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

5TH MONTH PREGNANCY

As you advance into the fifth month of your pregnancy, you are almost midway through your pregnancy. This stage marks the decline of the troubling pregnancy symptoms and the advent of the baby bump along with the glowing skin. The fetus at this point is likely to develop rapidly. As the baby grows, most pregnant women start to gain weight.

Most expectant moms also already start to feel the movements of their baby. In some cases, the baby’s movements can be felt quite distinctly while in some instances only fluttery movements are experienced.

The growing belly may render a few positions, like lying on the back, little difficult. It is important to take suitable rest, stay active and maintain a nutritious diet to safeguard a smooth pregnancy.

5th Month Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy symptoms during the fifth month can differ from individual to individual. In fact, the symptoms may vary in different pregnancies for the same woman. Pregnancy symptoms usually reduce for most women by this time. Some of the 5th month’s pregnancy symptoms are listed below:

  • An exciting pregnancy symptom that occurs during 5th-month pregnancy is the sensation of baby’s movements. First- time mothers may experience some trouble detecting the feeling which commonly feels like light fluttering strokes or gas bubbles. Experienced moms may be more aware of the movements and can feel them earlier than first-timers. The baby’s placement in the uterus may also decide how early one senses that initial
  • Heartburn is one such pregnancy symptom that may last throughout the 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

  • The breasts may further enlarge and start generating colostrum – a yellowish secretion which is the first milk, also called the foremilk. Unlike the breast milk, it may not flow freely. Usually, the breasts may express some drops.
  • The 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.
  • Most pregnant women during this spell experience an increase in their appetite. They may also have to cope with food cravings and aversions for certain foods.

What to Expect During 5th Month of Pregnancy?

The shifting pregnancy hormones may bring about certain changes which are usually temporary and vanish after childbirth. Some of the things that you can expect during the 5th month of pregnancy are:

  • Some women develop gestational hypertension while pregnant resulting in high blood pressure.
  • In some cases, women experience heart palpitations due to higher pulse rate and heart rate because the heart is pumping blood for two organisms now.
  • The number of leukocytes or white blood cells count may increase during the 5th month of pregnancy sometimes resulting in low haemoglobin.
  • There is a great deal of pressure on the kidneys so the doctor may suggest an ultrasound to check the kidneys to avoid any likely development of kidney disorders.
  • Some pregnant women may develop pregnancy gingivitis (swollen, tender gums) due to higher estrogen levels leading to bleeding gums.
  • Bowel movements may become difficult or painful due to increased progesterone levels causing constipation. Constipation may turn worse on account of higher dosages of iron supplements in the diet.
  • With the baby moving more actively by each week and your belly increasing, finding a comfortable sleeping position may become a bit difficult.

What Changes Occur in Your Body when Five Months Pregnant?

The body may undergo some physiological changes when five months pregnant.

STRETCH MARKS

These may include the following:

  • Some pregnant women may develop pigmentation or melasma due to which brown patches appear on the skin.
  • Hormonal changes may adversely affect the sharpness of vision.
  • Breasts may continue to increase in size.
  • You are likely to notice prominent veins just below the skin’s surface.
  • Stretch marks may appear as the abdominal ligaments get stretched.
  • The nipples may become darker while Montgomery’s glands also tend to enlarge.
  • A dark line extending from the pubic bone till the navel may also develop during this time.
  • Hair and nails may become healthier and stronger.

Concerns in Fifth Month of Pregnancy

Few women may experience slightly increased discomfort in the fifth month of pregnancy due to the bodily changes. Some of the concerns can be:

  • Abdominal aches
  • Leg cramps
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Backaches especially in the lower back
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Low haemoglobin resulting in anaemia
  • Likely secretion of colostrum from mammary glands
  • The appearance of varicose veins (swollen veins) beneath the skin’s surface on legs
  • Haemorrhoids which is simply varicose veins in the rectal part
  • Increase in vaginal discharge
  • Acute cystitis (inflamed bladder)

Baby Development

In the 5th month of pregnancy, baby growth is rapid and the baby develops at an incredible pace. Every day brings about exciting developments and your baby may grow to about 8-12 inches long. The baby’s weight can go up to almost a pound. But it is important to remember here that every baby grows at his own pace. Some developmental milestones that a baby may cover when you are five months pregnant are as follows:

  • Your baby’s skin may get coated in a protective covering which is thick and creamy and is called the Vernix. It protects the baby’s fragile skin from the amniotic fluid encircling him.
  • Baby’s muscles and bones may become denser and arms, toes, legs, hands, fingers are well-defined.
  • Baby’s eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes, fine hair, ears, and nails are formed.
  • Baby’s face gets into sharper focus.
  • Your baby can stretch, open his eyes a bit, yawn, suck on his thumb, kick and move around.
  • The baby is also capable of twisting and turning.
  • The baby’s tiny features can make facial expressions.
  • The baby may be following a fairly steady schedule of sleeping and waking. Baby’s sleep pattern can be different from his mother’s cycle of sleeping and waking.
  • During this time your baby’s may be evolving his own set of unique fingerprints.
  • Your baby also develops his genitals at this stage.
  • Your baby may gain some hearing abilities. Therefore, outside noises can disturb the baby. Also, you can start communicating with your baby and may get responses from him.

5 MONTHS FOETUS

  • Baby’s brain develops further and becomes more complicated.
  • By 18th week the immune system of the baby also matures. His body can synthesize substances which may help him combat infections.
  • By 19th-20th week, the nervous system starts to function. The endocrine glands, the spleen with its web of lymphocytes and monocytes start performing their roles.
  • The baby’s position may begin to change into a head down position.
  • Your baby develops sensitivity to light.
  • He may also start forming taste buds. A 5 months old unborn baby may be able to sense the difference between salty and sweet.

5 Months Pregnancy Scan/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.

Do’s and Don’ts in Fifth Month Pregnancy

To reduce your discomfort and to avoid any likely pregnancy complications here is a comprehensive guide to some dos and don’ts that you can keep in mind during fifth-month pregnancy:

Do’s

  1. Increase Your Intake of Vitamin C: Incorporate foods like broccoli, oranges, tomatoes in your 5-month pregnancy diet that can provide you sufficient vitamin C.
  1. Natural Supplements: Eating dry fruits like dates, almonds, pistachios, walnuts can prove very beneficial during pregnancy.
  1. High Fibre Diet: Try and include enough fibre in your diet to battle constipation. A diet rich in fibre can also help in preventing haemorrhoids.
  1. Good Posture: With the growing belly, maintaining the right sitting and standing postures is important. A good posture can help ease the aches and pains that occur during pregnancy.
  1. Cooling Showers: To deal with rashes that may appear in areas like under the breasts, underarms or in the groin area, take frequent cooling showers. Wearing comfortable, loose cotton clothing during pregnancy may also help.
  1. Avoid Sitting/Standing for Long Hours: To improve blood circulation and to avoid cramps and aches refrain from sitting or standing at a stretch. Keep in mind to get up and move around a bit at regular intervals.
  1. Adequate Rest: Taking adequate rest and sleeping well during pregnancy can aid in reducing pregnancy-related stress and fatigue. Engaging in power naps during pregnancy is a good idea. Refrain from straining yourself.
  1. Nutritious Diet: Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet inclusive of green leafy vegetables, fruits, fish may help in keeping you energized during pregnancy.
  1. Sleeping Position: The expanding belly may render certain sleeping positions uncomfortable. Try and sleep on your left side. A pregnancy pillow sandwiched between the legs may provide comfort.
  1. Comfortable Footwear: You may like to 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.

CHOOSE COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR

Don’ts

  1. Avoid Junk Food: Stay away from junk food during pregnancy as it can cause gastritis and nausea. Also restrict your intake of fried food, sweets.
  1. 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.
  1. Avoid Delaying Urination: During pregnancy, there is a greater risk of developing urinary infections. So, try and avoid delaying urination.
  1. Resist the Urge to Get Up Abruptly: Getting up abruptly from the bed or a sitting position may cause dizziness and faintness.
  1. Check Weight Gain: During 5th month pregnancy, your appetite is likely to increase. So be on guard for unnecessary weight gain. Stop yourself from excessive indulgence towards unhealthy cravings and snacking.

Adopt an active lifestyle during pregnancy. Listen to soothing music, go for short walks, learn meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques to stay positive and stress-free. You can make good use of your time by planning for the arrival of your bundle of joy! During this phase of pregnancy, there is a risk of miscarriage. So in case of any persistent doubts concerning your health, it is always wise to seek your doctor’s advice without any delay.

Also read: Consuming Yoghurt During Pregnancy