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Month-5

Five Months Pregnant: What to Expect

Month-5

WEEK SEVENTEENWEEK EIGHTEENWEEK NINETEENWEEK TWENTY

WEEK SEVENTEEN

Your baby is the size of an onion.

It weighs about three and a half ounces and is about the size of your palm (about five inches long). The body fat (of the baby, that is) is beginning to form and will continue to accumulate till the end of your pregnancy, so that by the time you give birth it will make up about two-thirds of his or her weight. Your baby’s heart is now regulated by the brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours!

Your baby has also been sharpening sucking and swallowing skills. In fact, most of the survival reflexes that your baby will have at birth are being perfected in-utero right now.

Your baby’s fingerprints are forming. Within the next week or two, your baby’s fingertips will have unique fingerprints.

Your baby’s hearing sense is becoming clearer now – it can hear you and daddy say ‘I love you’. In fact, loud noises — the dog barking, the doorbell ringing — can sometimes startle your baby. Your baby’s eyes (which have fortunately finished their migration to the front of the head) are making small side-to-side movements and can even perceive some light, though the eyelids are still sealed.

YOUR BODY

A slight vaginal discharge (leukorrhea) and a greater sensitivity to allergens these days — both are totally normal.

Also, given that your toilet-centric mornings are probably over – there’s a growth in your appetite. Don’t be surprised if you can finish an entire tub of ice cream all by yourself. But if you find your weight gain is getting ahead of itself, you may want to reel your appetite in just a tad. Keep in mind that no matter how big or hungry your baby is, eating for two should never be taken literally during pregnancy.

TIPS AND TO DOS
If you feel periodic pain in your legs, it’s likely due to the baby placing pressure on the sciatic nerve that runs under the uterus to the legs. Try ice or heat to ease pain.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Increased Appetite
  • Heartburn & Indigestion: Avoid lying down after eating to keep gastric juices in the stomach where they belong
  • Bloating & Gas
  • Occasional Headaches
  • Faintness Or Dizziness
  • Backaches
  • Stretch Marks: This badge of pregnancy is hereditary — so if you start noticing some stretch marks on your body, it may be because your mother had them too. But if you gain weight at a steady rate (instead of in big spurts), this may keep the stretching gradual and, as a result, less extreme.

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WEEK EIGHTEEN

Your baby is the size of a sweet potato.

At five and a half inches long (remember, that’s crown to rump) and five ounces in weight, your baby may be large enough now for you to feel it twisting, rolling, kicking and punching around the womb. And now for the skill of the week: The art of the yawn has now been mastered by your baby (you may feel those soon, too!). In fact, you might catch a glimpse of that adorable yawn and all those other fetal movements at your ultrasound this month.

Something you won’t see on the ultrasound — but you’ll learn is in working order — is your baby’s nervous system, which is maturing rapidly. Nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin (which speeds messages from nerve cell to nerve cell), are forming more complex connections. Those in the brain are further specializing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. Speaking of hearing, your baby’s is growing more acute, making your little one more conscious of sounds that come from inside your body (which means you could both be listening to each other hiccup!).

YOUR BODY

Your uterus is about the size of a cantaloupe and can be felt about one and a half inches below your belly button — go ahead and have a feel.

Something else you may be feeling right now: back pain. With your growing uterus shifting your center of gravity – your lower back is getting pulled forward while your abdomen is thrust out – and that leaves you with backaches and pains. Reduce pain by using a foot rest to elevate your feet slightly when sitting. When standing, place one foot on a low stool (when possible) to take some pressure off your lower back.

TIPS AND TO DOS

  • With pregnancy often comes low blood pressure. To help stave off dizziness, always move from a lying or sitting position to standing slowly.
  • During the second trimester your body releases relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments that hold bones together, resulting in an achy pelvis and hips, and maybe bigger feet!

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Fetal Movement: If you’ve noticed an unusual rumbling in your tummy these days, you may be starting to feel your baby’s movements in the womb! But don’t worry if you haven’t felt anything out of the ordinary — it may take a few more weeks for you to pinpoint those first kicks.
  • Bloating & Gas
  • Varicose Veins: If the varicose veins in your legs are starting to itch or ache, consider wearing support hose, which apply pressure to the legs and give blood a little upward push toward your heart. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning to prevent the blood from pooling.
  • Leg Cramps: As if it weren’t enough that your precious sleep has been interrupted by trips to the bathroom to pee, now you may find yourself suddenly woken up during the night by shooting spasms in your calves. Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes them, but you can help fend them off by doing calf stretches before hitting the sack.
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Stretch Marks
  • Edema (Swelling in feet & ankles): As your body tissues accumulate fluid (your pregnant body requires extra fluid to support you and your baby), you may notice swelling in your ankles and feet (fluid tends to pool there thanks to the law of gravity). Reduce water retention in your feet by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods — and try to keep your legs elevated when you can.

