What to (Really) Expect When You’re 5 Months Pregnant
At five months pregnant, you’ve reached the halfway point of your pregnancy, and hopefully you’re feeling pretty great, because it’s all down hill from here. (Sorry!) Bask in the glow of your fifth month as the next few months are likely to bring you more exhaustion, worsening heartburn and a possible return your morning sickness.
During month five of pregnancy, you may feel your baby kick for the very first time. On average, this occurs at around week 18 of pregnancy, but it varies — for example, if this isn’t your first child, you may recognize small movements earlier. For other women, it may still be a few weeks before you feel that much-anticipated first kick.
You Can Find Out Your Baby’s Sex
Although your baby’s external genitals still have a lot of developing to do, an ultrasound during month five of pregnancy can tell you whether you’re pregnant with a boy or a girl.
You’re Really Hungry
After a first trimester full of nausea and morning sickness, many women find that they’re really hungry during month five of pregnancy. After all, you’re making up for all that lost time when you couldn’t stand the sight or smell of food. Rather than consuming large portions, doctors recommend eating five or six small meals or snacks per day. This strategy makes you less susceptible to indigestion and heartburn.
They’re Getting Bigger!
At five months pregnant, you’ll notice that your baby has become more active. They’re doing gymnastics in your womb and they’ve also developed a sleep-wake cycle. Because they can now hear noises outside the womb, don’t be surprised if a loud noise sparks a sudden movement from your baby.
By the end of month five, your baby may begin sucking their thumb. This sucking reflex kicks in because they’re preparing for life outside the womb, when they’ll need to suck in order to be fed.
At five months pregnant, your little one isn’t quite so little anymore — by the end of the month, your baby weighs in at around 10 ounces and measures about six-and-a-half inches. However, they’re still small enough to have plenty of room to move around in the womb, which is why they’re perfecting those gymnastics tricks.
This isn’t an official medical term or diagnosis, but many women feel forgetful or absentminded during this point in pregnancy. The good news is that, although you definitely notice the change, most of your friends and co-workers don’t. Put reminders in your phone if you’re worried about forgetting something important, and don’t be hard on yourself if you do drop the ball once in a while. Now isn’t the time to sweat the small stuff.
Lower Back Pain
Because your bump is growing, your body’s center of gravity shifts and it affects your posture which, in turn, can cause pain in the lower back. The muscles in your lower back are working overtime to accommodate the extra weight. In order to alleviate some of the pain, ask your medical provider to teach you exercises that will strengthen the muscles, and be sure to sit in chairs that provide strong back support.
Insomnia And Sleep Problems
Your baby bump can make it hard to get comfortable in bed, which can result in trouble falling and staying asleep. Many women find the most comfortable position to be on their side, with a pillow placed underneath the belly. Moderate exercise during the day (such as prenatal yoga or a walk) and winding down with a warm bath before bed can help you fall asleep.
This is a common symptom during month five of pregnancy. Hormones, fluid retention, and weight gain create the perfect storm for uncomfortable swelling in your feet. Putting your feet in a cool foot bath can help reduce the swelling and discomfort.
Written by Caitlin Flynn.