Motherhood is the most beautiful and memorable feeling. With each passing day, your body adapts to the fact that a tiny human is growing in your belly as the fifth-month rolls in, your body remarks symptoms and breathtaking development of the baby in the womb. An adorable baby bump, pregnancy glow, and your baby bonding with you through those subtle flutters, this is the phase of immense joy and transformation.
While the baby is having its own adventure in your body, this is the phase where mothers have so many questions and doubts about their body, babies’ health, and developmental milestones. In this blog, we will walk you through the symptoms and baby development during the 5 months of pregnancy.
Let’s dive right in!
5 Months Pregnancy Symptoms
If you are a mommy-to-be who’s in the second trimester, then your body must be transforming, and you might notice a lot of changes. In the first trimester, the fetus is very small, and the majority of the change you experience can be hormonal; as you enter the second trimester, your body begins to change in the process of accommodating the rapidly growing fetus. At the initial stage of the second trimester, the baby bump starts to show; as you enter the 5th month, the baby grows rapidly.
The fifth month of pregnancy is the most beautiful phase as the mother experiences the movement of the baby. As the organs are fully developed by that stage, the baby starts to practice breathing. While enjoying motherhood, it is also important to notice that your body evolves, which is very natural during that phase.
Here are some of the symptoms one might experience during the 5th month of pregnancy.
Quickening is when you feel the fetus’s movement for the first time in the womb. This usually gives a sensation of tingling, flutters, bubble popping, or tiny pulses; when you notice the quickening sensation, it’s a sign that the baby is growing and healthy. Then is the phase when the bond deepens with the unborn baby. In the earlier stages of quickening, it can be confusing as the movement is very soft and subtle; as time passes, you get familiar with the patterns, and the movement gets stronger.
Usually, one might feel quickening from as early as 12 weeks or as late as 20 weeks of pregnancy; it depends on various factors like a uterine muscle, placement of the placenta, or the activeness of the baby. If you are still waiting for your unborn baby to move around 20 weeks of pregnancy, do not panic. To reassure, consult your doctor, and if it helps, perform the necessary tests.
2. Increased Fetal Movement During the Night
Pregnant women feel more movement and activeness from the baby when relaxed. Naturally, unborn babies are active during the night for various reasons. As you are more relaxed while sleeping at night, babies feel more comfortable about moving around. Since the movement is very subtle and soft in the 5th month, it is masked due to the noise around the womb.
You need not worry; if your unborn baby is less active in the daytime, it is quite natural for the baby to be more active during the night.
3. Increased Appetite
Now that the unborn baby is growing rapidly and moving, your body needs more calories and nutrients than ever to support the healthy growth of the fetus. There could be more than one reason for this, depending on the case. It could be the increased estrogen and progesterone levels, craving, and morning sickness. It is suggested to take plenty of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Listen to your body, choose healthy foods when you are hungry, and stay hydrated.
4. Changes in Breasts
Your breasts will go through a lot of changes during pregnancy due to the growth of milk ducts and alveoli glands. You can observe changes like enlargement, tenderness, and soreness from as early as the first trimester. Due to the pigment melanin, the areola ( skin around the nipples) will darken. Naturally, a yellowish fluid Colostrum (precursor to breast milk) starts to leak in the second or third trimester. Due to increased blood flow, veins, and more visible on breasts, and you might even notice small harmless bumps on the areola, these bumps, also known as Montgomery’s tubercles, help lubricate nipples and protect them from infections.
5. Swelling of Legs and Ankles
Swelling of legs and ankles is very common during pregnancy; this symptom is very mild and will go away once the baby is born. This occurs due to the increased blood volume and accumulation of fluids retained in the lower parts of the body. You might observe this when you sit or stand for a long time without moving. Though this is a very normal condition, you can get relief by wearing compression socks, avoiding standing for a long time, getting regular exercise, and keeping yourself hydrated.
Usually, this swelling gets worse at the end of the day and in hot weather. It is important to consult your doctor if this condition gets alarming; in some cases, this could be preeclampsia which is a serious blood pressure disorder during pregnancy.
6.Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, also known as morning sickness, are very common during pregnancy. Some experience this right from the first trimester, and it can last throughout the pregnancy. In some cases, nausea and vomiting are severe and leave the mother dehydrated and reduced weight, which is called hyperemesis gravidarum. There could be various reasons that cause nausea and vomiting, like increased estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin( HCG) levels during pregnancy, changes in metabolism, lower blood sugar, and stress.
Often women are sensitive to certain food items and smell that trigger nausea and vomiting. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, you can talk to your doctor. To control such sensations, avoid foods that trigger them, eat small quantities and frequent meals, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid spicy food items.
