Week 17||Week 18||Week 19||Week 20|
|Significant increase in bodily fluids such as vaginal discharge, mucus, and sweat
Hormone-driven dreams that are bizarre/perplexing
|Increasing uterus size puts pressure on abdominal veins, reducing the transport of blood to the heart of blood, and creating hypotension and lightheadedness||Hot flashes become a frequent occurrence due to the increased flow of blood throughout your body.||Due to stretching ligaments, abdominal pain may be mild and profound and affect mobility during the day and quality of sleep at night|
Common symptoms for the fifth month of pregnancy include:
|Leg cramps||Swollen feet and hands|
|Rapidly growing stretchmarks||Weakened ligaments and muscles|
|Body aches||Back pain|
|Rapid weight gain||Blurry vision|
|Lower belly pain||Hypotension|
|Pelvic girdle pain||Perplexing or frightening dreams|
|Hot flashes||Frequent urination|
Skin issues that are very common during this time in pregnancy:
|Itchy, scratchy skin: Particularly on the belly and breast areas, itchy skin is a result of the thinning of your skin due to stretching as your baby continues to grow within you. As a pregnant woman, do your best to resist the frustrating urges to itch and scratch—doing so will irritate your skin immensely and worsen the situation. Instead, invest in a mild, calming, and soothing skin cream specially formulated for pregnant women. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe an anti-itch cream to bring you instant relief.|
|Linea nigra: A dark line that runs its course through the center of your belly, it is an entirely harmless side effect of pregnancy caused by hyperpigmentation in your skin where the stomach muscles are being stretched and contorted. Fear not! Linea nigra will fade in time after you give birth.|
|Pigmentation issues: Over the last few weeks of your pregnancy, you probably noticed your nipples and areola becoming much darker in color. Resulting from an elevated blood supply within your breasts, it’s a harmless side effect. For many women, the darkening of their nipples and areola may remain a little darker in color even after they give birth.|
|Dark patches: Dark and dry patches of skin may begin to appear on your face, hands, or neck. Due to an immense rise in estrogen resulting in the production and stimulation of excessive levels of melanin, hyperpigmentation in the form of dark patches occur. Temporary in nature, the dark patches will typically disappear after you give birth or for some women after they finish breastfeeding their baby.|
Your Baby’s Health And Status
Five Months Pregnant
Week by week
|Week 17||Week 18||Week 19||Week 20|
|Baby is now the size of a turnip and is benefitting from weight gain as a result of the development of sweat glands and copious amounts of body fat being deposited underneath their skin
By now, the placenta has grown into a powerhouse entity packed full of proteins, fats, and minerals; it is a major player in many of baby’s growth processes
|Baby is now the size of an artichoke and has distinctively formed genitals
Myelin is produced in abundant supply during this time and functions to as a protective coating to insulate baby’s nerves
During this week, baby’s hearing will have become advanced enough to distinguish between a variety of sounds, from the flowing of your blood to the growling of your stomach, and even the sound of your voice
|Baby is now the size of a pear and is completely covered in protective Vernix Caseosa (vernix).
Baby’s arms and legs are now proportional and begin to exhibit more pronounced movement, resulting from the hardening of soft cartilage to bone
During this time, baby continues to undergo a series of sophisticated processes to sharpen senses such as touch, vision, taste, hearing, and smell
|Baby is now as big as a banana and has begun to produce meconium in addition to being gifted with brand-new taste buds!
Baby is busy swallowing, gulping and burping away as they try out their latest new skill by tasting and distinguishing between sweet, savory, and spicy foods.
