At five months, you are in the second trimester of pregnancy. This month marks the growth spurts in your little one, and the pregnancy belly is also visible, indicating that it’s time for a wardrobe makeover. The craving instincts now overrule the morning sickness.
Here, MomJunction tells you about the pregnancy changes that affect your body, your baby’s development, and the precautions you must take in the fifth month of pregnancy.
What Symptoms Do You Experience In The Fifth Month Of Pregnancy?
- Weight gain: It must be as per the BMI (3).
|Pregnancy month||BMI < 25||BMI 25-30||BMI > 30|
|5th||2-4kg||1-2kg to 2kg||0-2kg to 1-2kg|
- Gravity changes: The center of gravity of your body changes with the growing belly, which can make you feel imbalanced at times.
- Shortness of Breath: The growing uterus puts pressure on the diaphragm, making breathing difficult.
- Headaches: Hormonal fluctuations cause headaches.
- Fatigue: As the body works more to fulfill the growing demands of the fetus, you start to feel tired.
- Dizziness: The hormonal fluctuations in the body make you dizzy.
- Leg cramps: Vitamin deficiency, extra weight or being too active or inactive at this time could result in leg cramps (3).
- Nasal congestion: The increased estrogen level causes the nasal membranes to expand, thereby increasing the mucus flow and causing congestion.
- Constipation: An increase in the progesterone level causes slow movement of the food through the intestine, leading to indigestion and constipation.
- Heartburn: The growing uterus pushes up the gastric acids in the stomach to the esophagus, causing heartburn.
- Back pain: The extra pressure of the baby’s weight on the lower back or the sciatic nerve (that runs from the spine to legs) causes back pain.
- Increase in appetite: As the morning sickness wanes by this month, your cravings increase.
- Frequent urination: The growing uterus puts pressure on the bladder, resulting in frequent visits to the bathroom.
- Insomnia: The back pain, frequent urination, leg cramps deprives you of a sound sleep.
- Edema: The water retention in the body makes your feet, hand, and face to swell.
- Bleeding gums: Hormonal changes and an increase in the blood flow can cause bleeding gums.
Apart from these symptoms, you may experience other physical and psychological changes too.
Physical Changes In The Fifth Month
Physiological changes you go through include:
- A growing belly: The belly is visible by now, and it feels itchy as the skin stretches.
- Enlarged breast: The breast starts the milk production, and hence it looks bigger and fuller.
- Colostrum: A yellow liquid starts discharging from the nipples, which is the first milk for your baby.
- Stretch marks: The growing uterus causes tiny tears in the skin tissues, creating stretch marks.
- Linea nigra: A line that runs from the navel to the pubic hairline gets darker.
- Darker areola and nipples: The skin pigmentation could make the nipples and the area around them look darker.
Emotional Changes In The Fifth Month
Few emotional changes you may experience are:
- Mood swings: They are the result of hormonal fluctuations.
- Stress: The thoughts of parenthood and anxiety during pregnancy can put you under stress.
- Pregnancy brain: Due to the hormonal fluctuations, it is common to forget things during this time.
By this month, your baby’s development picks up the pace. Are you anxious to know about it? Keep reading here.
Baby Development In The Fifth Month Of Pregnancy
Baby weight (6): Around 5 to 10 ounces (140 – 300g)
Baby’s length: 5.1 – 10in (CRL) (13 – 25.6cm (CRL)) between 17th and 20th weeks. From week 20, the length is measured from crown to rump.
|Skin||Vernix caseosa, a greasy material covers and protects the skin.|
|Hair||Starts to grow on the head.|
|Lanugo||Fine hair that covers the body.|
|Eyes||Eyebrows, eyelashes, and eyelids start appearing.|
|Heart||Heart rate follows a daily cycle called circadian rhythms.|
|Ear||Cochlea fully developed and the fetus starts hearing.|
|Genitals||In girls, the ovaries develop about 7 million oogonia, which give rise to primary oocytes.|
|Nerves||Getting covered with a tissue called myelin.|
|Fingers||Fingerprints are developed.|
It’s a moment of joy when you feel your baby’s first movement. Read here to know what happens inside your womb this month.
Baby’s Position And Movements In The Fifth Month
Position: The baby has a lot of free space inside the womb to move around. Hence, there is no specific position that the baby attains during this month.
Movement: The baby’s movements can be felt slightly by this time, like a fluttering feeling in the stomach, referred to as quickening. First-time mothers may not be able to recognize it and take it for gas in the stomach (10).
Eating the right food in the right amounts is essential for the health of the mother and the baby. However, it is also necessary to ensure that you stay away from foods that are not recommended for pregnant women.
Pregnancy Diet For The Fifth Month
Here is the list of foods that you should add to your diet (11):
- Add a lot of green leafy vegetables, bread, milk, sardines, and fortified cereals that are rich in Calcium. It promotes healthy bones and teeth in your baby. According to ACOG, a pregnant woman should take 1000mg of calcium/day.
- Iron helps in the production of red blood cells. The recommended intake is 27 mg/day (including any supplements). Whole grain products, fish, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, beans, lean pork, and beef are a good source of this mineral.
