The 5th month (18-21weeks) of pregnancy can be considered the midterm of second trimester or half way of the journey of pregnancy. At this stage, the pregnancy is visible to naked eye along with a radiant glow on the face of the mom to be.

The mom can relax now as her body has adapted well to changes taking place, but not grown enough to cause discomfort. The baby almost resembles a human baby during this period as the fetus gains maximum length and weight.

Changes in the baby

The baby gains weight at a rapid pace now with the brown fat accumulated in the body which helps in controlling the body temperature. The internal organs continue to mature enabling the baby to lead a life outside the protective womb but at this stage the baby is still dependent on the mother for survival.

  • Development of muscles takes place.
  • There is increased physical activity with regular sleep and wake intervals.
  • The head starts to appear smaller than the body.
  • The fetus changes position from side to side and head up/down.
  • Internal organs mature and increase functioning.
  •  Fingers and toes are well defined.
  • Fingerprints and footprints are well developed.
  • The skin is covered with vernix, a greasy coating that protects the baby skin from direct exposure to amniotic fluid.
  • Genital organs develop.

Changes in the mom to be

The mother will become more and more aware of the independent baby growing inside her, as the baby kicks around in her womb. The mom will be more relaxed and comfortable in the fifth month of pregnancy as the body will become more acclimatized to the changes. This is the time to shop and plan as the coming days can be tiresome for such activities.

  • Heart rate increases in the beginning of the 5th month in order to provide more blood to meet the oxygen requirements of baby.
  • Morning sickness disappears in majority of women.
  • Breathing becomes difficult as the uterus pushes upwards.
  • Hormones in the body may cause varicose veins which will often disappear after child birth.
  • Fatigue is experienced, mainly due to extra weight.
  • Swelling in feet is common.
  • Occasional discomfort in inner thighs, hips and lower abdomen is caused due to the increasing load of uterus.
  • You may also experience lower back pain due to hormones and growing belly.

Tips for the 5th month

During the fifth month of pregnancy, more importance should be given to rest and comfort of mom to be. As the baby gains height and weight at rapid pace during this stage, it is utmost important for the mother to follow proper diet in order to avoid malnutrition or anemia in future.

  • Wear comfortable flat footwear to support weight gain.
  • Find comfortable positions to sit and lay down.
  • Use moisturizer to hydrate skin and relieve itching caused by stretching and tightening of the belly.
  • Put the feet up whenever possible to reduce varicose veins.
  • Start mild exercises under the guidance of your doctor.
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Healthy diet should be continued.