The fifth month of your pregnancy occurs in your second trimester. It is the time when the pregnancy is in its full swing. For most women, it is a time when the pregnancy belly will be easily visible and other tests will also confirm the same.
How many weeks is 5 months pregnant?
When a pregnancy is 5 months, it would be between its 17th to the 20th weeks. At the end of the 5th month of your pregnancy, therefore, you shall be halfway through the term for a normal 40-week pregnancy.
At this stage, you will be fully aware of the pregnancy and its signs will be clearly visible.
If it is your first pregnancy, you will most likely have come around to the fact that you are indeed pregnant and that it is a time to relax rather than worry about it.
5 months’ pregnant symptoms
There are many changes which occur when you start the fifth month of your pregnancy. The baby will be easy to spot in an ultrasound test and would have developed most of the major features of the body. The mere fact that you are halfway the journey denotes that a lot would have happened.
Among the signs, symptoms and changes you will notice during this month include;
- Backache and gravity changes
Given that the baby will be considerably large and heavy besides your own added weight, you will feel heavier in general. Besides that, your center of gravity will be shifted in such a way that you will have to arc your back slightly to remain balanced.
The other cause of backache during the fifth month of the pregnancy in general is the fact that more pressure will be piled unto the sciatic nerve as the weight and size of the baby increase. The sciatic nerve covers the length between the spin and the legs through the buttocks.
- Brittle nails
Hormonal changes and increase in the blood pressure will often lead to the fast growth of hair and nails. However, given the fast pace at which they grow, the nails will be weak and brittle such they may peel and crack with ease.
- Increased appetite
The fast growth of the baby requires nutrients every now and again. This will lead to the secretion of hormones which facilitate this process by increasing your appetite.
- Being absent-minded
The many changes in the body often manifest in different ways. This tends to create a sense of confusion more so for those who are having this as their first pregnancy.
- Swollen ankles and aching feet
The added weight on the feet and the changes in the hormones often lead to the swelling and aching of the ankles and the feet.
Again, the hormones of the body tend to cause dizziness and some nausea.
- Red lines on palms besides hot flushes
Hot flushes are caused by the changes in the hormonal levels of the body besides the increased blood pressure.
Increased blood pressure, anxiety, increased body weight and many other changes in the body will lead to general fatigue hence the need to rest frequently.
Like dizziness, headaches are caused by hormonal changes besides the general fatigue during this period.
- Bleeding gums
Bleeding gums during your pregnancy are a mild form of the gum disease and is referred to as pregnancy gingivitis.
Due to the hormonal changes in the body, the gums become more sensitive to bacteria and will thus easily bleed when brushed or flossed.
- Shortness of breath
You will likely not faint, but shortness of breath is common in the fifth month of your pregnancy due to many reasons including the increased size of the womb which constantly presses against the diaphragm.
- White discharge from the vagina
A general increase in the amount of vaginal discharge will be noted as soon as the first few weeks of the pregnancy and will be so throughout the pregnancy. The white discharge is called leucorrhea and is perfectly normal.
- Heartburn, bloating and constipation
Due to the high amount of hormones, a digestive system that has been considerably slowed down and other factors, you will have occasional constipation, bloating and heartburns.
- Nose bleeding and nasal congestion
With the increased blood pressure during this period and the changes in the hormones, the blood vessels in the nose become sensitive and could easily rupture to cause nose bleeding.
- Mood swings
These are primarily caused by the changes in the hormones that maintain the pregnancy.
With the enormous surge in the hormones, you may have some pigmentation on the skin and the eyes. This very same pigmentation may be the reason why your vision may deteriorate during pregnancy.
- Increased abdominal weight
The weight of the abdomen goes up so much that you may need to use a pregnancy girdle to keep yourself comfortable. While you may feel ashamed of wearing it, not wearing it may damage your back in the long run.
- Belly skin itching
As the baby grows in size and stretches the skin of the belly, you may experience some itching on the belly. This may be dealt with some a mild moisturizer as recommended by your doctor.
- Significant increase in breast size
While the breasts grow in size almost throughout the whole pregnancy, the fifth month is occasioned by among the biggest increases in the size of the same.
- Spider veins/varicose veins
The increased pressure and amount of blood in the body often lead to spider veins of a red or blue color in the lower portions of the legs. Always rest your legs as often as possible to avoid this.