Soon, vernix caseosa will accompany myelin to completely coat your baby’s skin in a protective, insulating layer
Tips and Essential Information
Five Months Pregnant
- Don’t worry about the dark line that appears down the center of your pregnant belly. Known as Linea Nigra, it is a universal pregnancy symptom and will fade after you give birth
- If hot flashes are becoming increasingly uncomfortable for you, try using pre-frozen ice packs for instant sources of cooling relief on-the-go
- Varicose veins and their myriad associated issues can be improved by making a concerted effort to avoid tight, ill-fitting clothes and shoes. Additionally, make an effort to remain active and change positions often
- Indigestion affects the majority of pregnant women due to the relaxing and loosening of muscles within the body (particularly in the pelvic/abdominal area) resulting in a sluggish digestive system. Eating small meals throughout the day, avoiding rich, fatty, and calorie-laden foods, and sitting upright after meals can greatly improve symptoms
- During the fifth month of pregnancy, you may at times feel out of breath. Completely normal and nothing to worry about, your breathlessness is one of the many results of increased hormone levels, in addition to the pressure against your lungs from the growing fetus
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, and the ubiquitous morning sickness are very common among pregnant women. However, if you find yourself chronically dizzy, make an immediate appointment with your healthcare provider because it may be an indicator of conditions such as anemia or preeclampsia
- Pilates is highly recommended for pregnant women. Helping to strengthen the core, back, stomach, and all-important pelvic muscles, Pilates is low-impact exercise that can build immense strength, endurance, and overall body-toning
- At this point in your pregnancy, you will need to start ensuring that you are receiving adequate iron in your diet
- Iron is critically essential for hemoglobin production and oxygen transportation
- Iron deficiency can be exceedingly harmful to your baby
- You can easily incorporate iron into your diet by eating poultry, red meat, leafy greens, and fortified cereals
- Avoid iron supplements and strive to get your iron from natural food sources
- Vitamin C is also very important to start including and can easily be found in a variety of foods such as potatoes, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and more
To-do List and Reminders
Five Months Pregnant
Your primary goals for month five of pregnancy should be:
If you haven’t already:
- Obtain screenings for Down’s Syndrome
- Obtain a Nuchal translucency screening to check for chromosomal problems
- Inquire about the necessity of a flu shot
- Schedule a mid-pregnancy ultrasound
Schedule your eighteen-week prenatal visit
- Major appointment: At eighteen weeks, you are due for a major ultrasound that consists of a comprehensive examination of your baby’s body in its entirety
- It will ensure that your baby’s growth is right on track, while also checking for the proper development of major organs, and also examining heart rate, amniotic fluid, and the placenta
Schedule your twenty-week prenatal visit
- A very important visit—your doctor will begin measuring “fundal height” at this visit
- Fundal height is defined as the distance from the very top of your uterus to your pubic bone and should correlate with your week of pregnancy, with growth occurring at about a centimeter per week
- Fundal heights that are either higher or lower than expected will result in additional testing as it can be an indication of a range of issues including gestational diabetes, a breech baby, or growth problems
Start making an action plan that is inclusive of a variety of matters including, but not limited to:
- Where you will give birth
- If you would like to find out the gender of your baby
- What types of childbirthing classes you would like to take
- Who will comprise your support network as you recover from childbirth
- Consider financial planning (cutting expenses, tax credits)
- Start planning your maternity leave
- Start thinking beyond your pregnancy and make an effort to interview pediatricians
- Consider signing up for an infant CPR class
- Plan your baby registry
- Consider the pet situation at home and devise strategies to introduce your pets to your new baby while also ensuring your baby comes home to a safe and clean environment. Talking with your vet, doctor, and other mothers with pets can yield useful information as you plot out this process
Chloasma: Melasma is often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy,” and is indicated by the presence of dry, splotchy, and brown-colored patches of skin on areas of the face such as the upper lip, cheeks, and forehead.
Vernix caseosa: This protective coating begins production at about the nineteen-week point of pregnancy and functions to protect and insulate baby’s skin. Also referred to as vernix, this coating is greasy and white, with a consistency similar to cheese, and is a critical component to keeping your baby safe during fetal development and in the very first moments after birth.
Cool Things to Know
- By this point in pregnancy, your placenta is now nearly as big as the fetus! Packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, the placenta is a nutrient-dense powerhouse that not only provides your little one with oxygen but also filters carbon dioxide, in addition to removing harmful waste
Ready to find out what’s next on your exciting new journey?