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WEEK NINETEEN

Your baby is the size of a mango.

Arms and legs are finally in proportion, neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles, and cartilage throughout the body is turning to bone.

All these upgrades combine to give your baby more control over limb movements. Which explains all that kicking and stretching you’ve possibly started feeling by now.

Something else is going on this week: Your baby is getting some super varnish. Yes — a protective substance called vernix caseosa (vernix is the Latin word for varnish; caseosa is cheese) now covers your baby’s skin. It’s greasy and white and is made up of lanugo (that downy hair), oil from your baby’s glands, and dead skin cells. This waxy ‘cheese’ may not sound too appetizing or attractive, but it’s there for good reason: Vernix protects your baby’s sensitive skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. Without it, your baby would look very wrinkled at birth (sort of what you’d look like if you soaked in a bath for nine months). The vernix sheds as delivery approaches, though some babies — especially those born early — will still be covered with vernix at the time of delivery.

YOUR BODY

Something other than the constant dash to the washroom may be keeping you up all night – leg cramps. These painful spasms that radiate up and down your calves are very common during the second and third trimester. While these cramps can occur during the day, you’ll notice them more at night. No one knows for sure what causes them — though there are plausible theories aplenty. It could be that your leg muscles are just fatigued from carrying around all the extra weight of pregnancy. Or that the vessels that carry blood to and from your legs are compressed by your growing uterus. There’s also speculation that it may be somehow related to diet, though this hunch hasn’t been substantiated by studies. Whatever the cause, you’ll need a quick fix when a leg cramp does strike — especially when it’s standing (or lying) between you and a good night’s sleep. So, here’s a quick fix: Straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins.

TIPS AND TO DOS

You’re more likely to get a yeast infection during your second trimester than any other time. They’re hard to control during pregnancy, so ask your doc about treatment.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Increased Appetite
  • Constipation
  • Faintness Or Dizziness
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Round Ligament Pain
  • Backaches
  • Stretch Marks

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WEEK TWENTY

Your baby is the size of a banana.

You’ve got a heavyweight in your belly at 20 weeks pregnant (well, in baby terms, anyway). Your little champ weighs about 10 ounces and is, from crown to rump, about six and a half inches tall. While your baby is definitely getting bigger, there’s still plenty of growing room in there, which allows your baby to twist and turn (and allows you to feel all the acrobatics!).

YOUR BODY 

Now that you’re at the midpoint of your pregnancy, that little banana you have in your belly is becoming more of a reality as you feel the movements and draw smiles from passersby who see your baby bump. You might also be noticing that your nails are stronger and your hair (all over your body) is growing faster than usual, feeling thicker and fuller. You can thank pregnancy hormones again, along with and increased circulation, which furnish extra nutrients to hair and nail cells.

But even though your nails might be long, they can also turn dry and brittle (of course, it’s those pregnancy hormones). And though you may love your lavish locks now, don’t get too attached: Your good-hair-day run ends with delivery, when the normal daily hair loss that’s suppressed during pregnancy (thus the thicker hair) picks up where it left off (and then some).

TIPS AND TO DOS

  • First-time mama? You’ll start to feel your baby’s very first movements about now. Be warned: You may think the subtle motions are butterflies, gas or a grumbling tummy.
  • Avoid eating for two: While your growing appetite will be pushing you to eat a four course meal at every meal, keep a watch on your pregnancy diet and healthy eating schedule.

COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Heartburn and Indigestion: try chewing a piece of sugarless gum after meals. The increased saliva it produces neutralises the gastric acids and helps force fluids back into the stomach.
  • Increased Vaginal Discharge: As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll notice an increase in vaginal discharge. While it can be uncomfortable, this discharge actually helps protect the birth canal from infection and maintains a healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina
  • Occasional Headaches
  • Faint of Dizziness
  • Leg Cramps
  • Edema (Swelling in feet and ankles) 
  • Your Innie becoming an Outie: Your cute little innie belly button may suddenly morph into an outie as your uterus pushes your abdomen forward. If you don’t like the new look, don’t worry — your navel will go back to being an innie after delivery.

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Information Credit: Whattoexpect.com




By Silver Rattle

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