- Stretch marks
In this fifth month of the pregnancy, stretch marks on the skin are common. You may notice purple, red or white lines on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, abdomen and breasts during this period. While common, stretch marks have no effect on your pregnancy and will go away afterwards.
Fetus development in the 5th month of pregnancy
The fifth month sees to the fast development of the fetus with a lot of changes taking place. At the end of this month, the baby will almost be the size it will be when being born.
Among the changes the fetus will undergo include:
- The translucent skin of the baby makes it possible to see the its blood vessels.
- The last fortnight (two weeks) of the pregnancy will see the weight of the baby double.
- Constant deposit of calcium on the bones takes place. This is called the ossification of the bones.
- The fetus will have disproportionate legs compared to the rest of the body. Besides being flexed at the ankles and knees, the legs will be longer than the arms.
- The most visible feature on the chest of the baby will be its nipples.
- The baby’s reproductive system is quite developed at this stage. For a boy, the testicles will be formed but still held up in the abdomen. A girl on the other hand will have ovaries formed and already filled with around three million eggs.
- The fingerprints of the baby will be already formed and unique to it alone.
- Its primary and deciduous teeth will already be formed but still in the gums. To help this process, you need to consume enough calcium and fluoride in your diet.
- At this time, the skin of the baby is covered in a white substance with the consistency of grease called vernix caseosa. This substance will protect its skin after birth.
- The baby’s kidneys will fully formed and functional at the end of the 5th As such, the baby will be excreting urine into the amniotic fluid around it.
- The baby’s brain will be increasing in size and its functions getting more complex with each day.
- The development of the baby will now be largely controlled by the neural and endocrine systems which will be functional by this period.
- The fetus is also able to hear by this time. It can hear your heat beating, your music playing and even when you talk.
- Among the most intriguing changes in the 5th month of the pregnancy is that the baby can now make expressions such as yawning and stretching as it would be fully expressive.
Being abreast with these changes can contribute immensely to how you respond to them. For instance, it is held widely that you can start talking to the baby by the 5th month of the pregnancy as it will help the baby to get accustomed to the familiar sounds.
Five months pregnant baby size
By the fifth month, the baby will be between 8 to 12 inches tall and weighing about 1.5 pounds. It will be growing really fast and the belly will in turn grow to accommodate it.
5 months pregnant belly (with pictures)
A five-month pregnant belly is roughly the size of a football. Given the rapid growth of the baby, it will quickly grow past this size by the next month.
Pictures of pregnancies at the end of the fifth month (20th week) show a slight but easily visible bulge.
When you are 5 months pregnant, the first ultrasound test will be carried out. This test is called the anomaly scan is meant to check for the health of the baby, its gestation age and any anomalies in its body.
Although the gender of the baby is decided in the first few days of conception, an ultrasound in the 5th month will reveal the gender of the child for the first time. This is because most of the reproductive organs will be formed and easily visible in the ultrasound.
Common problems in the 5th month of a pregnancy
The fact that fifth month has one of the highest numbers of changes in your pregnancy means that it too is rife with issues. However, most of these issues can be easily dealt with especially if you know of them beforehand.
These issues include:
- Intense pain in the lower back
- Rapid pulse
- High amounts of vaginal discharge
- Dizziness and fainting
- Swelling and spasms in the legs
As soon as you have conceived, make sure you work very closely with your doctor to resolve any issues that come up during your pregnancy. Most of these issues may not pose a danger to the baby only if you know what to expect and what to do when they occur.
Important tests in the fifth month
To recognize the changes stated above in the baby, various tests need to be carried out. They can be physical or medical and they include:
- Testing for the height and size of the uterus
- Abdominal examinations
- Checking for the blood pressure and weight of the baby
- Examinations of the legs, hands and veins especially when swollen
- Examinations of the skin and breasts
- Checking for the baby’s heartbeat
- Keeping track of the movements of the fetus and any other activities it gets involved with
- Checking for the blood and hemoglobin levels
- Glucose tolerance tests
- Urine tests which ascertain the protein levels, sugar levels and any infections
- Cordocentesis which is carried out after week 18 of the pregnancy. This test helps in the diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities when the baby’s blood is withdrawn.
- Triple test called AFP (alps-fetoprotein), hCG, estriol multipurpose test which help in identifying any pathologies in the fetus
Any other tests can be carried out besides these ones if you or the doctor (or any other party) has any concern not addressed by the tests on this list.
