5 Months Pregnant: 16 to 19 Weeks Pregnancy

At 5 months pregnant, the breasts get bigger and the tummy gets more protruded. The placenta is more stable now. The baby develops rapidly everyday with more changes. Most pregnant women can feel fetal movement now. Some can even feel it at the beginning of week 16. During 5 months pregnant, the fetal movement can be very soft for the first time, and people often unable to feel it and miss it.

Note 1: Fetus eyebrow and fingernails starts to grow.

Note 2: Symphysis-fundal height is 14-18 cm.

Memo of the Month

Fetus size: about 20-25 cm

Fetus weight: about 300 grams

Uterus size: the size of adult’s head

· Feel of baby movement

· Feel of peristalsis

· Starts buying maternity clothes, comfortable shoes, maternity underwear, belly band etc

· Starts nipple massage

· Perform abdomen, buttock and breast massage

· Fetal malformation examination in weeks 16-18

How fast did the baby grow?

Obvious Physical Development

The baby grows into fourth stage balanced body shape. After the development of brain, the body develops rapidly. Fingernails and toenails appear. The entire body is now covered with fine hair, and hairs on head also grow.

Little bones in the ear become rigid. The baby can hear now. Just like listening to the voice of dad and mom, external sound can also be heard. The eyelashes start to appear, the eyes are able to look straight forward now. The eyes are covered with eyelids, and the retina has fully grown. The fetus would respond if a strong light is pointed right at mom's belly. The baby starts to have sense of taste.

Ability to Feel Pleasure, Anger, Sorrow and Joy

The brain stem starts to grow. The mom’s emotions of pleasure, anger and sorrow etc. can all be felt. Hormones secreted due to the mom’s emotional change would enter the fetal blood through the umbilical cord and spread to the brain stem, and the baby starts to have emotions such as frowning, eyes rolling, crying etc.

Mommy’s Body Changes at 5 Months Pregnant

Uterus gets Bigger, Gained in Weight

The symphysis-fundal height is 14-18 cm; the size of uterus is about the size of a baby’s head. You can be easily spotted as a pregnant woman at a glance. Due to the expanded uterus, digestive organs were pushed upward causing chest tightness and difficulty in breathing. In addition, as all the body organs have enlarged by more than double, blood demand increased, heart activities increased, so you will sweat more easily.

New Problems Arise

Subcutaneous fats begin to build throughout the whole body. You will have more fats at buttock, inner thigh and arms, gaining in weight. In addition, you will have constipation, edema, backache, nausea, continue indigestion, having nightmares, sexual fantasy, increased sex desire, and may feel sex climax, gets darkened in face and abdomen, pigmentation occurs.

Distinguish Change of the Breasts

Secretion of water-like fluid appears at nipples after pressed, due to the preparation for breast feeding, so there is nothing to worry about. Your old bras are now too tight, which would cause compression of nipples, which could prevent mammary growth. You have to change to a large bras. Your nipples would get darkened too at this time.

Checkup for 5 Months Pregnant

Fetus Malformation Screening Examination

Check on spinal deformity or other congenital malformations, as well as screening of Down syndrome to pregnant women with chromosomal abnormalities having high risk of danger, followed by amniotic fluid examination. Normally we call it fetus malformation examination, but strictly speaking, it should be “fetus malformation screening examination”. Even though it has the significance of screening high risk pregnant women, it is actually very difficult to have complete diagnosis of deformed fetus through this examination.

Amniotic Fluid Examination

This is normally known as chromosome examination. Those with abnormalities found in fetus malformation screening examination or women of advanced maternal age over 35 year old must carry out amniotic fluid examination concurrently.

Living Codes of the Month

· Be careful not to gain too much weight, 2 kilos a month is just appropriate.

· Stress management is particularly important during this period. Too much stress would cause hormonal imbalance. Try your best to relax.

· After obtaining permission from the physician, you can start exercising. Swimming and gymnastics for pregnant women are the appropriate choices.

· Tooth decay during pregnancy may hurt the gums easily. If it is necessary to take treatment, now is the safe period to carry out. To prevent tooth decay, take adequate amount of magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D etc.

· Due to weight gain, to prevent joint damage, take some stretching exercises such as turning your waist, your hands or ankles whenever you have free time.

· Start doing breast care to prepare for breast feeding. Especially for those who have inverted or flat nipples, which must be converted into protruding nipples through massage, for easier breastfeeding. However, note that excessive nipple stimulation can cause uterine contractions.

· Sleeping time longer than usual by one hour.

· Belly begins to bulge. You can no longer wear tight clothes, but wear loose maternity clothes instead. Wearing bras and belly band for pregnant women would be more comfortable.

· Participate in mother classes set up by the hospital or baby product company, and exchange information on delivery and childrearing with other pregnant women.

Prenatal Care of the Month

Perform Musical Antenatal Training

Fetal hearing has been completely developed during this period. There is a strong growth of cerebral cortex, and the baby can now remember the sound. The function of hearing has developed into adult level. All outside voices could be heard. Starting from this period, real musical brain training begins. Conversation between the mother and child has to be more active. Prenatal education can also be continued or exercised.

What Moms need to Know

Reasons for Wearing Belly Band

According to traditions, a 5 months pregnant woman should use a white cotton cloth to wrap around her waist as belly band. People with severe physical body pain or elderly people with backache would also use belly band in their everyday lives. Recently, special belly band for pregnant women has been found in the market. Pregnant women using belly band can prevent abdominal sagging. It can also protect the belly from sudden external impact. Some people commented that belly band will hinder blood circulation. However, the stability and safety of belly band is an indisputable fact, especially beneficial to pregnant women with backache. Wearing belly band regularly would keep the waist upright with good posture, better distribution of abdominal weight, more relaxing to the waist.

Direction of using Belly Band

Entering the 5th month of pregnancy, your belly swells up a lot. From now on, you have to start using the belly band. Choose belly bands made of natural materials. Instead of strapping it directly to the body, it is better to wrap it on the underwear to prevent soaking by sweat, as well as avoiding rubbing the skin. Method of wrapping is to make it tight at lower abdomen and loose at upper part. Working women would feel discomfort using belly band. It is recommended to wear elastic pregnant pants. This kind of underwear is the same as belly band. It can wrap and firmly support the abdomen, as well as holding the waist, making movement more easily. While selecting underwear, priority shall be given to convenience in putting on and taking off.

Above mentioned information would guide a pregnant woman at 5 months pregnant about her baby details, examinations, training and other helpful guides.

Sandra Henderson

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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