5th Month of Pregnancy – Symptoms, Body Changes and Baby Development

5 Months Pregnant

As you advance into the fifth month, you’re halfway into your pregnancy. The fetus is developing rapidly. You may also have started gaining weight. Keep reading to know what you can expect in this month.

Symptoms in the Fifth Month

By the fifth month, the pregnancy symptoms reduce. In this month, you’ll experience:

1. Baby Movements

First-time mothers may not be able to feel their baby’s movements to a great extent. Experienced moms are more aware of the movements.

2. Heartburn

Heartburn is a symptom that lasts throughout pregnancy. As the baby grows, he may need more room for himself and can start exerting pressure on the internal organs forcing contents to move back into the oesophagus. Also, the muscles separating the oesophagus and the stomach tend to relax letting the stomach acid penetrate into the oesophagus causing heartburn.

Heartburn: Symptoms in the Fifth Month

3. Breast Enlargement

The breasts become bigger and start generating colostrum – a yellowish secretion which is the first milk, also called the foremilk. Unlike breast milk, it may not flow freely. Usually, the breasts may express some drops.

4. Skin Pigmentation

Fluctuating pregnancy hormones can lead to increased melanin production triggering darkening of the skin at various places in many pregnant women. The skin typically darkens around the forehead, cheeks, and nose in the form of a mask. Such a condition is colloquially called mask of pregnancy.

5. Increase in Appetite

Most pregnant women experience an increase in appetite in the fifth month. You may also develop food cravings and aversion for certain foods.

6. High Blood Pressure

Some women develop gestational hypertension while pregnant, resulting in high blood pressure.

7. Palpitations

Some women experience heart palpitations due to a higher pulse rate and heart rate.

8. Increase in WBCs

The number of leukocytes or white blood cells increases during the fifth month of pregnancy, sometimes resulting in low haemoglobin.

9. Kidney Disorders

The pressure on the kidneys may lead to kidney disorders.

10. Bleeding Gums

Some pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis (swollen, tender gums) due to higher estrogen levels leading to bleeding gums.

11. Constipation

Bowel movements become difficult due to increased progesterone levels. This causes constipation.

Stretch Marks: Symptoms in the Fifth Month

12. Vision

Hormonal changes may adversely affect the sharpness of vision.

13. Noticeable Veins

You’ll likely notice prominent veins below the skin’s surface.

14. Stretch Marks

The stretching of the ligaments causes stretch marks.

15. Darkening of Nipples

The nipples may become darker while Montgomery’s glands also tend to enlarge.

16. Stronger Nails and Hair

The hair and nails become healthier and stronger.

17. Change in the Centre of Gravity

A change in the centre of gravity can make you affect your balance while walking.

18. Shortness of Breath

The uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm, making breathing difficult.

19. Headache

Hormonal changes can also cause headaches.

20. Frequent Urination

As bladder control becomes weaker, you’ll have to visit the restroom frequently.

21. Mood Swings

Hormonal fluctuations result in mood swings and food cravings.

Concerns in the Fifth Month of Pregnancy

A few women experience discomfort in the fifth month of pregnancy. It can take the form of:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Backache, especially in the lower back
  • Increase in the pulse rate
  • Low haemoglobin, resulting in anaemia
  • Secretion of colostrum from mammary glands
  • The appearance of varicose veins (swollen veins) beneath on the legs
  • Haemorrhoids in the rectal area
  • Increase in vaginal discharge
  • Acute cystitis (inflamed bladder)

Baby Development at 5 Months

By this stage, the growth of the baby happens rapidly. Your baby crown-rump length (CRL) is 13 – 25.6 cm, and weight is between 140 and 300 grams. The developmental milestones that your baby goes through in the fifth month are:

  • Your baby’s skin gets coated in a thick, creamy and protective covering called the vernix. It protects his fragile skin from the amniotic fluid.
  • Your baby’s muscles and bones become denser, and his hands, legs, fingers and toes become well-defined.
  • His eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes, hair, ears, and nails start forming.
  • Your baby can stretch, open his eyes a bit, yawn, suck on his thumb, kick and move around.
  • He can also twist and turn around.
  •  The baby’s tiny features can make facial expressions.
  • His schedule consists of sleeping and waking.
  • During this time, your baby’s fingerprints form.
  • He also develops genitals at this stage.
  • Your baby starts hearing sounds. Therefore, outside noises can disturb him.

