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At 5 months pregnant, you are well into your second trimester. Pesky symptoms like morning sickness have likely subsided and your belly has grown large enough to become difficult to hide, but not too large to become a nuisance just yet. Perhaps most exciting—you’re halfway through your pregnancy—congratulations! Read on for more of what to expect during this exciting time.

5 months pregnant milestones

One giant milestone that comes at 5 months pregnant is the option for a gender reveal. Though other methods are becoming common to learn gender prior to 5 months, the more traditional ultrasound gender reveal is available at this time. Parents may choose to have the sex revealed or keep it a surprise until baby’s due date.

Though your baby has been moving the womb for quite sometime, at 5 months pregnant mom is likely to start feeling physical signs of the baby’s movement.

How will my body change at 5 months pregnant? What symptoms may I experience?

Pregnancy brain: Hormone fluctuations in the body lead to feeling more forgetful than usual. While this can be annoying, it is completely normal and temporary.

Mood swings: At 5 months pregnant, mood swings often subside as the hormone production decreases during this month.

Hair and nails: Pregnancy hormones offer an extra boost of nutrition to your body that often leads to strong nails and thicker hair beginning around the fifth month of pregnancy.

Constipation: Difficult bowel movements continue to be an issue in the fifth month of pregnancy. Drink lots of fluids and increase fiber in your diet to help alleviate this pregnancy side effect.

Hemorrhoids: Your enlarged uterus causes pressure on rectal veins, which can lead to pain and itching. If it becomes uncomfortable, your doctor can offer solutions to relieve the discomfort, usually with a cream. Hemorrhoids disappear for most pregnant women after giving birth.

Heartburn and indigestion: As you uterus grows it begins to put more and more pressure on what’s around it, including your digestive system, which can lead to heartburn and indigestion cause by your digestive system being unable to perform at its full capacity.

Varicose veins: An increase in body weight increases blood flow causing varicose veins to appear.

Skin changes: Hormones at 5 months pregnant can cause significant skin changes, including the presence of stretchmarks. Some women’s skin becomes darker, while others may become visibly lighter. The nipples and areola as well as veins in the breast are also likely to darken during this time.

Hunger: At 5 months, pregnancy cravings become quite common. Though it’s important to get enough calories to fuel your body and your baby’s growth, you are not actually “eating for two”, so the amount of extra calories you need to consume isn’t much higher than normal.

Pain and cramping: Leg and back cramps are common in pregnant women and usually begin around 5 months due to increased body weight. You may also experience abdominal pain. You can find relief from both conditions with increased rest and sleep as well as practices like yoga, mediation and pregnancy massage.

How is my baby developing at 5 months pregnant?

  • Size: At 5 months pregnant your baby weighs about 1 pound and is about 7.5 inches long.
  • Organs: By month 5, your baby will have developed approximately 10 billion nerve cells. Communication amongst these cells determines your child’s intelligence. Brain and internal organ development continues at this stage until he or she is born.
  • Senses: By now, your baby’s skin has become sensitive to touch and he or she begins to respond to light and sound. Taste buds begin to develop and you may start to feel or see on an ultrasound that your baby is hiccupping, yawning or blowing bubbles inside the womb.
  • Uterine protection: Certain protective agents are developed around 5 months. A substance called vernix caseosa is secreted from the baby’s oil glands to protect baby’s soft skin from the amniotic fluid. Lanugo hair, which helps keep the vernix in place, also develops and helps regulate temperature.

What health steps should be taken at 5 months pregnant?

Ultrasound: Your doctor will likely recommend an ultrasound at 5 months where you will get a very clear picture of your baby and also be able to find out the gender should your chose to do so.

Rest: Proper rest and a full night’s sleep become even more critical during this time. Pregnant women should expect to sleep 8-10 hours per night.

Skin care: Skin care is especially important during this time and stretch marks start to appear as your belly rapidly grows. Consider moisturizing your belly as well as the legs, lower back, breasts and thighs with vitamin E to reduce the visibility of stretch marks.

Diet and exercise: Iron deficiency during pregnancy is common and can cause serious problems, such as low birth weight and even premature birth. Strive for a balanced diet filled with nutrient and iron-rich foods like spinach, red meat, oatmeal and eggs. Avoid excessive consumption of fatty foods—if it’s bad for you while not pregnant, don’t consume it when you are. Maintain your exercise habits, consulting your physician on specific workout regimens.