5th Month of Pregnancy – Symptoms, Bodily Changes, and Baby Development
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- Five Months Pregnant – Symptoms
- Concerns in the Fifth Month of Pregnancy
- Baby Development at 5 Months of Pregnancy
- Ultrasound Scan at Five Months of Pregnancy
- Foods to Add and Avoid in the 5th Month of Pregnancy
- Other Things You Can Do at 5 Months of Pregnancy
- Dos and Don’ts in the Fifth Month
- Warning Signs
- Tips for Dads-To-Be
Congrats! You have reached the fifth month of your pregnancy, and you’re halfway there! Your baby is developing rapidly, and you must be eagerly waiting for your baby’s arrival. This is the time when your baby bump will start becoming visible. Your body will keep undergoing several changes to accommodate the growing baby. Your morning sickness, too, will stop, and you’ll feel better. Here’s a fun fact! Your baby’s lungs are starting to develop more this week! Find out what will happen in the fifth month of your pregnancy, how much your baby grows, what precautions are to be taken, and the things you can do during this time. You’ll also get an idea of what symptoms you can expect during the fifth month. We assure you, you’re in for a fun ride!
Five Months Pregnant – Symptoms
You will notice the following changes and symptoms in your body during the fifth month of pregnancy:
Heartburn is an unwanted symptom of pregnancy but it lasts throughout the pregnancy. As the baby grows and develops, he may 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.
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 the mask of pregnancy.
An 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.
High Blood Pressure
Some women develop gestational hypertension while pregnant, which results in high blood pressure. However, the problem of high blood pressure can occur anytime after the third month of pregnancy.
Some women experience heart palpitations due to a higher pulse rate and heart rate.
Some pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis (swollen, tender gums) due to higher estrogen levels leading to bleeding gums.
Bowel movements become difficult due to increased progesterone levels. This causes constipation.
Hormonal changes may adversely affect the sharpness of vision.
You’ll likely notice prominent veins below the skin’s surface.
The stretching of the skin causes stretch marks.
Darkening of Nipples
The nipples may become darker and Montgomery glands may enlarge too.
Change in the Centre of Gravity
A change in the centre of gravity can make you affect your balance while walking.
Shortness of Breath
As the uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm, you may experience difficulty in breathing.
Hormonal changes can also cause headaches.
As the baby grows, he puts pressure on the bladder, which may make you want to urinate frequently.
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
- The appearance of varicose veins (swollen veins) beneath on the legs
- Haemorrhoids in the rectal area
- Increase in vaginal discharge
Baby Development at 5 Months of Pregnancy
By this stage, the growth of the baby happens rapidly. Your baby’s crown-rump length (CRL) will be 13 – 25.6 cm, and he will weigh anywhere between 140 and 300 grams. Following are the developmental milestones that your baby will go through in the fifth month of pregnancy.
- Your baby’s skin will get coated in a thick, creamy and protective covering called the vernix. This helps protect the baby’s fragile skin from the amniotic fluid.
- Your baby’s muscles and bones will become denser, and his hands, legs, fingers and toes well-defined.
- His eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes, hair, ears, and nails will start forming.
- Your baby will now be able to stretch, open his eyes a bit, yawn, suck on his thumb, kick and move around.
- He will also be able to twist and turn around.
- Your baby will now be able to make facial expressions.
- His schedule consists of sleeping and waking.
- During this time, your baby’s fingerprints will form.
- He also develops genitals at this stage.
- Your baby starts hearing sounds. Therefore, outside noises can disturb him.
- His brain will develop further.
- By the 18th week, your little one’s immune system will develop too.
- By the 20th week, the nervous system starts to function. The endocrine glands and the spleen will start performing their roles.
- Your baby may assume the head-down position.
- He will develop sensitivity to light.
Ultrasound Scan at Five Months of Pregnancy
Your doctor may suggest a mid-pregnancy scan to check the well-being of your baby and to see how your pregnancy is progressing. This comprehensive scan is also called anomaly scan because one of the purposes of the scan is to look for structural abnormalities in the foetus. 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.
Foods to Add and Avoid in the 5th Month of Pregnancy
Now that you’re carrying precious cargo, keep these things in mind while planning your diet.
1. Foods to Add to Your Diet
- low-fat dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt)
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- protein sources like lean meat like chicken, beef, and fish
- whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats)
- nuts and seeds
2. Foods to Avoid in Your Diet
- unpasteurised cheese
- deli meat
Other Things You Can Do at 5 Months of Pregnancy
Now that you’re in the fifth month of your pregnancy, there are a couple of fun things you can do, like:
1. Decorating baby’s room/nursery
This is a fun and bonding opportunity to spend time with your partner as you prepare for your baby’s arrival. You can go for fun themes and colours, and there’s no dearth of ideas for decorating your munchkin’s room.
2. Increasing iron intake
Your doctor may prescribe iron supplements as your iron levels may deplete in the 5th month. Iron is essential for the baby’s growth and brain development. Also, increase the consumption of iron-rich foods.
3. Shop for your baby
It’s the perfect time to shop for essentials for your little one. This helps to avoid last-minute hassles and helps to avoid situations where you may forget something.
Dos and Don’ts in the Fifth Month
To reduce your discomfort and avoid pregnancy complications, follow these dos and don’ts:
1. Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
2. Take Natural Supplements
3. Eat a High Fibre Diet
Include fibre in your diet to battle constipation and haemorrhoids.
4. Sit in a Good Posture
With the growing belly, maintaining a good sitting and standing posture is important. A good posture can help 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
8. Adopt a Comfortable Sleeping Position
9. Wear Comfortable Footwear
Wear flats and avoid heels at all cost. You will find that your shoe size may be slightly bigger now. But you need not worry as it is due to swelling. Rest assured, your shoe size will return to normal after childbirth.
1. Avoid Eating Junk Food
Stay away from junk food during pregnancy; it can cause gastritis and nausea. Also, restrict the intake of fried foods and sweets.
2. Don’t Hold In Your Pee
During pregnancy, you’re at a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection. So, if you have the urge to urinate frequently, don’t delay it or it might lead to infections.
3. Avoid Sudden and Jerky Movements
Getting up abruptly from the bed or a sitting position causes dizziness and faintness so get up slowly and take your time to walk around in the house.
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