It is estimated that at least 40% of women experience constipation at some point of time during pregnancy. Several factors can contribute to constipation during pregnancy, like increased progesterone levels, the impact of the growing uterus on the bowel, deficiency of fiber in food, or dehydration. A few home remedies can help you with constipation, such as taking enough fluids, getting regular exercise, proper fiber intake, over-the-counter stool softeners or laxatives, etc.
If the condition is still severe and if the home remedies are not working, then consult your doctor before it becomes a serious health complication.
8. Back Pain
Back pain is the most common symptom of pregnancy and affects almost 80% of pregnant women. As the baby starts growing, you will gain weight which can put a strain on your lower back. Due to pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin which loosens the ligaments of the pelvic area, which can lead to pain. When the baby starts growing, gravity shifts forwards, arching the back, which strains the lower back.
There are a few things that you can do to relieve back pain during pregnancy. Make sure you maintain good posture while you stand, sit, or sleep; you can use comfortable pillows to help support your back. Heat therapy, massage, and exercise might help relax the muscles and relieve pain and stiffness. Use a waistband and comfortable shoes for extra support, avoid lifting heavy weights, and try to bend by keeping your back straight. If the home remedies aren’t helping with the back pain, consult your doctor for further treatment.
Development at 5-Month Pregnancy
Your baby starts growing rapidly; with the subtle kicks and flips, the baby becomes more active and noticeable. Here are some of the developmental milestones to look at when you are a fifth month pregnant.
At the start of the 5th month of pregnancy, the baby weighs around 10 ounces and grows up to 1 pound by the end of the month. By the time your baby is born, he/she will weigh around 7 pounds. Your baby bean is almost the size of a bell pepper or a banana.
2. Skin Is Less Wrinkled
During this period of pregnancy, the baby’s skin is less wrinkled and produces vernix, lanugo. Vernix caseous is a slick white greasy, cheese-like coating substance that protects the skin from amniotic fluids in the sac. Lanugo is soft, fine hair on the shoulder, forehead, and back of the baby to hold the vernix; this hair usually sheds after 1 week of birth.
3. Developing Senses
At this time of pregnancy, babies open their eyes, but they cannot see properly yet, but they do differentiate between light and dark. They start to respond to the noises around them, like your heartbeat and voice. You can bond with your unborn baby by talking, singing, and reading to them. Your baby starts to develop a sense of smell of the food you eat, which might influence their food preferences after birth.
4. Organs Are Fully Formed
Though the lungs are the organs to develop in a baby, they produce surfactants that are responsible for inflating the lungs during birth; this is the major milestone as this helps the baby to breathe if born prematurely. Other organs like the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are fully formed, and some organs start functioning. Your baby’s organs are developing rapidly and are getting closer to being ready to survive outside the womb. Your little one’s heart is beating at the rate of 150 times per minute.
5. Immune System Is Developing
An unborn baby’s immune system is in the development stage in the 5th month of pregnancy, but it does reach some important milestones. The thymus gland produces T cells; bone marrow produces B cells, i.e., antibodies, which help the body fight infections. The baby receives antibodies from the mother’s bloodstream, which helps the baby fight infections in the first few months of birth.
This means that the baby is still prone to infections, and it is important to take proper parental care and stay away from people who are sick.
6. Sucking Reflexes
Unborn babies may suck their thumb as a natural reflex, which prepares them to suck milk after birth. These sucking reflexes can start as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy and get stronger as they grow. If you do find your unborn baby sucking their thumb during an ultrasound, do not panic; this doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it. Thumb sucking is a common behavior in babies which is also a great oral motor skill.
What to Expect in Ultrasound at 5th Months of Pregnancy
In the second trimester, ultrasound usually falls between 18 to 22 weeks, which usually falls in the 5th month of pregnancy. This is to check the growth and development of the unborn baby.
The healthcare provider will provide details like the baby’s weight, the position of the baby, the amount of amniotic fluid, development of organs like the head, heart, spine, etc. The ultrasound will be able to provide information about the placement of the placenta, which is an organ that delivers nutrients and oxygen to the baby. Along with that, you can listen to your baby’s heartbeat is a very exciting moment of parenthood.
It is important to remember that ultrasound is a medical tool that is used to estimate and monitor a baby’s health and development. Ultrasound isn’t always necessary for everyone at this point of pregnancy. Depending on the conditions, your doctor will recommend an ultrasound.
As the expectant mother reaches 5th month, the little one inside gets busy moving and sending sweet reminders to their mother. From developing senses to preparing themselves for sucking milk, unborn babies transform themselves with all the nutrients and oxygen the mother is providing. As the baby is growing rapidly, the mother’s body adapts accordingly. Whether you are a mommy-to-be or a father who is waiting for the little one, we hope this blog helps you identify the symptoms and understand the development of the baby.
It is also noteworthy that pregnancy is not the same for everyone; the symptoms are circumstantial based on the mother’s health. It is important to keep yourself safe and healthy to support the health of your little one.