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Fifth Month of Pregnancy

Each woman’s body will change in different ways at different times throughout the pregnancy. But, your baby bump will likely be pretty visible by the time that you are in your fifth month of pregnancy. In this month, you will be adjusting to the physical changes, as well as getting used to receiving unsolicited pregnancy advice from anyone and everywhere. The fifth month of pregnancy is taking four weeks, from week 17 to week 20. In the fifth month, you are in your second trimester of pregnancy. In this period, your baby will grow from the size of a turnip to a banana.

The baby’s weight is around 140 – 300 grams (5 – 10 ounces). The length of your baby is between 13 and 25. 6 cm (5.1 – 10 in). From week 20, your baby’s length is measured from crown to rump. The fifth month will make changes in your wardrobe, so you will spend more time buying new fitting clothes. Also, in this month, cravings instincts will overrule the morning sickness. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and your weight, so he or she will be sure that you and your pregnancy are getting good.

Also, your doctor will take a urine test to check the protein and sugar levels. Your doctor will make measure the fundal height. In this month, your doctor will make an ultrasound to monitor the fetal heart rate and growth of your baby in terms of weight and crown-rump length. Your doctor will check the position of your baby and the condition of your placenta. This scan is also known as an anomaly scan. You need to fix your appointment with the doctor for the check-up, so you will be sure that you are your baby is doing well.

You need to stay away from raw or undercooked foods because they can cause a foodborne disease, known as listeriosis [1]. You should avoid eating fishes like shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish because they have high levels of mercury and they can affect the health of your baby. You need to avoid consuming more than 200 – 300 mg of caffeine on a daily basis because this can lead to miscarriage [2]. Also, you need to avoid deep-fried and spicy foods, because they can aggravate heartburn.

Doctors are recommending pregnant women to try a variety of foods to help their baby’s taste buds to become more receptive to a greater range of foods. You need to avoid eating unpasteurized milk and cheese [3]. You should stay active because exercise is good for you and your baby. You need to find which exercises are safe for your pregnancy and how you should take care. Your partner can help you with the household chores.

Also, your partner can go with you on the checkups, so he will know how the baby is developing. Your partner can give you a good foot and neck massage because they can relax your body if you have some kind of aches. You need to stay relaxed and positive during your pregnancy because your mood can affect your baby. You can have weird dreams, but they are caused by your pregnancy hormones. Also, they can be the result of your nerves and anticipation, so you should not be worried about them.

Fifth Month of Pregnancy

Your pregnancy week by week:

Weeks 17 – 20:

Congratulations on your fifth month of pregnancy. Your baby belly will be pretty visible, so you will feel more pregnant than before. Below we have explained to you the weeks of the fifth month of pregnancy, so you should not be worried about which changes will you experience.

Week 17:

  • Baby: In the last two weeks, your baby has doubled in its weight. Also, the fat begins to form, which can help your baby’s heat production and metabolism. His or her lungs are beginning to exhale amniotic fluid and the circulatory and urinary systems are working. The eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair on the head are filling in. In this week, your baby weighs about 150 grams and he or she is still growing quickly. Your baby’s body will increase in size and it will become in proportion with the size of his or her head. His or her face will start to look like a real human.
  • Mom–to–be: In this week, you are showing more than before. Usually, women gain weight from five to ten pounds. Also, you can notice that your appetite is growing. As your baby is growing, your skin is stretching thinner and it can be more sensitive, so you need to resist the urge to scratch. You should find a soothing cream that can ease the itch.
  • Tip of the week: You need to change positions slowly, especially when you move from a lying down position to sitting or from a sitting position to standing because in this way you will avoid feeling dizzy or faint. If you feel lightheaded, then you need to sit down and lower your head or lie down for a moment.

Week 18:

  • Baby: The rapid growth spurt of your baby is tapering off, but the reflexes are kicking in. Your baby can stretch, yawn and make facial expressions, even frown. Also, his or her taste buds are beginning to develop and they can distinguish sweet from bitter. Your baby can suck its lips if they are stroked and it can swallow and even get hiccups. Your baby’s retinas become sensitive to light and if bright light is shined on your abdomen, then your baby will probably move to shield its eyes.
  • Mom–to–be: In this week, your uterus is about the size of a cantaloupe and it can be probably felt just below your navel. The mid-pregnancy ultrasound can be performed between 18 and 22 weeks to see the baby’s growth and development and to verify the due date. The ultrasound may show whether your baby is a boy or girl, which depends on the position of your baby. In this period, your heart needs to work 40 – 50% harder to support your pregnancy.
  • Tip of the week: You can ask your partner to go with you to the ultrasound. This is a chance to catch the first glimpse of your baby together.

Week 19:

  • Baby: In this week, the skin of your baby is developing and it is transparent. It appears red because the blood vessels are visible through it. Also, the creamy-white protective coating (known as vernix) begins to develop on your baby’s skin.
  • Mom–to–be: As your baby continues to grow, you can feel some mid-pregnancy aches and pains by now, such as backache, mild swelling of ankles and feet, leg cramps, constipation, heartburn, dizziness, and lower abdominal aches. Also, dilated blood vessels can cause tiny and temporary red marks (they are known as spider nevi) on your arms, shoulders, and face.
  • Tip of the week: You need to take care of yourself. You should try to not get overtired while your baby is growing so quickly.

Week 20:

  • Baby: From this week, your baby can hear sounds, such as your voice, heart, and your stomach growling, as well as sounds outside your body. If the sound made near you is loud, then your baby will cover its ears with its hands and it may even become startled and jump. Your baby is moving often. He or she is kicking, punching, wiggling, and turning. In this week, your baby weighs around 400 grams and measures about 25 cm in length. Your baby’s muscles are developing rapidly and there is a lot of space and fluid in the amniotic cavity for your baby to move around.
  • Mom–to–be: In week 20 you are in the midpoint of your pregnancy. The uterus is just about even with your navel and your waistline has pretty much disappeared. Bladder infections are more likely to happen because some muscles in the urinary tract relax. You can notice that your breathing will deepen and you may sweat more than usual. This is happening due to your thyroid gland is more active.
  • Tip of the week: This week is the halfway point during pregnancy. If you have backache, then you should watch your posture. You should sit with a footstool or use an ergonomic chair. You should avoid standing for too long, sleep with a small pillow under your side at the waist, and lift things with your legs instead of your back.

What is happening inside you:

The hair is beginning to grow on your baby’s head. The lanugo, which is soft fine hair, covers his or her shoulders, back, and temples. This hair is protecting your baby and it is usually shed at the end of the baby’s first week of life. The whitish coating, called vernix caseosa, is covering your baby’s skin. This cheesy substance is shed just before birth. It is thought that is protecting your baby’s skin from long exposure to the amniotic fluid. Also, you can begin to feel your baby’s moves, because he or she is developing muscles and it is exercising them. This movement is known as quickening. [4,5]


[1] World Health Organization. Listeriosis. 2018. Retrieved from

[2] Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. Caffeine is linked to miscarriage risk, new study shows. Science Daily. 2008. Retrieved from

[3] U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The dangers of raw milk: Unpasteurized milk can pose a serious health risk. Retrieved from

[4] Nierenberg C. Having a baby: Stages of pregnancy by trimester. Live Science. 2021. Retrieved from

[5] Bryant J, Jamil RT, Thistle J. Fetal movement. Retrieved from

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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