Welcome to Month 5 of your pregnancy. This is such an exciting time for mothers-to-be. It’s a rare woman who won’t look obviously pregnant to outsiders by the end of her fifth month of pregnancy. That baby bump is proud to make itself known and you should be proud to show it off. It’s the physical representation of all the hard work you’re doing to grow a brand new human in there. Your baby’s movements are a constant in your life by this point and, for many women, the bump + movement makes the idea of baby much more real.
If you’ve missed our previous installments, please feel free to check out our Overlake Monthly Pregnancy Guides for:
Otherwise, here is what’s happening for you and baby this month – which marks the more-than-half-way point.
Your Fifth Month of Pregnancy: What’s Going on in There Now?
You aren’t the only one who feels like things are more “real.” Your baby will be able to see and hear this month. For some babies, that happens as early as Week 18. Sights and sounds are diminished by her immediate surroundings, but your baby will be able to tell the difference between light and dark, and she’ll learn your voice, as well as the other voices in your household. She’ll even be able to hear the music you listen to.
Your baby has also been developing lanugo, a soft downy hair. This hair covers her whole body and is mainly designed to attach the vernix mucosa. The vernix mucosa is a thick, white creamy substance that protects the skin from its watery, amniotic environment. Babies born early have thicker lanugo and vernix mucosa than those born later. It slowly disappears as you get closer to your due date. The remaining vernix mucosa will be cleaned away after your baby is born but she might have lingering lanugo for a month or two.
Speaking of skin, your baby’s skin is thickening now and odds are it will no longer look as translucent as it has in the past on the ultrasound monitor. The kidneys are functioning by the end of Month 5 and, while your baby doesn’t have the bone marrow required to produce red blood cells, her bones are strengthening and her spleen and liver are producing blood cells.
By the end of Month 5, your baby is about a foot long and will weigh about a pound – she’s the size of a football.
What’s Going on in Your Body?
Hopefully, any first-trimester nausea or sickness is gone altogether or has noticeably faded. For most women, Month Five is a pretty comfortable one; while your belly is noticeably bigger, there is still enough room in there for baby so you can still move, sit and lay down fairly normally. A little pelvic discomfort from the ever-expanding and stretching pelvic muscles is normal. If you are experiencing moderate to severe discomfort, or pain that prevents you from your normal activities, call your doctor ASAP to check in.
You may experience heartburn and constipation as a result of physical and hormonal changes. Try to finish eating at least a couple of hours before you lie down. Eat a well-rounded diet with lots of fruits and veggies, as well as high-fiber breads, cereals and grains, to keep your digestive tract regular. Increased blood volume and those aforementioned hormonal changes may also cause your gums or nose to bleed. Make sure you’ve visited your dentist, and brush and floss gently and regularly to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
It may come as a shock if you take off your bra and find your breasts have leaked. This thick, syrupy substance is called colostrum. It is a very nutritious breastfeeding starter, used to provide essential probiotics, proteins, carbs and antibodies to your baby. It is totally normal and is simply a sign that your body is doing everything it needs to do to prepare for the birth of your baby.
Have questions or concerns about your pregnancy? Looking for an OB/GYN who works with midwives? Give us a call at Overlake OB/GYN and schedule an appointment.