Best sleeping positions
The increase in the size of your belly and breast besides the curving in your back due to the many bodily changes will limit the number of positions you can sleep safely and comfortably.
First off, your back is not the best position to sleep with at this time. Besides it being mostly uncomfortable, you will be exerting undue pressure on the inferior vena cava and aorta. These are the two blood vessels tasked with carrying blood from your legs and feet back to the heart. They both run at the back of your abdomen. Putting pressure on them limits the levels of circulation in your body and the that of the baby too.
Besides that, breathing may be difficult when lying on your back at this time. You may also have problems with your tummy when lying on your back since the belly will be pushing down on your intestines in this position.
Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended either for obvious reasons. Besides the high level of discomfort, you will also be squeezing the womb thus limiting its comfort.
The only options left for you are sleeping on your sides. Between the left and right sides, the left side is recommended even when you are not pregnant. Lying on the left side improves the level of circulation in the body thus aiding in the supply of nutrients and removal of wastes from the baby. It also prevents exerting pressure on the liver.
Not that the right side is bad, but as long as you are comfortable lying on either side, you can do so.
For some comfort, you can place a pillow below your belly and between the knees. While you may need a long pregnancy pillow for this case, your normal pillow can do the job if positioned right. A pillow will not only provide comfort but will also prevent you from rolling over your belly.
If you are prone to heartburns, you need to raise the upper half of the bed so that the acids stay in the belly rather than spilling into the gut.
Placing a pillow below your side to raise up your chest can also help in preventing shortness of breath besides providing come comfort in itself.
You should not panic if you wake up and realize you rolled to the other side of the body. As long as you do not feel any pain from the change in sleeping position, you have nothing to worry about.
Tips and precautions
Given the delicate nature of the pregnancy at this stage, you need to keep a list of the things you should and should not do to stay on the safe side. They include:
- For sleeping positions, avoid the back and the belly and focus on sleeping on your sides and especially the left side. The left side provides the best circulation and comfort. You can use pillows in various positions for the best comfort.
- To deal with constipation and risk of hemorrhoids, focus on a high fiber diet with every meal you take. It will keep your bowel movements in order.
- Pick a trainer who will be taking you through the various exercises and physical routines to keep you fit. Avoid straining and take breaks between the exercise sessions.
- You may talk to your baby who will often respond with some movements. It is an amazing feeling to say the least.
- As you might have already noticed, the heat from the pregnancy will cause rashes under the breasts, in the groin and under the arms. Taking a shower often and staying in cool areas will do away with the rashes.
- For clothing, keep everything simple and spacious by using materials such as linen and cotton.
- Try to maintain good posture whether seated or standing up. By that it means accommodating the change in the arc of the back to a comfortable position.
- Try all you can to have positive thoughts at all times. It is hard doing so during this tumultuous period but you can find what keeps you happy.
- While you will have an increased appetite and food cravings, you should only focus on eating healthy foods and avoiding the junk ones as they increase your chances of having gastritis besides worsening your nausea.
- Keep off from any addictions during the whole pregnancy. That means no cigarettes, no alcohol and any other recreational drugs. Even addictions to junk foods should be avoided.
- Avoid applying intense pressure on your body. For this case, if you cannot find a helping hand, either keep off from heavy loads or employ your thigh and bicep muscles if lifting.
- You need to refrain from making sudden moves such as sitting or standing abruptly. This causes a sudden drop in your blood pressure which can lead to dizziness and even fainting.
- If you have a small child at this time, avoid picking them up often as it does not auger well with the pregnancy. Keep in mind that in a few months you shall have a little baby on your hands. This should remind you to teach the toddler to be a little more independent.
- If this is your first pregnancy, you may be tempted to develop phobias about how the pregnancy and the baby will be. You may develop the phobias even when it isn’t your first baby. The only thing advisable here is to avoid negative thought at this time. Negativity doesn’t help in any way.
Keep these and many other tips in mind to have the best pregnancy.
When to see a doctor
With the right advice and taking proper care of yourself, you can go through the pregnancy without issues. However, you should call a doctor immediately you have any of the following cases:
- When you see large amounts of a clear liquid.
- If you see a thick gelatinous discharge.
- In the case of bleeding.
- If you have intense pain.
- When the baby has not moved at by the end of the 5th month of the pregnancy.
- If you have an itch, tears or redness in the genital area.
- If you have a high fever.
Generally, anything out of the ordinary should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will advise you accordingly.