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The Fifth Month of Pregnancy

2 mins to read Mar 15, 2022

Week 18

How is baby developing? 

A lot is going on this week. Your baby’s skin is still very thin and quite transparent, with small blood vessels visible through it. The nerve fibres of the spinal cord are beginning to be surrounded by myelin, an insulating sheath made of a substance rich in lipids which allows for good nerve conduction. Your baby’s intestine continues to develop and is now in its permanent place in their abdomen. All is as it should be.

How is your body changing?

Stroking your belly and knowing that there is a person growing in there is quite unbelievable. And when you imagine interacting with this little person – how they will smile, what they will look like – it is quite incredible, isn’t it? Perhaps you know your child’s sex. Or waiting until birth to find out. Either way, it’s almost time for the second ultrasound scan. This time, your doctor will be able to verify that your child is developing healthily, but also whether it is a girl or a boy. Don’t be disappointed if you would like to know but nothing can be seen yet. Your child must be lying “correctly” or even the most practiced health care professional’s eye cannot recognize anything.

Week 19

How is baby developing?

There’s a whole lot of growing going on, so, though your baby is very active, they also sleep a lot. Your baby isn’t necessarily on your time clock and can wake you up at night as they move around restlessly. Try to gently caress your belly and talk to the baby when it does, it will calm them down, and maybe you’ll both be able to get back to sleep. As baby is not very big, they have lots of room to move their arms and legs around, and kicks, pedals, turns, and does lots of somersaults. To change position, they push their feet against the wall of your uterus. That's why you sometimes see that ‘alien’ bump on your belly. Remember to pat the bump to show your little one that you are there!

How is your body changing?

Though your body is doing its job almost on autopilot, there are still a few things that need to be taken care of externally. If you haven’t already done so, then discuss with your healthcare professional at your next check-up about how and where you want to give birth. Hospitals usually offer antenatal classes, including breastfeeding classes, for parents-to-be, make sure you don’t miss out.

Week 20

How is baby developing?

Your baby is growing increasingly fast, especially when it comes to brain development, which is quite accelerated right now. Their little body has really grown which makes their head seem less big now. If your baby is a girl, her ovaries are equipped with enough primitive cells to produce 7 million eggs! But from this stage of development on, that number will start to reduce, plateauing off at around 2 million at birth. By this week, you can see eyebrows and any hair they have on their head.

How is your body changing?

Have you felt your baby move yet? What a wonderful moment! To get the most enjoyment from it, lie down or sit down and relax. While your baby will sleep quite a bit during the day, it’s activity when it’s awake will start to increase, then you will be able to feel the movement most clearly. You will still need a bit of patience to be able to detect the movements correctly. At the beginning, you will probably feel nothing more than a gentle twitching or jerking. Then kicks against the belly only become clear from around the 25th week. It will be several weeks before the father-to-be can also experience this great moment.

Week 21

How is baby developing?

Though your little one doesn’t need to make use of them in their current home –your baby’s senses of taste and smell continue developing this week. They are stimulated ever so slightly by your amniotic fluid. It carries the aromatic molecules from the food you eat and the smell of your environment to them! Thus, at birth, your baby will already be attracted to the smell of your skin, your milk, sweet taste (because the amniotic fluid is slightly sweet) and may even be familiar later on with foods you consumed regularly in late pregnancy. Their brain will soon be mature enough for them to memorize these sensory experiences. Your eating habits can already be introducing your baby to your culture in utero.

How is your body changing?

At this stage of pregnancy, your baby floats in plenty of amniotic fluid, which is replenished often. You may now understand why drinking plenty of water is important. Your respiration pattern changes too. You’re breathing more frequent and at times, you are out of breath. This may be due to the weight gain but also it is a space issue, as your baby grows, your organs have less room.

Week 22

How is baby developing?

Your little one’s heart is now big enough that we can hear the heartbeats with a simple stethoscope placed on your stomach. Did you know that you won’t know the final colour of their eyes until 6-10 months after birth? Their skin looks quite wrinkled and is still translucent, and it is pinkish red in colour because of visible little blood vessels. It is covered with a greasy protective coating, the "vernix ", which is secreted by the sebaceous glands. Don’t worry, it will disappear!

How is your body changing?

Your bump is getting bigger. As the baby and everything surrounding it grows heavier, more strain will be on your back. It is important to sit and stand as straight as possible. You can practice this by trying to balance a book on your head. Try not to let your pelvis tip forward as you walk or stand. You can put a small cushion behind your back to support your upright posture if you are sitting for a long time.