- According to the ACOG, the recommended daily intake of Folic acid by a pregnant woman is 600mcg/day. It prevents congenital disabilities relating to the brain and spine in the baby. Add a lot of Leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, and kale), kidney beans, lentils, nuts, citrus fruits, and beans in the diet.
- Vitamin D that promotes healthy eyesight and strengthens the bones and teeth. Salmon and milk fortified with Vitamin D are a good source. The recommended intake is 600 IU per day.
- Add Vitamin A rich foods like orange or yellow vegetables (sweet potatoes or carrots), leafy green vegetables, liver, and milk. The recommended daily intake is 750-770mcg/day. It promotes bone strength and healthy eyesight.
- Protein can be obtained from lean meat and poultry, eggs, seafood, peas, soy products, beans, milk, and unsalted seeds and nuts. It is necessary for muscles and brain.
- Add Vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli in your diet. It promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones. The average daily recommended intake is 85mg.
Foods To Avoid During The Fifth Month Of Pregnancy
Here is the list of foods you need to avoid:
- Stay away from raw or uncooked food as it can cause a foodborne disease called listeriosis (12).
- Avoid eating fishes like swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark that have a high level of mercury.
- Avoid consuming more than 200-300 mg of caffeine a day as it may lead to a miscarriage (13).
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and cheese.
- Avoid food containing gluten such as wheat and barley (14), if you have celiac disease. Instead, switch to vegetables, fruits, beans, poultry, and meat.
- Avoid deep-fried and spicy foods as they can aggravate heartburn.
It’s the time to fix your appointment with the doctor for the checks up to ensure both you and the baby are doing well.
What To Expect During Your Visit To The Ob/Gyn?
Here are some tests that your doctor would suggest for this month:
- Blood pressure check
- Weight check
- Urine test for protein and sugar levels.
- Measurement of the fundal height
1. Ultrasound: It is carried out to,
- Monitor the fetal heart rate and growth of your baby in terms of weight and CRL (crown-rump length).
- Check the position of the baby and the condition of the placenta.
- The scan is also called anomaly scan (15).
2. Multiple marker test: It includes the screening of the mother’s blood sample for evaluating the levels of (16);
- Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) – An abnormal protein levels of AFP in the maternal blood serum indicates:
- Down syndrome
- Open neural tube defects (ONTD), such as spina bifida
- Defects in the wall of the fetal abdomen
- Some other chromosomal abnormalities
- A miscalculation in the due date because the protein levels do vary throughout pregnancy
- More than one fetus makes the protein
- hCG – It is the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, which is produced by the placenta.
- Estriol – Produced by the placenta
- Inhibin – Produced by the placenta
In case of unsatisfactory multiple marking testing results, an amniocentesis may be recommended for an accurate diagnosis.
3. Amniocentesis: It is done to check for open neural tube defects (ONTDs) such as spina bifida and chromosomal disorders. A sample of the amniotic fluid is tested to evaluate the results. In the case of twins and multiple babies, the sampling will be done from each amniotic sac.
Specific symptoms may indicate a problem and should be checked by the doctor immediately.
What Do You Need To Know In Your Fifth Month Of Pregnancy?
- Vaginal bleeding
- Belly or pelvic pain or severe cramping
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, chills
- Painful or less urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Vomiting that lasts longer than 24 hours or gets worse
- Increased vaginal discharge or discharge with a foul smell
Do not overlook any unusual symptoms that could indicate complications with the pregnancy. Find out more about them next.
Complications In The Fifth Month Of Pregnancy
Miscarriage: It is also described as pregnancy loss and happens before the 20th week of pregnancy. Its symptoms include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pain or cramps in the lower abdomen
- Low back pain
- Tissues, fluids, or clot-like material passing through the vagina.
Stillbirth: Also termed as fetal death can happen in or after the 20th week. It may be due to any birth defects or pregnancy complications.
Keep reading to what you can do to make your pregnancy a better experience.
Precautions To Be Taken In The Fifth Month
Here are some precautionary measures you can follow in the fifth month:
- Keep your stress at bay.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Give rest to your body.
- Maintain oral hygiene.
- Maintain the right posture while sitting and try sleeping positions that promote sound and comfortable sleep. Do not sit or stand suddenly as it may cause the blood pressure to drop and result in fainting or dizziness (22).
- Take the prenatal vitamins regularly.
- Do not lift heavy objects.
- Have smaller meals at regular intervals.
- Do not take any medicines without consulting the doctor.
- Try walking and Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles.
- Wear loose, breathable clothes and comfortable flat footwear.
- Stay away from harmful chemicals.
There is a lot a partner can do to make you feel comfortable. Here are some must-do tips for the dads-to-be.
Tips For Dad-To-Be
- Help your partner with household chores
- Create a pleasant environment for her at home.
- Accompany her during the prenatal visits.
- Plan a day out with her.
- Go shopping with her for maternal essentials.
- Give her a good foot and neck massage.
The journey of pregnancy is nothing less than a roller coaster ride. The ups and down may take a significant toll on your body. However, you can stay relaxed as this phase is temporary. The moment you hold the little one in your hand, you are likely to forget all the pains. Stay relaxed and positive to enjoy this phase fully.
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13. Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs, The Nemours Foundation (1995-2019)
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