Baby Development at 5 Months

  • His brain develops further.
  • By the 18th week, your little one’s immune system also develops.
  • By the 20th week, the nervous system starts to function. The endocrine glands and the spleen start performing their roles.
  • Your baby may assume the head-down position.
  • He develops sensitivity to light.
  • He also starts forming taste buds. A 5-month-old unborn baby may be able to sense the difference between salty and sweet.

5 Months of Pregnancy – Ultrasound

Your doctor may suggest a mid-pregnancy scan to check the well-being of your pregnancy and to check the baby at 5 months pregnant. This comprehensive scan is also called anomaly scan because one of the purposes of the scan is to look for structural abnormalities in the fetus. The doctor may help you see your baby’s face, limbs, the major organs as well as his heart on the scan.

In case the ultrasound reveals an abnormality, your doctor may recommend extra scans to establish the complication and the likely course of treatment.

Dos and Don’ts in the Fifth Month

To reduce your discomfort and avoid pregnancy complications, follow these dos and don’ts:

Dos

1.  Increase the Intake of Vitamin C

Incorporate foods like broccoli, oranges, and tomatoes into your 5-month pregnancy diet for vitamin C.

2. Take Natural Supplements

Eating dry fruits like dates, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts can prove beneficial during pregnancy.

3. Eat a High Fibre Diet

Include fibre in your diet to battle constipation and hemorrhoids.

4. Adopt a Good Posture

With the growing belly, maintaining a good sitting and standing posture is important. A good posture can help to ease the aches and pains that occur during pregnancy.

5. Stand Under a Cooling Shower

To deal with rashes on the breasts, underarms or the groin area, take a shower with cool water.

6. Avoid Sitting/Standing for Long Hours

To improve blood circulation and avoid cramps and aches, refrain from sitting or standing for long. Get up and move around at regular intervals.

7. Take Rest

Taking adequate rest and sleeping well during pregnancy is essential to reduce pregnancy-related stress and fatigue. If you can’t sleep for long hours, take power naps.

8. Adopt a Comfortable Sleeping Position

The expanding belly makes certain sleeping positions uncomfortable. Try and sleep to your left side. A pregnancy pillow between the legs can provide comfort.

9. Wear Comfortable Footwear

Switch to flats and avoid heels. You will find that your shoe size may be slightly bigger now. But you need not worry as it will return to the usual size after childbirth.

Wear Comfortable Footwear During Pregnancy

Don’ts

1. Avoid Junk Foods

Stay away from junk food during pregnancy; it can cause gastritis and nausea. Also, restrict the intake of fried foods and sweets.

2. Refrain from Crossing Your Legs

Sitting with your legs crossed over during pregnancy is not a good idea as it can disrupt the blood flow.

3. Don’t Hold Your Pee

During pregnancy, you’re at a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection. So, relieve yourself whenever you feel the need to.

4. Avoid Sudden and Jerky Movements

Getting up abruptly from the bed or a sitting position causes dizziness and faintness.

Warning Signs

If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • A temperature higher than 100.4 degrees
  • Belly/pelvic pain/severe cramping
  • Painful urination
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Vomiting that lasts for more than 24 hours or gets worse
  • Increased or foul-smelling vaginal discharge

Tips for Dads-To-Be

Ask your spouse to:

  • Help you with the household chores
  • Create a pleasant environment at home.
  • Accompany you to ultrasound check-ups.
  • Spend quality time with you.
  • Go shopping with you for maternal essentials.
  • Give you a foot and neck massage.

Adopt an active lifestyle during pregnancy. Listen to soothing music, go for short walks, learn meditation and yoga, and be positive and stress-free. You can use this time to plan for the arrival of your bundle of joy! During this phase of pregnancy, there’s also a risk of miscarriage. So in case of any doubts, seek your gynaecologist’s advice without further delay.

Also Read: Consuming Yoghurt During Pregnancy